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Discussion in 'Beef' started by solaryellow, Feb 19, 2012.
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I felt the need to update this thread from an earlier post I made to it. I am hopeful that all newbies to this forum will read through the entire thread soon after they join or at least before taking on a brisket. I think that between the number of different cooking methods that have been discussed here, we all can find someway that works best for us and our smoker. I think that the smoker or pit that we have will dictate heavily the style we use. I have made 6 cooks on my RF pit including 11 briskets over the past 2 months and this past weekend I tried cooking fat side down for the first time with minimal fat trim. I only trimmed what I call excessive fat, not being concerned about getting it to 1/4". Now in a comp situation, I will trim a bit more agressively. To me the briskets (I cooked 2, 14 and 16 pounders) were a bit juicier, but not anymore tender than those that I have cooked fat side up. Juicier is what I was looking for, tenderness is there when the flat reaches 205 IT. With the RF plate down there providing consistent heat throughout the cook (I always cook my briskets as centered on the bottom rack as I can get them), I felt like that cooking fat side down would be a better way to cook them, allowing the fat cap to provide insulation from the constant heat radiating up from the plate. I also expected the fat cap down to extend my cook time, it did not. I have yet to have a brisket take longer than 9 to 10 hours to reach 205 on the RF pit. I smoke at 225 until I foil then kick it up to 250. I measure my temp at dead center of my lower grate with my Maverick ET-732. The gauges on my smoker are for looks only. They are showing 175-180 at the door while I am at 225 on the grate. Trust me, I'm not complaining about 8 hour brisket smokes, I am just proud of the product I can put off at that time frame. I foil at 165 and rest after they reach 205. Since I foil, I don't use the toothpick method, I probe after 4 hours on. My next experiment will be with no foil throughout the cook or another idea is to foil at 165 as I have been doing, then finish the cook to 205, but after a 1 hour rest, put the brisket back on the pit for an hour or so to crisp up the bark a bit. To me thats the biggest drawback with the foiling, the bark is actually just a layer of flavor and not a standout part of the presentation.
Lots of great info here guys!
This guy know what he's talking about! Cept I don't use a toothpick, I use my super duper super fast Thermapen. Haha
Glad this thread is still helping others. :biggrin:
This is a great thread! The method is exactly how I've been doing my briskets for the last ten years or so. Prior to that I messed around with injections, trimming, foiling, flipping, mombo jombo, and brisket voodoo! Non of them compare to just a simple rub fat and cap on!
What color is yours? Everybody says their color is the fastest! LOL
My Camo Thermapen is hands down the fastest one around.
My orange Thermapen laughs at you both.
Santa said a thermapen was in his pack - is it mine and what color will it be?
It's orange, how cool is that.
what about rubbing the meat the night before....i thought maybe since i need to get up at 3am if i had it rubbed then all the easier....
This thread is a tremendous help!
I am doing a brisket for New Years, I cut all the fat off the last time, and separated the point, the flat was was very disappointing and dry.
The flat was good the next day with a lot of sauce for sandwiches.
The only good part was the point and the burnt ends. I plan on doing the burnt ends again.
I am however going to leave all the fat on this time, not separate the point from the flat until the 185 degree IT.
Once the temp is reached I will separate and foil the flat to rest, and cube the point for burnt ends.
I'm still not sure if I am going to foil the whole thing at 165 degrees until it reaches 195 degrees like some do.
I realize this is a fairly old thread however, I have to comment because this is an interesting topic for me. I've been doing brisket for YEARS and have never been able to meet the standards of my youth back in Texas. My wife said brisket is not her favorite. My goal is to have her like it thru good technique and process. I realize now that I think the briskets of my youth were untrimmed with a simple rub. After seeing so many say to trim to 1/4" (including Franklin in his you tube videos), I think the original post (nearly a year old now) is the way I am going to do my next brisket cook.
Early on someone mentioned smoke ring: the KCBS instructs not to grade on smoke ring. It's too easy to falsify and is no indication of world class brisket. (...but it is pretty isn't it)
I like the probe technique to test for doneness. I'll use my thermopen vs a toothpick (the fastest made is my black with flames).
I'm starting to think the only way to settle who's thermapen is the quickest is a grudge race. Bring your fastest machine and a $1.00 qualifying fee. Of course with mine sporting a Blue Coral wax job and running silver oxide batteries and running 212 in the high 2' s I doubt if anyone stands a chance. But that's why we race. Any takers....?
Your call Hans. This is what works for me.
Good luck and let us know if it works out for you!
Give it a try and report back what your results are.
I am thinking of doing my first brisket this weekend and I have a quick question. When do you pull the point to make burnt ends, before or after the 2 hour rest?
Great thread and thanks for all the great advice!
I would do it when the IT is around 170*. I don't do a whole lot of burnt ends.
What solaryellow says works well, but there are several options for making your burnt ends, I typically will not separate the point and flat until the flat is done cooking (toothpick tender, not IT), prior to the rest. Take the point, cube it up, sauce it with a mixture of au jus and my fav Q sauce, then back in the smoker or the easier route, in the oven at 275-300 for a couple of hours. My new favorite method is to completely separate the point and flat prior to cooking. Do a heavy trim on the exterior fat of the point exposing alot of the meaty surface, give it a good rub down and throw it on when I throw the flat on. This eliminates having to put it back on the pit after the flat is done, they both should be finished near the same time due to the fat content of the point, it will take longer to completly render out. This also allows for more bark all over the point end, since you've trimmed the exterior fat off. Once it's cooked, you can cube it for ends or slice it for slices. Either way it's good eating.
I just re-read this thread. Mods, it's worth thinking about making this a sticky in the beef sub-forum. This one is packed full of useful info on the most daunting piece of meat to smoke.
You can't kill this post, it just keeps on living!
I have a couple of questions. When talking about briskets I hear them referred to as a "packer". What is a "packer"?
Also, what are burnt ends?
I've smoked a few briskets and they've come out just all right, not great.
I just bought a brisket from Publix on the spur of the moment and it doesn't have any fat cap on it. Am I doomed to a dry brisket?
Thanks in advance for all the advice.
Love this forum.