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Question about brisket plateau

edited 4:11AM in EggHead Forum
I'm doing an "over/under" cook this weekend. I've got two large butts over an 8 lb. brisket flat. This is the first time I've done a brisket.[p]I was shocked to see how quickly the brisket reached 160, about 4 hours. (I'm cooking at about 245 dome temp, guessing 200 at the brisket grate) The temp stayed there for about an hour so I figured that was the plateau. The temp slowly rose until it reached 183. The dome temp was still holding at 245.[p]Here's the mystery: I went out about an hour later and the brisket temp had DROPPED from 183 to 179, even though the dome temp has held fast and the butts are still rising in temperature.[p]Has anyone seen this happen? Is it possible that the brisket has two plateaus? (one at 160 and another at 183??)[p]Just trying to understand what happened here.

Comments

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,971
    CyberDawg,
    The answer to your main question is YES. I'm doing my first brisket and from all of the info I have gotten from the forum, they react just like butts and shoulders. They hit a plateau and sometimes drop heat when the collegan starts to break down. The plateau can last, on a butt or shoulder, as long as 3, 4 or 5 hours from my past experience. I'm keeping a close eye on my brisket that went on at 5AM EST guests arriving at 4ish. If it finishes early I'll wrap in foil and let it rest in the cooler. Good luck.

  • Sundown,[p]Hmmmm. It's been 11 hours so far and my 8 lb brisket has been sitting at 176 (down from 183 earlier) for 4 hours. The dome temp has been at 240, I just cranked it up to about 280. My two butts have almost caught up with the brisket. :-)[p]
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,971
    CyberDawg,
    Just checked my brisket and it's sitting right on 156º and has been for the last hour and it's only 8AM (started cooking at 5ish. I have a funny feeling with this piece of meat so I'm going to watch it pretty close. Several months ago I had a 10 pound pork shoulder cook in less than 10 hours . . . never did figure that one out but I don't know enough about briskets to stray too far from it at this point. Sounds like you have a good plateau going.

  • Sundown,[p]Finally pulled the brisket at 12 hours and 194. It's resting in a cooler now. Once I cranked the dome temp up to 280, things went pretty fast.[p]The smaller of butts will be ready soon. About 13 hours total. I figure the other one will come in around 14 hours.
  • BBCauseBBCause Posts: 22
    CyberDawg, I put a 10 lb. brisket on at 9:30 pm CST (grate temp @ 240). The internal temperature went from 40 to 152 in 3 hours. It plateaued there (at 152) for 4 1/2 hours. It has now risen to 163 degrees (10 hours so far). Sure smells great! Looking forward to a good lunch.

  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    CyberDawg,[p]Lots of things affecting the temp in a brisket. First of all, I assume you're going by a polder reading or such? Stick a Thermapen in here and there and see if your reading is correct. Sometimes the tip of the polder is too close to the grate giving you an inflated high and occasionally just the position in the meat will give a false reading. If it's pretty consistent, that's ok there. Some briskets have more internal fat and the speed at which that fat melts will affect how fast it gets to temp and how long it will sit there. I've learned not to panic. I can reach the 150 range VERY fast but then sit at 160 for half a day. Sounds like all turned out all right. It usually does if you have the patience to wait it out! I'm putting one on this afternoon for my sister's bday party tomorrow. Will see if I can listen to my own advice.[p]mShark
  • CyberDawg,
    I'm reading this string with you, Sundown and Mollyshark, and I must say that I'm getting quite an education. I've had my BGE for several weeks now, so I'm in "early learning" mode. I tried a 4.5 lb. brisket this weekend. After a couple of hours it leveled off at 158 deg. I didn't know about this "plateau" phenomenon. I was worried that my fire was going out, or that I was using a wrong set-up for my indirect cooking. I waited another hour, and the temp. didn't vary. Not knowing what to do, I raised the dome temp from 250 to 290. After another hour, the meat was at 170. I finally pulled it out after 5hours, still around 170. The brisket sucked. Tough, and not very moist. Knowing what I know now about this temp plateau, I think I'm going to try another, and give it more time. Any other pointers would sure be appreciated.

  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    redherring,[p]gotta leave it on until it hits 190. Then foil for at least an hour...
  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    redherring,[p]If you have calibrated your thermometer, the key is trusting that the temp is right. If your dome temp is over 235ish and has been for a while, you can bet it's not the fire being out. [p]I know it's tough to trust the egg since your last cooker was most likely a gasser that often times let you down either temp wise or flavor wise. It's normal to be nervous. [p]Trust the egg. [p]Oh, and if you can get your hands on dr. bbq's brisket recipe, that's a winner for sure and VERY easy to make.
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