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Juicier Brisket

JimWJimW Posts: 450
edited 4:03PM in EggHead Forum
Saturday night I started a 6-lb beef brisket for a long slow cook. I was packed in the cryovac and had a real good fat cap on it. I layed a spicy chili rub that I make up myself on it and let it sit at room temp for a couple of hours.[p]I put in a boatload of lump up to the top of the fire ring in my large. I got the Egg stabilized at 200F dome with some hickory and mesquite chunks layed around the top of the coals. The meat went on at 10:00PM, cooking direct. I went to bed at midnight with the dome still at 200F. At 6:30, the dome temp was steady at 225F so I closed the vents ever so slightly and went back to bed. [p]At 9:00, the dome had risen slightly to 235F and I put the Polder in. It read 166F. Apparently the meat had gotten past its plateau stage as the Polder rose slowly but steadily until about 11:30 when it got to 200F at which time I pulled the meat off. The dome temp had gotten up to just under 250F. I wrapped the thing in heavy foil and then in a couple of towels. We didn't eat until about 8:00 last night.[p]The meat was tender enough except for some of the edges which were a little crispy, but not bad. I was hoping for it to be a little juicier though. If I cook the next one indirect with a drip pan on some fire bricks, do you think I can get a juicier, less crispy piece of meat? Would the cooking time increase using the same dome temps? I had at least half of the lump and most of the wood chunks left so the fire could have gone another 8 to 10 hours longer with no trouble. Did the long wait time from cooking to eating cause it to lose moisture? Any other ideas?


  • dan cdan c Posts: 31
    I had a brisket on Wednesday that needed cooking, and I got as far as slatering it with mustard and fiesta rub. Oops, got called out of town on business that night to leave the next am. So being creative, I brined (still covered with mustard!)that 13# sucker with garlic and most every other spice in the cupboard. It was in the fridge for +/- 72hrs. Looked totally funky when I put it on the grill yesterday @ noon. I cooked it till about 7:00 this am @ 200-225* till it reached about 200 internal. I cut into it this morning and it looked/tasted great. Really juicy. I probably won't do it like that again, but I am pleased as to how it turned out.

  • JimW,
    The briskets(flats) that I have done direct, do need turning because of the direct heat pounding the meat from below.[p]Here's what I do
    -Mustard and rub slather
    -Let meat sit for 30 mins at room temp prior to cooking
    -Dome temp at 240-250
    -Let cook 2 hrs min prior to turning
    -Turn and mop every 2 hrs until done[p]Cooking time is approx 1.25-1.5 hrs/lbs. I'll wrap in foil at the end of cooking if it's ready before we are.[p]Indirect takes longer, but there's no turning.[p]This works for me, YMMV.[p]Regards,

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    JimW, if you filled lump to the top of the firering (I have done that with ribs) you probably got a hot spot or two and over cooked some portions of the brisket.
    If you do that again, double grill your set up with spacers so you raise up the cooking grid(grill) 3 to 4 inches over the firering grid(grill)
    Just my thoughts..I also wrap mine at or near the 190 temp mark and towel wrap and in the cooler. They finish up cooking in the foil and always nice and tender.

  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    Thanks, I'll refine my technique a little with this.

  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    I think I did have a hot spot in the center. Next time I'll get it going in a couple of places and raise the grate. Thanks.

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    JimW,[p]All of my low and slow cooks are done indirect. An indirect cook avoids all problems with a hot spot in the fire. Since the fire (by necessity) burns in a small area, a hotter spot is created. Even a little hotter, given time, will dry the portion of meat directly above it.[p]Firebricks absorb a lot of heat energy when raising temps and then radiate it for quite a while when attempting to lower temps. The result is that you tend to adjust the vents more often as the firebricks act as a temperature buffer (read slow the Egg from actually reaching a regulated temp). I use a thin pizza stone as the buffer to create indirect heat on a low and slow cook and set the drip pan on it. Even a cheap pizza stone will serve the purpose quite reliably (low temp cooking).[p]Cooking indirect will definitely help avoid the crispy parts. The cooking time will be the same (use the same temps). The purpose of a low and slow cook is to provide the time required to the allow the collegen and connective tissue dispursed throughout the meat to break down while cooking with a temp that doesn't dry the meat.[p]The fat cap is desirable and useful as it tends to slowly dissolve and baste the meal during the cook. Rubbing or saucing the fat cap provides very little to the meal. I suggest you consider triming the fat cap off (in one piece to expose the meat), rubbing and/or saucing the meat and then setting the cap back on after smoking. I actually cook the meal to around 150F internal before adding the cap. The result is the meat under the cap has been exposed to the rub/marinade, smoke, and heat that the taste and texture is quite similiar to the meat exposed for the entire cook. A nice result.[p]I'd suggest that 200F internal temperature is not the goal of the cook. A tender meat is. Stick the meat with a fork at 180F and give it twist to get a feel of toughness. Do it again at 185 and so on. Once you can't feel a difference in toughness, it is done and you have only slightly overcooked the meal.[p]Sorry for being late with my post.[p]Spin
  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    Thanks for the tips. I think your suggestion of indirect cooking is right on. I plan to do it that way next time.

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