Finally found a place to get a good packer at a reasonable price in SoCal. Will be a frequent visitor to Smart & Final from here on out. They had four briskets, two had very tick caps and were not very flexible. One was really floppy, but had a super thin point and was on the small side. The one I chose was medium size but quite flexible and had a thicker, fairly even flat section. They had some other cuts and some other stuff that also looked VERY interesting...
Trimmed it down pretty aggressively (in the future I may try to leave more fat cap) taking special care to remove all the hard fat. I trimmed out so much of the fat layer between the point and flat they were only connected by about 1/3 the width of the brisket in the middle. That was probably overkill. On tip here that really worked: I put the packer into the freezer for 15 min before trimming. Much easier yo cut away cold hard fat than melty room temp fat. The point was kind of hacked when I took it out of the cryo, which was a bummer. I seasoned it all up and sort of folded it in on itself for cooking. Seasoning was Bad Byron's, which I'm using for the first time on this cook. Smells really good. I put it on liberally but not caked over the entire brisket surface and sides. Let the whole thing come up to room temp while stabilizing.
Stabilized the grill last night at ~260 with one chunk of hickory (all out of apple and oak). Everything was choked down pretty far and I don't use any monitoring system, so I was trepidatious about chasing it lower than that for O/N. Temp looked great this morning and after only 11 hours the probe was gliding into the point with no resistance @ ~205 internal. Quicker cook than I expected with an average dome reading of probably 250. Removed the point and let the flat go for about 45 min more. When I rechecked the flat was buttery and about 206 to 198 all over.
Set up was: (bottom to top) grid on fire ring, pizza stone, drip tray full of sand, AR - grid on top, brisket. This was a nice setup, seemed to work great. Will repeat in the future.
Cubed the point up to try burnt ends. Added some apple cider vinegar, DP Red Eye, and Blues Hog into a foil pan. Back on @250
until burnt and delicious (still on). Flat is all wrapped up and FTCed until dinner. It will be a while so i'm hoping temp will hold. We're transporting so I'll try to grab some iPhone pics when sliced. Very optimistic.
Tried a few bites while making the ends, very good beef flavor, but could use a little more seasoning. Might hit the Bad Byron's a little harder next time, I consciously held back this time. All in all I'm pretty darn pleased so far. Hopefully it only gets better from here.
Cheers all -
Finally back in the Badger State!