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Cen-Tex Smoker Brisket Method Questions

tdub4tdub4 Posts: 47
edited November 2013 in Beef
I saw the method for smoking a brisket the @The_Centex_Smoker way (below) had a few questions:

1) do you only do the rub? No injection?
2) how long before putting it on the Egg do you do the rub? Overnight?
3) Oak chunks - multiple times during the cook or only at the beginning?
4) is this on a raised grid or right at middle?
5) assuming drip pan...any liquid in the pan?
6) fat side down - correct?
7) I assume this is a whole packer and not just flat?

Thanks!

Fancy (or not fancy) choice brisket
All hard fat removed, fat cap trimmed to 1/8"
Bad Byron's (full coverage but do not double up with Bad Byron's- it can be salty if overdone)
250 dome (17 hours for 9 lbs once trimmed up)
I used Ozark Oak and more importantly- OAK CHUNKS (6 or 8)
Oak makes the difference with brisket. If you haven't tried it, do that next. 
I didn't use any thermos this cook (other than the dome). I checked with thermapen in the AM and pulled when it read 195-208 internal depending on where you stuck it. It felt right, so I pulled it.
Wrapped in butcher paper, 2 layers of foil, lots of towels and put in a cooler.
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Comments

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,129
    I think he just puts all the oak chunks in at the start. And full packer, not flat. I don't think he injects either.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • FWIW... 

    2.I only use S&P and just put it on right before putting the brisket on. It won't hurt to do it earlier but not sure you gain much by doing it.

    5. Use a drip pan, otherwise, your drippings will fall on the plate setter and burn. Make sure you create some separation between the drip pan and the plate setter. Some people use balls of foil. I use several copper plumbing tees. I do not put any liquid in the drip pan but doing so won't hurt (not sure it adds anything either)

    I'd recommend using a remote thermo (e.g., Maverick) to monitor the IT and avoid opening the egg until you're at the point where you're ready to test for doneness.

    Slice across the grain.

    And, finally, post pics or it didn't happen!


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • tdub4tdub4 Posts: 47
    Thanks for the feedback...new question.

    I ended up with a 9.5lb packer (before trimming) and we would like to eat tomorrow late afternoon (4pm-ish). I fully understand that the temp and probe test are the primary measures for done-ness, but I am trying to estimate a good time to put this on. Initially, I was planning on around 10-11pm tonight, but I am concerned that it could be done WAY early.

    Would it make sense to start it at 200-210 tonight and then kick it up in the morning? I was given the BBQ Guru as a gift recently (this will be 1st time to use it) so I will be using that as well. Any feedback is GREATLY appreciated.
  • There's no shortage of threads on here about briskets that cooked faster than expected but, you're probably looking at 12+ hours for a 9.5lb packer. If you're done by noon you can easily FTC for 4-5 hours if necessary to get you to 4pm.

    Although you'd probably be okay to put it in at 250* from the start (10-11pm) a lower temp might give you some piece of mind that you won't wake up to a finished brisket. If you do start at the lower temp you can always speed things up tomorrow by wrapping the brisket in foil.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • you don't need to cook this one overnight. Throw it on at 8am at 250-260 and it will be done late afernoon.

  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,011
    If it was me, I would do low and slow over night, kick it up to 275 or so in the morning, then FTC until serving time.  It should be great!

    Other option would be Turbo.  I did one at 300 (grate per maverick, not dome) for 2-1/2 hours, foiled for another hour and pulled at 203 IT to FTC.  Excellent - pics below
    brisket4.jpg
    1600 x 1067 - 367K
    brisket6.jpg
    1600 x 1067 - 455K
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • you don't need to cook this one overnight. Throw it on at 8am at 250-260 and it will be done late afernoon.
    9.5lber in 8hrs? You're the acknowledged expert but, seems fast to me.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,468

    "Would it make sense to start it at 200-210 tonight and then kick it up in the morning?"

     

    Yes.  That is exactly what I do.  See this thread.

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/comment/1417105/#Comment_1417105

     

    Now maybe we are both morons who came up with the same stupid idea independently, but I'm going to go with the other interpretation and say that we are both geniuses.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • you don't need to cook this one overnight. Throw it on at 8am at 250-260 and it will be done late afernoon.
    9.5lber in 8hrs? You're the acknowledged expert but, seems fast to me.

    pre-trimmed 9.5. probably closer to 8 after it's trimmed up. way too small to cook for 16-18 hrs as he was asking about. maybe put it on at 6 am and that will give plenty of time to rest it.

  • Yeah, I completely overlooked the "pre-trimmed" comment.

    I agree that it's not a 16-18 hour cook but, it sounded like it might be his first brisket so I think being done a few hours early and FTC'g until he's ready to eat might be less stressful than running up against his planned dinner time. 6am would probably work better for him than 8am.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • Yeah, I completely overlooked the "pre-trimmed" comment.

    I agree that it's not a 16-18 hour cook but, it sounded like it might be his first brisket so I think being done a few hours early and FTC'g until he's ready to eat might be less stressful than running up against his planned dinner time. 6am would probably work better for him than 8am.


    agreed.

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,468
    I may not have given enough consideration to the size of the brisket. I usually do 13 - 15 pounders.
    With that being said I don't think most people give enough consideration to the drastically different cook times you see as you vary the temperature - even below 300 degrees. A lot of people seem to think of it as binary - either "low and slow" (200 to as high as 295 depending on who you ask) or "turbo" (over 300, usually at 350). Temps between 250 and 295 are great for brisket and I've never seen one take even an hour per pound.
    It makes sense when you think about it. It's hard to "power home" a brisket that is already at 180 when you are only cooking at 30 or 40 degrees above that - and the gradient decreases as the meat gets warmer. On the other hand when cooking at 280 (for example) there is a much larger temperature gradient toward the end of the cook so it goes much faster.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • Foghorn said:
    I may not have given enough consideration to the size of the brisket. I usually do 13 - 15 pounders. With that being said I don't think most people give enough consideration to the drastically different cook times you see as you vary the temperature - even below 300 degrees. A lot of people seem to think of it as binary - either "low and slow" (200 to as high as 295 depending on who you ask) or "turbo" (over 300, usually at 350). Temps between 250 and 295 are great for brisket and I've never seen one take even an hour per pound. It makes sense when you think about it. It's hard to "power home" a brisket that is already at 180 when you are only cooking at 30 or 40 degrees above that - and the gradient decreases as the meat gets warmer. On the other hand when cooking at 280 (for example) there is a much larger temperature gradient toward the end of the cook so it goes much faster.

    I think I agree :)). Cook at 225 and it's easily 2+ hrs per lb. Just 25 degrees higher at 250 I've done them in as little as 1 hr per lb but more like 1.25. 260 is always an hour per lb for me. That's usually where I roll unless I'm not home or overnighting. I go lower then bump to power through.

  • tdub4tdub4 Posts: 47
    Thanks for the replies guys. Sorry for not responding throughout the day....baseball tourney. THe boys lost in the Championship - but fun none the less!

    So, seems like it could be either way - low temp overnight and bump up in the morning or just start in the morning. Not sure if this changes the equation (and I will admit I stil need to brush up on this) but I would also like to try burnt ends. So to give me time to do that, would an overnight be recommended to ensure I have time to do that.

    How long can I FTC?

    Thanks again!
  • if you do it overnight, you won't ever need to bump it up. you will be done way early at any temp if you start tonight. You can FTC for 6-8 hrs pretty easily. Some of the best I've done have been FTC'd for that long.

  • tdub4tdub4 Posts: 47
    edited November 2013
    @The_Centex_Smoker Thanks for the feedback. After going back over all of the information, I am looking at your original recipe and see you had a 9lb trimmed take 17 hours at 250 - but you suggest doing this one in the morning. Granted, I realize this one will not weigh as much but really trying to make some sense out of it.. And I know every brisket will be different.....


  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,129
    Flat vs. Packer will probably make a difference as well re: cook time.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,129
    edited November 2013
    sorry, forgot that you mentioned packer earlier.

    this is where you start drinking... alot.
    :) boils down to 2 methods, depends on how lucky you're feeling.

    Start tonight and FTC if you get done early, but start low. If you start early tomorrow, start at a higher temp -you could foil and ramp up the temp to get done in time, if needed.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Listen to Caliking. I make things up all the time. You will be fine. It will all make sense after you have done a few. Asking an internet ghost to time your brisket cook is futile.

  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 10,889
    edited November 2013
    was being a bit of a smartass there but you have done all the research you can. it's up to you how to do it. I hope it works. I think it will, but it may not. It's your first brisket. Mine sucked and so did the 20 that followed. I didn't have the forum to fall back on; I just tried and tried again when they didn't work. You are way ahead of the game but it's all over but the cooking at this point. Brisket is complicated until it's not....and that's after you do a few. Some get it in a few cooks and some get in a few dozen (me). hope it's great but no amount of researching threads or exact temps/times will help you until you have the context of doing a few for yourself. If you like to drink, i highly recommend it. If not,then do whatever you people do when you don't drink when cooking brisket. Let us know how it turns out.

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,468

    "Some get it in a few cooks and some get in a few dozen (me)."

    Those of us who got it in a few cooks only did so because of those of you who shared your experience with us and we owe you a debt of gratitude.  You guys were Lewis and Clark.  The rest of us used your maps.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,129
    @tdub4 - any updates?  How are things coming along? 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • We'll get you home in time no matter if you started last night or this morning. You can always power them through or slow roll as needed. The main thing is getting it on the egg and getting your bearings. Once we know where you are in the cook, we can get you where you need to be. Smell the smoke, enjoy the morning, and have fun. It's all good from here.

  • Foghorn said:

    "Some get it in a few cooks and some get in a few dozen (me)."

    Those of us who got it in a few cooks only did so because of those of you who shared your experience with us and we owe you a debt of gratitude.  You guys were Lewis and Clark.  The rest of us used your maps.

    Those are some janky maps but getting there was half the fun.

  • tdub4tdub4 Posts: 47
    edited November 2013
    Update: Ended up putting it on at 1:45am - doh! I decided it was between staying up late or getting up early so I chose the former. Found a happy medium at 227 degrees and rolled with it.

    Looked at it around 5:45am and the IT was at 152ish. It is currently 11:30am and it is in the stall (I assume) as it has been in the low 160's (now 162) for past 2 hours or so. I did bump up the temp to 240 although the BBQ Guru is at 234ish.


    As always, if you have any input let me know. Plan is to keep on trucking. Thanks to all.
  • Sounds like you've got this one under control.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, "spa-Peggy" is kind of like spaghetti. I'm not sure what Peggy does different, if anything. But it's the one dish she's kind of made her own.
    ____________________
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,351
    One thing about timing any meat is that no 2 pieces are the same. I usually try to finish early and ftc. My wife struggles with the "it's done when it's done" thing. If I remember correctly, Centex had a brisket double stall recently. I had a butt stall for 2 days a few weeks ago. Well, it seemed like it.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,129
    Sounds like things are cruising! :)

     You may want to bump the temp up a bit more to get done and have time to FTC. Some folks think that briskets don't need to rest. In my limited experience, the ones that rested for a bit were better than the ones that didn't. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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