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First brisket results

Thanks all for help with first brisket. Used NB's suggestion of indirect at 250. I used the EGGFEST marinade overnight and even injected some of the marinade. I was running up against the clock and bumped Humpty up to 300 for the last few hours. Sliced thin with some JJ's Q sauce and everyone raved about it.We couldn't believe it was even better the next day![p]One question when I took it off at 195 I could pull a fork out like sugggested but no way could I twist a fork like some suggested. Would it have been more tender if I had maintained 250? [p]Thanks again
Big Cat


  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    Big Cat,[p]I like PP and brisket better the next day also. Seems like the flavors all meld together nicely given some time.[p]The only way I know to get that "fall apart" tenderness is to cook the (*&%*^% out of it. The temperature you pulled it off the egg at was fine, and each brisket or butt is different. Some may be more tender, some may never get that tender, each one is a unique experience. I've had some that are done early, some that never seem to get done etc. etc. etc. The most important thing is to be sure to let the temp sit at that magical 160 degree mark for as long as it needs to. This is the temp in the meat (155-165) where the callogens and connective tissues are broken down by the heat. If you blow past this temp just trying to get to the finishing temp you'll never get that tenderness that you're looking for. The plateau (160 +/-) is critical to the meat, let it sit there, even though it seems like it takes FOREVER sometimes.[p]Troy
  • sprinter,[p]I may have blown right thru the plateau at 300. I'll have to check my numbers when I get home. If that is the case would you consider 300 too high to go thru the plateau?
    What the heck it was great eats anyway.[p]Big Cat
    GO PATS!

  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    Big Cat,[p]I'm not sure how long it actually sits at the plateau temp but it seems like forever to me. I generally takes me (if memory serves me correctly) about 1/4 of the total cook time at this temp so if you cook the brisket for 12 hours, 3 of that will be spent at the plateau temp. I think 300 is too high to bring it through the plateau. I generally cook my briskets pretty low, 200-225. Others cook them at 250. No special reason for the lower temp, its just how I started to cook them and I've not jumbed to the higher temps. But, I think 300 is a bit on the high side to get that nice tenderness that you're looking for. Good luck and keep trying, like you said, still good eats no matter what. By the way, how long was the total cook and how big was the brisket?[p]Troy
  • sprinter, talk about plateaus being different with each cut I had a 7+ pork butt this weekend blow through the normal 170-175 plateau and hit 186 and then dwelled for nearly two hours! I even checked my calibration of the dome thermo and plugged in my backup Polder to check and sure enough all read the same. It still came out nice and tender with little sign of fat other than all of the rendered stuff in the drip pan. ^oo^~

  • sprinter,[p]It took about 11 1/2 hours weighing in at 5 lbs.[p]
  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    one feral kat,[p]I'm constantly amazed at how each brisket and butt is different. Thats what makes this cooking stuff so interesting.[p]Troy
  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    Big Cat,[p]Those times seem about right for the size chunk o chest you were cooking. I'd expect about 13-15 hours if I were cooking it but in that you let it get a bit hotter for the last few degrees it sure makes sense. Maybe the chunk o chest you were working with was from some big burly mancow that worked out or something like that and no matter how long you cooked it and at what temp, that muscle just aint gonna get tender. Who knows, thats why I like the lower slower method, 200 @ 3 hours a pound, never failed me yet. The one good thing that this method has taught me also is how to keep a fire going for a LONG time. I have a medium egg and one brisket I did took about 30 (11 pounder I think) hours and I still had enough lump in the bottom to sear some burgers. Life is good.[p]Troy
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Big Cat,[p]The fork test is different for brisket than pulled pork. Pulled pork is done when the fork can very easily be twisted in the meat. Brisket is done when the fork can be removed from the meat (straight pull out after a good insert) and the meat no longer grabs the fork.[p]Start the fork test before the meat will be done. Give the raw piece a stab to get the feel of it. The difference between not done and done can be 3 degrees (an hour or so). Start the cook sooner than you need to so you can allow a lower temp cook and ride the plateau a long time. Finishing a bit early (wrap in foil and towels to hold) is better then pushing the finish.[p]Briskets are independant cusses that cook the way they want to. I recently cooked two (at once) that were less than a quarter pound in difference. They finished 5 hours apart.[p]Congratulations on your cook.[p]Spin

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