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first brisket report

I cooked my first brisket on the bge this last week. Thanks to all for the advice.[p]Now I know the brisket is a tough piece of meat to cook - I will try again. nevertheless, I will communicate my experience to you to learn from your advice and let others learn from my experience.[p]I marinated the meat in a marinade suggested by Nature Boy which included molasses, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, etc. I fired the BGE up on thursday night and stabilized it at 200 degrees. I placed the meat fat side up over a metal drip pan filled with the remaining marinade and water. I cooked the meat for 14 hours until the internal temperature was 185.[p]What happened? the drip pan was not large enough to protect the entire piece of meat. The meat directly exposed to the fire was not edible (dried out and burned up)- the drip pan eventually dried up and when it did, it no longer offered much protection to the meat. Most of the bottom of the meat was burned to some degree. I took the meat and wrapped it in foil and towels for about an hour. But by the time it was time to eat-the meat was cold.[p]What would I do different next time? I would use a pizza stone to protect the meat from direct heat. I would pour the extra marinade over the meat. I would make sure the drip pan does not dry out. I would wrap the meat in foil and then put it back in the egg with all the vents closed down. [p]I was not a great experience, but I could see the potential - can't wait to try it again. Does anybody have any other suggestions?[p]Wes


  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Howdy Wes,
    Lemme see if I can finger out your problem. The liquid in the drip pan is not critical to get a good cook, but the entire piece of meat does need to be protected from the direct heat of the coals. I use a drip pan the size of an oven broiler pan (actually it IS the broiler pan), and have not had the problem you describe. I assume your dome thermometer is calibrated. Did your brisket have a fat cap??[p]A small cooler does wonders to keep your foil/towel wrapped brisket warm. Fill the cooler with hot water, and dump out just before adding your meat. I have served nearly 4 hours after putting in the cooler, and it was HOT. [p]IMO pouring the marinade over the meat will not help, and a pizza stone or other ceramic mass is not needed. Yet what works for you is what is important. I wonder how much of your disappointment was due to eating cold meat?? The bark on the brisket is usually very dark...almost black. But it should not be burnt except for where it was over the direct fire....especially at 200.[p]Just throwing out some ideas. What size was your drip pan, and what size was the brisket?
    Sorry for the less than stellar first brisket. Your next one should be primo.[p]Cheers
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Nature Boy,[p]Thanks for your comments.[p]My drip pan is only an old 9 inch metal cake pan. I do have a broiler pan - never thought about using that - I would think it would take up most of the grate - is that okay - it would really restrict the air flow. I was thinking that using the pizza stone would protect the meat from the heat. But a larger drip pan would do the trick too I am sure. Would you fill it with water?[p]The brisket was small only 5 lbs. It did have a nice fat cap which I placed fat cap side up. [p]
    I have never calibrated the dome thermometer - but it always has seemed correct for the other cooking I have done. how does one calibrate the dome thermometer?[p]I will try the cooler technique next time.[p]Thanks,

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    <p />Wes,
    Sounds like your dri p pan was too small. The large drip pan seems like it would block airflow, but it has worked well for me anyway. If this picture works, you can see the drip pan a little bit. Water is not necessary, but I prefer it to keep the drippings from smoking. Have done it with and without.[p]Stick your thermometer tip in boiling water, and adjust the nut until it reads 212. I do this every few cooks to make sure it stays in tune. [p]Best of luck with your next chunk-o-chest!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Nature Boy,[p]This isn't the point cut you just did is it?? Can't tell but it looks like a larger cut than that. Is it a full slab-o-chest?[p]Tim
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Tim M,
    I think that was the 10 pounder I cooked for the Eggfest....but for sure it is a whole brisket. Haven't been taking many pictures lately![p]Enjoy the white (we got about 4 inches). 16 degrees with wind this morning!! Harley riding weather, eh?[p]NB
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Nature Boy,
    The bike and I have not joined one another since late October. Too much cold or rain or something. [p]We got just under 3" here. [p]We cooked salmon last night on the Geo Forman grill because I didn't want to stand in the snow. YUCK!!! YUCK!!! I am back to searing my salmon on the little guy at 400 deg. [p]Enjoy the holiday![p]Tim

  • sprintersprinter Posts: 1,188
    Wes,[p]Sorry to hear about your brisket, sounds like you learned from the experience though. I did the exact same thing wiht my first brisket, came out like a roof shingle. I definitely cooked it too long. This MAY be part of the problem with your first brisket also. At 5 pounds and 14 hours, thats nearly 3 hours a pound, thats a lot. I cook my briskets for about three hours a pound but I generally cook them at 180-200 tops. If it gets hotter than that I shorten the time a bit. And, each brisket is different, some take substantially less time than 3 hours a pound even at 180-200.[p]The drip pan will have some effect on the charred meat that is exposed directly to the heat. You want to try and keep all of the meat indirect if possible. Keep enough room for airflow but at these low temps, not much air is needed. If my brisket hangs over the drip pan at all, I make sure to turn it or move the pan so all of the meat is covered for part of the time anyway. Keeps the meat from getting totally fried.[p]It sounds like your fire may have gotten too hot on you also, in that the bottom of the brisket is charred also, not just the exposed portions. Watch the temps closely next time to ensure that its in the low 200 range. If it gets hotter it will cause some of the charring you see.[p]I rarely fill the drip pan with water or anything else. I used to think it made a difference in the flavor so I'd fill it with beer or other liquid like wine etc. No noticeable flavor difference after many attempts, so I just leave it empty. At the low temps I cook at, the drippings dont smoke badly at all.[p]Me thinks you're ready to try to get back on that horse and ride it again. You've gotten some good advice and have one try under your belt. Give it a shot, brisket is actually very easy to cook once you get the process down. Soon you'll be cooking an 11 pounder for 30 hours and not opening the lid once. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.[p]BTW, take that brisket that is charred, throw it in a crock pot with some Q sauce and let it cook, its pretty good stuff that way.[p]Troy
  • Wes, I know how you feel. I'm cooking a brisket today as I write this. I'm trying the indirect method. Checked temp. gauge in boiling water. Off by 25 degrees on low side. Well put it on ,ran up 275 thinking I was going the right way. Cooking at 300 , duh. Thought I was cooking at 225 dome temp. Wondering why it was almost done in 3 hours. It's a 4 pd. brisket. So I've messed up every way I could. Been cooking on this thing for 2 years. Try another brisket it will well worth your trouble. No one gets it right every single time. Good luck :) Also did you use the fire bricks?
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