Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

A Fantatically Tender & Moist Brisket

Anthony Up NorthAnthony Up North Posts: 205
edited 10:38PM in EggHead Forum
Sorry the first Message didn't post properly. Let me try again.[p]Brisket - oh that tough cut of beef we all struggle with. But I have learned - I am grateful to some unknown writer on the Web as to how to make a really good brisket.[p]My past attempts were satisfactory but not outstanding. I did everything that I borrowed from the good people here on the Forum. Maybe these good people already know what I am goig to explain below/ If so excuse me please. And maybe my past experiences were average because I may have missed some of the information these good folks gave me. If this is true, again please excuse me. But I will say it for the benefit of those who do not know and want to know, or who may have missed a bit of crucial information like I could have.[p]The 4 or 5 times I tried brisket, it always fell short of what I thought it should be. So I searched and read, read and searched and found what seemed to make sense to me. It was the "theory of brisket)[p]This writer explained a bit of what I and many others already knew, that brisket is tough because it is filled with connective tissue, that this tissue is composed of collagin that begins to break down and convert to gelatin at 150 degree F., that this takes time and needs to be done "slow and low" as the saying goes. This is pretty conventional knowledge.[p]But then the writer began to explain an interesting angle. It seems that when collagin begins to break down at 150 degree and is being converted to gelatin, at the same time moisture is being driven out of the brisket by the heat making it a bit drier. As the internal temp of the brisket creeps up to 190 and 200 degrees, the rate moisture is being driven out of the brisket is much faster than the rate collagin is being converted to gelatin. [p]This seems like a catch-22. The higher the heat, the more tender because of the breakdown of collagin to gelatin. But at the same time the higher the heat, the greater the loss of moisture tending to toughen the brisket[p]But if the internal temp. of the brisket is taken beyond 200 degrees a dramatic reveral occurrs. At 205 and 210 internal, the collagin converts to gelatin at a much faster rate than the moisture is being driven out of the brisket. [p]The result is a dramatic increase in not only the tenderness of the brisket but remains very moist, becomesfork tender and takes on s very pleasing texture.[p]Today I gave this theory the test. However, due to the very nasty storm we had during the past 36 hours in Minnesota, I was forced to do my brisket inside, in the range oven rather than in the BGE. But I think that would not change much except maybe the smoke flavor was absent. [p] In the past when I made brisket I always pulled it at between 190 and 200. Too early according to the theory. And I was never really impressed with the result.[p]Today I held the oven temp. steady at 225 degrees, and took the internal temp of the brisket up to 210 on the thick part and 215 on the thin part. The results were truly amazing. Far better than I could have imagined.[p] The thin part was tender, was not overly moist, but far more moist than in the past. The thick part (Which makes up about about 80 % of the brisket) was simply fabulous, out of this world. It was by far more moist and more tender than I thought any meat (least of all a brisket) could be. It was fork tender, and almost fell apart when being sliced. And the taste was fabulous. [p]My wife always said, brisket was her least favorite meat on the BGE. Today she changed her mind entirely. She too could not believe it.[p]All briskets are different. Maybe this one was better meat than the others, and its possible that is what made it better. But no meat could become that much better that the previous 4-5. Maybe the oven made a difference. I really do not think so. [p]Nevertheless, I will test it again, next time on the BGE and see if I get the same results. In the mean time I will be anxiously waiting to hear from those far more experienced than me, about this theory and its effects. I hope others would try this method and see if it holds true. Let us know.[p]Good luck to all who try it. I will be waiting to hear back.[p]Anthony[p]


  • CharlyCharly Posts: 23
    Anthony Up North,
    Did you use a marinade or put it on naked?

  • Charly,
    I used a wonderful marinade. If you are interested I can give the recipe to you. I also used marinades in the past when I prepared brisket.[p]Anthony

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,508
    Anthony Up North,
    Thanks for sharing what you have learned here. I am trying to make sense of everything, but I keep getting stuck with the logic (of course sometimes logic and Q don't go hand in hand). It seems me that most of the collagen breakdown occurs during the plateau...often several hours....between 155 and 170. During that time, the energy from the heat is used up for the conversion....thus the stall.[p]After most of the collagen is converted,the energy that was being used for the conversion goes into rasing the temp of the meat. [p]I guess what I am wondering, is if the moisture is being driven out in the 190-200 range, then how would taking it higher help? At 215 does the remaining collagen instantly melt, and add the moisture back into the chunk-o-chest?? Seems to be very little connective tissue remaining in the 190-200 versions I have been doing. [p]Even more lost now....but I love these kind of experiments...and always learn something from new hypotheses.[p]Would love to see your marinade recipe if you don't mind.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • CharlyCharly Posts: 23
    Anthony Up North,
    I was planning on doing a brisket this weekend.I'll try to reproduce your results,except I'll egg mine.I would like see your marinade recipe.I have done some very good briskets myself but have yet to capture the perfect one like you described.

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Anthony Up North,[p]Congrats on your success. Am I to understand that you cooked a 10+ lb. whole brisket @ 225°F in the oven for the time required for it to reach 210°F+ internal temperatures?[p]Spin[p]
  • MickeyTMickeyT Posts: 607
    Anthony Up North,[p]What an interesting and outstanding post. Such detail.[p]Mick

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Charly,[p]I'd hang very loose on this method as the logic behind it doesn't hold much water (so to speak).[p]Water retention in the finished meat is not a consideration when cooking a low and slow cook. Water can evaporate at 32.1°F. Given enough time, even room temp air will dry a meat. Given higher temps and more time, water is all but gone. The cook of this meat is longer than the time for room temp air to dry it to tough. Higher temps speed water evaporation.[p]The end result of the cook is not moist meat because of water retention, rather moist meat because collegen broke down to gelatin, and then broke down to flavored liquid.[p]Spin[p]

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Spin,[p]If moisture was a factor in the cook, then why, after 15 hours of cooking, when you open the dome, there is no puff of steam from the dome area?[p]The cooking method offered says to cook it the same temp, only extend the cooking time further. When cooking using a dome temp of 225°F, it takes a VERY long time for the internal meat temp to reach a point of being 10°F under the cooking temp.[p]Spin

  • Anthony Up North,[p]Whose' stuff are you reading, Anthony? It sounds interesting. Up to now, I've had no interest in brisket. Now I'm getting interested.
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Anthony Up North, thats pretty good. We had a gentleman back a couple of years ago, (lost now in the archives NB is searching for) that also did a in depth research into brisket and boston butt callogen breakdowns and temperature/time relationships. In his case, his finding's of the peak range of perfection were considerably lower in the 165 degree range. It would be interesting, but not now possible for the two of your to have a website forum exchange (not argumentative) of these ideas. It has merit for research.
    I can only judge by the numerous past cooks, albiet some unsuccessful in the early cooks, that there is a definite outside influence and that is the meat itself. How is it's condition priot to the cook. For the layman/novice a handy method of judging a good pre-cooked brisket was how it flexed in the center when you wobbled it up and down. A good pre-cooked brisket should have a nice loose movement.
    And I think this is valid as there are most always a variation of where in the 190 to 210 that the meat is most tender. Thus the fork test.
    I have found at times the meat actually too soft and tender for my tastes. Almost to the point of a steamed affect.
    Also, when you examining the after cook brisket, there is a distinct variation of texture between the flat and the point. And cooks differently. One part is sliceable, the other falls apart in shredded strands.
    Just a opinion..!

  • Charly,

  • WillieBWillieB Posts: 21
    Now Charly, what difference would it make if Anthony was naked or not when he put the bisket on? Heheheh :):)

  • WillieBWillieB Posts: 21
    Anthony Up North,
    Anthony, why not just post the recipe for all?[p]Ray in Lubbock That is Texas for all you Yankees

Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.