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Brisket/Butcher question

HayhillHayhill Posts: 11
edited 12:11PM in EggHead Forum
After lurking here on the forum for a while, I tried my first brisket. Only partially successful – due I think to the way it was cut. I would appreciate some advice. Here is my story:
Went to my local Fresh Market and asked for a brisket (not knowing for sure exactly what a brisket was). The butcher came back with a 10 lb slab of meat. When I said I needed less than half that, he said he could trim it for me. “Leave the fat cap’ says I (remembering the advice read here). Back he comes with a 3 lb slab that has almost no fat. Oh well, home and into the marinade. Onto Mr. Egg at 250 indirect no problem (did add some bacon strips to the no fat end). Could not get the polder above 170 and at 9 hours pulled the chunk and sliced. Wonderful favor, but dry and a bit tough. Noticeably better where there was some natural fat.
This newbie’s question : what should have I done different with the butcher? Buy the whole thing and cook it, trim it, divide it? Or ask the butcher to do something else?
Appreciate any advice you guys have. Even my partial success has whetted my appetite.


  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,407
    Howdy! I would have bought the whole chunk. Makes great leftovers too, or you could make some jerky with part of it.[p]As far as it being tough, it needed more time. What you experienced, when it would not get over 170, was the plateau. The connective tissue was in the process of breaking down. The internal temp will sometimes stall there for hours. The most important thing is to wait this period out. As the connective tissue breaks down, it turns to gelatin, which will help reduce any dryness. A few more hours, and you would have had some killer brisket. Once the plateau is finished, the internal temps rise quickly toward 200.[p]For the fat cap, you can always ask your butcher to cut you a thin slab of beef fat to lay over the brisket as it cooks.[p]Hope that helps. Sounds like a great excuse to try another one!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Nature Boy, good job NB...[p]I see hiking has improved yer cookin too :-)...
    I would fire my butcher for chuckin da fat.
    One could keep a supply of good white suet around for a baster if needed. I feed it to the birds in the winter.
    And the neighbors cats who eat both the birds and the suet.
    Where am I?? ooooooh..back to the forum..:-)

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,407
    Yeah. When a stunt like that is pulled, that is when meat cutters become butchers!!
    Cheers to ya!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Nature Boy, Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Touche!! I love it!! Your right!

  • Hayhill,
    I cooked a 12 pounder on Friday and it wasn't a bite left by Saturday afternoon. I've found that that this is about as big as my large egg will handle. Coated in JJ's rub for 36 hours ahead on time, cooked about 14 hours at approx. 250 degrees and took it off when the polder read 190 degrees. Wow!! Better than snuff and not half as dusty!

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Blu, you have me rollin on the floor with laughter...Thats good. Welcome to the forum and thanks for the humor. Feel free to join in anytime..Good people here!

  • Hayhill,[p]I too cooked my first brisket on egg this weekend (using Nature Boys brisket recipe and JJ's rub) and also experienced what Nature Boy described as the "plateau" when
    it reached 165° - it seemed to just hang there for hours. [p]I thought there might be something wrong with my Polder so I checked the brisket with another problem with the Polder. I cooked the 4.70lb brisket at 250 until the internal temp read 187° - it took 14 hours![p]Although I only had a taste (it was after midnight at that point) the meat was very tender. Thanks for the excellent recipes Nature Boy and JJ - we'll be eating this bad-boy tonight!

  • Hayhill,
    3 pounds is a little on the small side when you consider how much a brisket will shrink. I go with 7 pounds minimum and try to stay between 205 and 220 on the dome temp and let it go 20 to 22 hours. I've done a dozen or more this way, all with preditable results as far as wating out the plateau goes. Just grab a beer or twelve and stare at that polder real hard and mean like til it starts to climb into that 195 to 200 range.

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