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Juicy tender brisket . . . I FINALLY got the hang of it!

DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
edited 5:43PM in EggHead Forum
Anyone who has been around here for awhile knows the frustration that I've been having in getting a good brisket . . . that is, a juicy, elastic tender sliced brisket with a beef flavor that hits you in the head like a hammer . . . the kind that you can only find in those famous smokehouses, like Joe's BBQ in Alvin, Texas.[p]Well, the wife and I were at HEB yesterday, to get avocados for some guacamole, and since it's Memorial Day weekend, there was a big crowd of people hanging around the meat section. I walked over there, and there was a big selection of packer briskets in cry-o-vac bags that had been filled with marinade seasoning. I picked one up with the attitude of "I ain't got nothin better to do tommorow, why not screw up another brisket."[p]I decided that I was going to cook it the very same way that I did with the ones before, where they all turned out like dried out shoe leather . . . with one little teeny exception . . . this time I would follow the instructions on the bag . . . when the internal temp reaches 170* . . . it's done . . . TAKE IT OFF!! [p]I decided that I would cook it at a "grid" temp of 220*. My setup: Fresh lump up to the fire ring, inverted plate setter with a water filled drip pan inside the setter, underneath the main grid. The dome probe calibrated, a Polder used for the internal temp, and a Redi-Chek remote probe sticking out of a potato, and sitting along side of the brisket. (This is the grid temp)[p]I put the 10 lb. brisket on the grid at 11 PM. In order to get the grid at 220*, I had to leave the vents open until the dome read about 300*. Then, I closed the bottom vent to about 3/4 inch wide, with the daisy holes wide open. It took about two hours for the internal to reach the plateau. (160*) During that time, I had to tweak down the dome temp to around 270* to keep the grid temp at around 220*. (due to the heating up of the ceramics)[p]Like I said, the meat was put on at 11, the plateau of 160* was reached at around 1:30 AM, it was at 165* at 3 AM when I went to bed with the grid at around 215*. At 4:30 AM, I saw the Redi-Chek (grid) fall to about 190*, (dome was at 230*) so I went out and tweaked open the vent so that the grid would increment up about 1 degree every 5 or ten minutes. At that time, the internal was 170*. At about 6 AM, the grid was 217*, internal was 167*. I left it like that. When I woke again at 8 AM, the grid was 210*, and the internal was 165*.[p]So, I decided to take it off, not knowing what to expect. But as soon as I stuck my two forks in the meat to lift it onto the platter, I knew I had struck gold! They slid in like butter!!!!![p]The lesson that I learned was this:[p]When you cook a brisket on the egg, keep the internal IN the plateau, (Mine was in the plateau around 7 hours) BUT don't let the internal go PAST the plateau, or you will dry it out, and make it tough again.[p]I apologize for being so long winded in this post, but I thought I'd share the details of this long awaited success story, because I know other people had as much trouble with briskets as I did.

Comments

  • ChicagoQChicagoQ Posts: 20
    DavidR,
    Congrats on your conquest! Interesting conclusions you reached. I myself have wondered about what internal temp to pull the brisket off the grill. I've read anywhere from 165*-205*. The consensus seemed to be about 185. I cooked an 11 pounder myself yesterday, about 11 hours at 225* dome average, and took it off at 190 internal. Wrapped in foil for one hour until my friends arrived. The meat was very *tender* which is a victory in and of itself for brisket, because as we all know a brisket cooked quickly like a steak will be tough and dry. The point end was very moist and the flat end was not quite as moist, but still much, much better than I had ever accomplished before on my (wince) gas grill. [p]I think however, if I had taken mine off at 165, the point end would have too fatty still to make good slices for serving. It just seems to be a function of the pretty different thickness across the cut.

  • DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
    ChicagoQ,[p]I'm glad yours turned out to be tender. I once cooked mine (225* dome at about 1 hour per pound) and took mine off when the internal reached 185* . . . the flat was horribly dry.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,507
    DavidR,
    Great report, and sounds like you cooked that thang the way they is supposed to be cooked!! And good to finally hear of someone who is experiencing the same large variations between dome and grid. I think your persistence in keeping your dome temp higher than most would, so that your cooking level temp is where it needs to be, helped you here. No sense in taking forever to get to the plateau. And your keeping the temps up, then lowering a bit to let it ride thru the plateau didn't hurt none either. Congrats on finally tackling one of the toughest cooks.[p]What was that brisket soaked in? Did it say?[p]Memorial Day beers to you. And thanks, again, vets.
    NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
    Nature Boy,[p]Thanks man! I was thinking of you when I wrote that long post, because I remember using you for a sounding board in the past when those earlier briskets turned out to be flops.[p]I had to go dig that cry-o-vac bag out of the garbage. :) It was soaked with a beef stock, after being rubbed with black pepper, sweet chile pepper, and green onions. (No tenderizers that I can see)[p]I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Memorial Day!

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,507
    DavidR,
    Wow, that sounds like a good little marinade they put in there. Non acidic, and non-chemicalized. I have never seen that here. Either phosphates and crap....or just plain ol' beef (what I buy). Sweet chile and green onions would be fab with brisket.[p]Hope you are having a great long weekend also! I should be working, but keep getting sidetracked![p]Beer thirty here.
    Chris

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,244
    DavidR,
    Thanks neighbor. I needed that. Now I have a better feeling for what goes on under the hood. [p]You mentioned Alvin. I live in Spring. If the wind was right we had about 50 miles of neighbors wondering who was making Houston smell so good. Congratulations on a good cook.[p]Spring Chicken
    Spring Texas USA

  • DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
    Spring Chicken,[p]I live in Stafford, off of I-59, near Sugarland. I'm married to Lady Q'r. I know you and her have e-mailed each other from time to time. :)

  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,244
    DavidR,
    Small world. I remember her. I lost her e-mails when my computer crashed a few weeks back.[p]Have a good week.[p]SC

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