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What is the difference in a Brisket versus a Butt cook ?

Charcoal MikeCharcoal Mike Posts: 223
edited 11:22PM in EggHead Forum
Hi all -[p]Have a 7 pound brisket in the fridge, rubbed down with some Gilded Splinters and mustard. This is my second brisket - the first one left a LOT to be desired, and was quite tough, though cooked with the same setup as below.[p]I have probably cooked a dozen or more pork butts, and these have all come out with excellent results. These were done at 225-250, in a v-rack, over drip pan/plate setter combo, and cooked to an internal temp of 200.[p]My understanding is that I am supposed to do the EXACT same thing to cook a brisket. Is this correct? Any veterans out there that would make a change to my current setup?[p]Thanks for the help![p]- Mike[p][p]


  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,406
    Charcoal Mike,
    A few things to consider. A pork butt always has a lot of fat running through it, and is a whole different beast. You rarely hear of someone messing up a butt cook. Seems like you can't kill it.[p]Briskets are the chest muscles of a cow, and there is much less fat laced in with the meat. Fortunately, beef is graded based on how much fat marbling there is in the meat. The difference between a "select" and a "choice" brisket are noticable. When WooDOggies brought down a "prime" brisket for us to cook on the camping trip, it was unbeleivable! Not that you can't get pretty good results with a select brisket...but the odds go way up as you move up in grade. At least from my limited experience.[p]Another factor is how quickly the brisket dries out after it is cooked tender. Sometimes it is ready to pull off (when the polder probe slides in and out like butter) at 185 internal. Any further cooking will take you downhill.[p]Also, briskets seem to benefit by a good long rest wrapped tight in the cooler after removing from the cooker. 30 minutes or more, and up to a couple hours. I have heard of folks adding beef broth when wrapping in foil, and have even heard of wrapping in plastic wrap...then keep the juices tight to the meat. (I want to try that)[p]Just a few ideas, as I watch this fun allstar game! Nice to see some hitting. Hope it helps a tad on your quest for a good chunk-o-chest![p]Beers!
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  • WooDoggiesWooDoggies Posts: 2,390
    Yowza! [p]Nature Dude knows of what he speaks.[p]He also knows beer. :~) [p]Striations in your brisket,[p]WD[p]

  • Charcoal Mike,
    NB has you on the right tract, one to consider, meat protein is cooked at 160º but collagen has not broken down to the point where the meat will be tender at that temp. Pork butt has a lot more fat in it than a brisket flat or even a packers cut, so it can easly take the 195 to 200º internal to become tender without drying it out .
    A brisket does not have the fat therefore there needs to be a balancing act bewteen the points where the protein is done and you don't run out of fat to keep the meat moist while the collagen breaks down.
    As NB said the higher the quality of brisket and the use of the right techniques, the better the outcome that can be expected.

  • hounddoghounddog Posts: 126
    i agree with everything and add this observation: beef brisket is a more delicate flavor. As a result, in my opinion, you should tend to use less smoking wood for flavor with a brisket than with a butt.
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