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Brisket help!!

Teach42Teach42 Posts: 219
edited 3:50AM in EggHead Forum
Threw as 12 pound packer cut on at about 1:30am last night. It was running about 260 at the dome most of the night, pretty darn solid with a small dip early in the morning. Open it up this morning and it looks good.... but kinda dry to my eyes. Probe goes in like butter into the point... but the rest of it feels tough. I jammed the therm deep into the flat, and it's saying 202, but there were some other spots that were below 200.

So it has been on for a total of 8.5 hours now.

What do I do? Pull it? Foil it? Wait it out until the probe feels like it's going into butter?

Am I jumping the gun here, or is it done and I'm drying it out right now?




  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    My gut feeling is that the flat is overdone.

    I would pull it and foil it. The point will be great for either sliced sandwiches or you can make some burnt ends with it. The flat, if it turns out too dry, can be chopped and mixed with sauce and eaten like pulled beef, or you can save it and add to your next batch of chili.
  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    PULL IT. NOW. Parts of it will never feel like butter. It isn't butter. You aren't trying to make mush. 190 is your target temperature. 200 is acceptable. Anything over that and you're going to turn to sawdust fast. Take it out..wrap it in foil...wrap that in a beach towel. Put it someplace safe (oven, ice chest, warming drawer) where it will cool down slowly and leave it alone for a while. It will be fine. Really.

    260 dome is a little bit high btw. That is why you cooked so fast.

  • Rod - you touch on a point I struggle with, and I'm still very much a brisket rookie. My issue is about the challenges of getting the point done and not drying out the flat. Is pulling and foiling the best way to do it? I've read other posts suggesting that you cut them in to two separate pieces?

    I just ordered a CyberQ II for myself for Christmas. I'd like to do another brisket as my first trial run. I'll be interested to see what advice you or others have on this.

  • Teach42Teach42 Posts: 219
    Pulled and foiled. Hoping for the best, but we'll see. Bark seemed pretty tough.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Pull the brisket when the flat is done - separate the point and put it back on if you want.

    The point is never the trouble spot for me. It has so much fat in it that it is always tender and juicy. You can slice it right along with the flat.

    I strongly prefer burnt ends, so I usually cube the point and put it back on with some sauce for another couple hours.




  • Teach42Teach42 Posts: 219
    That's just mean! After it looks like I may have ruined this brisket, you flaunt all the good looking ones you've made :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy:

    Just kidding, it's a labor of love, and a learning experience no matter what.

    On the plus side, this is the first time the temperature on my egg didn't budge an inch the entire cook. So that's an accomplishment. But obviously I need to do it at just a touch lower temp, and to get up a little earlier and keep an eye on it. Was deliberately trying not to stress about it and look too often, but it looks like I should have.

    Can't wait to try it again!
  • Rod - Thanks for the added info. The pics are amazing. Very nicely done.
  • I place my probe in the flat and start checking it when it is in the 180s with a fork. I have never seperated the point afterwards but will have to try that in the future. I have seen some foil the flat during the cook. I hope they chime in and state what benefits that provides.
  • SqueezeSqueeze Posts: 707
    I cook mine at 275 at the grid which equals out to 325-350 at the dome. Cooked one yesterday and was AMAZING....have had many great briskets at that temperature. A lot of it has to do with technique and timing. I do not shoot for a specific temp, and go based on feel. Sometimes that is 195, more times than not it is above 200......
  • Teach42Teach42 Posts: 219
    Well squeeze, you're giving me some serious hope. Just now when I put it into the warming drawer and re-inserted the thermometer, it seemed to go in pretty smoothly. So I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

    At it's peak, it was at 203. So maybe it didn't completely fry. We'll see in a couple of hours.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    For the most part I can agree with Fidel and Molly... Yes, 200* is at the high end of temperature for the flat, and "feels like butter" is not a good comparison for tenderness of the flat. Most of my briskets never see much above 195*.

    The point is always done before the flat, but because of the high amount of fat, it can cook longer while waiting for the flat to cook tender. (and in the case of burnt ends, can be returned to the cooker by itself to render down some more) That's why you don't take a temperature reading in the point.... just let it do it's own thing.

    One thing ..... which direction are you probing for tenderness from? You need to probe from the face opposite the fat cap. You don't want to probe from the end or the side. (coming in with a temperature probe from the side is fine)

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Teach42Teach42 Posts: 219
    Ok, that's interesting. I've never heard anything about where the best place to poke it is.

    I believe I went in from the side and straight towards the middle, figuring that deep in the center would logically be the last part to come up to temperature.

    But I don't remember which way I actually tested with the probe...

    Hrrrm... That gives me something to chew on. Why do you probe in just that way?

    And any other posts/guides you suggest for best ways to stick the meat?
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Tenderness probing is a real art. Hehehhee. Seriously, because of the grain of the meat, probing from the side has a different feel than probing from the major surface. Later on today when you slice your brisket stick it from the top, then from the side and you will feel what I mean.

    I suppose if you are a side poker, and are keyed into how it should feel when it's done from that direction, that's ok. I am just a top poker. I used an ice pick for years although that's a great tool for judging tenderness, it's best to round off the point a bit. Now I'm using one fashioned from rod a little larger.

    A lot of folks recommend a fork, I just don't want to be poking 4 holes each time I test it.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • Teach42Teach42 Posts: 219
    Didn't read this until after I sliced, so I didn't get a chance to try that experiment, but that's definitely something I"ll remember for next time. Great tip. And considering this is my second brisket, I don't really have any habits formed just yet.

    So after this whole crazy adventure, I pulled it out and sliced it up finally. You can see the end result in the incredibly blurry iPhone photo below!

    While I wouldn't go so far as to say it was incredibly moist, it wasn't nearly as dry or overcooked as I was expecting. In fact, on the whole it was pretty darn tasty! The bark was delicious and the meat itself had a ton of flavor to it. Sliced it up using an electric turkey slicer (thanks to BBQ Pitmasters for the tip), and sent it over to the party. I'm hanging around waiting for my son to wake up from his nap before joining them, but on the whole I'm pretty darn relieved. It was definitely good enough to serve, looking forward to hearing what people think.

    MAJOR THANKS to Fidel, Thirdeye, Squeeze and others for their advice this morning. Really appreciate the help.

    BTW, Thirdeye? Two of my Channukah gifts this past week were the wiggle rod and third hand. Great stuff!

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    And I can detect a nice looking smoke ring too.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    You're right. A brisket with a lot of fat running through it will get hotter faster and the meat won't dry out at all. It's amazing how much they change sitting after the cook.

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