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From a brisket to dinner for 30

exspoexspo Posts: 51
edited February 2012 in EggHead Forum
So I wanted to cook a brisket. I've done ribs and spatchcock chickens, pizza, enchiladas and fish. I know brisket is harder, and so I felt like I was ready. And I had an awesome smoked brisket at the Devil's Backbone Brewery and I wondered if I could do as well.

But a whole brisket - a packer - is 10-13lbs. Problem: wife and daughter don't eat red meat. Son (11 years old) and I do. But there is no way in hell we are going to eat 13 lbs of brisket before it turns. And that would be sad.

So we need reinforcements on the eating front. Ok, no problem. I know lots of people who would love to come over and eat some good BBQ. I was even thinking of doing this on Super Bowl Sunday. A perfect match.

But those of you who are married know there is a 'matching program.' If I buy something nice for me, there has to be an equivalent (or greater) expenditure for the Sig. Other. And that's fine, and fair. 

But the invite list turned out to have the same rules apply... so all of my (brisket) eating friends will be matched by an equivalent of wife's friends. And that too is totally fine (her friends all have husbands, and they want brisket too if anything is right in the world) but the body count is going high now. 

And I have to pull this off. President's Day weekend. For 30. I kinda like the fact that we are reminding civilians that for the BGE clan, it's always summer BBQ season.

Here's the sobering facts: brisket, at least 3 baby backs, a spatchcock chicken, elk burgers (which are spec-tac-u-lar if you can get your hands on some - Colorado readers get on that right away), hot dogs, and yeah, some portobellos. 30 in all.

BTW, I have a medium BGE.

Help? how can I time this out for a hot, rested and ready 4pm serve? Brisket needs a dozen hours or more. Can I throw baby backs on at T-minus 5 hrs and they too will get done, pull then chicken for an hour prior and burgs/dogs at party time? Am I nuts?

I do have a 'in case of emergency, break glass' backup. Neighbor across the street has a medium egg (he converted me last year - thanks Jay!). should i split the work or just go for it?

In sum:
1. never cooked a brisket
2. the medium egg
3. a big crowd
4. invites sent and everyone accepted

going to be an interesting presidents day. could be a 10 buckets of KFC.


  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,841
    Just give your wife a grand to buy some stuff and go get yourself a large BGE in return. Two can play that game. Once you pull it off presidents day, it will likely turn into a trend and the dueling eggs will be worth it.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • 4. invites sent and everyone accepted

    Hmm...I haven't gotten mine yet. ;)

    I would probably split work with neighbor....less stress for you that way.
  • Option A:

    Start the brisket, as normal, on an elevated grid at 10 pm.  You'll need more than 12 hours at ~250 and can foil for up to fiveish in a warmed cooler.  If it really is only 10 pounds i might start it at midnight, instead.

    Ribs twisted in a V-rack underneath on at 9 am.  Assume a five hour cook whichever method you use.

    The rest is easy.  Bump the temp up and you're there.  No idea if you can do elevated rigs on a medium Egg (above the rim, like on a large), but if you can't - SEE OPTION B!

    Option B:

    Buy a large or XLarge Green Egg friend.

    Best of luck.  I think it sounds fantastic!

    PS - try to have all the wood smoke out of the lump before putting the chicken on.
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!

  • exspoexspo Posts: 51
    Ribs twisted in a V-rack underneath on at 9 am.  

    I get the V-rack.. but what is twisted?

  • exspoexspo Posts: 51

    Option B:

    Buy a large or XLarge Green Egg friend.

    I was at the dealer debating between md and lg. wasn't a $$ thing just thought there was no way i would need to cook more meat than a med could handle for me and my son. Didn't know about the BBQ tractor beam applied to friends and neighbors.
  • Ribs twisted in a V-rack underneath on at 9 am.  

    I get the V-rack.. but what is twisted?

    There are 6 slots in my V-rack.  Three racks "bent" in a "U" shape is what I mean by twisted so they fit nicely on the rack and don't overrun your available space.

    i was so happy to have a Large Egg.  The availability of accessories really made that decision perfect.  But you're right - neighbors and friends really come by a lot more frequently now haha
    Large BGE and Medium BGE
    36" Blackstone - Greensboro!

  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,529
    Get the large.  You can use medium most of the time and know you have reinforcements for the bigger parties.  Otherwise its time to enlist the neighbor.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • txbbqtxbbq Posts: 16
    But a whole brisket - a packer - is 10-13lbs. Problem: wife and daughter don't eat red meat. Son (11 years old) and I do. But there is no way in hell we are going to eat 13 lbs of brisket before it turns. And that would be sad.

    I just got my BGE on superbowl sunday, the first thing I cooked on it was a brisket. We bought an 8lb brisket and cut it smaller - not sure exactly how big it was, but it took about 7 hours to cook plus 45 minutes of rest.

    My fire went out about 4 hours into it and I didnt control the temp that well. I had to finish the last 3 hours in the oven. The brisket still turned out to be the best brisket I have ever had - and I live in texas, home of awesome brisket.

    My point being, cook a smaller brisket before hand to practice it wont really take that long. When they say the probe has to go in like butter, they really mean it.
  • Wow - you're setting your self up for some big expectations and possibly a world of hurt!  One thought would be to simplify things - this would also let you enjoy the party a little more.  You could just cook 3 large butts.  They say its really hard to screw that one up.  I cooked my first butt last weekend and was shocked at how much meat there was once I pulled it.

  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273
    Make sure you post pics -- interested in how you fit all that food on the grill.  Good luck with it.
    Cookin in Texas
  • I would seriously reconsider the menu.  I too have a med BGE, and I've pretty much figured out every way to maximize space.  You have a serious logistics problem.  I just think you're setting yourself up for failure.  Please consider what smoke_monster advised and smoke a few pork butts.  Cook the dogs and vegetarian stuff while the butt rests in a cooler.  Your guests will be blown away, and you'll maintain your sanity.


    An XL would compliment your med BGE beautifully.  Thats definitely my next purchase.   

     "Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great, Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!"

    Med & XL

  • i agree with the others recommending to reconsider the menu

    i did 20lbs of pork shoulder on my medium for a holiday party and fed ~30ppl (with plenty of sides and other options).  after pulling the pork, i divided it between a couple of the disposable aluminum pans and kept the pork warm until i needed to switch out.  i didn't have any problems with the pulled pork drying out, but had apple vinegar and sauce on hand, if need be.

    good luck w/ whatever you do

  • exspoexspo Posts: 51
    Ok.. so the butt will be the fall back position. 

    But before I fall back, wouldn't the following work, assuming guests arriving at 4pm:

    1. Brisket goes on around 11pm night before, off at noon or so, then resting
    2. Babybacks go on at 9am, off at 3pm ish (so for 3 hours, bottom level is brisket, top is ribs)
    3. spatchcock goes on at 3pm (higher temp) and burnt ends of brisket, both off at 4 ish
    4. portos, burgs and dogs ad hoc during party

    The crux move here is the brisket and babybacks from 9a - noon. anyone done that before?
  • All this is why I bought an XL. I'm glad I did. It's easy to cook on half of it when it's just the wife lady and I.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491
    I can not imagine you will ever get the ribs and the brisket in a medium at the same time .... not in a way where it would cook properly.
  • exspoexspo Posts: 51
    edited February 2012
    ok. too much of a gamble. but i could throw the babybacks on the neighbor's egg at 9a and do the rest on my egg. 

    yes, my neighbor's invited.
  • Thank You XL!!!!! I Love doin whole meals on my XL. The biggest thing is all timing, And thats with any cooking
  • If I had a medium, I would cook a bunch of it ahead of time (this weekend), seal it, fridge it, and reheat on the day of the event. Brisket and ribs re-heat just beatifully! This weekend you could easily do a brisket or 2 and ribs properly. Then the stress is off, you could do the rest on the day of the event!
  • Not a bad idea from howmeisterg - I've frozen ribs and they have always turned out great.
  • exspoexspo Posts: 51
    That is a good idea. The BBQ is Sunday so I could do ribs or brisket Saturday
  • I know brisket keeps well. I usually use a food saver.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491
    Pull the brisket at 9am, foil it, and finish it in the oven. Add some charcoal, and and get the egg re-stabilized and cook the ribs a little hotter so they are done in 4 hours. Skip the burnt ends, and do your chickens.
  • exspoexspo Posts: 51
    I think this plan is coming along nicely. I'm going with cowdog's schedule.
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