Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Hop on down to your nearest EGG dealer this week to pick up some Easter EGGcessories! Here are a few that may be useful for Easter, the V-rack, electric charcoal lighter and flexible skewers! Now that Spring is in the air, it's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

2nd brisket attempt just went in the egg

bookswbooksw Posts: 209
edited July 2012 in Beef
I am sitting outside with my 14 year old daughter and we just put a 13 pound packer brisket on the egg!  I had a plan to follow all the suggestions I have learned on this board but decided this afternoon to change directions.  I bought the meat from a butcher in town whom I only recently met.  He also does a lot of smoking at his shop on a BGE.  He told me he smokes a brisket weekly and he gave me his method which I am going to try...  What is the worst thing that could happen?  He doesn't use a meat thermometer.  He starts at 240 dome with a fair amount of smoke and then brings it down to 225 pretty quickly.  After about 8-10 hours, he foils it and then he leaves it on the grill "the longer the better" at 225- foiled.  I know it will kill the bark but I am going for delicious moist meat as my number one and two priorities.  He said that some chefs believe it can't be done if it was on the grill for less than 19 hours.  19 hours from now will be 6 PM...perfect!  He actually trimmed it to fit on my egg and he showed me a piece of fat that was on the flat that he recommended taking off (on the "bottom"- if the point is on the "top") that he took off and he seasoned it with his "home" made rub.  He also gave me a 10% discount (from $6.50 a pound for choice- all natural from the Northwest)
Charleston, SC

Comments

  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    Good luck, yet to cook a brisket! It's on the list! Always good to know a butcher that can give you tips! Be sure to post pics. We love them here.
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    I am not sure I know how to post pics- I have tried to but they turn out a lot smaller than everyone elses which makes me think I am doing something wrong.  I just hit "attach a file" and then select the jpg

    Brisket11PM.jpg
    478 x 640 - 113K
    Charleston, SC
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    that is the beautiful piece of meat right when it went on the grid.  It's been on there for an hour and it already smells pretty good.  My daughter and I are listening to Weird Al...something about eating liver
    Charleston, SC
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    There is a great thread about how to post photos. Basically download to your smartphone the photobucket app, then take a pic, upload to thr app, and choose to copy HMTL link. When leaving a comment paste in the link. Good luck!
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,245
    Holy sheep shit. $6.50 a pound? That's almsot $4/lb more than what I paid.. i recommend checking ariund.
  • mr toadmr toad Posts: 666
    looks good - wish we had a butcher in our area - post photo when finished

    mr toad
    In dog Beers - I have had only one !
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    Ok this will be a "live and learn" cook.  I went to sleep at 2 at 220 degrees and woke up at 6 at a little over 300- I was too frazzled to take the time to really see what the temp was other than to see that it was too hot.  My brisket was at 194.  BUT, it was very soft and the probe went in "like butter" as everyone says so I am hoping I am OK.  I dialed down the egg, wrapped the brisket in foil and a towel and put it in the cooler.  I think it will take a good hour or more (it's already been 40 minutes and the temp is still at 300) to get the temp back down.  I am thinking about putting it back on around noon for another few hours...  I am not sure what to do...

    I know it was pricey but it is the only packer in town ("antibiotic and hormone free, vegetarian diet") as far as I can tell AND it is a locally owned business AND the guy was all about service.  As mr toad said "wish we had a butcher in our area"- I'm glad we do and if we don't support him he won't be able to stay in business.  Maybe I'm just rationalizing dropping that kind of money on a potential flop meal that I literally lost sleep over (but obviously not enough sleep was lost!)
    Charleston, SC
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,161
    Sounds like it's time to call the butcher-I can't tell where in the above cook process you were when you found it at 300*F this AM-I'm guessing you were at the point where it was time to put into the foil for the duration but you hadn't gotten there yet.  That said, you now have it in foil and once you get the BGE down to the 225*F temp You could put it back on (wrapped in the foil and proceed with his plan til ready to slice.  When you got the 194*F reading was that from the flat or point...makes a big difference as the point will get to temp much sooner than the flat.  Recognize the above are mere suggestions based on the info you have provided.  I have never cooked a brisket like your butcher's method so I would make him the best reference for info. 
    Louisville
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    Thanks so much lousubcap!  He doesn't open until 11- I should have gotten his cell phone (talk about service)!  Oh brother flat or point.  I put the probe in towards the bottom so I think it was the flat but it was under the point so it may very well have been the point (doesn't the point sit on top off to one side?).  It really did feel like butter- I actually considered the possibility that I had hit a ribbon of fat inside the brisket but I don't think there would be one of those, would there?.  The whole piece of meat was also really soft- not at all stiff like the last flat 6 pound brisket I cooked and took off after it got to 190 degrees at hour 16 (and was delicious but DRY). 

    I should have gone with the plan I had based on the tips I have been collecting from you and Centex.  I even bought the Salt Lick rub Centex mentioned last week. There was something about talking to this guy "Ted" face to face- like a neighbor rather than a computer or something like that that made me change my game plan.  Plus- I have so much fun LEARNING on the Egg and like you have said something about it being about the journey or the bourbon.  I know nothing about bourbon so it might as well be about the journey.

    Right now it is about strong coffee.
    Charleston, SC
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,161
    edited July 2012
    Your description of the point location relative to the flat is correct and the likelyhood of hitting fat in the flat is about zero but quite high if you didn't get into the flat.  I can appreciate the face-to-face interaction and the desire to call the audible and give it a go.  With your BGE around 225 and the brisket tightly wrapped in foil you should be fine.  But give him a shout once he opens.  And if you are planning on slicing and eating around six-if he has no additional insights, then I would remove it from the BGE around 2 PM and give it the FTC treatment til ready to eat.  And it is about the journey-sometimes clouded by adult beverages, one of which could be bourbon.
    Louisville
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    thanks Cap.  I am now fretting over how to tell if my fire is out.  I put the meat (wrapped) back on at 220.  Now I am down to 200 and I opened the daisy wheel a tiny bit. Should I open the dome and look at the coals to make sure there is still some glow (and if not then what)?  I am afraid if I do that the temp will jump up again...  The meat was hot (and smelled amazing btw) so I don't think the meat cooled it off.
    Charleston, SC
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,161
    I would open your bottom vent up to around a half-inch and see if the temp starts to rise-leave the DW where it is.  If the temp continues to drop then you can try to use a wiggle rod (too hard to explain here...) or your ash cleaning tool to give the fire grate a few smacks, goal being to make sure the grate is not clogged.  If still no luck then it's time to put the eyeball to the fire and go from what that gives you.  On a related note, when you open the dome for a quick look the influx of outside air will likely cause your dome thermo to dip but it should come right back-and the air will cause a very brief increase in the fire volume but that too will quickly return to steady-state.  Good luck-
    Louisville
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    OK I did those things and got nothing- not even a little smoke.  So, I took the thing apart and I had essentially a dead fire- it was almost dead and would have died if I hadn't taken it apart.  I had a center circle of gray ash with no smoke at all and a rim of black lump but only about one piece deep.  So I cleaned it up with my ash cleaning tool (but didn't empty the bottom) and reloaded lump.  I had to open two bags to get enough big pieces for the first load last night and now I only had small pieces left.  I decided to light it with one parafin starter but when I came back outside with the starter I saw a trickle of smoke so I left it alone. I got the set up back together and put the meat back on.  Now I am at 165 with a steady trickle of smoke out the daisy wheel.

    Captain- why would you suggest manipulating the bottom vent rather than the daisy wheel?  Thanks so much for helping me with this- I really appreciate it.
    Charleston, SC
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,161
    Back at it-the answer about the lower vent is because I figured you were looking for positive (or negative) indications in short order.  The bottom vent will cause things to react much quicker (unless the DW is choked down so much that it is the limiting component).  BTW-have you tried the butcher...and by 165*F what temp is that referring to?
    Louisville
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    165 was the dome temp.  I opened the bottom vent more and it is now at 250.  Ted the Butcher gave me encouragement and said he thought I would be fine- to keep it on in the foil  until 5:30 or 6 (my guests come over at 7).  He said not to sweat the difference between 225 and 250 and that the fact that I had the placesetter in there probably saved my cook- the high heat rendered the fat onto the placesetter instead of onto the fire which would have charred my brisket.  He said to use the daisy wheel for small adjustments and the bottom vent for big adjustments. 

    I have been thinking that it might make sense for me to do some basic "get to know my egg" excercises- Invest $8 in a bag of lump to burn just to learn how to maintain low temperature over time- rather than while I am cooking which adds a layer of complexity and distraction.  I also have been thinking about Centex's words about the Egg will find the temp it will go to.  I have gotten a fair amount of experience of cooking around 450 and I barely look at the temp- I know it is steady.  I have very little experience maintaining it low.
    Charleston, SC
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,161
    edited July 2012

    Thanks for the follow-up. If you want to just play with the vents that's a good way to learn but there are cooks that are not as challenging as a brisket that you can do with a low&slow run-ribs will need around 4-7+hours of low&slow so that's a good test run.  Pork butt is also good but if you get a big one that will run into long hours.  You can hot smoke fish fillets at the low&slow temps in around an hour.  

    And here are a few thoughts on the BGE and temps-

    No need to worry about time to get to the low&slow cook temp-a few minutes delay on the many hour cook is not a deal-breaker.  Key is to not grossly overshoot your target temp-if you leave the dome open to initially get a good fire going-set the lower vent and DMFT to about where you expect them to be when steady-state at the time you shut the dome. Then adjust as necessary-and don't sweat "dead-on" temps for the low&slow cooks. 270*F+/- 30* is close enough.  Just get the BGE stable (45- 60 mins) and then let it do the work.  You can spend the cook chasing temperature (remember the fire is responding to air flow changes so the feedback loop has quite a delay time). 

     

    A couple of things-BGE fire is air flow controlled (assuming you have enough lump and got it going).  So, temperature control (aka fire volume) is a function of the amount of air flow through the bottom and out the top.  You can control by top or bottom vent or combinations of each (preferred for low temp cooks).  With any BGE (I have a LBGE) the trick is to catch the temperature rise on the way up to the desired end-point.  You have a lot of ceramic mass and if it gets heated above the target temperature it takes a while to cool down. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    So, with that-get a good mass of lump burning and then shut the dome and set your vents for the approximate final desired temp.  Minor adjustments as you go.  And remember, the feedback indicator to any adjustments is your dome thermo-and that will take a while.  So, patience is the name of the game at the low & slow temps.  Read all you really need to know here-

    Best basic info site going- http://www.nakedwhiz.com/ceramic.htm 

    Let us know how it turns out...and congrats on working through this-lots of "hands-on" learning for sure.

    Louisville
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    I took the meat off the grill and it is now in towels in the cooler.  I did not check the temp again but it is still flexible so that is promising.  My fire went out a second time and when I took it off, the dome was only at 160.  I think maybe the first fire loss was related to the temp being too high for too long and the second fire loss was related to only having little pieces of lump left to make the second fire and not enough air was circulating.  Our friends coming for dinner are fully aware they are being used as study participants so no pressure there.  Plus, they will be coming with a couple of growlers of beer- maybe that is what it is about?

    Lots of hands on learning is right, patience is a virtue.  Thanks for the encouragement and guidance lousubcap!

    I will take a pic when we cut it and let you all know if I got what I was after- delicious and moist...(last one was delicious and dry)
    Charleston, SC
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    Waiting to see the pic, I know it can get stressful, but it shonds  Iike between the the butcher and the captain you got it all figured out!  
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    edited July 2012
    Another attempt to post a pic

    <a href="http://s1152.photobucket.com/albums/p485/booksw/?action=view&amp;current=b7b5c970.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1152.photobucket.com/albums/p485/booksw/b7b5c970.jpg" border="0" alt="Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App"></a>
    Charleston, SC
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    edited July 2012
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    Back to the old way of attaching a jpg...

    This is the meat going on the grill
    OnTheFire.jpeg
    640 x 478 - 131K
    Charleston, SC
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    this is the brisket done
    BrisketDone.jpeg
    640 x 478 - 157K
    Charleston, SC
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    this is the brisket inside- juicy!!
    JuicyInside.jpeg
    640 x 478 - 185K
    Charleston, SC
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 209
    So all in all it was a huge success and thank you so much Captain for helping me through it.  I have a lot of room for improvement.  Thanks also LizzieSamps for helping me with the photo thing.  I will figure it out- when you told me about photobucket, I read Naked Whiz's site on posting using photobucket.  I also tried Flickr since I already had pics there.  

    As far as the cook is concerned- I told myself (and you all) that the two important things to me were that it be delicious and juicy (last time I got delicious and dry).  I got those two things out of this cook.  But, it showed me other issues- mainly related to texture.  The last one I made that was delicious and dry was also very easy to slice.  This one was a mess to slice.  I have very sharp knives and our friend who carved the brisket is a surgeon by profession so he definitely knew what he was doing.  I don't have an electric knife and he thought that is what it needed.  It wasn't that it was tough- it wasn't.  But, when he cut it against the grain it shredded instead of sliced.  Also- I thought I knew what bark is but now I am wondering about that.  This meat had a hard outside but I don't think it was bark because it was really too chewy to eat.

    Every cook I do I try to add something I have not yet done on the egg.  This time it was baby carrots in a grill basket.  I will post about that separately...=)
    Charleston, SC
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,161

    Glad it all worked out and it does look very tasty.  With respect to the shredding-that means it was likely overdone but with so much time in the foil it retained the moisture. With the bark issue, that should have been all that was on the surface and again, with all that time in the foil it should have softened up.  Wish I had more to offer-talking points with your butcher, I guess.

    Louisville
Sign In or Register to comment.