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Stepping into the big leagues - 1st Brisket

LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
I am wanting to try my first one this weekend.  Could someone help me out?  What is the difference between a flat or packer, and one with the point?  Also what are you talking about when you say "Burnt ends"  I don't like burnt anything, but I know I have to be missing something here.  Sorry to be such a "girl" here but I just haven't been able to figure it out!  

Do I buy from Costco cheaper and if I screw it up ok, or go to a local butcher and pay top dollar for the right thing and pray that it turns out ok?  

I control my own temps, no controllers yet.  Is this a recipe for disaster?

As always, thanks for helping the newbie and sorry if this is too remedial for most.  

[-O<
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Comments

  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,699
    Two great sources of brisket cooking information are:

    http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/1996/03/brisket.html

    and

    http://bubbatim.com/Bubba_s_Brisket.php

    These 2 web sites should answer most of your questions.  We are lucky in this area to have a store that sells the packer cut and almost always has a lot to choose from (Shady Maple Farm Market).

    I cook without a temperature controller but I do have a remote thermometer (Maverick ET-732) which allows me to monitor the temp on overnight cooks without having to go out to the grill.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • bookswbooksw Posts: 290
    LizzieSamps I am excited to hear about how it goes.  As you know- I am just venturing into the brisket arena myself.  95% of the briskets you see in the store come in a styrofoam tray and are "flat" cuts- generally around 6-8 pounds.  If you possibly can avoid those you should because they are harder to do well.  A "packer" comes totally wrapped in plastic- no tray- and is bigger- more like 13 pounds.  A packer is a flat plus another attached cut called the "point".  The point is what keeps the flat moist (simplistic way I think about it).  Brisket is not expensive by the pound but even not expensive when you are buying 13 plus pounds it gets pricey for the whole thing.  When I made my first one I used flat because I couldn't find a packer.  I go into my costco weekly and have yet to see any brisket there at all.  I have read here that you can ask the meat guy at costco to get it for you and I may do that in the future.  That's why I relied on a specialty butcher in my area to get it.  Centex has posted photographs of what the different cuts look like in the store- see if you can find that post.  Have a great time!!!
    Charleston, SC

    L/MiniMax Eggs
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,061
    Burnt ends are the point chopped up after the cook. They are black, but not burnt. I've only made 2 flats in my brisket adventures. People say the burnt ends are the tastiest part of the brisket. I've never had them.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • AleBrewerAleBrewer Posts: 555
    Good luck in your 1st brisket adventure. The two sites that Shiff pointed out have some great information.

    I have done burnt ends in the past, but mostly I save the point for other things like pulled beef, or Brunswick Stew.

    Don't worry about a controller...you don't need one for a successful brisket.


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,216

    @Lizzie-Gonna be a fun ride... The above posts define the packer and flat.  Here (Louisville area) Costco carries choice flats (as does Kroger) all the time.  Occasionally Costco will also have the whole packer but that is hit-or-miss at best.  Personal opinion, I would go with whatever Costco has and not spend the $$ on a local butcher cut...but only my opinion.  In addition to the above mentioned sites here's another that has quite a bit of info-

    http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/texas_brisket.html

    Should you end up with a flat there have been several recent posts about the braising method used by Travisstrick that has received great reviews.  May want to check it out.

    Gonna be a great journey!

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • RandallBRandallB Posts: 67

    Just jump in there and do one.  There has to be a first.   To me,  the brisket is WAY less forgiving than a boston butt.   My experience is keep it low and slow (250) until the internal temp is 200- 205.  The window of pulling it off is much narrower than with pork.  It will cook much faster than pork butt as it is pretty thin toward the end.    Start testing with fork (should twist and tear easily) at about 195.  Do NOT take off until the meat tears easily with fork (but don't leave on any longer).   Remove and let sit in foil or cooler with towel for 20-30 minutes before cutting.   Cut very carefully across the grain to serve.

    I am convinced a brisket is healthier eating compared to cooking and eating boston butt pulled pork all the time.

    You don't need a controller.

     

  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    Lizzie, here is a link to one of my brisket cooks where I separate the point from flat and make burnt ends.  Hope something in it can help give some pointers:


  • steeevinsteeevin Posts: 23
    Hi LizzieSamps. I am very interested in this post as well. I've only cooked one brisket in my life and that was years ago, on a Weber Smokey Mountain. It turned out dry, despite following the recipe to the "T". (I can't recall the recipe source; Steven Raichlen, perhaps.) 

    Anyway, the dried-out brisket has made me shy away from doing another one. Something about 10 pounds of leathery beef is not very appealing. 

    Now that I have my XL, I am willing to tackle it again in the very near future. 
  • Dave in FloridaDave in Florida Posts: 1,146
    I have done several flats and a couple of packers (the whole untrimmed brisket).  My best success has come from the packer.  A flat can dry out pretty easy.  Cooking only the flat has been hit and miss, some really juicy, some not so.  But the tenderness and flavor have spot on. I just recently did a flat for a friend that watched my dog while we were on vacation.  I got the response back yesterday, "OMG..that brisket is so good.  It just melts in your mouth. It's so tender, I don't even need to put in my teeth to eat it."

    On whole packers, when done separate the point from the flat and make burnt ends. I did burnt ends for the first time for my dad last Father's Day.  They were AWESOME.  They actually were the first to be eaten.  Bubba Tim's and Playing with Fire is great information.  Remember it is low and slow and you are cooking to tenderness not time, don't freak out over the stall at 160 -170.  I start probing for tenderness at 195. You want the probe to be able to slide very easy.  Some briskets are done at 195 some at 205, wrap in foil and let them rest in a cooler.  Each brisket is different.  I just recently started injecting the night before and this has helped in the area of juiciness. 

    Here is the last brisket flat cook.  Hope it helps.

    http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=1258119&catid=1#

    Packer Brisket and Burnt Ends.

    http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=1251810&catid=1#

     
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • getting some good advice up there. I would do the Costco brisket. They are usually choice so that's a good thing. Let us know if you have any questions
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    Great, so many great resources here! I will research all these links and posts. Thanks for helping a newbie out!
  • smokesniffersmokesniffer Posts: 2,016
    How's it coming LizzieSamps. What is the update? I haven't done one yet so am interested in hearing your outcome.
    Large, small, and a mini
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    I am doing it this weekend! I will post along thr way, gotta love a cook along! Just ordered a Thermapen, the on sale one!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,216
    @Lizzie-you do know that the color of your thermapen directly impacts its speed...but that should be a whole 'nother topic :)
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    No, I read about you guys giving Brownie a hard time about a flaming one, but searched to try to figure out when that all started and could'nt. It's like joining a family and trying to figure out all the weird cousins, and secrets!
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    No, I read about you guys giving Brownie a hard time about a flaming one, but searched to try to figure out when that all started and could'nt. It's like joining a family and trying to figure out all the weird cousins, and secrets!
    I love the last sentence, perfect LOL
  • No, I read about you guys giving Brownie a hard time about a flaming one, but searched to try to figure out when that all started and could'nt. It's like joining a family and trying to figure out all the weird cousins, and secrets!

    good luck with that!
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • zealotzealot Posts: 2
    Lizzie... just did my first brisket this weekend... a 21 pound packer (Choice Angus).  I incorporated different techniques from the usual Egghead websites (using a water pan, tightly packing lump, mopping after the stall, etc.).  After a 15 hour cook, average dome temp of 250-275 and 2 re-lights, we came out with a very tender piece of cow... burnt ends were wonderful.  21 pounds is a little daunting, but feel confident that I can do this time and time again.  The Egghead community is a great place to gather info and incorporate your own techniques to make it special for you and your loved ones!  
  • No, I read about you guys giving Brownie a hard time about a flaming one, but searched to try to figure out when that all started and could'nt. It's like joining a family and trying to figure out all the weird cousins, and secrets!

    good luck with that!
    He (Brownie) bought a green one and I bought the one with flames. I said mine was cooler because it had flames and besides, you would never see Guy Fieri wearing a green shirt (he's always in flame shirts). So Brownie took a photo he had lying around of Guy Fieri in a flame shirt (I know it's weird, but we let it go this one time) and made a green shirt for the photo out of construction paper and made that his avatar. His wife walked in while he was doing it and it was like he was on an inappropriate web site or something. he had to shove everything in a desk drawer and scream "doesn't anybody knock anymore"???? His wife just rolled her eyes and walked out. He said dinner was very quiet that night.

    Still the 2nd funniest Avatar (as much as it pains me to admit it, Stike is #!1) on this forum and well worth a few awkward moments at home to get it done for the group.

    (Most of this story is somewhat factual but I did add just a touch of drama to spice it up a little)



    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • michigan_jasonmichigan_jason Posts: 1,346
    Lol, that makes his avatar make sense now...



    "Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity, and are able to turn both to their advantage."

  • Lol, that makes his avatar make sense now...
    I still laugh every time I see it. Classic


    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • image
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • AleBrewerAleBrewer Posts: 555
     It's like joining a family and trying to figure out all the weird cousins, and secrets!
    Hey......I resemble that remark!  :D
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    No, I read about you guys giving Brownie a hard time about a flaming one, but searched to try to figure out when that all started and could'nt. It's like joining a family and trying to figure out all the weird cousins, and secrets!

    good luck with that!
    He (Brownie) bought a green one and I bought the one with flames. I said mine was cooler because it had flames and besides, you would never see Guy Fieri wearing a green shirt (he's always in flame shirts). So Brownie took a photo he had lying around of Guy Fieri in a flame shirt (I know it's weird, but we let it go this one time) and made a green shirt for the photo out of construction paper and made that his avatar. His wife walked in while he was doing it and it was like he was on an inappropriate web site or something. he had to shove everything in a desk drawer and scream "doesn't anybody knock anymore"???? His wife just rolled her eyes and walked out. He said dinner was very quiet that night.

    Still the 2nd funniest Avatar (as much as it pains me to admit it, Stike is #!1) on this forum and well worth a few awkward moments at home to get it done for the group.

    (Most of this story is somewhat factual but I did add just a touch of drama to spice it up a little)



    Wow, thanks for the background, that is so funny stuff right there, so Stike his avatar now, or in the past.  I gotta look at that closer.  I need a controversial avatar now!  Gotta just think of something!  HMMM
      
    :-\"

  • No, I read about you guys giving Brownie a hard time about a flaming one, but searched to try to figure out when that all started and could'nt. It's like joining a family and trying to figure out all the weird cousins, and secrets!

    good luck with that!
    He (Brownie) bought a green one and I bought the one with flames. I said mine was cooler because it had flames and besides, you would never see Guy Fieri wearing a green shirt (he's always in flame shirts). So Brownie took a photo he had lying around of Guy Fieri in a flame shirt (I know it's weird, but we let it go this one time) and made a green shirt for the photo out of construction paper and made that his avatar. His wife walked in while he was doing it and it was like he was on an inappropriate web site or something. he had to shove everything in a desk drawer and scream "doesn't anybody knock anymore"???? His wife just rolled her eyes and walked out. He said dinner was very quiet that night.

    Still the 2nd funniest Avatar (as much as it pains me to admit it, Stike is #!1) on this forum and well worth a few awkward moments at home to get it done for the group.

    (Most of this story is somewhat factual but I did add just a touch of drama to spice it up a little)



    Wow, thanks for the background, that is so funny stuff right there, so Stike his avatar now, or in the past.  I gotta look at that closer.  I need a controversial avatar now!  Gotta just think of something!  HMMM
      
    :-\"
    His current avatar is what I was talking about. Although, his in the past have been pretty good too. he has a couple in the wings that he has tested that are fairly hideous but funny as well. He is a pieces of.........work........yeah, we'll call it work :))


    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    You remember Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation? He now goes as The Cen Tex Smoker!!
  • LizzieSampsLizzieSamps Posts: 894
    Duganboy said:

    You remember Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation? He now goes as The Cen Tex Smoker!!

    =))
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,023
    =)) =)) =)) =)

    How did I miss this whole weird brisket post about me? That is an absolute golden post.

    It's sooo true, Nobody seems to knock these days.
    :-??
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,023
    Sorry LizzieSamps for absolute nonsense on a perfectly good post.

    Thank you Cen tex for not judging me and my Guy F. photo, the shirt I covered was red by the way.
  • You remember Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation? He now goes as The Cen Tex Smoker!!
    Thank you. Clark.


    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
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