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brisket

Currently have a 15 pound packer on the egg. Went on last night at 10:00. Have the Maverick monitoring temps. I checked the probes in boiling water last night and both held steady at 212. Dome thermometer is within 1 degree of the maverick. Woke up an hour ago and my temp dropped from 235 to 190 and was continuing to drop. You guys have any great ideas for stirring the coals to get the temp back up without having to remove the meat and rack? What a pain that was. Temp is coming back up though.

The dealer told me to light only 1 area in the center of the coals on low and slow cooks. He also said to put the meat on within 10 to 15 minutes of lighhting the fire. I tried it and it took forever for the egg to come up to temp. On the next one I think I will wait to get the temp stabilized before putting the meat on.

I'll try to get some pics if it ever gets done.

Comments

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,805

    Use a wiggle rod.  This is just a thin steel rod with about 1.5 inch "L" bent on the end.  Go in through the bottom draft door and poke up through the holes and wiggle around.

    A coat hanger will work in a pinch, but something a little thicker is better.  Someone posted a pic of an allen wrench taped to a long screwdriver ;).



    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 202
    Just chhecked it. Dome is reading 325 and the Maverick shows 266. Is it common for the done to read similar to the maverick at lower temps and then be way off at higher temps? Guess I need to calibrate the egg thermo as well.

    I can see it is going to take me awhile to get the hang of the egg.
  • BYS1981BYS1981 Posts: 1,545
    edited February 2013
    SPRIGS said:

    Just chhecked it. Dome is reading 325 and the Maverick shows 266. Is it common for the done to read similar to the maverick at lower temps and then be way off at higher temps? Guess I need to calibrate the egg thermo as well.

    I can see it is going to take me awhile to get the hang of the egg.

    It is common to have a difference of dome and grid temperature, but 70 degrees seems a bit hgh of a difference.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,920

    @SPRIGS-first up-welcome aboard and nothing like jumping in with a brisket!  Just reinforcing a couple of things you mentioned above and picked up on.  For any lighting of the BGE there are about as many ways to do it as there are posters, so experiment with a method that works for you.  (Try the search function here-or use google and add big green egg to your query).  Whereever you land, once you get a good bed of lump going, then add your hardware (platesetter, stone, cooking grid etc) but only add the meat once the smoke smells good.  That initial fire is burning lots of VOC's off the lump-thus the white smoke-not to be confused with smoke wood smoke.

    The other thing is to calibrate your dome thermo as you note.  Temperature differences are expected-the key is to have conficence in your indications.  Enough for now.

    Enjoy that brisket!

    Louisville
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 202
    I think this is the worse one I have ever done. I foiled for about an hour and a half to speed things along. When I went to seperate the point from the flat, I had to flip it over and lost most of my seasoning and bark. The flat was fairly juicy both little to no smoke flavor. Somewhat tough as well. It was Select. That was all I could find. Put the point back on for 1.5 hours. Went to cube it and it just fell apart. I'm about ready to go back to my WSM for low and slow! Really frustrated.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,920
    You obviously have a wealth of experience with Q.  I would offer that it sounds like your cook went fine all the way to the finish-line.  Sometimes it's the hunk of beef that is the culprit.  The BGE is a different approach to low&slow for sure but given the investment I would give it another go.  And you will find people on here are quite willing to offer suggestions should you ask.  And as you well know there are many roads that will get you to great Q. 
    Louisville
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,088
    Don't give up yet.  I'm sure you are close to getting good results.

    Some people on this group say to light it in one place for a low and slow. I used to do that and once my fire burned straight down and then went out. There was a lot of charcoal left but it wasn't lit. I now light in 4 places.  When you get your vents set right, the fire dies down and, with multiple  places lit, I think you will have fewer problems with the fire going out.

    I find it takes close to 30 minutes for the fire smoke to clear and the temperature to stabilize.

    The  Select grade of meat might have been your toughness problem but it also could be removing it before it was ready. You have to do a fork test to see how tender it is.  If the fork twists easily,  then it is time to remove.  This usually happens for me between 190 and 205 internal temperature.

    Give it another try.

    Two great sources of brisket cooking information are:

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

    and

    http://bubbatim.com/Bubba_s_Brisket.php
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 202
    Internal in the flat was 192. Stuck a probe in and it wasn't bad but not what I was expecting. Maybe should have let it go a bit. I didn't do a very good job of removing the point but the part of the point still on the flat was much more tender and juicy than the flat.

    What are you guys doing to get good smoke? I used approximately 5 larger pieces of Apple. I usually use Oak on brisket. Perhaps I should have stuck with what I am used to.

    Thanks for the tips and suggestions. I will keep trying. I am impressed with the eggs efficiensy. I about 2 hours ago I cranked it up a little to b urn out the gunk. Plan to remove ash tomorrow. It is at 425 right now - 19 hours later!
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,920
    edited February 2013

    I'm in the "probe goes in and out like butter" in the thickest part of the flat camp for doneness-start checking around 190 but usually see around 200*f when it's done-sounds like you had enough smoke wood-the trick is to make sure it is positioned in the lump to ensure the roving fire finds it during the cook.

    On a different note-I don't subscribe to burning lump to clean the BGE.  Figure the assortment of cooks will keep it manageable.  And if you get the temp too high you can plan on replacing your gasket or running commando.  But's that's a whole 'nother topic.

    Louisville
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,088
    The point has a lot more fat than the flat so it will always be more tender.

    For smoke I usually use 3 or 4 small chunks of wood - I like Apple and Pecan  the best.
    Barry Lancaster, PA
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 202
    lousubcap said:

    @SPRIGS-first up-welcome aboard and nothing like jumping in with a brisket!  Just reinforcing a couple of things you mentioned above and picked up on.  For any lighting of the BGE there are about as many ways to do it as there are posters, so experiment with a method that works for you.  (Try the search function here-or use google and add big green egg to your query).  Whereever you land, once you get a good bed of lump going, then add your hardware (platesetter, stone, cooking grid etc) but only add the meat once the smoke smells good.  That initial fire is burning lots of VOC's off the lump-thus the white smoke-not to be confused with smoke wood smoke.

    The other thing is to calibrate your dome thermo as you note.  Temperature differences are expected-the key is to have conficence in your indications.  Enough for now.

    Enjoy that brisket!

    Appreciate your suggestions. One question I have though is how can you possibly avoid the CVO's of the charcoal on a long, low and slow smoke. Not all charcoal is lit at the same time so your meat is going to be exposed to it as other ares of the coal catch fire. Heck - I don't even know what CVO's are. Ha! But I have heard guys warn of getting thin smoke before putting the meat on.

    Like I said, appreciate the tips. Trying to learn as much as possible and it's obvious from my low and slow with the egg, I have a lot to learn.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,920
    VOC's-Volatile Organic Compounds-fancy term for organic materials in lump and lots of other things-turns out that the BGE environment (even with the low&slow cook temp) drives the gases off even in the non-burning lump-thus once you see the "clean" smoke you are good to go.  There's a poster goes by "nolaegghead" that will likely be along with the actual carbon makeup of the VOC's and how the whole thing works but for now the above is good enough:)
    Louisville
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,019
    SPRIGS said:
    Currently have a 15 pound packer on the egg. Went on last night at 10:00. Have the Maverick monitoring temps. I checked the probes in boiling water last night and both held steady at 212. Dome thermometer is within 1 degree of the maverick. Woke up an hour ago and my temp dropped from 235 to 190 and was continuing to drop. You guys have any great ideas for stirring the coals to get the temp back up without having to remove the meat and rack? What a pain that was. Temp is coming back up though. The dealer told me to light only 1 area in the center of the coals on low and slow cooks. He also said to put the meat on within 10 to 15 minutes of lighhting the fire. I tried it and it took forever for the egg to come up to temp. On the next one I think I will wait to get the temp stabilized before putting the meat on. I'll try to get some pics if it ever gets done.
    @lousubcap     hahahah  yeah, you predicted right. :D

    @SPRIGS  Your dealer gave you some bad advice.   It usually takes 30-40 minutes to get good smoke for a low n slow freshly filled up with lump.  If the lump is previously burned, it can be ready in 15 minutes - but usually you refuel before a long cook.  I dunno where in the center you lit it, but if you lit the bottom of the candle (from the bottom) you'll be cooking coal fumes for a long time and the smoke will taste like an anthracite fired boiler. 

    You have to do some fire management in the egg - pretend it's a game where you set up a bunch of dominoes and they need to all get knocked down, but you can't make any corrections after the first one falls.  That's an exaggeration, but it's not that far from the truth.  I light one big (3-4" diameter) spot on the top, center but towards the front (because the fire will tend to burn back and down, then out).  Make a pyramid, somewhat, at least on top.  You want the fire to burn down, because you want, when you're heating up unburnt lump, the smokey unburnt gas products (VOCs!)  from that lump to rise up into your fire to be burned.  That way you get a sustainable "clean" fire and good smoke for a long time.  Don't take long for bad smoke to condense too much creosote and other chemicals on your cold food.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • SPRIGS said:
    Internal in the flat was 192...<snip>..
      What are you guys doing to get good smoke? I used approximately 5 larger pieces of Apple. I usually use Oak on brisket. Perhaps I should have stuck with what I am used to. ...
    hey there Sprigs!  Welcome!

    Brisket is a ballsy cook - try to take some pics for us, we love 'em around here...

    I do briskets regularly -  192* is usually too low a temp.  Try to make sure the brisket is tender before pulling it off the Egg.  Let that connective tissue really break down.  Select is a bit tougher, but it'll get there.

    As far as wood goes - Apple IMHO is too mild for brisket (beef, really).  Save it for pork and maybe turkey.  Use robust wood - Oak is good.  I use mesquite.  Yum.


    Hope it helps - get another brisket on there ASAP!  
    Large BGE -- Greensboro!


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