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Brisket help

I've researched the art of Brisket to death on this site and have finally mounted the courage to take one on. I think I have a good plan but was hoping some of you experts can weigh in. I got a nice choice packer today, but the smallest one Kroger had was 15.5 lbs, which is a little bigger than what I wanted. I would like it to be done by 1pm on Sunday so it has time for a nice long FTC rest and to also give me time to attempt burnt ends. I'm targeting 250 at the grate so I was thinking of putting it on at 9pm Sat night does that sound right? Not doing anything special, just throwing it on and won't open till the Mav says 190.

When it's done, I thought I'd let it rest for an hour or so before removing the point, and depending on time either putting the point back on for another hour or two before curbing it and putting it in a pan of sauce and then going for an hour or so, or just going directly to cubes and in the pan. I'll return the flat to the FTC and hold it until the burnt ends are done with hopes of serving everything around 5 for an early Easter dinner.

I'm sure I'll have a couple of hiccups along the way, but does this at least sound reasonable?

Thanks in advance.
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Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,163
    Put some oak in there.  Sounds reasonable to me....some of the Texas purists are going to scoff at the burnt ends, but ignore them. ;) Once you're around 190 in the flat, start checking the flat to see if it's done - a temp probe should slide in easily with very little resistance.  Don't worry about the point.  Cen-Tex is the resident brisket meister, he'll probably chime in - I've done 5 or 6 briskets but he's done hundreds.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • First of all, Boiler UP!!! Haven't gotten many good occasions lately to say that especially with that other school down here in the southern half of the state doing so well.

    I just did my first brisket last night/today. I kept it between 205 and 225 and had it at 195 in almost exactly 12 hours. It was a 16 pounder before I trimmed a little fat off. Then FTC for 3 hours. It was really moist and good. I might start a little earlier Saturday night just to be sure and that way you can have a little extra time in the cooler if need be. Best of luck! I had a blast with mine. There is plenty of good info on here.
    LBGE and recently added SBGE
    Columbus IN
  • BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 272

    Put some oak in there. 

    Yessir, have some oak chunks ready for the occasion.

    First of all, Boiler UP!!!

    BOILER UP!! Had an off year but at least not an off decade like those you are referring to. And for tonight only: GO ORANGE!
  • 15.5lbs will trim down to 13ish. 250 degrees =  roughly 1.5 hrs per lb which = 19.5 hour cook on a 13 lb brisket. So 9 pm is not the number for pulling at 1pm Sunday. I would put it in around 6pm . A brisket that size will hold easily for 6 hours in a cooler if it gets done early. I don't think it will be done earlier if you are good at holding temp.



  • BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 272

    15.5lbs will trim down to 13ish. 250 degrees =  roughly 1.5 hrs per lb which = 19.5 hour cook on a 13 lb brisket.



    Question about trimming - the package says it has been trimmed, so do I need to do more? Also, I thought I read another post where you said you budget 1-1.25 hours per lb when you do 275-300 dome. Since I'm shooting for 250 at the grate, wouldn't that be about the same? Definitely not questioning the master, just hoping to clarify.

    Thanks.
  • always question. 250 grid is not going to be 275-300 dome. maybe 20 degrees dofference at first but it will settle in pretty close on a 20 hour cook. It may be 10-15 degrees apart after a few hours. If you go 275-300 dome you will be about an hour per lb. 

    Send me a pic of the brisket out of the cryo with the fat cap up. also take a pic of both sides so I can show where to trim out all the hard fat.



  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,295
    Howdy Boilermang.
    Lots of advise already from some great cooks. Part of the challenge is taking all the info you are gathering, and making it your own, and making sure you can get good hot moist meat on the table at 5. 

    My intent is not to throw a curve into things, but to tell you what works for me. I cook briskets that size pretty often in a competition setting, and for a 1:30 turn in time we put the brisket on at 11pm. We hold a grate temp of 240, and it is usually ready to pull off around noon. My preferred holding time is under 2 hours, but there is no reason you can't hold longer. If I was serving at 5, I would not want the thing on the cooker before midnight, even with a 4 hour window for holding it. If you start it early, IMO your cooker temp needs to be more like 225.

    Good luck, and have fun with it!
    Chris


    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Mine tend to take a little longer at that temp but they are all their own critter. Chris has cooked a ton of them and won lots of hardware so he knows of what he speaks

    "Part of the challenge is taking all the info you are gathering, and making it your own, and making sure you can get good hot moist meat on the table at 5. "

    I think that is why it takes so long to get it right. Disseminating all this info down to what works for you. 

  • I would put it on later and you can always bump up the temp to finish if you need to. I would hate it if it were done at 9 am. Check it around 11am and see where it is. Should be out of the stall by then if it held steady all night. If you don't feel it's on track to be ready by 1 you can bump it up to like 275 ish and it will finish up pretty quick.



  • BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 272

    Thanks for your help.  After taking it out of the cryo, I think I see what you mean.  I wasn't expecting the fat to be so thick and you really can't tell that unless you pull it out and feel it.

    Here are the photos I just took.

     

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,295
    I would put it on later and you can always bump up the temp to finish if you need to. I would hate it if it were done at 9 am. Check it around 11am and see where it is. Should be out of the stall by then if it held steady all night. If you don't feel it's on track to be ready by 1 you can bump it up to like 275 ish and it will finish up pretty quick.


    Great points. A lot of success, especially if you are trying to have the best product at a certain time, is the ability to make adjustments. I get up at 5am after the night guy goes til 3am, and I am very happy if the brisket is sitting at 165. Over 170 and I am notching down the cooking temp, and if it is in the 150s, cooking temps go up. 

    Boiler, looks like a nice chunk o chest there. Don't be afraid to take the fat off the point end so you have tasty bark on the meat. I leave the fat on the bottom of the flat, but all the fat comes off the top of the flat. You'll do fine!

    Cheers
    Chris
    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,167

    Chris,

    You going to GA Mountain?

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Dang! Brisk-O-Potamus! That's a biggun. I leave 1/8 of the fat cap on and eat it. I love a little fat on mine but if you leave too much, it's nasty. If you want to do it like me, trim down the thicker parts on the fat cap to around 1/8". You will still have very firm bark over the 1/8" of fat cap. However you do it, do NOT trim or scrape the bark off. If you don't want any fat, do it Chris' way. The bark is where all the flavor is (smoke and spice). It's basically a roast under that. i've never understood guys that spend all that time getting bark and then scrape the fat cap off. When I see that, I run. So if you like a little fat, trim to 1/8", if you want none, trim it off. I've always felt it helped keep the meat moist, but I've never done one with no fat cap so I don't have anything to compare it to. 

    No matter how you do it, any fat that is hard to the touch needs to go. I can see in pic 1 that there is a pretty good vein of it running down that side. It won't render down and get soft like the other fat will so it has to go. if it feels harder than the fat on the top of the fat cap, trim it off. This fat is normally down one side and there is usually also a pretty good chunk between the point and flat. See 3.jpg (the middle pic). That "eye" of fat should be pretty hard. Cut that out until it gets to a point where it starts to get more pliable. These can be 2-3" deep or maybe a little more. Just get as much as you can without deforming the brisky. You can cut the rest off when you separate the point/flat when you do burnt ends. You are own your own with those. I don't do them but they are really tasty. 

    If it's too big to fit right away, you can kind of push it together like an accordion at first. It won't hurt anything and it will shrink down plenty during the cook.



  • Here is a pic of the last one I did after trimming. It may help a little but you just have to do a few. You can see all the hard fat is gone and all the thick part of the fat cap are trimmed thin


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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,295

    Chris,

    You going to GA Mountain?

    No, and I am bumming about it bigtime.  If you are driving down, swing through Virginny!
    DizzyPigBBQ.com
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • and here is a pic of sliced flat- you can see how thin the fat cap is in these pics. The bark will still set up nice and I like that little bit of fat in the bite (it's all personal preference so pick your poison)


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  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,384
    I think we should start calling it the Cen-Tex method. I like the sound of that.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • apparently I don't do smoke rings so Chris can probably help you there too! If you really want one, you need a cold brisket, lower temp fire for a few hours and some moisture, Either water in your drip pan or spray your brisket with water every half hour for the first 2 or 3. I am anti spray so i don't do it.  Some guys get them naturally, I have to play with it to get them. They taste the same.

    have fun and let us know if we can help 

  • That looks absolutely fantastic!
    LBGE and recently added SBGE
    Columbus IN
  • I think we should start calling it the Cen-Tex method. I like the sound of that.
    Nope. You sir are the only one with a method.

  • BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 272
    Thanks, CenTex that does help. I'll probably trim her up tomorrow and post some photos to see if I'm on the right track. I know this thing is a monster, but it was the smallest one I could find after visiting two Tom Thumbs that had only flats, and then at Kroger they had this one and a 17 pounder. We don't have HEB up here in Dallas area and no CM nearby where I am.
  • Disseminating all this info down to what works for you. 

    That obviously makes no sense but I think you get the idea :))



  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,163
    edited March 2013
    Let us know how the "CEN-TEX" method works for ya!  :D ;)  :))
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,302
    edited March 2013
    @Cen-Tex - does the fat cap go up or down when you do your "method" (sorry, couldn't resist - had to throw that last bit in there)?

    Your pics above look like the fat cap must have been facing up, but I thought you mentioned somewhere that you flipped your brisket over to slice it.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 1,108
    Cen-Tex is all over this thread. Great advice. Bookmarked. And good luck!
    Large BGE -- Greensboro!


  • caliking said:
    @Cen-Tex - does the fat cap go up or down when you do your "method" (sorry, couldn't resist - had to throw that last bit in there)?

    Your pics above look like the fat cap must have been facing up, but I thought you mentioned somewhere that you flipped your brisket over to slice it.

    I always go up but that's just because that's how I learned. I did one down last year for fun and it made no difference. It's a little prettier when it's up because if the fat sits on the grid, it makes deeper grid marks than if it sits on the meat side. And I'm nothing if not all about aesthetics :))

  • BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 272
    Ok I spent an hour trimming it.  Could you please take a look and let me know if this is close to how it should look?  Where I'm questioning myself is in the layer of fat between the flat and the point on the non-fatcap side, not sure if I got enough.  Also, in the fat cap side there is a darker area where the fat is thin, so I didn't really touch that - is that right?  Appreciate the advice.
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  • BoilereggerBoileregger Posts: 272
    Don't know why those photos went upside down - they are right side up on my pc!
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,163
    Any fat inside - for example that splits the point or the point from the flat, it's removal post-cook isn't going to sacrifice any bark, so it's not a worry.  Looks good to me.  I'll dig into that fat vein now and then, but it's easy to scrape out when you're carving.  You have to separate those sections to cut against the grain anyway.
    ______________________________________________
    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 

  • An hour???? Oh lord. Nothing good can happen trimming meat for an hour :). Mine take 5 minutes max.

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