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Brisket failure (again)

Was really excited yesterday as I picked up a prime brisket from Costco. The results were very disappointing. The point was very good but the flat was dry. I believe I over cooked it. Was a 13 lb packer. I had the probe in the thickest part of the flat. Cooked at a grate temp of 235. Started checking at 185 and ended up pulling it when the flat was reading 201. It was tough from the moment I started probing the flat at 185 and never got any better. In fact, it probably got tougher the longer I cooked it. Any chance this was actually done earlier? Never cooked a prime before so I am just guessing. I simply can't make a good brisket!! Ended up chopping the flat and added a little beef broth and sauce mix to hydrate it some. Edible but far from good.


  • EggbertsdadEggbertsdad Posts: 794
      I have strange cooks as well. Sorry your's was on a whole brisket. 

    Was your temp guage correct? A big hunk of beef like that shouldn't have gotten out of hand. With more fat in a Prime it should cook faster but you would have seen that in your temp checks.
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 9,726
    I'm going down that eggsact (Costco prime brisky) tonight/Sunday AM.  Sounds like you had the right parameters in place.  The only thing I would ask-"when probing the flat did it ever get to the "no resistance in and out" feel"? It could have been done sooner but hard to believe.  However, the point will yield salvation.  You can hose up the flat and still have about the best brisket available.  Next time focus on the point and treat the flat as a "strap-hanger".  Just an opinion...
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
  • They are a fickle bird, my friend. I've ruined a truckload of them. Keep trying- you are most likely closer than you think.

    What you just went through is the toughest of all to figure out- Still tough at temps that would say its ready. This is where "the feel" Comes in. The feel is expensive and comes from ruining a lot of Briskets. I'll throw a "pro tip" if you could call it that your way. If it's not mostly tender by 195, pull it , wrap it and let it rest for an hour or so in a cooler or on the counter if you want to eat within an hour or so. If it sucks after that, dust yourself off and live to fight another day.

    Btw- if you go over 200- don't wrap for the hold. Just let it sit out until it's still
    Hot but can handle with your bare hands. It will fall apart if you wrap if you pull it at too high of a temp

    And now I have even confused myself. Enjoy the ride and cook more. It will come to you soon enough.
    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 9,726
    @Cen_Tex-so it's a "push me, pull you" by feel gig we all sign up for...And here I thought I had a better handle on that finish-line  :)>-  No slack from those Texas brisket eggsperts! :)
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 8,156
    Not an expert here, but the prime briskets are a breed unto themselves. I'm actually considering going back to cooking choice packers because I may understand how they behave just a little bit better. Oh well, it's the journey that counts :)

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,793
    Don't fret it. I can tell you though that all my dry flats (which is all the briskets I've cooked so far), I've found that a flat chopped up and mixed with bbq on a bun, or chopped and put in some sort of chili or stew makes for a great meal and doesn't let any brisket go to waste.
    Dunedin, FL
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,895
    Every single steak I've ever cooked is perfect at exactly 140 degrees. Not one brisket has ever been done at the same temp. Use the temp only a a guide. They are done when they are done and you only figure out what that is by messing up a bunch. Several of us cook brisket all the time and we still mess up.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 19,592
    A prime shouldn't have that problem.  I think the flat was undercooked.  What thermometer are you using, an instant read?   You want to probe around with a good instant read and make sure you look for the coolest part of the flat - that's your temp.  If your probe is too close to the edge, it can show false high temps.  Also, check the calibration.

    The flat shouldn't get tougher if overcooked, it should just get over-rendered and dry, but it should be jiggly and loose.

    Anyway, just a theory, pics are helpful diagnostic tools to other forum members.  Don't give up.
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • GrillmagicGrillmagic Posts: 1,374

    Wow what a great thread, I have only cooked 3 flats since egging and thought they were all pretty good, I sliced them right and they all have great taste and had a nice pull, any way my wife and I are have a little shindig for 16 to 20 people and were planning a menu and I suggested a brisket and she says that's her least favorite meal that I egg? What!!! She suggested a bone in pork roast/loin. Dame it I'm still not ready to give up my BIG GREEN EGG CARD/MAN CARD how the hell am I gonna perfect this when the Mrs doesn't like it.

    Chuck King

    Dimondale, Michigan

    Dimondale, Michigan XL BGE
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 9,726
    Short answer-NFW (No F'ing Way).  If SWMBO isn't on the same page then you have two choices...and you can figure that equation.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
  • SGHSGH Posts: 21,038
    Sir sorry to hear that your brisket was not what you had aimed for. I'm certainly no brisket expert but I have cooked one or two of them and thus will just offer some general information that I find to be useful. First let me say that the people above are all far more experienced on the egg than I.
    So you would probably be better served to apply their offerings to cooking brisket on the egg. Why? My cooking brisket on the egg is almost nill. Oh I do one here and there on the egg but when I'm trying to show off or gain bragging rights I cook brisket on a reverse flow vertical cabinet or a offset direct fired unit that is tuned and baffled to the hilt. That being said my methods probably can't be practically applied to the ceramics. Nonetheless some of the info may prove useful. First let me say that when cooking any primal especially brisket there is a huge advantage to cooking over a massive water pan filled with liquid. Why? In my opinion it's a simple matter of the long and rigorous dwell time and exposure to heat for this time. Primals must be allowed time to render down and to achieve proper rendering a very long dwell time is required. Under these conditions I feel that a very humid atmosphere produces a superior product to a dry environment most of the time. Then there is the question of meat quality. Just because a cut says Prime or Angus this doesn't mean a successful cook is at hand. You can get subpar Prime cuts believe me. There is a good chance that your brisket was of poor quality and would not have turned out on point no matter how it was cooked or what it was cooked on. As others have already stated above brisket is fairly hard to perfect. Not impossible but it does require patience and attention to detail. I also feel to get the proper smoke profile on a primal one must cook with wood. Not use wood as a additive but as the fuel source it's self. That being said I also feel that the smoke adheres better to meat in a moist environment vs a dry environment. I know that this is subjective to say the least but I feel that it's true beyond question or doubt.
    I have rambled more than enough so let me recap real quick. Meat quality, cooking environment, atmosphere and fuel source are all important to produce a perfect end product even if the cook does his or her part. In conclusion, sometimes it just isn't in the stars my friend. Don't give up. Keep turning them out and ultimately you will nail it. Good luck in the future my friend.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
  • texaswigtexaswig Posts: 1,679
    The first Costco prime I smoked ,pulled it at 205 and it was a little overdone ,but not dry.I pretty much just pull them at 195 and wrap them now.
    Greenville ,Tx

    Xl bge with woo2 and ajustable rack
  • SPRIGSSPRIGS Posts: 299
    Had the Maverick in the thickest part of the flat. Checked the flat with my thermapen several times in several places and the Maverick was dead on when I checked with the thermapen in the spot the Maverick was inserted.

    Appreciate all the help and suggestions. Not gonna give up but brisket simply kicks my a$$ pretty much every time.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 9,726
    Welcome to the a$$ kicked club...But when you hit one then you gladly saddle up for another A$$ kick.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs 
    Pit Barrel Cooker
  • SkinnyVSkinnyV Posts: 3,102
    Yeah fickle for sure , sometimes its up to the meat.
    Great news is a dry flat makes a great beef sandwich chopped up.

    I've done10 on the egg and 30-40% I say I wasn't excited about.
    Seattle, WA
  • HotchHotch Posts: 2,351
    If I get one of these I put in a pan with 4-5 bottles of beer , seal with foil and put in oven @ 300 for an hour or two.

    "Politics I supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." Ronald Reagan 2 March 1977

    Large BGE, MiniMAX BGE, 2 Mini BGE's, R&V Fryer, 36" Blackstone Griddle, Camp Chef Dual Burner 40K BTU Stove
    BGE Chiminea
    Prosper, TX
    N Texas BBQ Brethren Bash Fall 2016 (LINK)
    Please Drive thru to the First Window
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,154
    I struggled with many briskets until I was at Coopers BBQ in Llano, TX. Their brisket was melt in your mouth. After eating, I went outside and was complimenting a pit master on how great their brisket was and how mine sucks. He told me they cook their briskets for 6 hours. Depending on the size of brisket will be the temp you need. I find a 12-14 lb brisket needs 325° - 340°. When the meat gets to 145°, wrap in foil and continue cooking until 205°. For me, it was a game changer. I've had neighborhood block parties and overheard people commenting that they were amazed they could cut the brisket with a plastic fork.
    I feel a low temp with red meat will dry it out.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 9,862
    I have done only three briskets. Each better than the last. Other than mine, i have never eaten brisket. Tried it just because of the hype.

    The last attempt was good enough to learn that, well, I don't much like brisket. Not enough to go to the trouble again anyway. Or stand in line in Austin if I ever get there.

    I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded... dead.

                                                      Woody Allen

    Central Connecticut 

  • SkinnyVSkinnyV Posts: 3,102
    @Carolina Q

    +1 on standing in line. No food can excite me that more than 30-45 mins.....OK maybe an hour I'd wait. Kind of like a Disney ride.
    Seattle, WA
  • Austin  EggheadAustin Egghead Posts: 3,544
    Don't get off that horse, keep trying.  
    Understanding a brisket takes time and it takes many cooks till you get the cooking feel of that cut.  As for the "failures"  re-purpose those briskets into chili, sloppy joes, stews, tamale pies etc....
    Large, small and mini SW Austin
  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 906
    +1 with @bigguy136. I cooked my last brisket turbo, 325 grate, and foiled at 160. The flat was very moist, the first time for me. The whole thing was done in six hours or so (12 lbs. trimmed tight).
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
  • minniemohminniemoh Posts: 1,701
    @SPRIGS - I just had the same thing happen with a Costco prime packer last weekend. My pit temp was 225-250 (the temp range that I've had the most success with). I pushed internal to over 200 degrees trying to get a couple of spots in the flat tender. Then I FTC'd for 4 hours (road trip) and the flat was dry and basically shredded as I tried to slice it. 

    On my previous couple of efforts, I pulled them when there was still a couple of "stiffer" spots in the flat and they got tender through the rest. Keep after it, you'll get the results you're looking for. 
    L x2, M, S, Mini and a Blackstone 36. She says I have enough now....
    eggAddict from MN!
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