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Brisket, I need help...

DunderDunder Posts: 3
edited 8:27PM in EggHead Forum
I am from Australia, my wife is from Texas... I convinced her to allow me to buy a BGE so as to cook some tender brisket, only problem is that after attempt # 4 it is is as tough and chewy as my RM's (Australian boots).
I'm not sure if it is the meat i buy (I get it from costco) as I have no butcher in the vicinity, or the way I cook, although I have followed to the tee, the directions on this site... The most recent attempt I cooked undisturbed for 18 hours, and although edible, not the same as the Brisket I have when I travel down south.
Any help/advice would be most welcome


  • BKBK Posts: 19
    Tell me what your doing, I've cooked about 20 briskets now , never had one fail to please my guests. Maybe I can help.

  • dunder,
    A thorough description of what you have been doing would help others offer suggestions you could put to use.[p]In general:
    . Set-up: plate setter-legs up; drip pan slightly elevated off of the plate setter, grate, and brisket. I know it sounds like a waste, but pouring a full can of Fosters in the drip pan at the start wouldn’t hurt.
    . A whole "packer trim" brisket, which includes the flat and the point (smaller, fattier section), cooks up better than a smaller cut.
    . Some people believe that choosing a more limber brisket at the meat market will render a more tender brisket after it is cooked.
    . You can cook at higher temps to push the brisket through the plateaus faster, but low-n-slow is the way to go for tender results. You want about 115*C at the grate. Don’t go over 120*C.
    . Do not pull it off until you have an honest internal temp of 90*C. 93*C is not overcooked.
    * The rest time in a warm cooler is just as important as any other part of the preparation. Do not skip or skimp on it!
    . The grain of the beef runs in different directions in the point and flat. Separate the two before slicing, and always slice thin and across the grain.
    . For burnt ends, cut the point into 2cm cubes, put a light coat of rub on them, put them in an aluminum pan with some of your favorite BBQ sauce, and then put them back in the Egg for another hour or two.

  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,652
    Michael B, nice write up, only can add, fat cap down, use choice grade or better grade cuts, make sure the drip pan is under the entire brisket and point toward the back of the egg. Let it rest at least a good hour in the cooler. ACGP, Inc.
  • tjv,
    Just another example: The Group Knows.[p]I also orient the plat setter with one leg lined up with the hot spot near the back of the Egg.

  • dunder,
    I also shop Costco for meat. I have never seen anything but "flats" at my particular location. Likewise I have had four unsuccessful attemps at a moist tender brisket. (Over the past two years)
    Best of luck, you're not alone.

  • dunder,[p]Great information from Michael B. I cook the flats also and had the same terrible experience with my first one too. You will find many methods for briskets here. Just find a technique that you like. I do most of what Michael B says. I cook with my grate temperature at 200. I use the weight of the flat brisket to determine the length of the cook. I aways use 2 hrs for every pound. That gives you a total cook time of 8 hours. I will wrap in foil at the halfway mark, which is 4 hours. I will also pour a beer in with my wrapped in foil brisket. Then return to the BGE for the rest of the cooking. Keep in mind I only use the time for a baseline. You should pull your brisket in the 190-200 internal temperature range. Good luck and hope all the information helps.
  • EddieMacEddieMac Posts: 423
    I think it's the meat! I guess you're smoking flat and that's likely the problem. I've never smoked anything but a whole, packer cut brisket and I've yet to produce a bad one on the BGE. Go see a real butcher, get a whole brisket, it will be between 12 - 14 pounds, trim it so it fits and get busy! Sounds like you have the process down to a 't' but it's the meat. Get that whole brisket and get the results you're looking for![p]Ed McLean
    Ft. Pierce, FL

  • dunder,
    my first brisket was cooked to a red meat temp of 155 deg farenheight[p]maybe that's the problem...the meat has to go to 195-100 deg far.[p]good luck and keep us posted.[p]Jan

  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,652
    eddiemac, I prefer flats over packers. I'm not much of a point fan, except grinding for burgers. For flats I only buy choice grade, above 5.5 pounds and look for even thickness end-to-end. So far so good on tenderness...but then I live in Texas, LOL. T ACGP, Inc.
  • Thanks for the replies and offers of help.
    My setup is similar to Michael B's description, plate setter legs up with one leg to the rear, a drip pan with water directly on top of the plate setter, then the grate with the brisket fat side down.
    I had the dome temperature at 225-250, but don't know what the grate temperature was.
    It seemed to plateau at 135 as it sat there for a few hours but then sat at 155 for another couple?
    As mentioned, the meat is from Costco, so maybe as a few people have suggested, I will have to venture out and find a butcher (anyone know a butcher in the Washington DC area)?
    The cooked meat looks nice enough, a nice smoke ring, but tough as nails.[p]Any other advice would be most appreciated

  • Forgot to mention, that I pulled it off one the internal meat temp read 195

  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    dunder,[p]I buy all my briskets at Costco and they are all choice and have always been very good quality.[p]Look them over and try to choose one with good even marbling and even thickness as tjv had indicated.[p]The selection is yours. You can even ask the folks at the meat counter if they have any more in the back to view. In my opinion, bigger briskets almost always turn up better.[p]Another option is to mop that brisket. I usually mop mine from the post-plateau temps until done - about every 20-30 minutes with a beer/bbq sauce/honey mixture.[p]
  • dunder,
    Washington DC is a l-o-n-g way from Australia! If I'd known you were her I wouldn't have converted all the temps to C. (Don't know how to convert to SI)
    225* - 250* dome is fine. Dome readings will be a little higher than grate when cooking indirect.
    For your next cook, look cor choice grade and choose one that is limber and has white fat as opposed to yellow fat.
    A flat cooks up fine in a crock pot, but I've always had much better results with a packer in the Egg.

  • dunder,[p]You are pulling it off too soon. Let the temp get to 190 then pull it off and wrap it in foil and let it rest for and hour or more in a cooler. THEN take it out and slice. [p]Costco meats are terrific, you just need to take the temp high enough and let it sit longer.[p]This method would even make your boots yummy.
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