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Need some advice on my brisket cook - ran into a few problems

cmkrattcmkratt Posts: 51
edited February 2012 in EggHead Forum

So I followed the Bubba Tim brisket method this weekend, and hit a few snags. Appreciate any suggestions for future cooks.

So I started with a 9 lb trimmed brisket, select grade because I couldn't find choice. Injected, slathered, and rubbed per Bubba Tim method #1. I started with a clean egg with no ash or blocked holes. Had a calibrated temperature gauge and my maverick on the grid. Put a fresh load of Royal Oak Lump, but I didn't stack, just poured it in (may have been my first mistake). The lump filled the fire box, but I did not go above the firebox into the fire ring with the lump (maybe mixtake #2). Started the egg at 9 p.m. and took the brisket out of the fridge to warmup. I was trying to stabilize at 215 per Bubba Tim's guidelines. I tried to pinch the bottom vent to about 1/16 once the fire was going with the daisy wheel 1/2 closed, but choked the fire out twice. Finally opened the bottom vent to about 1/2 inch and closed the daisy wheel to about 1/4 open, and got the temp stabilized at 215. Put the wood chips, platesetter, and brisket on around 10:30 p.m. I opened the top vent to help the temp back up (probably mistake #3), then pinched it back down to 1/4 once i got to 215. Watched it for another hour, then went to bed around midnight.

Checked the egg at 6 a.m., and the egg had dropped to about 190 - 200, but the fire was still going. Made an adjustment and got the temp up to around 215. The temp fluctuated between 215 and 230 for most of the afternoon. Around 4 p.m., the temp started to drop, and i had to open everything wide to keep the temp up. By 5, I was only at 168 on my brisket temp, and had fallen to 200 on the egg.

At that point, I realized I probably had very little lump left, so I pulled the brisket and put in the oven at 300 (because the SB was about to kickoff, and i needed to get that brisket temperature up). Sure enough, the lump was down to just a couple pieces.

With the brisket in the oven, I reloaded the egg with lump, and fired up some sausages. I pulled the brisket once it passed the probe like butter test( at 205), separated the point for burnt ends, foiled and coolered  the rest. Sliced the brisket after an hour in the cooler. The brisket had great flavor and was tender, but drier than i would have preferred.

So a few questions and thoughts:

1. Obviously, a choice brisket would have been better.

2. Would stacked lump have lasted longer (seems strange to me, but maybe a more efficient burn)?

3. Should I have used more lump, leveling off above the firebox into the fire ring?

4. I guess I should have placed the platesetter in when first stabilizing the egg, and then just left the vent settings instead of helping the egg back up to temp when i put the brisket on?

5. Any other thoughts?

 

Thanks!

Comments

  • So I followed the Bubba Tim brisket method this weekend, and hit a few snags. Appreciate any suggestions for future cooks.

    So I started with a 9 lb trimmed brisket, select grade because I couldn't find choice. Injected, slathered, and rubbed per Bubba Tim method #1. I started with a clean egg with no ash or blocked holes. Had a calibrated temperature gauge and my maverick on the grid. Put a fresh load of Royal Oak Lump, but I didn't stack, just poured it in (may have been my first mistake). The lump filled the fire box, but I did not go above the firebox into the fire ring with the lump (maybe mixtake #2). Started the egg at 9 p.m. and took the brisket out of the fridge to warmup. I was trying to stabilize at 215 per Bubba Tim's guidelines. I tried to pinch the bottom vent to about 1/16 once the fire was going with the daisy wheel 1/2 closed, but choked the fire out twice. Finally opened the bottom vent to about 1/2 inch and closed the daisy wheel to about 1/4 open, and got the temp stabilized at 215. Put the wood chips, platesetter, and brisket on around 10:30 p.m. I opened the top vent to help the temp back up (probably mistake #3), then pinched it back down to 1/4 once i got to 215. Watched it for another hour, then went to bed around midnight.

    Checked the egg at 6 a.m., and the egg had dropped to about 190 - 200, but the fire was still going. Made an adjustment and got the temp up to around 215. The temp fluctuated between 215 and 230 for most of the afternoon. Around 4 p.m., the temp started to drop, and i had to open everything wide to keep the temp up. By 5, I was only at 168 on my brisket temp, and had fallen to 200 on the egg.

    At that point, I realized I probably had very little lump left, so I pulled the brisket and put in the oven at 300 (because the SB was about to kickoff, and i needed to get that brisket temperature up). Sure enough, the lump was down to just a couple pieces.

    With the brisket in the oven, I reloaded the egg with lump, and fired up some sausages. I pulled the brisket once it passed the probe like butter test( at 205), separated the point for burnt ends, foiled and coolered  the rest. Sliced the brisket after an hour in the cooler. The brisket had great flavor and was tender, but drier than i would have preferred.

    So a few questions and thoughts:

    1. Obviously, a choice brisket would have been better.

    2. Would stacked lump have lasted longer (seems strange to me, but maybe a more efficient burn)?

    3. Should I have used more lump, leveling off above the firebox into the fire ring?

    4. I guess I should have placed the platesetter in when first stabilizing the egg, and then just left the vent settings instead of helping the egg back up to temp when i put the brisket on?

    5. Any other thoughts?

     

    Thanks!




    I have a couple opinions...

    2.  I never stack...always just pour out of the bag and I never have any fire issues.

    3.  YES!  Fill it up.  I know I have seen a pic posted on here of a firebox properly filled, but on slow and lows - I always go to the top of the fire ring.

    On my vent settings, I would always set the bottom to about 1/2 to 3/4 inch and make my minor adjustments on top to stabilize.  I would stabilize for about 10 -15 min after the smoke starts to burn clean.  Worked like a charm for me everytime.  Now - I am spoiled, I set the BBQ Guru and let it do all the work.


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,751

    For low&slows I add lump up into the fire ring (LBGE) and can get 20+ hour cooks with a few hours left over.  I also partially stack in that I put larger pieces on the bottom to make sure of good air flow after cleaning out the old lump and ash.  I go with 250*F(+/-) on a calibrated dome temp and see 1.8-2.1 hrs/lb (on flats). You mentioned Bubba Tim's site-here are a few more with good info:

    http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/texas_brisket.html 
    http://www.nakedwhiz.com/recipes.htm
    http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/1996/03/brisket.html 
    Enjoy the journey-<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

     

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 491
    Start with more lump, and cook at a higher temp. Some might disagree, but there is no low and slow cook that needs to be cooked at less than 250 dome temp.

    So many late meals result from people screwing with dome temps less than 250. Cook at 250 to 275 dome, and everything gets easier, and the food comes out just the same.
  • GatoGato Posts: 766
    One thing I would say is when I'm cooking at low temps I have to be careful with the bottom vent. If you look into the vent the ceramic actually hangs over a bit from the edge (at least on mine). What I'm trying to say is if I get the bottom vent at only a
    1/16 of an inch it would probably actually be closed. Sorry if this is confusing. You just have to look carefully through the bottom vent and verify the actual opening for airflow when it is closed that much.
    Geaux Tigers!!!
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