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OT-Lessons reaffirmed (thru many BGE cooks) from a brisket cook on a SM grill-OT basic principles

A brisket cook in a few paragraphs- an attempt to really get past all the myths-working backward from the finish- (You can stop reading here with the next line.)
Nail the finish feel- generally in the 203-208*F range. But the KEY is THE PROBE FEEL-WHEN SMOOTH in the thick part of the flat, you are there.
So, how do you get there-many options with many cookers but I prefer cooking at around 260-280*F on a BGE (does a nice job and is a fire and forget option-lazy for the most part).  However I have been known to experiment (later in this post)  and occasionally run a stick burner and recently a Santa Maria ( SM) Grill cook-the incentive for this thread,
Just manage the fire somewhere in the 260-280*F range and plan around an hour/lb cook time til the rest and FTC deal.  Sometimes you may not be rolling with a rig that affords you such accurate temperature info-don't go down that road for your first brisket.  
Smoke wood and how to load in a BGE-many threads here-Search to read more than you need to know.
Regarding the stick burner or SM rig-Post Oak if you can find it but hickory or any "heavy" smoke wood works.  I prefer cherry in the BGE.
When you declare victory with the feel-another critical piece is "stop the carry over cook" before the FTC.  Give the brisket at least a 20-30 minute cooling rack rest before the FTC.  
FTC for at least two hours if you can and longer if you can do it (2-6 hours is good).
Planning a brisket cook-
Work backward from the desired serving time (only slice on demand)--
Sort out your ball park cook time (Remembering the cow drives the cook)-factor in timing to hit the FTC window (2-6 hours in advance of serving) 
Stabilize your cooker and enjoy!

The back story about just nailing the feel-
Yesterday I cooked an 11.7 lb (post trim) packer on a recently acquired, (3rd cook) SM grill-totally not designed for this-post oak for the fire and "just nail the feel". He!! of a bunch of audibles throughout the adventure.  A few pics-

In progress over open flame-cooking fire on the left, feeder fire/coals on the right.

And the finish-better than I had anticipated.  Tasted great.
So, study your craft and be ready for the audibles.  Use your skills to bring it home and have fun along the way.  Knowing the fundamentals will enable anyone to produce great Q on any rig.  

Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!

Comments

  • GrateEggspectationsGrateEggspectations Posts: 7,828
    edited November 2022
    Great post, Frank. You’ve distilled the brisket cook down to a few very salient points. You missed the headliner though - “the friggin’ cow drives the cook”. 

    Can you tell us about the Santa Maria process? How do you light it and get it up to temp? is it strictly for direct cooking? I’m really in the dark, here. 
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 9,455
    That's a great start, but it would be great to learn some more details.  How long did it end up taking?  How much wood did you use - relative to an offset?  With all the heat coming from the bottom, did it cook significantly more there?  Is this a "fat side down" technique?  People want to know.

    Seriously though, great cook and post.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 28,205
    Thanks for the prods and I will attempt to answer the above-
    the cook took about 11 hours (totally in line with any similar weight brisket cook) and was fat side down all the way as I figured the heat shield was a necessity.  Turns out it served its intended purpose as the brisket stuck to the grate with much more adherence than on any fat down (sorry @Foghorn) BGE cook as this one was rolling direct.  And in keeping with that, it attached itself to the foil with great vigor as well.
    I had no idea how much brisket would become lost due to the direct nature of the cook but other than the above sections (around 1/8" thick each time) it worked out well.  
    Wood-wise and a true guesstimate, I figure I used at least 2 times the stick burner (small Lang 36 offset) consumption.  Not surprising given the open air nature of the process.
    I've gotta admit that taste and texture wise it was a winner.  
    It was quite an enjoyable project just to "give it a go".  I will need some distance from this outside the norm cook before I decide to roll it again.  
    BTW-"The cow drives the cook"   =) Yes, it was included above absent "friggin"!

    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 9,628
    Thanks so much @lousubcap !
    Visalia, Ca @lkapigian
  • lousubcap said:
    BTW-"The cow drives the cook"   =) Yes, it was included above absent "friggin"!

    Read your post several times before posting to be sure, but sure enough, there it is. I think it’s time I get to bed. 🙃
  • kl8tonkl8ton Posts: 4,665
    This cook will go down in brisket folklore. Awesome. 
    Large, Medium, MiniMax, & 22, and 36" Blackstone
    Grand Rapids MI
  • littlerascal56littlerascal56 Posts: 2,101
    edited November 2022
    Frank-what a cook!  And great write up. So it’s time to sell the Santa Maria and buy the next cooker? Or will you keep it in your stable?  Lots of new toys out there to experiment with…and that’s the fun part of BBQ! Never a dull moment.
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 16,474
    Daily bump, for the glory 
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    It amazes me, how many people do not realize how the future works.
  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,620
    Looking great!!  Looks like you are a natural right out the gate with the Santa Maria!!  Mine has been getting regular use lately with the cooler weather.
    XL, Small, Mini & Mini Max Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, 6 gal and 2.5 gal Cajun Fryers, BlueStar 60" Range, 48" Lonestar Grillz Santa Maria, Alto Shaam 1200s, Gozney Dome, Gateway 55g Drum
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 16,474
    This is one of the many details that screwed up a few of my initial trials.  Couldn't figure out why I overcooked them:

    "Give the brisket at least a 20-30 minute cooling rack rest before the FTC"

    That made a world of difference for me.
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    It amazes me, how many people do not realize how the future works.
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 9,628
    This is one of the many details that screwed up a few of my initial trials.  Couldn't figure out why I overcooked them:

    "Give the brisket at least a 20-30 minute cooling rack rest before the FTC"

    That made a world of difference for me.
    I concur , and I will pull earlier than probe tender if I plan on going straight into the warmer ..190ish to avoid pulled brisket 
    Visalia, Ca @lkapigian
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 5,256
    lkapigian said:
    This is one of the many details that screwed up a few of my initial trials.  Couldn't figure out why I overcooked them:

    "Give the brisket at least a 20-30 minute cooling rack rest before the FTC"

    That made a world of difference for me.
    I concur , and I will pull earlier than probe tender if I plan on going straight into the warmer ..190ish to avoid pulled brisket 
    Why concur when you can now agree?

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • Fantastic write-up, nice one as always.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Cooking and blogging with a Large and Minimax in deepest, darkest England-shire
    | My food blog ... BGE and other stuff ... http://www.thecooksdigest.co.uk
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  • ThatgrimguyThatgrimguy Posts: 4,620
    lkapigian said:
    This is one of the many details that screwed up a few of my initial trials.  Couldn't figure out why I overcooked them:

    "Give the brisket at least a 20-30 minute cooling rack rest before the FTC"

    That made a world of difference for me.
    I concur , and I will pull earlier than probe tender if I plan on going straight into the warmer ..190ish to avoid pulled brisket 
    For my Alto Shaam -  I pull around 190-195 and put it straight in at 150degrees. It sits there for 12+ hours and has been consistently by far the best briskets I have ever eaten anywhere. Rest is HUGE and in fact more important than probe tender. I have totally stopped probing and go by temp now.
    XL, Small, Mini & Mini Max Green Egg, Shirley Fab Trailer, 6 gal and 2.5 gal Cajun Fryers, BlueStar 60" Range, 48" Lonestar Grillz Santa Maria, Alto Shaam 1200s, Gozney Dome, Gateway 55g Drum
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