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Brisket results from dome/grill temp testing

DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
edited 12:36AM in EggHead Forum
Well first off, the brisket turned out pretty good. Nice texture, fairly tender when sliced . . didn't knock my socks off like some of ribs, pork butts, steaks, and butterflied chickens that I've done. It could have been better.[p]I found out some interesting things with the testing, though. Nature Boy was correct about the variance in dome/grill temps when using a plate setter for indirect cooking. Since I don't have firebricks, I don't have the ability to do 'comparison testing'. Maybe the next time, I'll do the testing using a water-filled drip pan only, with the brisket on a grid extender. But I really don't see how any indirect setup is going to prevent the direct heat from the coals from reaching the dome probe.[p]But the jury is still out (in my mind at least) on what constitutes a "cooking temp". I did the brisket yesterday using the 'potato' and 'top' probes, and adjusted the vents accordingly for 225 degrees on those probes, which translated to 280 - 300 degree dome probe temps.[p]But . . . . it was an 11.5 pound brisket, which using the cooking method of 1.25 to 1.5 hours per pound, should have resulted in a 14 to 16 hour cook. But I put that brisket on at 7 A.M and it reach a 185 degree internal at 5 in the afternoon. So something is wrong. I'm wondering if a 200 grid level would be a lot better. With a just a 10 hour cook for a nearly 12 pounder, it didn't spend that much time in the plateau.[p]Comments?


  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Great report, and valuable info was gleaned from your time. Sounds like you learned a bunch. As did we. Do what works for you on the brisket regarding the cooking temps. A bit lower could be in order. And now knowing your cooking level you can more accurately judge your cooks, and adjust to fit your liking. [p]There ARE briskets with less connective tissue that tend to go quickly....turbo briskets. You cudda had one. [p]Another option, like Cat and JimM talk about, is watching your internal temp, and lowering the cooking temp if the plateau is moving too quickly...thus giving more time for the magic breakdown.[p]Cheers on you. great info.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
    Nature Boy,[p]No, it's you I need to thank. Since I got all those thermometers now, I'll probably use some of them for all my cooks from now on. I'll let you know what I find out. Again, thanks for all your help.

  • DavidR,
    I want to say this is not about where you should use foil or not, but for the purposes of dome temp vs: grate temp, the test was over when you foiled the brisket. At that point your cooker became a simple oven for the test purposes.
    One thing you need to keep in mind is 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound is a simple guide and if use time as your guide you will have very mixed results when it comes to brisket.
    For our purposes lets use 225º as grate temp once the internal temp reached 150 to 160º the rendering of fat and the break down of collagen has just started, at this point if you can maintain an internal in this range for a few hours the break down of collagen is tenderizing and liquidifing keeping the brisket moist.
    For the purpose of the test not foiling would have given you more info.
    The reason for the 10 hour cook is the foil, which is fine if speed is your goal. The best briskets I've ever cooked where not foiled, the texture was better and so was the flavor.
    As a rub cooks it changes flavor, if you have a good brisket rub it will give you the results your looking for 12 to 16 hours into the cook. By foiling and cooking the brisket in it's own fat it changes the texture and flavor print of that brisket.

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Jim Minion,
    Do you foil the brisket when you remove from the cooker? Or just rest on a cutting board?[p]Thanks
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Nature Boy,
    I will take off just a litte early plastic wrap and foil if I'm going to hold for any lenght of time, it will tenderize all the way while holding.
    If it's a competition and I hit right on I will tent with foil while resting on the cutting board.

  • DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
    Jim Minion,[p]Your response is appreciated and informative. If you don't mind me asking, what do you use for a brisket rub? I used the JJ's rub, and I've realized I don't much care for it on brisket. Also, do you ever marinade your briskets?[p]The next brisket, I won't foil it. I want to see how long I can keep it in the plateau. [p]Another question that I have is . . . If the the grate temp gets so low during the plateau run, that the internal temp actually drops . . how does that effect the collagen breakdown? That has happened to me during overnite cooks.[p]
  • DavidR,
    Now your asking for the real secrets! :D
    But here it goes:
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 cup garlic salt
    1/4 cup onion salt
    1/4 cup celery salt
    1/4 cut season salt
    1/2 cup pepper
    1/2 cup paprika
    2 TBS dry mustard
    1 ts cumin
    1 ts ginger
    1/4 cup New Mexican Chili PEPPER (not powder)
    1/8 cup cayenne
    as you can see I like a little heat but over 12 to 16 hours of cooking this not as hot as you would think.
    I also make it larger quanities you may want to cut it down to smaller portions.

  • DavidRDavidR Posts: 178
    Jim Minion,[p]Thanks for the 'secrets' ;)

  • MarvMarv Posts: 177
    Jim Minion, Still enjoying my visit in Oregon, but can't stay away from the forum.
    I would like to say, for my tastes, using foil on a brisket makes it taste more like a steamed roast instead of brisket.
    I would also like to say just because the brisket reaches an internal temp of 185, does not mean it is tender. It is done by the standards, but it needs to cook longer to make it tender. Using the 'fork twisting method' will work in most tests.
    It seems that most folks are afraid of that 'long cook' needed to get the best results.[p] Good luck to everyone and just to let you know, I yoo have some cooks that turn out better than others.[p]Marv

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