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Can someone review my brisket numbers for me?

McPhreakMcPhreak Posts: 42
edited 4:36AM in EggHead Forum
I just purchased a 16# brisket for my superbowl party (I didn't realize it was that big until the cashier weighed it!) :laugh: . Based on what I've read, at 225 degrees, I should expect to cook it for about 23 or so hours (don't know the final weight after removing the packaging and trimming). Add 2-3 hours for resting post-cook and I'm looking at about a 4pm Saturday start time. Does this sound right?

Right now I'm most concerned about having enough charcoal in the egg. If I fill my large BGE halfway up the fire ring, will this be sufficient for the day-long cook?

Thanks in advance.


  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Sounds about right, but you'll have a better time trying to keep that egg at 250* dome temp.
  • McPheak,

    To be safe you may want to "pack the egg" start with a clean egg, no ash. Build charcoal with large pieces on the bottom. You might want fill it up to almost the top of the fire ring with charcoal. Enjoy.

    What else are you serving and when is the front door going to be open... I'll bring some adult beverages in cold bottles :whistle:
    Wilson, NC
    Large BGE - WiFi Stoker - Thermapen - 250 Cookbooks

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,521
    Howdy Phreak.
    Sounds like a beauty.

    You could cook it 23 hours if you want to go that slow. I used to cook them that slow, and they were always good, but I realized that at 225 dome I was really starting the meat out at about 180 (at the cooking level). The key is to monitor your temperature at the meat level and keep that temp at 225-240. Usually my dome reads 300 for the first part of the cook in order to keep my cooking level at 225-240. Takes me about 15 hours for a big brisket.

    A long rest in the cooler won't hurt, so it might be safe to start it 16 or 18 hours before serving time. Running out of fuel is almost never a problem unless it's really cold out. Even then, a full load should hold you fine.
    Good luck!
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    I agree with what I've read so far, but I would fill to the top of the fire ring. Why go only halfway? A bit higher temp will serve you better for tending the temp and for final product.
  • Thanks for all the quick replies. So if I go 250 dome temp, I can expect to finish cooking just a little over 1 hour/lb?

    Also, do people bother basting their brisket during cook or is this unnecessary for the BGE?

    BTW, Nature Boy, the recipes on your site are very informative. The pictures are definitely helpful. I will probably be placing another order with you soon as my dizzy dust is out and my other rubs are running low. When are you going to be supplying stores in Baltimore? So close yet so far.... :cheer:
  • Big'un wrote:
    I agree with what I've read so far, but I would fill to the top of the fire ring. Why go only halfway? A bit higher temp will serve you better for tending the temp and for final product.

    I just figured with the platesetter in there, I would have some clearance issues. I think I recently read a post where someone was having issues lighting their egg because the top of the charcoal was too close to the platesetter and not enough air was getting in there. :blink:
  • I have a medium and when I do 18 hour cooks I load the lump to within 1" of the fire ring and bottom of platesetter. Never had a problem. I would also plan 18 hours cooking at 250 dome and allow 2 hours rest in a cooler. Ramp up the heat at the end if you absolutely have to. The plateau will hit around 170 and can take 4 hours to get through patient.
  • AbelmanAbelman Posts: 62
    With brisket, butts and most other low and slow smokes, I use foil at some point. For a brisket, wrap it in heavy duty foil around the 165 mark once you break the plateau and put some apple juice in the bottom of the foil.

    That will speed up your time and it won't hurt the brisket. You didn't say if you were slicing it or pulling it so that makes a big difference on final internal temps as well. I slice at 180 and pull at 205 internal.

    Even of you run out of lump or patience or beer, once foiled, it's really not a problem to finish it in the oven at 250 either.

    As for the plateau, it might give you only one or perhaps two which has happened to me. They plateau typically around 155 degrees. You have to wait it out, don't ramp up the temps and don't get concerned even if the temp drops which is not out of the ordinary. The worst case is that it doesn't plateau which is a rarity. Those tend to be togh and dry cuts after all is said and done.

    With that said, if you do slice, make sure you slice it across the grain of the meat. If you slice with the grain, ends up being a tough piece of meat.

    As for the cooler, it will last hours in there so don't be concerned about that.

    On a 16 lb brisket with the foil, I would say 14-16 hours. You need at least an hour in the cooler but you could do 6 hours in there easily. Put a towel on the bottom of the cooler so it doesn't melt or you can wrap the foiked brisket in the the towel if you want but I don't find that's needed. Also, you can use an oven as well as a cooler. You just need the insulating quality.

    So, just to be clear, it may take 14-16 hours if things work out just right and the plateau is minimal. Get it done early and use the cooler to your advantage. So back off 20-22 hours and you'll be fine.
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,521
    It's really hard to say what will happen if you keep your dome at 250, because there are so many variables. Without knowing your temp at grate level, it's a guess. But 250 dome is a better idea than 225. No need to baste. It will look dry once it forms a bark, but then once the collagen renders out and the fat melts, it will start getting glossy on top. That's when you know it's almost done.

    Thanks for the kind words. The website needs updating bigtime, but glad to hear you found it informative. stores in BTown? Dang.

    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
    Instagram: @DizzyPigBBQ
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    The majority of the air should be coming from underneath flowing upward. I'd just hate it if you had to stop and reload,then stablize,(or just finish in the oven) because the chances are that you'd be in the plateau. I think you'll be fine! I hope you take some pics, especially of the sliced.
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