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Anatomy of an overnight brisket cook

edited 11:37AM in EggHead Forum
While not nearly as expert as most on this board, I have cooked several briskets low and slow overnight and thought I should share my efforts. I just completed another long, overnight 15 hour cook.[p]Everyone seems to prepare their meat differently. I use coarse kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. I liberally put it on both sides and then refrigerate for more than 4 hours.[p]To prep the BGE, I ensure that there is a lot of large chunks of fresh lump. You can leave some of the old, used lump from previous cooks, just make sure you have about 75% fresh lump. I light the lump in at least 2 places and leave the BGE open until the lump is well lit. Once multiple coals are burning very well, I spread the coals around. This ensures that during the night, there are multiple areas burning slowly and this way my fire never goes out. You have to be careful here to not let the egg get too hot. If it gets too hot, it is hard to get the temp back down. My egg will heat up to about 350 while I do this procedure. [p]Once the coals are spread out, I'll put a few more big pieces of lump on and close her up. I throw in some mesquite and apple wood (big chunks--about 6 or 7). I'll adjust the top daisy wheel so that it is open just a slit and the bottom vent open about 1/8". The temp will drop to about 225 and then I'll put the brisket on, fat side up. Insert polder thermometer, set the alarm for 185, and close the lid. (Wrap the polder line in alum foil, just in case it gets too hot)[p]I'll keep a close eye on the temp for about 2 hours and then go to bed. Make slight adjustments. It seems to me the bottom vent makes the biggest difference in temperature. Once stabilized, my egg will usually go the full cook with very little temp fluctuation. [p]It's a great feeling to go out in the morning and see your temp around 220 and the fire still burning (even in the rain!). [p]Once the internal temp hits 185, I'll pull the brisket, wrap in alum foil, and serve about 1 hour later.[p]I hope this helps someone who is struggling with briskets. I find it to be fun, but also very easy once you learn how to get your temp low and keep it low.


  • Traveller,
    I think your observation about the bottom vent having a greater effect on egg temperature is correct. I think of the bottom vent as the course temperature adjustment, and the daisy wheel as the fine adjustment.[p]BBS-

  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 515
    Don't sell yourself short. From that description you are as expert as anyone here. The only thing that you omitted was how it tasted, but I think I already know the answer. Happy Holiday, Marvin

  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    Just large of a brisket did you do for 15 hours? I'm currently at the end of a 12 hour cook on an 8 pound brisket. Cooked a bit faster than anticipated.

  • Shelby,[p]The brisket was a little over 9 pounds.[p]Traveller

  • Big MurthBig Murth Posts: 350
    Enjoyed your brisket info and the other Eggers responses. I have a 12.75lb beast on right now, that I started 6.5 hours ago, and it's been running about 250 dome (although when I got back from soccer it had dropped to below 200 and the Polder read 167, maybe about 30 minutes ago)...Polder dropped to 165 and I take it that this is that stall period where the vital collagen breakdown occurs, etc. I'm doing this per NB's Eggfest 2000 recipe, and used the marinade in the drip pan along with some water added. Any suggestions as to whether I should crank the heat up a bit yet?? After some two and a half years and only 250 miles from the Texas border, this is my first brisket!! Guess I've been mostly a porker with my low 'n slows in the past. Thanks!
    Big Murth in Nuevo Mexico

  • ZipZip Posts: 372
    Big Murth,[p]
    I would bump it up to 275º if not a little higher once the meat comes out of the plateau. You want the plateau to last as long as you can to break down the collegen. This is the stuff that gives the mouth feel of moist beef. If not broken down the meat can seem very dry, tough, and chewy.[p]Ashley

  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 515
    Big Murth,
    But I wouldn't leave the dome temp at <200. I think 225-250 is a better range with less chance of dying out. Enjoy.

  • Big MurthBig Murth Posts: 350
    Zip,[p]Thanks for the tip.....the Polder is now up to 173 via a continous 250 read at the maybe it's taking care of itself! My thoughts were to pull around 185-190 and then do the cooler/foil/towel wrap thing to finish it off.
    Thanks again!!
    Big Murth

  • Big MurthBig Murth Posts: 350
    Yuppirs.....I've got it cruising around 250-260...hopefully she'll hold until I can about 185-190 Polder out of it, and then stash it wrapped up in the cooler. Thanks for getting back to me and hope ye had a great weekend!!
    Big Murth

  • Chef ArnoldiChef Arnoldi Posts: 974
    Traveller, that sounds great - and i am sure tasted even better. did you do a direct or indirect smoking ?
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