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High altitude nonBGE brisket

skihornskihorn Posts: 600
edited 6:46PM in EggHead Forum
I am headed to my Colorado cabin next week. Unfortunately, I don't have an Egg there. (Since I couldn't trust the renters to use it properly, I can't justify the cost for the three trips I make up there in a year, especially since I would need a Large or XL for all the people that I am feeding.)

Before I bought my BGE I had pretty good luck with briskets. I had an electric dome shaped water smoker. If I did the brisket the whole time on the smoker it tended to be too dry. So, I would start it on the smoker with lots of hickory for about two hours. Then I would cook it overnight in the oven wrapped in foil and then put it back on the smoker for another four hours or so the next day with lots of hickory. I know putting it in the oven is blasphemy to some folks, but it produced some excellent moist brisket and with a lot of smoke flavor.

I host the annual HOA meeting at my cabin. I have smoked two briskets each time with less than satisfactory results on the tenderness juicy side even though I used the same method as above. The cabin is at 8,200 feet so the boiling water is going to be about 10 degrees cooler than sea level. The first year I didn't allow for that, and I just didn't cook it long enough. However, more recently, I have taken my remote probes and thermopen and allowed for more cooking time. Still though it just isn't as juicy/tender as I would like.

Is the dry air partly to blame? Any tricks or suggestions?

Freddie
League City, TX

Comments

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    At 8200', don't cook a pot of pintos as a side dish or you'll need a calendar to keep track of the cooking time. :laugh:

    It's not the dry air, it's the altitude that is hurting your cook. I think your plan is sound, smoke the brisket for several hours at low temps, wrap in foil and finish it at 275° in foil in an oven. Go fat side up and before you seal the foil season again with some pepper and celery salt. I would add 1/2 cup of a jazzed up beef broth.

    Depending on the weight you are cooking, it will take 4 to 7 hours of cook time. As a reference point a 5 pound flat will take about 4 hours. You will just have to pull it out, open the foil and probe for tenderness until it's right.
    this one was cooked that way. You loose the bark, but that's the cost for cooking at high altitude. (The next choice is to take corned briskets and pressure cook them, they are fabulous.... pressure cookers really perform at high altitudes. Give me a shout if you want to discuss this)

    DSC09767a.jpg

    DSC09769a.jpg

    Are you planning to do a test cook before going to the high lonesome?
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • skihornskihorn Posts: 600
    Thirdeye, thanks for the pics and info! I probably just need some moral support.

    Yes, it will be a whole brisket. I usually do two whole briskets, since I am feeding a lot of people. However, I think this year I will do one brisket and one ham. That way I can continue to experiment with the brisket but also have a ham in case the brisket does not improve.

    No, there won't be a test cook. I did a brisket this weekend (see thread about low and slow brisket) that was outstanding. But I was using my BGE and cooking at sea level.

    The problem could be as simple as getting bad briskets. I am buying from small town grocery stores, and I don't know if brisket is as revered in Colorado as it is in Texas. Last year I drove through two small towns to the third town just to find a brisket. This year I will be able to stop in Alamosa (descent sized town) that has a large Supermarket. Hopefully, their briskets are better if that was the problem.

    Freddie
    League City, TX
  • skihornskihorn Posts: 600
    Thirdeye: Forgot to mention the beans. We almost always do a pot of beans, because I have two vegetarian family members that join us for part of the time. And yes, they cook a LONG time to get done!

    Freddie
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Well, if you are driving I guess one choice is to buy ahead and transport it yourself. Or call the market in Colorado ahead of time and tell them exactly what you want. It might now be as famous as Texas beef, but western beef is very available.

    A quick Google came up with these, are either ones the one you had in mind?

    Valley Meat Market Wholesale & Retail
    808 West Ave
    Alamosa CO 81101
    719-589-6328


    Snider's Smokehouse
    4754 South County Road 104, Alamosa, CO 81101-9751
    (719) 589-4382‎
    Category: Butcher Shop
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    1220e905.gif

    I just have two words..... Ranch Style. There is a recipe on my site using them that is not bad.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • skihornskihorn Posts: 600
    Thanks!

    Freddie
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