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Trying Beef Brisket for the 4th or 5th time

jimxxljimxxl Posts: 3
edited 12:25AM in EggHead Forum
I have made a few briskets some better than others. I have been reading the many recipies in books and on the forum and have seen many conflicts. Is it 1 hour per pound or 2 to 2.5 hours per pound? I have seen pull off temps from 140 to 200 degrees. I am becoming more and more confused and do not want to screw this up tommorow with 10 people at the house. The plan was to start cooking at around midnight, with an eight pound brisket what do I do?


  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Brisket can take, on average, 1.5 to 2 hours per pound. Some go faster, some take longer. This is at a dome temp of 250* in an indirect setup.

    I start checking for tenderness at 185 by inserting a fork. If it is tender, you'll know. I check in several places. Sometimes they are done at 185, sometimes they got to 200.

    An 8 pounder will likely take 12-16 hours. If you get close to time wrap it in foil and it will scoot right on up quickly. When done, rest it tightly wrapped in foil either in a cooler or under some newspaper for an hour or so before carving, and don't slice it until you are ready to serve.
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    You have to pull around 195-200 or your serving shoe leather. When I really need to make sure. I foil at 165 with beef broth and onions until 195. Drain the juices, wrap in foil and a towel for an hour or so.

  • Cory430Cory430 Posts: 1,072
    Take a look at Pats recipe on PBM's site; It is fool proof.
  • Put it on early and don't pull it off till it's fork tender. It will definitely not be at 145 degrees. If it's done before you are, wrap it in a towel like everyone says and keep it warm. Give yourself about 1 hour and 45 minutes per pound that way you will get_r_done before you're ready to eat.
  • Cactus DougCactus Doug Posts: 341
    The above posts about temp. checking at 185 for doneness is spot on. If you have concerns about the brisket drying out or not being done foil with broth or other liquid to finish. When I cook brisket I try for perfect doneness in the flat, wanting to get great slices. I usually chop and sauce the point for sandwiches or put it back on for burnt ends. Good luck.
  • KcLeafKcLeaf Posts: 62
    do you guys brine your brisket.
  • fiver29fiver29 Posts: 628
    Well, you've tried a few briskets. You probably know they are a little tricky. Each piece of beef is not like its predecessor. They all have their own story. Point is, experience cooking with your setup and types of meat make all the difference. That's probably why you see so many opinions on the topic of brisket.

    I can share my experiences with brisket, but those are mine. And each experience I have had with brisket changes a little each time because I learn something new each time I cook it.

    Ok. So here's what I like when it comes to brisket.

    1. The cut of beef you select at first is most important. You have to have the most fat possible in the cut. I have Q'd fresh brisket from the grocery store. From the local club like Sam's or BJ's. And from local butchers. I have found:

    A. The cut with the biggest fat cap works best.
    B. The local grocer usually cuts off the fat cap. When I have cooked brisket with little to no fat cap it is dry even when pulled at 185*.
    C. The local clubs have briskets that have some fat cap, but don't have enough fat to keep it from drying out. Some work out at 185*. But most have dried on me.
    D. Local butchers will trim off the fat, too.

    Bottom Line: I usually special order a brisket from my favorite store, club, or butcher and request the most fat possible.

    2. You can choose the point, flat, or whole brisket. I have cooked point, flat, and whole with varying types of fat. I have found:

    A. The point is fattier.
    B. The flat is leaner.
    C. It doesn't matter if you pick the point or flat if you don't have enough fat on the cut.

    Bottom line: I usually cook a whole brisket with the most fat on it. I get the best of both worlds in terms of cut and it is a lot less likely to dry out than the individual cuts no matter how much fat they have.

    3. I always clean out the firebox for the overnight cook per Elder Ward's instructions. That way the fire won't go out.

    4. I always use my guru. And I cook at 225* to 250* at the most. Usually its more like 225*. I can still lock the temp it in without it. But I sleep better knowing the fire won't go out. And it NEVER overcooks my brisket.

    5. I always shoot for 185*. I don't care what the cut is or how long it takes. 185* is my target always.

    6. When I take the brisket off I wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil. Then I wrap that in a beach towel. Then that goes in a cooler with more beach towels to fill any extra space in the cooler. This does several things:

    A. It completes the cook and lets the juices go back into the meat as it rests. It came off at 185*, but that doesn't mean that's where it finishes in the cooler. Usually its a bit higher.
    B. It keeps the meat as hot as though it came off the grill for 3-5 hours. When you open the foil you will get steam hours later like you just took it off the grill. This trick works with any type of cook on the egg.

    Bottom Line: You need to let the brisket rest at least an hour before slicing or it will be tough or dry or both. The cooler method keeps it both hot and juicy for a long period of time.

    Finally, I like to use a nice brisket sauce. Famous Dave's Texas sauce or something homemade works for me.

    I hope this helps.

    Strongsville, Ohio

    Yes.  I own a blue egg!  Call Atlanta if you don't believe me!
    [I put this here so everyone knows when I put pictures up with a blue egg in it]

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