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Did I ruin my brisket ?!?!

DAPDAP Posts: 11
edited 2:38AM in EggHead Forum
I'm afraid that I have ruined my brisket for the family's 4 of July celebration. I have a 11 pound commercial brisket that I put on in middle of the night. Once I felt the temperature was under control and constant around 200 degrees, I went back to bed. I was planning on about a 12 hour cook for timing purposes when the whole family arrives. Anyway, I woke up about 4 hours later and found that the egg was at 300 degrees. I have two thermometers in the the brisket. The point is now at 168 and the flat at 136.

Any suggetions how to salvage the brisket?

Since the point and flat are at different temperatures, when is the meat considered done?

Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated!



  • battbatt Posts: 40
    you should be ok. Just finish the cook and pull it when it reached your target temp. 200 dome temp is a bit low IMHO. I usually cook at about 230 to 250 dome temp. Some people cook brisket at 300 and higher and get good results.
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,675
    dial the temp down to 250. Brisket will be done somewhere between 185 & 200 but with brisket pay more attention to the fork test. When the flat is done cut the point off and return to the egg and foil the flat in a warm cooler
  • BigGreenDonBigGreenDon Posts: 166
    I think you are good. The temperature of the flat determines the "done-ness". The point is usually cut off later and "over-done" on purpose for burnt ends anyway.

    Do not despair. Get the egg gradually back down to 250 or so, and stay the course. Pull off at 200 and let it rest a bit befoe slicing.

  • battbatt Posts: 40
    I usually pull it at about 190 internal. The fat and point always have a temp difference. I cooked one last night and did not puled it a little late. Internal temp was a bit over 200.
  • h20eggh20egg Posts: 168
    I've only done one brisket (which turned out much better than I expected given all the "brisket is a hard cook" postings). Maybe my definition of good food is lower than others :unsure:

    Anyway, wait for others with more experience. My guess is you are at risk of having it a bit dry from the high heat, but I'd guess foiling may be prescribed (maybe with some fluid to moisturize). I would NOT abandon this cook, you are still a long way from the ~200 internal. Worst that could happen is it gets done early, may be a bit dry, but with some sauce I'd just chalk it up to experience. If you woke up an it was 225 internal, yeah, ya might be skunked.
  • DAPDAP Posts: 11
    Thanks for the suggestions and help. Since the meat will be done 8 hours before we plan to eat, how should I keept the meat Should I do anything other than wrap it in foil and newpaper and let it sit for most of the day?

    If it cools down (I assume it will in 8 hours), what's the best way to reheat so i don't dry it out?

    Thanks again!
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,675
    best bet is to chill it now and reheat, wrapped with a little liquid, later.
  • First off, it should be fine. You're not into the plateau yet, and that's where the breakdown of collagen, etc. happens. Just bring your temp back down to 250, and let it ride out the rest of the cook. You're not likely going to get it done in the timing you had anticipated though, so you may need to foil it for part of the cook to speed things along if you have a hard stop for dinner. I'd do that while it's in the plateau (once it hits 160-165), then pull it out of the foil and finish back on the grate to let the bark re-solidify.

    A couple of pointers for next time...

    1) Calculate backwards to get your cooking time. Anticipate 1.5 hours / lb at 250 dome for brisket, not counting the time to light and stabilize your temp, rest after you pull it off the Egg, slicing, etc. For your 11 pounder, you're looking at about a 16 hour cook. In addition, you want at least an hour to get the Egg lit and let the smoke clear and temp stable before putting the meat in. Once it comes off, you want to rest it for at least an hour in a cooler too. I generally build in an extra hour or two as well for a margin of error. If it gets done early, I can rest in in a cooler with some towels to keep warm. If it goes slow, I'm hungry.

    2) Cook at 250ish dome. Your target temp for a finished brisket is between 190 and 200 degrees. The temp on the grate can be 15-20 degrees lower than the dome. If your dome is set for 200, your grate will be 180-185 degrees. Physics says this won't work. You can start your cook at a lower temp to increase smoke penetration, but after the 1st couple of hours, bump to 250.

    3) Stabilize your temp 1st. Before putting your meat in, set your Egg up and let it come up to temp. Get it to 250 or whatever your starting temp is going to be, then leave it alone for an hour or so, or make adjustments to get it to the temp you want. Once it stays at that temp, put the meat in. The temp will initially drop due to the cold meat being put in, but as the meat warms up, the Egg will 'reset' to the original temp.

    4) Invest in a remote thermometer. While not required, having a remote thermo like a Maverick ET-73 monitoring your dome temp will let you know if your temp from going outside a range you specify. This way, you know if your fire is going out, or somehow has gone too high.

    Good luck with the brisket.

  • Did I miss something? You said your brisket was in the 130s in the flat. Why do you think you're going to be done early? As I said in my previous post before I saw this, it looks like you undercalculated your cooking time, so it may balance out.

    I forgot to mention in my other post - go by the temp in the flat, not the point. The point is fattier, and will register a higher temp faster. It won't get hurt if its cooked higher, while the point will be tough if it's under cooked.

  • DAPDAP Posts: 11
    All great suggestions and advise.

    I may get laughed off this fourm before I'm done! If it's not obvious I'm in unchartered territory. :)

    My terminology may be wrong and my reading on one of my thermometers was wrong. Darn electronics.

    Here's the current status:
    - The flat (the smaller, thinner, meatier section) is now at 184.
    - The point (thicker, fattier section) is 174.

    Should I split the the brisket now and wrap/rest until about an hour before dinner and then trow it back on?
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