Food & Spirits
Sponsored By

Brisket Advice?

4,747 Views | 53 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by NColoradoAG
evan_aggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I've been cooking briskets with varying degrees of success for a while now. I think I've made maybe 8-10 in the last 6 months and all have been prime cuts.

My rub and flavor seem fine. The smoke is good, but my strategy to getting the leaner side of the flat needs help.
I primarily buy 11-13 lb briskets, trim them up, and then cut the hard fat separating the flat from the point out, but still end up cooking them together. I start out at 225-235 for many hours. Then bump to 250-275 to get through the stall. I spritz with liquid. I use a water pan.

I have probes to monitor both sides and generally would pull after getting to 203F (the point is up at 215+). I'd go back and forth between pink butcher paper and foil every other brisket I cook..

This time I separated the point and flat and cooked them separately. About half of the flat was fairly tender, and the other half is just lean and a bit tougher. Does the flat need to sit at 203F for a long period of time?
AlaskanAg99
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I smoke everything as one. We slice and eat the point, the flat is vac sealed and later used in chili.

Best damn chili using smoked brisket.
schwack schwack
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Quote:

the flat is vac sealed and later used in chili

Same here.

On chili, the 2nd half of the cook, we do wrapped & sitting in a SS restaurant pan to catch the au jus. We separate off the fat & use the au jus in the chili. Just watch your salt on the front end because the au jus is pretty salty if you do a salt & pepper rub. Adds extra wow.
Positive Yardage
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
What kind of smoker are you using? Just in general, you might consider injecting the flat, but I think the type of smoker may impact how it is cooking too.
schmendeler
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
are you wrapping?
evan_aggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I've wrapped in pink butcher and foil. I've tried both numerous times.

Okay, I'm going to get a bunch of gasps on here, but I use a 3 burner gas weber and throw on a couple of 12" smoke tubes with Traeger Oak pellets on the end with the burner.

I have really nice control over the temp and it is large enough where the low setting on the far burner with a water pan keeps it down.
schmendeler
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
i'm not a brisket expert, but i suspect that a brisket might do better starting at 250 and just keeping it there. i think we think of low temps and assume it will keep things from drying out, but i think the extending cooking time just means your brisket is in the cooker for that much longer before you can wrap it to trap the moisture. starting at a higher temp sounds risky, but you are shortening your overall time for the meat to dry out.

low temps work with a pork shoulder because it is very fatty and has lots of collagen to convert to gelatin. a flat doesn't, so much.
TheFunnierPhideaux
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I do 250*-270* for the entire cook. Wrap in paper OR foil, I don't find it matters much, at around 180*, set my alarm for 205* once I hit 205* I keep it there for 1 hour. Then pull, wrap in a towel and into the Yeti for at least one hour, ideally 2.

I've got 6 like this now, all ranging from prime, choice and what was an ungraded brisket that looked very select-y to me.

They come out really nice, but as you mention, the leaner end of the flat is usually a little on the dry side. But the point end of the flat and the point itself are usually absolutely delectable.
Pac1698
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Are you letting the brisket "rest" after you pull it off? How long does it typically take to get to your 203 temp? Your pit temp is in a good range, so I'm guessing around 8-10 hours for a 11-13lb brisket (although the prime seems to cook faster for me by a couple of hours, I've read that it could be due to the higher fat content). The reason I ask is that I have friends that cook their brisket over direct heat, which will hit the correct temp in a very short time and still be very good, but does not have the tenderness (as tender) of the low and slow.
evan_aggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Your 8-10 hours is about right.

I started one the other day at 630am and the point was done around 130-2pm, but the flat needed another 1-2 hours. Normally I cook them both connected, but this time I separated them.

I do tend to let them rest for an hour, but I think next time I'm going to throw it in the oven at 205 and let it sit there as phideaux said. I was just trying to see if there was a magic solution to the dry-side of the flat.

It seems like Louie Muellers and Franklins and Snows etc etc...never have one bit of dry meat on the brisket. Either that or they never cut it for the customer, which I don't think is the case.
Positive Yardage
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
evan_aggie said:

I've wrapped in pink butcher and foil. I've tried both numerous times.

Okay, I'm going to get a bunch of gasps on here, but I use a 3 burner gas weber and throw on a couple of 12" smoke tubes with Traeger Oak pellets on the end with the burner.

I have really nice control over the temp and it is large enough where the low setting on the far burner with a water pan keeps it down.
No gasps, you got what you got and you cook how you cook there is no shame in the game. One thing I would consider if I am going on straight gas however, would be the hot and fast method which BBQ champ Myron Mixon swears by. There are plenty of other folks on the board that have more knowledge than me, but to me if you are going on straight fire, it would be good to reduce the amount of time the brisket is exposed to that fire to keep it from drying out (especially the flat).

Also, are you adding fluid when wrapping? Adding some beef broth (or whatever else you like) while wrapping makes a huge difference for me.

Just some random thoughts.
NColoradoAG
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Don't cook a brisket to a set temp. Start probing your flat when it hits about 195. When it probes like room temp butter it's done. I dont usually even check the point temp because it's going to be more forgiving than the flat.

I would also maybe get a second probe or even a cheap oven thermometer to check the Temps in your grill. The hood thermometer could be way off and you're not cooking at the temp you think.

And let it rest in a large cooler for at least two hours before you slice it. Make sure the cooler is large enough that the meat is actually resting in there and not continuing to cook.
AlaskanAg99
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
NColoradoAG has good advice.

Invest in some good multi probe temp sensors. You'll use them a lot so don't go cheap.

If Part A is done before Part B, cut Part A off.

(still think the flat is best in Chili, but that's just me)
NColoradoAG
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I usually serve the 6 slices of the flat closest to the point to my family and I'll eat a bunch of point meat the day of the cook. I then cut the flat unto a couple big chunks and vacuum seal. I slice all the point and package it in sandwich size vacuum portions because my fatass loves a brisket sandwich at 10pm on a Saturday night.

Flat does go great in chili but also goes well in tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos, stuffed peppers, on top of baked potatoes, mixed into queso, in a breakfast hash, and in a country gravy over biscuits.
Walt Longmire
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Lots of good advice on this thread. I've done 20-25 briskets over the last year. I use a Big Green Egg XL size. Indirect heat. Generally follow Aaron Franklin process, meaning kosher salt and cracker pepper rub only. Try to follow his trimming method and advice. Wrap in butcher paper usually at about 160 degrees. Fogo hardwood for fuel. Add some mesquite or post oak for smoke. Always rest for 2+ hours after pulling. Would rather be done earlier and rest longer than be rushed to cut the damn thing too fast due to guest pressure. These are all of the things I don't deviate on.

What varies is Prime versus Choice grade and whether I decide or need to do low and slow vs hot and fast. I've gotten good and poor results on both. I have on a few occasions used celery seed in the rub, usually on hot and fast. Seems to help with smoke ring.

When I have time and a nice prime grade brisket (usually subject to HEB supply and my pre-planning, or lack thereof), I do low and slow. I think the results are best but it is a commitment. I usually go for 12-14 lb size. Try to stabilize temp at 225-250. About 10 hr cook, give or take. Always pull and wrap in butcher paper around 160 or the stall. As others have said, I dont pull on temp but rather the feel. I use wood skewers and when they go in and out like butter or peanut butter, I pull and let rest. Temp is usually between 200-210, but depends on the brisket. I don't ever separate the point and flat. For low and slow, I generally cook fat side up. Theory being let the juices fall and render in the brisket. Probably doesn't matter, but I at least feel better about it .

Sometimes I have less time and will do hot and fast. 350-375. Fat side down to protect the brisket from higher temp. Usually will add the celery seeds in the rub if hot and fast. Seems to help with smoke ring, although I don't like the celery taste and try to go light on it. Everything else is the same (brisket size, grade, trimming, etc). But it will get to 160 in 2-4 hours. Pull, wrap and put it back on. Lower the temp on the BGE for the finish. Another 2-3 hours and pull based on feel again. Let it rest for a few hours.

Biggest difference is maybe 4-5 hours for hot and fast and double that for low and slow (or maybe even a little more). The thing about brisket is every piece of meat is different. Can't be a robot about it or follow a checklist without some art to it. Once I got that and stopped stressing over the variability, it became more fun. To me, that's why I do brisket. Its part science and part art. And when you get it right, no matter the process or tools you use, it's heavenly. And even when I don't get it right, its still pretty damn good. Or it makes some good chili. Oh, and cold beer. Everything is better with a frosty beer.
Ornlu
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I just boil mine in the cryo vac bag, unopened, for about 4 hours. Then I open, slather in sauce and liquid smoke, and serve immediately.

Hey, if it's good enough for Bill Millers and Dickies, it's good enough for me.
austinag1997
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
AlaskanAg99 said:

NColoradoAG has good advice.

Invest in some good multi probe temp sensors. You'll use them a lot so don't go cheap.

If Part A is done before Part B, cut Part A off.

(still think the flat is best in Chili, but that's just me)


I care more about the point. Like many of you say, you can find other uses for the flat. I probe the point.
evan_aggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I never have issues with the point. It's always insanely tender and delicious. It just seems like briskets from top joints are tender from tip to tip.
Positive Yardage
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Walt Longmire said:

Lots of good advice on this thread. I've done 20-25 briskets over the last year. I use a Big Green Egg XL size. Indirect heat. Generally follow Aaron Franklin process, meaning kosher salt and cracker pepper rub only. Try to follow his trimming method and advice. Wrap in butcher paper usually at about 160 degrees. Fogo hardwood for fuel. Add some mesquite or post oak for smoke. Always rest for 2+ hours after pulling. Would rather be done earlier and rest longer than be rushed to cut the damn thing too fast due to guest pressure. These are all of the things I don't deviate on.

What varies is Prime versus Choice grade and whether I decide or need to do low and slow vs hot and fast. I've gotten good and poor results on both. I have on a few occasions used celery seed in the rub, usually on hot and fast. Seems to help with smoke ring.

When I have time and a nice prime grade brisket (usually subject to HEB supply and my pre-planning, or lack thereof), I do low and slow. I think the results are best but it is a commitment. I usually go for 12-14 lb size. Try to stabilize temp at 225-250. About 10 hr cook, give or take. Always pull and wrap in butcher paper around 160 or the stall. As others have said, I dont pull on temp but rather the feel. I use wood skewers and when they go in and out like butter or peanut butter, I pull and let rest. Temp is usually between 200-210, but depends on the brisket. I don't ever separate the point and flat. For low and slow, I generally cook fat side up. Theory being let the juices fall and render in the brisket. Probably doesn't matter, but I at least feel better about it .

Sometimes I have less time and will do hot and fast. 350-375. Fat side down to protect the brisket from higher temp. Usually will add the celery seeds in the rub if hot and fast. Seems to help with smoke ring, although I don't like the celery taste and try to go light on it. Everything else is the same (brisket size, grade, trimming, etc). But it will get to 160 in 2-4 hours. Pull, wrap and put it back on. Lower the temp on the BGE for the finish. Another 2-3 hours and pull based on feel again. Let it rest for a few hours.

Biggest difference is maybe 4-5 hours for hot and fast and double that for low and slow (or maybe even a little more). The thing about brisket is every piece of meat is different. Can't be a robot about it or follow a checklist without some art to it. Once I got that and stopped stressing over the variability, it became more fun. To me, that's why I do brisket. Its part science and part art. And when you get it right, no matter the process or tools you use, it's heavenly. And even when I don't get it right, its still pretty damn good. Or it makes some good chili. Oh, and cold beer. Everything is better with a frosty beer.
Celery salt noted. Interesting!
NColoradoAG
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I assume the natural nitrates in celery salt would help form a smoke ring. Could be an interesting experiment to see how much is needed because it's not really a flavor I care for.
Ag MD 84
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
NColoradoAG said:

I usually serve the 6 slices of the flat closest to the point to my family and I'll eat a bunch of point meat the day of the cook. I then cut the flat unto a couple big chunks and vacuum seal. I slice all the point and package it in sandwich size vacuum portions because my fatass loves a brisket sandwich at 10pm on a Saturday night.

Flat does go great in chili but also goes well in tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, nachos, stuffed peppers, on top of baked potatoes, mixed into queso, in a breakfast hash, and in a country gravy over biscuits.
couple other uses for the flat: fried rice, grilled cheese.
Walt Longmire
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Clarification = Celery seeds. I made the mistake of celery salt once and it was too salty with the kosher salt I use on the rub.
SamHou
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I can only find the flat in my grocery store. I've tried twice using the Franklin directions and the brisket came out way too dry. Do you think that's more due to not having a full packer cut or bad technique?
Bruce Almighty
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
When I didn't have a smoker, I used to make serious eats sous vide brisket that used Prague Powder curing salt to obtain a smoke ring.
NColoradoAG
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Bruce Almighty said:

When I didn't have a smoker, I used to make serious eats sous vide brisket that used Prague Powder curing salt to obtain a smoke ring.

Can attest this works well
NColoradoAG
How long do you want to ignore this user?
You guys got me in the mood to cook. Showed up at Costco and found no prime briskets and a case full of choice at $5 a pound. This really puts some pressure on.

AlaskanAg99
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I swear HEB was $3.50lbs last week. Has **** changed that fast?!
evan_aggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Ah, funny someone posted this.

So I had been getting Costco prime @ $2.89/lb for months. Every so often I'd see it pop to $3.99 and I'd refuse to pay it. I went last week to get one from Costco, and it was $4.89/prime untrimmed. I asked the butcher what was up and they said that Costco + supplier come to whatever price and so it can change quickly.

So I huff and go to HEB. Low and behold, it is $3.99/lb. I felt pretty dumb and would have just paid the $4.89, but anyway... INFLATION.
Sazerac
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
$5 for choice!!!
NColoradoAG
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Sazerac said:

$5 for choice!!!

I was not happy. Costco is my best outlet up here. Treating it like a challenge. Gotta get the supply chain back to work or this will spill over to all markets.
aglaes
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
My latest brisket effort:

Did a brisket for Mother's Day and it came out great - very moist (even the far end of the flat) and very tender - slice of flat passed the pull test with flying colors. Good smoke and good seasoning.

Cooked on a CharGriller Grand Champion XD Series stick burner using post oak.

Bought a 14 lb brisket at HEB - labeled as "super-trimmed". Did very little additional trimming on it.

Seasoned with 50/50 salt/pepper the night before - tried to get about same amount of seasoning as observed on Franklin's YouTube vid. If anything I think I would go a little heavier on the seasoning next time - more so on the salt. Took brisket out of fridge and let it sit on the counter an hour before putting it in the smoker.

Got fire going good and put on fat side up at 250 degrees. Tried like hell to keep the smoke "clean" but struggled with that. Every time I'd put a new stick of wood on the smoke would get heavier than I wanted it and would stay that way for a while.

After 7 hrs and internal temp at 160-170 (always measured temp near center of point end) I pulled it and double wrapped with foil. Took the smoker temp up to 300 and cooked for 2 hrs - internal temp was at 203. Pulled it and placed in a ice chest for 3 hrs to rest.

After 3 hrs in ice chest, internal temp was still 180. Unwrapped and sliced it.

I was very pleased with how it came out. I know people will tell you it's great even if they think it's just OK, but many went back for 2nd helping, so I kind of think they thought it was pretty good too.
Agasaurus Tex
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Thanks! Printed your method to try next time I fire up the KJ to do brisket.
evan_aggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I recommend kosher salt and smoked peppercorn doesn't hurt.
Bruce Almighty
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
I was at Sam's today and choice whole brisket was 4.76/pound. Just the flat was 7.44/pound.
evan_aggie
How long do you want to ignore this user?
AG
Bruce Almighty said:

I was at Sam's today and choice whole brisket was 4.76/pound. Just the flat was 7.44/pound.


That's insane. What area?
Page 1 of 2
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.