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The Go-To Guide for Brisket on the PBC?

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    The Go-To Guide for Brisket on the PBC?

    I've been using my PBC for about a year now. It's done an amazing job on everything, but I haven't had the best of luck with briskets. I've done Noah's method. I've tried other things I've seen on here. But it hasn't quite worked out yet. Good, not great. Does anybody have a good go-to guide for briskets on the PBC? I just thought I'd ask again as I'm getting ready to do one on Monday and want to take the next step. Thank you.

    #2
    The original PBC video wrapped waaay too early.

    Many of my briskets were too long for the barrel grate so I would hang them for at least 5 1/2 hours. I then go to the grate fat cap down first and get that side barked up, then flip it over and get the other side barked up. Wrap if not to probe tender in the flat when both sides are barked up. I rarely wrapped brisket in the Pit Barrel before they were done.

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      #3
      Can't help, I make pretty good food but my briskets usually end up as chilli lol, I'm Chuck guy now, your about to get some great advice from the rest of the pit though that will definitely help, good luck!
      Last edited by tenphases; April 10, 2021, 06:56 PM.

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        #4
        I've been in the same boat with brisket on PBC. I wouldn't even give my efforts a "good" though. still working on it. interested to see more comments on this.

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          #5
          I wish I knew enough about the PBC to add a section to my Brisket Guide specific to the PBC. Sorry, can’t help, but I am interested in what we find out.

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            #6
            What specifically is the problem? Not enough bark, not tender, ...? The PBC behaves a bit different than other cookers, but the brisket method stays the same. Wrap If the bark is to your liking and cook to probe tender, then cambro an hour or two. I’ve found the cooking environment in the PBC has such a high humidity that wrapping is rarely necessary.

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              #7
              What Red Man is saying is totally correct. I’ve been cooking brisket for a year or two, here and there ;-)

              Keys, in my opinion
              • Don’t overdo the rub .... brisket is big and beefy and the meat and smoke should shine through
              • Consistent heat is important ..... it could be 225, 250, 275, 300 ... that matters less than being consistent
              • Don’t wrap in foil, it turns the brisket into pot roast. If you must wrap for some reason, use butcher paper
              • Probe tender is critical ..... brisket is easy to either under or over cook
              • a 1-2 hour hold in a faux cambro or the oven @ 175 makes a huge difference
              • I realize that I said don’t wrap in foil then my guide says do wrap in foil. Two different scenarios. If you are wrapping while cooking, use butcher paper. When you hold in oven or faux cambro, do wrap in foil. BUT make sure you wrap very tightly, so there is no air/space between foil and meat. You don’t want steam and juices escaping and doing the braising thing in the foil.
              I actually suggest that you read my guide to brisket and then apply what you know about the PBC within that method. It’s been honed over many years, incorporates all the goodness I’ve learned from Meathead and Aaron Franklin and the Pit.

              Eric’s Brisket Method
              Last edited by ecowper; April 10, 2021, 08:56 PM.

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              • Jerod Broussard
                Jerod Broussard commented
                Editing a comment
                I disagree with consistent temp. The reason: cheap offset that ran 200-350 and turned two of the best hunks of meat I ever ate. Don't hate on me for the temp swings....blame the wood. No matter how much the temp swings, there is always an average tucked in there. hehehehehe

              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Jerod, I guess I should rephrase that .... run your rig consistently.

              #8
              The one thing about our hobby i love is all the variation. Some wrap others don’t, some use foil some use paper, some trim some don’t, some cook at 225 some at 350.
              I wrap tight with foil when the internal temp of the flat hits 175. Once finished I open the foil snd let some heat out then wrap back up and hold in a cooler a minimum of 2 hours.
              My PBC likes to run warm between 275-325 which I really don’t chase temps much anymore....use to drive me crazy...ha.....the PBC taught me that it’s not a big deal.
              Take all these suggestions and only change one maybe two variables at a time until you figure out what works best for you.

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                #9
                I did my best brisket a couple of weeks ago. I used a dalmatian rub with 16 mesh black pepper. This was my first time using just S&P, I think the pepper made a big difference. I also used the turkey hanger cross bar so I could center the brisket in the PBC, this pleased my OCD!

                Other than that, I generally move the brisket to the grate when it hits the range of 175-180. I also like a 4-6 hour rest in a faux cambro. I wrap in butcher paper if I need it finish a little faster.

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                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I love using that turkey hanger crossbar for a lot of things--brisket, sausage hanger, etc. It works great! Funny thing, I don't use it to hang turkeys because I spatchcock my turkeys for the PBC.

                  Kathryn

                #10
                vibemore This is a great post....and timely for me. I’m gonna be doing a brisket soon in my OJ Bronco, so techniques would be similar. Can I ride your coattails and ask about any OJ Bronco owners chime in too? Don’t wanna hijack your post but since they’re both barrel cookers, I’m curious to see if there’d be any differences. Uncle Bob

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                • Uncle Bob
                  Uncle Bob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not much help from me on this one John, I don't do a lot of brisket, and when I do I use one of the larger cookers where I have plenty of grate room and go offset/indirect.

                #11
                Hello again. Thanks for all of the excellent feedback so far.

                To answer Red Man's question, my main problems in the past have had to do with the bark and tenderness. I've experimented with wrapping and not wrapping. Even did the foil with "wrapping juice" as Noah instructs. I don't think that I'll go that route again, but I've seen others recommend it, too. I did find it to be too "pot roastey." I've also struggled on those long cooks knowing when (or if) I should add more charcoal. My last brisket hit the stall and then shortly thereafter the fire started dying out. I ended up taking it to the oven to finish.

                Ultimately, my family goes nuts for the burnt ends that I put on the table. But I'd really like to get that flat dialed in!

                My plan for tomorrow, at this point, is to get it trimmed, use some mustard as a binding agent, and then for my rub, I'm going with Malcolm's TX Brisket Rub. I'm then going to try to go the distance without wrapping at all. I'll just let it power through the stall and then add some more charcoal at some point during that time. Will also go to the grate following Jerod Broussard's guidance there.
                After "probe tenderness" I will wrap it in butcher paper and place in the faux cambo for an hour or two.

                I'll also compare notes with Eric’s Brisket Method.

                Finally, I am going with Kingsford charcoal as that's what I have most accessible to me. I live on an island so there's not a ton of options there.

                Comment


                • Jerod Broussard
                  Jerod Broussard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'd recommend some foil over the butcher paper once you go to the cambro.

                • JCBBQ
                  JCBBQ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Jerod Broussard can you explain that strategy? Why not just wrap in foil instead of the paper first?

                • Jerod Broussard
                  Jerod Broussard commented
                  Editing a comment
                  JCBBQ that is what I do. It's if he wraps in butcher paper before it is done.

                #12
                Here's the update. The cook went well yesterday. 5 and a half hours hanging. And then to the grate, fat side down and then flipped it so it could get a nice bark. I didn't wrap at all until it reached temp (203). In total, it was in the PBC for 8 hours. I then rested it wrapped in butcher paper on a towel in the cooler for 90 minutes.

                All in all, it turned out well. The bark was great and I doubt I'll wrap again unless I have to. The point was super tender, but the flat was too dry. Everybody really loved it, but it wasn't a smashing success from my point of view. I'm not 100% sure yet what changes need to be made. There are a couple of injections I'm considering, but I really don't know.
                Attached Files

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                  #13
                  If you didn't get a dry flat you probably over payed for the brisket.

                  Comment


                    #14
                    To combat the dreaded dry flat, I always inject it with Butcher's BBQ Phosphate mixed in homemade beef broth. On occasion, when I'm tapped out of homemade beef broth, I've used Butcher BBQ's Brisket injection, which is salty but still delicious. You just need to mind the salt level if you've already dry brined.

                    I trust using a phosphate-based injection because for me it works consistently and well with choice or select flats. For Prime flats that have really pretty marble-ing, I don't bother. For me an injection is like an insurance policy for the garden-variety flat.

                    I only wrap during the cook when time is of the essence--as in when the family is squawking for dinner--and I only use foil after an internal temp of 170-180° has been reached in the flat so I have a pretty impervious bark . I never add more liquid to the foil packet to avoid ending up with a pot roast.

                    I have to admit that I haven't had much luck with the butcher paper mystique-- for me it's messy and I often lose those precious juices which, although small in volume, pack a ton of flavor as the brisket finishes up on the PBC and also during the 2-4 hour faux cambro step. I like the butcher paper idea because with it I channel my inner Aaron Franklin, and because it's always fun to try a new-to-me idea, but I keep returning to the (for me) more serviceable foil wrap, on the few occasions when I wrap before the faux cambro step.

                    Kathryn

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