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Lots to learn

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    Lots to learn

    Attempted my first ever brisket cook this weekend and what a learning experience it was! First, went to the store to get a packer, of course I can't start small so I went with a full 16lb packer. Thought I bought a select but after I opened the package i found that it a "standard grade" piece of brisket. Didn't even know what that was until I looked it up. Thought I would go ahead and give it a try, money already spent. Wasn't much at all to trim and didn't want to trim what was there as I figured it would need the fat content. Dry brine for 24 hours, then used Simply Marvelous' Cow Rub on it. Cook started at 4:30 am as we were going to have it for dinner and figured at least a 10 hour cook with two hours rest. Average cook time was in the 270s with some dips into the 250s. To my surprise this brisket cooked very very fast. I hit 170 2:47 into the cook. I wrapped it with a little over 1/8 cup beef stock. Two different probes registered 203 3:12 more hours. Total cook time 6 hours. Well I had about six more hours to go before dinner so I put in the faux cambro and hoped for the best. I drained a lot of au jus from it before wrapping and putting it to rest. Temps dropped about 10 degrees per hour so I knew I had to warm it back up so I put it in oven at 225 for about an hour. Well needless to say the brisket was very dry, rubbery, and overall the worst brisket I ever ate. The guests said it had good flavor and if you cut it up like burnt ends or dipped in the au jus then it was fine. Otherwise it was ground brisket at best. I assume alot of my failure had to do with the "standard grade" and reheating efforts. Anyway we didn't go hungry and it can only get better from here.

    Before the crutch.
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    and on the plate.
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    Last edited by ghipes; September 29, 2014, 08:06 AM.

    You can only get better! Make some brisket chili if you need a use for what's left. Different but very good.

    Keep cookin'!


      I had one of those once, before I knew what I was doing. Sounds like you did everything right... I am blaming the grade *shrug* -- what equipment did you use for BBQing it on?


        I used the PBC and hung it like in Noah's video. Use the BBQ Guru to monitor pit and meat temps and a ThermoPop for spot testing meat temps. When you guys put in your temp probe for continuous monitoring, where do you put the probe? I put mine through the point>flat.


        • smarkley
          smarkley commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah... I put mine there too. I generally rely on my ThermoPop at some point though. With the PBC I seem to be more interested in 'Q temp though... Why? I have no idea. LOL
          Last edited by smarkley; September 29, 2014, 09:13 AM.

        • bbantel
          bbantel commented
          Editing a comment
          Aaaaaah, the PBC. I was wondering how you got a 16lber done in 6 hours. Makes sense now.

          It had to be the grade of the meat - at least you figured it out now and can be on the look out next time.

          Maybe another suggestion though, instead of putting it in a 225 oven, maybe set it lower, like 170 or something. That extra hour was cooking it pretty good after it had hit the mark.

        Well, the presentation was great!! Pics looked wonderful. I have no experience with the PBC and I think your first efforts was fine.


          Originally posted by Marauderer View Post
          Well, the presentation was great!! Pics looked wonderful. I have no experience with the PBC and I think your first efforts was fine.
          Yup, I agree! His technique was great... PBC cooks things quicker in general 6 hrs seems about right.


            From all I've read and done, I agree that your method was spot-on. Meathead says when it comes to brisket, it follows the GIGO rule (garbage in, garbage out) so choosing the piece of meat is very important. I do like Jerod does, try to find the one at the grade available that has the most marbling.

            The only thing you may want to consider next time is to inject the meat with a marinade that has phosphates in it (like Butcher BBQ Brisket Marinade or Prime Brisket Marinade) to help retain moisture. I used it on the two brisket flats I've done, one of which got stuck in the Mother of All Stalls and credit that injection for keeping the meat moist and juicy at the end of the day. I kept my PBC temp around 225 but have decided that for my next brisket 250-275 will work better.

            I say get right back up on that brisket BBQing horse and give it another go. There's nothing wrong with a learning curve. If we didn't have one, think how boring life would be.

            Plus, with all that smoke and flavor you've still got some good eating there. I think Jerod (The Brisketmeister) chops the drier brisket ends too. Dunno what he does with 'em. Brisket chili sounds like a great idea.



              It looks super good on the outside !

              Thanks for the reminder on double checking the grade. Making chili out of some of that also sounds super good.


                Thanks for all the encouraging feedback. Yeah, I'm far from done. Another brisket will hit the PBC hooks as soon as I can schedule it. Tonight....chopped brisket and eggs.


                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sounds tasty. Enjoy.

                Chop it up and heat in a sauce pan with some bbq sauce and put on a heated bun along with onions and pickles. Sit back and enjoy


                • 3DJ
                  3DJ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I like that. Good idea. I like the chili idea someone had as well.


                Just a thought here but instead of trying to hold a select brisket that long. Perhaps dropping the flat and point separately in a ice bath then reheating just before you were ready to serve...... Just a thought


                  You could've fooled us with those tempting pictures. Although I will say slicing much thinner next time will help give the allusion of more tenderness FWIW. I say that's worthy of a bronze medal attempt at the very least! Keep up the good work!


                    I agree you were probably hamstrung by a tough piece of meat. Next time inject and buy choice or better! Also as Recomended above your oven hold temp should be 170F. Get back on the horse


                      Interesting read. I just did my first PBC brisket about a week before you. I had all kinds of problems. Went to use my Maverick 732 and one of the probes was fried from a major flare up cooking hamburgers the Meathead way. (Side note: the burgers were absolutely fabulous.) Spent precious time with the lid open messing with it. Rehung the meat. Went inside to find out if I could use the bbq temp probe in the food side of the 732. Yes, yes I can. Went back out, pulled the brisket off, struggled pushing the flat bbq probe into the tough brisket. Finally succeeded. Lid was off during this process. Who knows how hot the fire was...?

                      Placed the brisket back on the rack. Crap! Now it's hanging in the fire. Go inside to find another hook. Take the meat out and rehook the thing so it's kinda sideways in the PBC. Put everything back in. Fire is BLAZING HOT!

                      No way to check the temp in the PBC now. I just closed the lid and trusted the PBC to do it's magic.

                      A 10lb select packer (pre-trim) never went through a stall. I pulled it off at 160 to wrap it. Found out we had no beef stock, no beer, no apple juice. Well, double crap. Used some water. Wrapped the thing back up with the probe coming out of the top. Placed it on the grill grate. Closed the lid.

                      Wow. It hit 203 after only 5.5 hours, even with all of the stuff I went through. I was not expecting good things. Place the wrapped meat in a cooler lined with towels. Held it there for about 3 hours. Pulled it out for dinner...


                      It was absolutely perfect. My Supermodel thought it was great and she is harsh critic. Gotta love the PBC.

                      In my opinion, it was either the grade of beef or the oven, maybe even a combo of both. Good luck with the next cook.



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