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To Crutch or not to Crutch?

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    To Crutch or not to Crutch?

    I did 35lbs of brisket in the PBC (3 packers). Recognizing the limited space on the grate, Once at 160 or so, had to wrap and then finish in the oven.
    I'm wondering if anyone has cooked a brisket straight through with it hung the whole time or alternatively crutched and re-hung for the remainder of the cook. Or even not crutched and just placed the meat flat on the grate. What were your observations? (I typically inject the flat with a beef stock).

    It would seem that if the placing on the grate could be avoided, the cooking capacity would rise considerably.

    Thanks!!
    Last edited by mtford72; October 17, 2014, 02:50 PM. Reason: Clearer title for the thread

    #2
    mt, I forwarded this Jerod our PBC brisket expert. I'm sure he'll have some guidance for you but maybe not until after work so stay tuned. Myself I'm not a PBC user so I can't help with your specific concern, but I'm sure there'll be a few others along soon.

    In the meantime here's an assignment for you: when you get a minute, head on over to the Introduce Yourself channel and give us a little bio about your self. Then check out Pit Boss' Welcome & Announcements channel, as well as the tips posts in that channel if you haven't already. These will help you set up your signature and there's also a post that explains the best way to post nice big pics here... we like to see bragging pictures of your equipment and your cooks. We look forward to hearing more from you! Enjoy!

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      #3
      Will do! Cheers.

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        #4
        I have hung for about 8 hours and it really dried out the end of the flat too much. I actually discarded some it was sooooo dry. I have hung "upside down" and I really did not care for that. Even on a short hang time (less than 5 hours), the flat was more dry than I like hanging by the flat end instead of the point end.

        I have had a few that made it to 203 without wrapping. But that was some thinner ones, that were part of a 4 or 5 brisket cook. MUCHO humidity in the cooker when you have that much meat hanging.

        I can only hold 4 when I take them off the hooks. I will be doing a mod soon to hopefully hang 6. Then when I take off the hooks, I can place two in a kettle with just enough coals to finish barking. Or maybe have two that can be wrapped.

        I don't inject. I cook too many to mess with that. And didn't have a drop in flat quality when I stopped. Even a prime flat that is injected can still end up too dry.



        Last edited by Jerod Broussard; October 17, 2014, 02:11 PM.

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          #5
          Great! Thank you for the insight. I'm looking at having to cook 3 - 4 briskets for an event, so post hanging / finishing off is a big unkown at the moment.

          1) How are you squeezing 4 in on the grate? I'm hoping that the hovergrill provides enough room for air to circulate.

          2) I presume you are wrapping for 160 - 203, are you using foil or paper?

          3) Have you ever tried wrapping and hanging? I'm considering if an extra thick wrap around the bottom of the flat, then hanging through the point will work for the finishing stages. (as an aside, when on the weber I wrap with paper. But that's typically one brisket at a time, lower temp, water pan, smokenator - so about the only thing in common is the cut of the meat!)

          I'm going to be doing some experimenting. I'm tracking time / temp with igrill2, so should have some good data.

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            #6
            1) I have another grate, a charcoal grate for a 22.5" kettle. Pic below. I also remove the hooks, now that they kept getting hung up on the last cook. I try to lay the top two perpendicular to the bottom two. Seems to provide all the circulation I need.

            2) I wrap based on bark. Most are in the 170's - low 180's. I hang for about 5.5-6 hours, then go to the grate(s) to prevent the bottom from getting overcooked. Lots, if not all of the time, the flat needs some really good direct heat to bark up.

            3) No hanging once I wrap. I mostly do foil because it is neater, and it does better when chilling and reheating them, which I must do when cooking 10-12 briskets for whatever the occasion. If not reheating, I like to use butcher paper.

            Click image for larger version

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              #7
              Thank you - that's great information again. You clearly get to do a lot of these! I appreciate your time and effort in the posts. That gives me a lot better idea and more confidence going into this bigger cook. Incidentally, your post on lighting the PBC helped me finally get it humming in the right zone. Again, thanks!

              Before I attempt new things I typically scrutinize a few youtube videos to see who did what and how it worked out - most of the time the videos look hideous - but the best drum smoked brisket was a paper wrap. Hence the question about the wraps. Thank you again. Incidentally, I tried some short ribs on the PBC today, they worked. Posting on that shortly.

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