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PBC Brisket: Hang or Grate?

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    PBC Brisket: Hang or Grate?

    I have a very special dinner coming up with my 5 siblings. I have offered to cook a meal on my Pit Barrel Cooker. (I'm the youngest of the 6 so needless to say I'm feeling some performance anxiety here.)

    I would like to cook a brisket, and not apologize for it. (I am from Texas, so the afore-mentioned performance anxiety quadruples.)

    The question is: will hanging the packer brisket in the PBC or smoking it on the grate render the best brisket? I'm amazed by PBC Noah's claims of 6-7 hour brisket. I can't imagine it having enough time to render that quickly.

    I'm biased by thinking anything short of 12 hours on a brisket is folly. Any and all advice welcomed please...

    Jerod will surely jump in soon enough (he is the PBC brisket king)...but I believe in reading his posts he hangs them for 5-6 hours, then places them on the rack to get "barked up". Instead of wrapping at a given internal temp, wrap when the bark looks good enough, which usually won't happen by 150 IT, but that is subjective as to what's "good enough" barkwise. If I'm not mistaken he likes to take them to around 180 before wrapping, then it only takes about an hour after wrapping to get to the 200-205 zone.

    So all total, including a faux cambro hold for an hour or three, you may be looking at 10-12 hrs.


    • ATXBill
      ATXBill commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the quick reply Huskee. I've appreciated Jerod's feedback previously but didn't realize his brisket/PBC pedigree. I'd really like to 'nail' this cook for my sibs. I'm grateful for all guidance...

    You have your work cut out for you if your sibs already have a taste for the best Texas brisket. May the force be with you!


    • ATXBill
      ATXBill commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, and they're pretty bossy too. ;-)

    Hey Bill, let's get to work on your signature, all the other cool guys are doing it!

    If you need help just holler. Check this out (Tip #1)


    • ATXBill
      ATXBill commented
      Editing a comment
      Mission accomplished. I borrowed liberally from your format Huskee. Thanks!

    I always try to hang mine. I think its the best way to do a brisket in the PBC. Just make sure you use four hooks, and the packer isn't longer than 15" or so. Otherwise, it will hot the coals at the bottom of the PBC. If you get a packer that is longer than that, which is typical, I cut the bottom off to make it fit 15" and under. Then I hang the piece I cut off and use it to make Burnt Ends. Below posted a picture of how I usually hang my briskets.

    I rub mine down with oil, throw on my rub, inject and let it brine for a few days. I usually use about an 6 ounces of low sodium beef broth and inject with the grain. I then wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.

    I usually put the brisket in on the PBC about 15 mins after lighting, I hang the brisket in the middle of the PBC. Using both rebar to span the distance. I use the four hook method that Noah uses in his videos and haven't had a thing drop in the PBC yet. (Knock, Knock)

    Once the Brisket hits the stall, I usually open my smoke stacks or crack the lid to power through the stall until the Brisket hits about 175-180 F. I want to build as much bark as possible and the PBC is great at it. After the bark is satisfactory, then I use a small amount of broth, just enough to pool a bit in the bottom of the foil wrap. Then I place the brisket in the foil and wrap it up. I don't wrap it tightly like a lot of people do. I don't want an intense steam bath which will soften my bark. I take the brisket to 202 F, I find that this is the best temp most of the time. However, it does vary from brisket to brisket.

    Once the IT has hit 202 F I take it off the PBC, wrap it with another layer of foil and place it in my YETI. I let it sit for 3 hours and serve after that. If I'm making chopped beef and its a little dry you can use the Au jus from the foil to add moisture for the chopped beef. I hope this helps you out!! Good Luck, Brisket is easier than you think, I'm sure you'll do fine.


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    Last edited by Spinaker; February 16, 2015, 11:12 AM.


    • ATXBill
      ATXBill commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the great summary John. That sounds like a good workflow. I haven't brined a brisket before...is it more for tenderness or flavor or??? Have you ever hung a brisket in the PBC sideways, so it doesn't scrape the bottom?

    I brine a few days before just so that I make sure that salt has penetrated deep into the meat. It gives a nice flavor boost to the interior of the meat.
    I've never hung a brisket sideways. My thoughts are that it wouldn't cook as evenly. I think the thin part of the brisket benefits from having the drippings from the thick part run over it and baste it through out the cook. If you hung it side ways the thin end wouldn't have much in the way of basting through out the cook as it is much leaner.

    I thought the same thing when I was going to cut my first brisket down.


      Awesome job on the sig Bill! I must say it looks familiar, and of course, SPECTACULAR!


      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        I would second that.


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