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PBJ Brisket Cook

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    PBJ Brisket Cook

    I’m going to share my third brisket attempt on the PBJ. I’ve learned a couple of things that will now be part of my routine on long (brisket and butt) cooks.

    I’ve done a couple of flats, about 7.7# each. The first came out really good for a first time attempt, moist and juicy. It was injected, rubbed and cooked hot and fast on the grate, off the PBJ after 4.5-5 hours. Wrapped in pink about 180°, wrapped in a towel and cooler for a couple of hours. Looking back, I used the last of a bag of Weber charcoal. That will be important later.

    The second was prepped the same way, cooked the same way, but the fire went out before it reached internal temp after it was wrapped. That had happened on my first butt smoke as well. Had to finish it in the oven. Very dry compared to the first, so I was perplexed.

    Then I read somewhere on The Pit that arranging the charcoal will maximize the amount of charcoal that can be used. The PBJ small charcoal basket has always been a concern for long cooks. So, I went back to longer burning Weber, arranged it as in the photo, started 10-12 briquettes and placed them strategically on the pile.

    It was a small 8.8# packer, CAB Choice, prepped the same way except additionally dry brined a couple of days. Another PBJ concern, the short distance between hooks and fire, so I always cut rib racks in half. I was going to hang it to try that, but it would have been on the coals, and no matter which end was down, it was going to be dry. I thought about separating the point, cutting part of the flat and hanging two pieces, etc, but decided to use the grate again, fat side down. I folded the flat back and skewered it to the point until I wrapped; then it fit (small grate in the PBJ). Not knowing for sure about the length of the fire, I did it hot and fast again. Well, I wrapped after two hours, off after three, into the cooler for several hours—got done WAY before dinner. It was really good.

    And the fire? It went for 9-10 hours, more than enough time to cook slower with the rebars and hopefully form some more bark. Anyway, I feel confident that dry brining and arranging the charcoal have done a lot to answer questions and remove some doubts. Maybe it will help someone who’s had the same issues.

    Looking this over, boy, was this a long-winded post. Anyone who read this far probably needs a cocktail.

    Click image for larger version

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    Looking at your charcoal setup, can I assume this is a double layer? (I have the PBC not the PBJ) so not sure. Also wondering how your temps ran with this charcoal configuration as compared to simply dumping the charcoal into the basket.


      Thanks for posting. I'm interested to see your charcoal setup, but the pic won't come through for me.


        Yes, it’s a double layer. I don’t check the temp of the pit after all the advice to just “let ‘er buck” and do it’s thing. Gut feeling, it didn’t run any hotter than usual, just longer with what I’m sure was more charcoal and Weber charcoal which burns longer as some have said here, including our fire guru fzxdoc.
        As for the picture, I’ll try again for you. Click image for larger version

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          Thanks Soonerpop , I see it now. I might have to try that.


            The only thing I can say as a PBC owner, I find that cooking on the grates are way less predictable than hanging and I only do it if there is no way to hang the meat. For briskets that seem long, I'll set the hooks a little lower and let the point kind of flop down, on ribs I hang below the 3rd or 4th rib.



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