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Brisket Flat on the PBC?

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    Brisket Flat on the PBC?

    Hey all,

    Now that I've gotten decently comfortable with my PBC, I'm thinking of trying a brisket. Unfortunately, the price of a full packer brisket is a bit out of the range at the moment. (Need to see what those college football revenues will be in a month or two, then I can splurge on a $60-$100 piece of meat.)

    But, I can pick up a brisket flat. ($5 lbs, $13)

    I understand that a brisket flat is lean and the one I would get at HEB, the local grocery store, is probably exceptionally so. Steven Raichlen has an interesting way he approaches a brisket flat. He coats it in nearly equal parts of salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. He places it in a 13x9 aluminum pan and covers the top of the brisket with thick-cut bacon. He then smokes it at ~250 for six-eight hours, with a two hour rest.

    Clearly, the idea is to keep the flat as moist and protected from the fire as much as possible. I'm thinking of modifying his idea for the PBC:

    I'd hang the brisket flat until it reached about 170 degrees, stalled out, or the bark was just right. Then I'd adopt his aluminum pan idea -- although putting a wire rack in first -- and also cover with bacon and power through the stall/continue to cook to ~202 internal.

    My idea is that Steven's original idea, to me, impedes smoke absorption. (In fact, if you've seen the Project Fire episode for this technique, the resulting brisket has essentially no smoke ring.) So I'm going to take advantage of the PBC's unusually humid environment and hang it for the first part of the cook.


    go for it.
    Flat on a pellet grill not problem. Wrap early, I did, to save juices. Not may fav but reasonable good.


      PBC is a moisture machine. But really, it is. I agree with your plan to cook though the stall. Get that nice bark, oh yeah. I will then pull, put in foil pan with a little liquid of choice, beef broth usually, cover with foil and either put back on grate or into oven to finish. Remember its probe tender we are looking for not a set temp. PBC, PBJ, PBC!


      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment
        I do like the bacon idea, please let us know how it turns out if you try it.
        Last edited by HawkerXP; September 22, 2020, 06:34 PM.

      If things hold together, I might be able to do this Friday or Saturday.


        I would not do the bacon because you won’t get any bark. The best thing to do with a small flat is make pastrami. The second best thing is to just smoke it like normal. It’ll be a little dry but still delicious, I’d wrap in foil once you have a semi decent bark.


          If you can do two, inject one with beef broth. If it were me, in a kettle, I'd inject. It's very cool you have a PBC and it's micro-climate to keep the cook moist.


            Hmm..... so I had Instacart pick up a brisket flat for me. Not what I was expecting (not Instacart's fault, this is what HEB does for flats, apparently). It looks like they take a flat and cut it up into two pieces. So I have a 1 lb flat piece and a 2 lb flat piece. Okay, I'll roll with it.

            Dry brine tonight and I am still planning to stick to my PBC plan.....hang until barked then Steven Raichlen's foil pan idea with bacon.

            If I mess this up.....well....twas only $10 of meat. (These things are lean...they trimmed every little bit of fat off!)


              I get the feeling these are going to cook really fast, which I guess is good because I didn't get them on the PBC until 1:30 pm. We're at 110 degrees internal at 30 minutes in. They are just that small. This will be an interesting learning experience.

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              Plan is still to move them to the foil pan after either 1 hour or 160 degrees, which ever comes first.


                Have you considered spritzing them with an apple juice/BBQ sauce mixture once some bark has formed


                  Originally posted by smokin fool View Post
                  Have you considered spritzing them with an apple juice/BBQ sauce mixture once some bark has formed
                  I just pulled them off the hooks and put them in the tray at 1 hour in and 140 degrees. They were both still quite moist on the outside.

                  I still don't fully get the thermodynamics of the PBC, but whenever I did pork butt on the Weber, I often had to spritz, but I have never had to on the PBC.

                  I'm current dealing with the one "weakness" of the PBC. If you leave that lid off....those temp shoot up. I've got two holes plugged and we are slowly getting down from 350. (I'm not too worried now as the briskets are protected by the metal pan on the bottom and thick bacon on the top.

                  One drawback of this bacon/pan method is that the bark, what little I got, is going to be soft, clearly. But I'll trade that for moisture.


                    ...and we have hit the stall. Temp rise is plateauing. We're at 183 degrees and only slowly rising. PBC temp is 293 and dropping very, very slowly. I've got two holes plugged. When we hit 275, I'll probably unplug two holes (what I typically do for pork butt).

                    I love to see the PBC just purring along. This really was the perfect smoker for me.


                    • Jerod Broussard
                      Jerod Broussard commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Sweet. I was up ALL night with some tough ribs. Them things were THICK. I had 16 burgers and 6 pounds of sausage to grill on the gasser which made me glad I got a gasser waaay bigger than what one person needs.

                    Update....203-205 internal temp. I dunno how this is going to work out.

                    It's in a cooler for an hour.

                    Learning experience....learning experience.....

                    (Also, the PBC just purrs along at 260-280 once it gets set....LOVE IT.)


                    • Jerod Broussard
                      Jerod Broussard commented
                      Editing a comment
                      How probe tender at those temps?

                    As they say....Brisket is hard.

                    Cooked both flats...again one initially 2 lbs one 1 lb. Temp probe was in the larger flat. Half of the 1 lb meat was brisket-ish. The rest and the entire 2 lbs one was inedible.

                    I learned a lot here. As Meathead always says one must start with a great piece of meat.

                    On the one half of the brisket flat that turned out good......very tasty.....actually really tasty.

                    Need to think about how the thinest portion of the cook turned out the best.


                      That’s too bad. Maybe the probe wasn’t in a good spot. I usually put the probe in the thinner piece, once that piece is done I move it to the thicker piece. Even though they’re small, you still need to check for probe tender. I’ve never cooked a one pound flat though. I have smoked a lot of 3-5 pound corned beef brisket.
                      Last edited by Red Man; September 25, 2020, 08:44 PM.


                        What Red Man said--sounds like your flats were not probe tender. The thermometer should start out in the thinner piece so you have a heads up as the cook progresses.

                        I've done many a brisket flat in the PBC, both straight up and as pastrami. For the straight-up brisket, I usually dry brine, inject with Butcher's BBQ phosphate mixed with some homemade beef broth and load it up with BBBR. (If I use a salt-containing rub instead of BBBR I use that rub to dry brine.) Wrap at 170ish (no need to spritz with the PBC's high moisture level) and cook until probe tender.

                        My briskets prefer no fewer than 2 hours in the faux cambro.

                        Oh and yeah, the PBC likes its lid on. I'm pretty snappy with the transitions that require the lid to be removed during the cook.

                        You could have just gotten a couple of ornery pieces of beef. Chop it up for chili or sammies. Yum.

                        Last edited by fzxdoc; September 26, 2020, 06:41 AM.


                        • BFlynn
                          BFlynn commented
                          Editing a comment
                          All good steps!
                          I think my brisket got better after I started committing at least 2 hrs to the cooler


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