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Brisket on a 26" Weber kettle

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    Brisket on a 26" Weber kettle

    The learning curve on my 26" kettle is about to get steeper - I'm planning to cook my first brisket on the Weber. Have read or watched a lot of the great advice but want to refine things in a Weber- and weight-specific way and plan my cooking day - or night - so I can produce something edible the first time out. So, I could use some advice. (I use Kingsford, SnS XL, Smoke thermometer, paper clips.) It's a Prime brisket, 8.37 lbs. I've read that it can take a good 12 hours to fully cook/tenderize these cuts, even with the stall and a foil wrap, but it seems like this one is on the lighter side. So I'm wondering if it really needs that much time. (Aiming to have it in the cooler/faux Cambro around noon-1 p.m. for midafternoon feed) If it does need that much time, I was thinking of starting it late and going overnight. Of course, the fear is that I'll have lost too much temp or dry out in the 7-8 hours it wasn't tended. I've thought about starting after dinner, taking it to the stall and then wrapping and covering overnight. Thoughts? (And, if you can tell from the pix, which part of this hunk of meat is the flat and which the point? Thickest on the right end.) Thanks.
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    #2
    Step one.
    Don't worry, it's going to be fine.
    If it turns out great, you're a hero to the masses, and if it goes full train wreck, you will have a story to tell for the rest of your life, and you will have learned something. Experience is nothing more than screwing up often enough that you learn what not to do.

    Step two.
    Give yourself plenty of extra time.
    There is nothing quite as frustrating as have it be time to serve and the meat is still stuck in a second stall you weren't expecting. If it gets done early, the extended rest in the cooler won't hurt it a bit.

    The big question is, what temperature are you planning on cooking at?

    The second question is are you leaving it whole, or separating the flat from the point?

    As for actual details on timing, I'm going to let someone else answer that. I QVQ my brisket, and to be honest, my last one sucked eggs. It happens to everyone.

    To answer the point/flat question. In your pictures, the point is on the right.

    Last edited by willxfmr; June 11, 2021, 03:31 PM.

    Comment


    • WillieMac
      WillieMac commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, willxfmr. Sounds like the smart thing is to dive in but with a backup plan (I'll have pulled pork I can unfreeze). Time is definitely on the mind, so might start the night before. Temp goal is 230-260º. I was thinking of cooking it whole. Should I separate those pieces? Thanks for the "pointer." And: QVQ?

    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      I would cook it whole and not separate it into 2 pieces. At around 195* internal temp I would start checking for it being probe tender. You’ll probably wanna pull it around 200*-205*. It’s very important as you mentioned to let it cambro for at least a couple of hours or more. This is where a lot of the magic happens.
      Last edited by Panhead John; June 11, 2021, 05:15 PM.

    • willxfmr
      willxfmr commented
      Editing a comment
      WillieMac The debate on cooking whole vs separating is as old as time, and each side is very sure the other side, just doesn't understand how to do thing the "right way". I leave mine whole, but don't confuse that for the "right way". It's just how I do it.
      QVQ/SVQ/QSV are all variations of of using smoke and a sous vide cooker. The only difference is in what order you smoke and water bath. There is a very good explanation here. https://amazingribs.com/bbq-techniqu...sous-vide-que/

    #3
    You're overthinking this. Start it at about 11pm. That gives you 14 hours to 1pm the next day. Run it at about 250F.

    Start it, go to bed, get up around 7. It' VERY unlikely to be done in 8 hours. Of course, you can set a max temp alarm on the meat probe for 195F or so just in case.

    If it's done when you get up at 7, cool. Pull it, wrap it in foil etc, cambro it. If not, you can wrap for the stall or not, let it ride to about 195F and start checking for probe tender

    QVQ is smoke, then sous vide, then smoke. Way the hell too much effort for me and I'd rather have my brisket well done in any event (SVQ and QVQ are for people who want their brisket medium or medium rare but need the fat fully rendered)

    Relax, you'll do fine.
    Last edited by rickgregory; June 11, 2021, 04:20 PM.

    Comment


    • willxfmr
      willxfmr commented
      Editing a comment
      Except for the heresy about SVQ being too much trouble and only for medium rare cooks, rickgregory is spot on with his advise.

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      Ha willxfmr - SVQ is more time than I want to dedicate to the dish. And if you're going well done, why bother (space etc aside)?

    • willxfmr
      willxfmr commented
      Editing a comment
      rickgregory For me, it's a matter of timing. My work schedule can, and usually does flex several hours in either direction, so it works out good for me to have the flexibility to have a large window for when the meat is "done".

    #4
    All I can add is start earlier then you think. Better to have a long rest then have to keep answering "is it done yet?"

    Comment


    • Richard Chrz
      Richard Chrz commented
      Editing a comment
      What he said!

    • rickgregory
      rickgregory commented
      Editing a comment
      That's why I said 11pm above. If a 9lb brisket takes 14+ hours.... something is off.

    #5
    The boys are right you'll be fine.
    Allow for more time, don't be afraid to up the temp, low and slow is great but you could run it up to 300 if need be.
    There's no shame in tossing it in the oven if things start going south.
    Do not throw out the eau jus, its Chanel No.5 for men....women too.

    Comment


      #6
      Happy brisket bbq and much success.
      Two different styles, one about 18 hours, the other about 10 hours. These cooks are on a pellet grill where the temp can be held steady.
      Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket by Doug Scheiding Recipe | Traeger Grills
      Competition Style BBQ Brisket Recipe | Traeger Grills
      HOT AND FAST on a weber kettle
      7 Brisket Fundamentals Weber Kettle Hot n Fast by BBQ Champion Harry Soo How-to SlapYoDaddyBBQ.com - Bing video

      Comment


        #7
        I use almost the exact same rig you are using most of the time. In my experience, what everyone said, above is correct, I have done several packer briskets and the only times I have had any real issues were when the brisket wasn't ready when people were ready to eat. As Rick Gregory said, start early. Also, I have never had much luck in getting the charcoal to last more than 5-6 hours, running at 225-240 degrees. That means if you start at 11:00 pm and set your grate alarm, you may be adding fuel around 4-5 am., so you might want to have everything ready to go to do that. Basically, I usually follow pretty closely Meathead's recipe and techique for smoking brisket. And as others have said, don't over think this - it will be fine,

        Comment


        • WillieMac
          WillieMac commented
          Editing a comment
          Good info. Was kinda thinking this would be the case. I think I'll fire it up late tonight with the Meathead setup sans meat and see where it's at come 5:30-6. I know it won't be the exact same result w/o cooking anything but I should get a good rough idea.
          Last edited by WillieMac; June 12, 2021, 04:01 AM.

        #8
        Only thing I will add to already given advice is to monitor the temp in the thickest part of the flat, avoiding the deckle (layer of fat between flat and point). Don’t worry about the temp in the point. When the thickest part of the flat is at the 195-205 range is when to check for probe tender.

        Comment


          #9
          I'll add one thing, keep the brisket refridgerated as long as possible before putting it on the grill.
          Dry brine, the period of time for dry brining is debatable I dry brine no more than 8 hours.
          Outta the fridge, dry rub, and on the grill.

          Comment


          • WillieMac
            WillieMac commented
            Editing a comment
            I've been bringing steaks almost directly from the fridge to the grill. Working out nicely!

          #10
          Thanks, all. Really appreciate it. I'll post results when it's done two Saturdays from now.

          Comment


            #11
            I think you've gotten great advice already. I tend to cook briskets a little hotter and faster. And with this smaller brisket I would do it in one go. Get up at 5AM, light the grill (prepare things the night before). Run your grill at 275° F. Put the brisket on at 6AM. I've never cooked a brisket more than 10 hours. My typical time for a 16lb full packer is 9 hours. So, in this case you should be done at 2PM (8 hours). In my book, that means you have one (1) "flex" hour, meaning if it is done at 3PM you're still good. Then faux cambro for 2-3 hours, and serve.

            Now to the what-ifs.
            - What if it stalls for a long time? - wrap it in butcher's paper

            - What if it looks like it isn't gonna be done by 2PM? Crank up the temp. As long as you go low 'n slow for the first 3 hours you're good. Then you can start pushing the limits. Though you will have to compensate in the other end with a longer faux cambro.

            Normally my briskets hit 60° C / 140° F in 2 hours. Then things start slowing down. In a kettle I typically wrap a the end of the stall (internal temp is 80° C / 176° F). In an offset I wrap at the beginning of the stall.

            My advice for cooking on the same day is it is much easier to do small adjustments if and when needed. BUT: if you know your grill well and can trust it to not misbehave during an overnight cook then you're ok. To me it's just a large window of time where things can go south: I personally prefer to be able to do adjustments and affect outcome with temp and wrap during the cook.

            Anyhow, there's more than one way to skin a cat: pick some advice you feel comfortable with and smoke up an awesome brisket!



            Comment


              #12
              I usually find them to take 12hrs (7-8 until I wrap, after the stall; 2-3 once wrapped to get to 200; another 1-2hr hold). This is whether it's a 5lb flat or an 18lb packer. I usually cook 250ish grate temp average anymore. If my kettle gets to 275 here and there so be it, if it drops to 225 so be it.

              Comment


                #13
                I'm a night owl and I hate getting out of bed early. Start it afternoon a day ahead of time. Run it until midnight or so (250-290). Do not crutch - let the bark develop. As the evening wears on do not be afraid to open the top vent and get it up in the 300 range. For the technique I'm recommending a bit of excessive bark is a good thing. When it hits 195-200 internal double-wrap it in foil. Then immediately double wrap it in towels and put it in a cooler overnight. Being held for that long the collagen will continue to break down and with a prime packer it will get tender and even an overly tough bark will soften up in that environment.

                You are cooking for a crowd. Trying to perfectly time it the day-of is a fool's errand IMO. Instead of trying to cook it overnight, let it rest overnight.

                Comment


                  #14
                  Hmmmm....
                  Y'all have given me much to think upon...
                  Gonna haveta google "Brisket", first off, figger out what that's alla bout, try to catch up from there...

                  Comment


                    #15
                    Ok, Henrik, JeffJ Huskee et al, it's nearly B-Day. My Prime 8.47 lb brisket trimmed down (probably a tad too far) to a bit more than 5 lbs. If I keep it at 225 - which seems to make sense as it's a small piece - am I still looking at 8-10 hrs on a Weber kettle w/SnS, including stall? And - thinking of using given the size, should I cut back on the amt. of wood (thinking mesquite) smoke time? Thanks again, folks.

                    Comment


                    • Henrik
                      Henrik commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yes, 8-10 sounds reasonable. And yes, I would personally cut back on mesquite. To me, it has so much flavor I steer clear of it, unless I use it in an offset.

                    • Huskee
                      Huskee commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm usually ~12hrs, regardless if it's a large one or a smallish one. That includes 1-2hrs hold time, and that's wrapping after the stall.

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