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Where do you check brisket for temps?

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  • Kevin_nj
    Former Member
    • Aug 2017
    • 53

    Where do you check brisket for temps?

    Getting ready to make my first brisket. I know that temperatures are mostly a guideline, but one I'd like to follow, particularly on my first attempt. I've got a 13# (pre-trim) full packer I picked up when Snake River Farms had a sale.

    I've got my game plan set, run my MAK at smoke setting until IT is around 150-160F or I think the bark looks good. Then wrap in butcher paper and bump the cook temp to 225F until IT is between 195-205F or "done".

    My remaining question is what part of the brisket do I take my temp readings from? I assume that the flat will get to higher temps faster than the point. Of all of the recipes I've read (which is a lot) I do not recall seeing any that specified where to check the temp.
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 13110
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      Pizza insert
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
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      lots of probes.

    The simple answer is all over. You want the whole thing probe tender. My last brisket had the point done before the flat, but with all the marbling I kept going until the flat was ready, and it turned out great.


    • Jerod Broussard
      • Jun 2014
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      Originally posted by RonB View Post
      The simple answer is all over. You want the whole thing probe tender. My last brisket had the point done before the flat, but with all the marbling I kept going until the flat was ready, and it turned out great.
      Exactly. I cut mine across now so that a have a majority-flat vs a majority-point. I get the majority-flat probe tender. I like to get the majority-point beyond probe tender a bit to make sure and render down all that fat.

      That fatty point will fool you on probe tender. If I had to pick one spot it would be the thickest part of the flat with a 2-3 hour hold in a cambro, faux or real.


      • grantgallagher
        Club Member
        • Feb 2018
        • 1063
        • NJ

        I put the leave in probe in the thickest part of the flat then start poking all over for probe tender around 190. Bare in mind ive only done 3 briskets but this method has served me well and ive found the point to be butter when the flat is getting into the 195-205 range


        • Kevin_nj
          Former Member
          • Aug 2017
          • 53

          It cooked faster than I expected, even without being wrapped.
          Currently the temp is around 205 at the point and 195 at the flat. The point is probe tender (top and bottom) the flat and middle are still a bit tough. So I guess I leave it on.
          I'm worried about the point getting too hot and drying out before the rest is tender though. I'm also confused why the thicker point cooked so much faster than the thinner flat?
          Last edited by Kevin_nj; May 28, 2018, 04:20 AM.


          • EdF
            EdF commented
            Editing a comment
            Point is fattier.

          • Kevin_nj
            Kevin_nj commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, I realized that after the fact. I assume that the higher fat content helps keep if from drying out while waiting for the flat to finish as well.
        • Huskee
          • May 2014
          • 15304
          • central MI, USA
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          I'll be one of the rebels that don't probe all over. I check one spot in the middle of the flat and same for the point. When they get to my personal wrapping point, which is 170-180, depending on how the bark looks, I'll check one other spot in each (flat & point). As long as they're both similar I'm done. Once wrapped I go up to upper 190s, low 200s and call it good. I don't obsess over 'probe tender' everywhere, because it will be, and I don't look for a specific temp, because it will be fine. To me, it's not calculating trajectory to land on the moon, it's a wad of meat.


          • Kevin_nj
            Former Member
            • Aug 2017
            • 53

            It's pulled, wrapped and resting in my faux cambro. A good 2-4 hours earlier than I expected.

            All but the very center was probe tender and even that wasn't very tough. It got much more tender in the extra 20-30 min. I figure it should continue to break down a bit more while it rests.

            Thanks again to all for the suggestions.

            Huskee, I pretty much follow your thoughts with shoulders, pork ribs and chicken because I've done many of them. This being my first brisket still has me overthinking things and being a bit Type A yet.


            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              BBQ offers many opportunities to change from type A (which I also happen to either be or have been).
          • Kevin_nj
            Former Member
            • Aug 2017
            • 53

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            • gcdmd
              gcdmd commented
              Editing a comment
              Whoa, lookin' good!

            • grantgallagher
              grantgallagher commented
              Editing a comment
              Kevin_nj That looks fantastic. How was it?

            • Kevin_nj
              Kevin_nj commented
              Editing a comment
              grantgallagher I'll let you know after I have some.
          • FishTalesNC
            Club Member
            • Dec 2017
            • 1236
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            Looks delicious! Great questions, I’ve only done one brisket and that was before I knew about the goodness of AR. Want to do another soon, this thread will help. 👍🏻


            • Kevin_nj
              Former Member
              • Aug 2017
              • 53

              My wife and I were both very pleased with the results (she kept stealing pieces as I was slicing it). Pictures will be forthcoming, but first another question.

              Since it is just the two of us, there is a lot leftover. I removed the point and sliced the majority of the flat, except for the point side when it became too difficult to slice as it was just falling apart. I plan an keeping a couple meals worth in the fridge for later this week, the rest will get vac sealed & frozen for a later date.

              I plan to use the point and remainder of the flat for tacos/nachos/or whatever else I come up with. This will also be vac sealed and likely frozen. I'm thinking it would be best to chop/pull it before bagging & freezing; agree?


              • EdF
                EdF commented
                Editing a comment
                I'd do it after storing in the freeze/fridge to minimize drying out.

              • Kevin_nj
                Kevin_nj commented
                Editing a comment
                I decided to pull it first. My thought was I would either sous vide it or thaw it on then toss on a griddle and it would be easier to do so already pulled. I just made up a batch of thin sauce for the leftovers later this week.
            • Kevin_nj
              Former Member
              • Aug 2017
              • 53


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              • RickyBobby
                RickyBobby commented
                Editing a comment
                Looks amazing! I hope mine turns out at least half that nice!

              • Kevin_nj
                Kevin_nj commented
                Editing a comment
                In the end I was way over concerned going into this cook. This was no more challenging then a pork shoulder or ribs. I only regret waiting so long to cook one.

                Good Luck!
            • jfmorris
              Club Member
              • Nov 2017
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              Kevin_nj one thing to remember with brisket is that it dries out quickly when you slice it - especially the flat. It’s better not to pre-slice the entire flat like that if you can avoid it, although I can understand the idea to portion it out for leftovers. If you do, I think if you saved any of the jus from the cook if you wrapped, I would put some of that in the vacuum bag with the slices before freezing. I’ve done that with slices from a New York strip loin, and it reheated wonderfully. I’ve not tried freezing left over brisket though.


              • Kevin_nj
                Kevin_nj commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah, I learned the hard way just how quickly brisket dries out.
                Still tasted mighty good though. I'll figure out something for the leftovers, sauce/gravy/aus jus.



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