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Brisket, Sometimes Ya Gotta Bust Out

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  • Troutman
    Club Member
    • Aug 2017
    • 7461
    • aka Troutman Taco - Hanging Free in Tejas

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    Brisket, Sometimes Ya Gotta Bust Out

    I usually look around and find a nice prime packer brisket either at HEB or Costco to put into my meat frig. I do this on a rotating basis, let it wet cure for 45 days, cook it, then replace with another one. So doing the math I probably cook a packer at least 10 times a year. Been cooking them for more years then I care to remember. Most of the time they aren't spectacular but usually they are pretty good.

    Anyway had a real nice prime 14# ready to go this past week end. Salt brined it for 36 hours just prior to then fired up the pellet cooker to 250* and put her on about 9 am. Prime packers at that temp will usually cook for me in about 8-9 hours, this one was no exception. I'm not going to bore you with all the details, usual brisket rub and procedures were followed, here she is going on the cooker with multiple Fireboard probes;

    Click image for larger version

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    As the day progressed the IT was climbing nicely. Got well up into the 160s IT within a few hours. Now primes will do that, they tend to cook faster for me. In fact the probe at the top was in the point and that was around 180* at this point in time. I thought about letting it go, I did inject with beef broth and phosphate so wasn't too concerned about drying out. Maybe that's what I should have done.

    Well at about 165* it started to slow and I sensed the stall about to approach but was also concerned that the point was getting well up around 190* and didn't want to dry it out. Was out of butcher paper but went ahead and threw it into a foil pan and covered it and raised the heat to about 275*. Here it is just prior to the stall, looking great;

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    Well I hit the mid 190s rather quickly, pulled my probes out and started to Thermopen it for butter soft. Here's my graph of the cook, notice how quickly it got up to temp;

    Click image for larger version

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    Here is where I believe things went south. As I mentioned I had injected about a quart of liquid into the whole packer and the foiling brought all of that out into the pan and began to braise the meat. I was literally wobbling all over the pan when probed but still had a hard spot on top of the flat. I figured I'd let it go until the flat yielded, I was determined. Well it finally got up to 199* in the flat and about 205* in the point and I called it a day, right at the 8 hour mark. Cambroed for 2.5 hours and pulled it out to serve for dinner.

    To my surprise I overshot the thing, it was evident the minute I started to carve. It was way too soft and crumbly. It had great flavor and was moist as all get out, but it was pot roast. I may as well have put it into a crock pot and cooked it low and slow. It was feakin' POT ROAST.

    You know it tasted really good all in all but I just wanted to share with everyone that 1) briskets all seem to cook a little differently, there is no magic formula, 2) prime briskets definitely cook faster, you have to start probing at 190* or maybe earlier, 3) be careful how you crutch, in my case there way too much available liquid, I think paper may have been a better way to go in this case.

    Anyway, the purpose for this post is to let those out there struggling to cook that perfect brisket to hang in there. Eventually you will get the hang of it and develop a method that works for you. And then again, every once in a while you will just bust out. No big deal.

    Have a great July 4th ya'll, look forward to seeing everyone's cooks !!!
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 13101
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      SNS
      Pizza insert
      Rotisserie
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      Chefalarm
      Dot
      lots of probes.
      CyberQ

    #2
    At least it tasted good. Maybe you could try putting something under the meat to keep it out of the liquid next time. Maybe a small grate?

    Comment

    • Frozen Smoke
      Club Member
      • Nov 2017
      • 1528
      • Northern Mn

      #3
      Eh, nothing wrong with a little pot roast once in awhile but I feel your pain when that's not what you want from a prime brisket. I've stated my method on this board several times so I won't repeat in detail but I do pretty much what you do except I don't cover when I pan it just sits in the pan with a little juice in the bottom and collects it's own juices.

      I think you may have been all right if you had not covered it and braised. I have a prime and a black grade sitting in the freezer. I have never wet aged before anything I need to be aware of? What are the major benefits?

      Comment

      • Troutman
        Club Member
        • Aug 2017
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        • aka Troutman Taco - Hanging Free in Tejas

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        #4
        Yea you guys are correct, I simply over braised it. Hope others pick up on my error. I just made a Sammie out of the left over and it was tender and tasty. Probably do pink paper wrap on the next one.

        Comment

        • Jerod Broussard
          Moderator
          • Jun 2014
          • 9860
          • East Texas
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          #5
          After severely overcooking a Prime flat I never injected again. I realized nothing saves it if I screw it up enough.

          Comment


          • EdF
            EdF commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh Yeah!
        • SmokeUp
          Club Member
          • Jul 2018
          • 2

          #6
          Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post
          After severely overcooking a Prime flat I never injected again. I realized nothing saves it if I screw it up enough.
          Sorry, I'm new. About to tackle a Wagyu Packer. Would that go early too then? Better not to inject as well?

          Comment


          • Jerod Broussard
            Jerod Broussard commented
            Editing a comment
            I've heard they too are early. Myself, I'd treat that Wagyu just like any other; Dry brine 2-3 days, apply rub, smoke nekkid until probe tender in the thickest part of the flat.

          • Frozen Smoke
            Frozen Smoke commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree with Jerod you want to taste all that wonderful flavor of the Wagyu beef you paid for not some injection. Salt and pepper nekkid on the smoker until done.

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree with these guys, wagyu is full of fat and great marbling and should not need the extra moisture. But do start to probe around 190* IT, it may get done faster than you think....or not
        • SierraBBQGuy
          Former Member
          • Jan 2018
          • 173
          • Shingle Springs CA

          #7
          I don’t recall where, but viewed a test of when to wrap, or wrap at all? It may have been an Aaron Franklin YouTube. Anyway, the conclusion was if you wrap, the best time is after the stall, so usually 170-175. Have others here found this?

          Seems a bit counter intuitive since most wrap to accelerate through the stall.

          Comment

          • Troutman
            Club Member
            • Aug 2017
            • 7461
            • aka Troutman Taco - Hanging Free in Tejas

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            #8
            Here’s my take on wrapping which indeed can help make a better brisket. First cooking nekkid from start to finish produced the best bark hands down. And bark is what sets great brisket apart from say pot roast. The unfortunate reality is briskets are unpredictable. The Texas crutch was a technique used to help overcome drying out the meat by forcing it through the stall.

            Does that mean its automatically necessary? I would say not, but overcoming a dry brisket is what you risk as a result. That’s why butcher paper came into popularity over foil because it maintains most of the barkiness while powering through the stall and maintaining moisture. Foil works well in providing steaming or braising but like I did above, you risk making pot roast.

            A lot of it involves knowing your cooker, practicing and finding out what works best for you. But even Jerod Broussard would agree, sometimes you just have to bust out....then try it again

            (he now steps down from his soap box, you may return to your regularly scheduled program)


            Comment

            • Red Man
              Club Member
              • May 2018
              • 1159
              • Western Washington

              #9
              My take on wrapping is it’ll help it even out, so the point, flat, thicker, thinner parts can all be properly cooked. Wrap with butcher paper after the stall so the bark has been properly formed and the paper will help all the different internal temps even out.

              Comment

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