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Under done to overdone

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  • cliffdavis
    Former Member
    • Nov 2015
    • 4
    • Brenham TX

    Under done to overdone

    I am having a problem getting my briskets to the right doneness. I use prime if I can get them or the best I can if not. I do only full briskets, cut off fat, dry brine and inject a day in advance, season with big bad before cooking and smoke at 225. I take to 150/160 and then wrap. I use a maverick 733(I have two) in the point and also use an instant temp probe. I take temp to 190 to 200. The last brisket I did I took temp to 190 and it was hard to get it there and it was overdone. The one before that I took to 195 and was severely underdone. Because it is wrapped it is hard to tell the doneness except by temperature. Should i unwrap and feel or slice to determine doneness? Is altitude a factor? The overdone one was a choice at 7500 feet while the underdone was prime was a sea level. I am really getting frustrated as I have done really great briskets in the past. The flavor is always good but the doneness is crap shoot. Thanks for any advice you can give.
    i use an offset smoker with oak and some lump charcoal and gas to keep the temperature at a constant 225 degrees.
    Last edited by cliffdavis; July 16, 2018, 08:56 AM.
  • gabulldog
    Club Member
    • Jun 2016
    • 149
    • Atlanta, GA

    #2
    Hey Cliff, I've had similar experiences with brisket cooks. While I've never overcooked one, I've cooked to 200+ and always felt it could have been more tender. Done choice and prime packers. I wrap in butcher paper around 170 and just hope for the best. Aaron Franklin never temps any of his briskets, says he just goes by feel. I guess if I did hundreds a day I might be able to do the same! I'm gonna try probing it with a thermometer next go around starting at 190 and see if I can feel it that way. Just takes practice I guess as briskets are definitely the most finicky! Good luck!

    Comment


    • bardsleyque
      bardsleyque commented
      Editing a comment
      I've seen pictures online of Aarons briskets each one sporting a probe.

    • gabulldog
      gabulldog commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, I'm sure his staff uses temps for consistency but if you read his book or watch his series on PBS, there isn't a probe in sight! It's actually a bit annoying how dismissive he is about temps!

    • bardsleyque
      bardsleyque commented
      Editing a comment
      he makes mention of 203 more than once(as a guide)for us mere mortals! I'm guessing he pays more attention to temp than he lets on.
  • ddmcwhirter
    Charter Member
    • Nov 2014
    • 137
    • Leon Springs northwest of San Antonio, Texas

    #3
    With respect to altitude, the only factors I can think of is (1) the boiling (affecting evaporation) temp for water and (2) the humidity. High altitude is low boiling point and low humidity...I would expect your stall temp to be much lower than at sea level...but also, you'd get out of the stall quicker and perhaps at a lower temperature. How does that affect the rendering of the fat in the brisket?

    Comment

    • HorseDoctor
      Charter Member
      • Sep 2014
      • 1147
      • Central Iowa

      #4
      Agree with gabulldog, use the temp as a guideline on when to start probing. Done (tender) is a combination of the individual meat, and the amount of time above 150-160 F. That is the temp at which the collagen starts to melt. Melts a little faster as temps increase as long as the temp rises gently. Usually somewhere 190 or above the temp probe will slide in with very little resistance ("probes like buttuh"). A good long rest (at least a couple hours) wrapped up in a faux cambro will ensure that what your probe told you was correct! Good luck!

      Comment

      • jfmorris
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 3225
        • Huntsville, Alabama
        • Jim Morris

          Cookers
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        #5
        One thing I notice is that you said you are monitoring the point. All cooking guidelines I've read say to monitor the thickest part of the flat, and to be sure to not insert the probe into the layer of fat between the point and flat. Fat heats differently than the meat, and the point is marbled with a lot more fat than the flat, that I think you are not cooking to the temperature you think you are.

        I've only cooked a fewf briskets so far, but so far the results have been great. The one I did this past Thursday (because someone left a fridge door open overnight and the meat warmed up!) was more moist in both flat and point than any I've done - AND I cooked it hotter and faster due to a need to do the cook before dinner on a week day. I cooked from about 8am to 2pm unwrapped at pit temperatures from 250 to 275, was stalled around 160, and wrapped in foil at 2pm. I then pushed the pit temperature above 300F. It hit 195F in the flat before 5pm. I probed it (though the foil - being careful to not go all the way through the bottom) and it was like butter everywhere. What is interesting is that when the flat hit 195, some parts of the point read well over 200 - I saw spots as high as 208F! I cambroed for 2 hours, for a 7pm dinner, and it was very good. It was even good yesterday as 3 day old leftovers - still extremely moist and flavorful.

        I am betting by probing the point instead of the flat that you are actually seeing fat temperature, and not meat temp, and are actually undercooking your briskets.

        Comment


        • cliffdavis
          cliffdavis commented
          Editing a comment
          I am monitoring the point and will change. Thanks
      • texastweeter
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 2937
        • Republic of Texas

        #6
        Do you inject? Try hitting the flat from the to and inject a bit of canola oil to butterball it. When you say overdone, do you mean tight, or dry?

        Comment


        • cliffdavis
          cliffdavis commented
          Editing a comment
          I am injecting but wit beef broth. I am thinking now it was underdone as it was tight and dry. Would canola oil be better?

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          sounds underdone to me. I inject with beef broth from the side and canola oil from the top (flat only with the canola oil)
      • DeusDingo
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 1146
        • Madison, WI
        • Weber Q320 grill
          Masterbuilt Propane Smoker
          Maverick and thermo Pen thermometers

        #7
        a lot of people have the wrong perception of what is underdone and overdone with brisket. if it's hard and tough it is underdone, if it falls apart and/or dry it is over done.

        i always do the probe test on mine. when it gets to be around 195 i start poking around with the thermometer probe. when it poked through and offers little to no resistance it's done. the way i do that while wrapped is by taking the temp probe that is always in the meat and poking into the same hole at different angles to test different areas around the hole.

        do you cambro the brisket when you are done? that helps things a bit as well

        Comment


        • cliffdavis
          cliffdavis commented
          Editing a comment
          I am thinking it was under done. I didn’t cambra as it was time to eat. I am going to have to cook longer or hotter in order to give me time to cambra. I cooked a 12 to 13 pounder for 12 hours at 225.
      • cliffdavis
        Former Member
        • Nov 2015
        • 4
        • Brenham TX

        #8
        Thanks to everyone for your advice. It sounds like it was underdone as have been my last two. My next one I am going longer and maybe some hotter than 225 and not put my probe in the point but in the flat and give myself time to cambra.

        Comment


        • dahcopilot
          dahcopilot commented
          Editing a comment
          at 225 a 12 lber takes me about 15 to 16 hrs in a pellet smoker
      • jfmorris
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 3225
        • Huntsville, Alabama
        • Jim Morris

          Cookers
          • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
          • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
          • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
          • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
          • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
          • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
          • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
          • Anova
          Thermometers
          • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
          • Thermoworks Dot
          • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
          • Thermoworks RT600C
          Beverages
          • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

        #9
        cliffdavis if its USDA prime, I personally would not bother with injecting. It should be plenty moist. I do wrap in foil with 1 cup of beef broth, just following Meathead's instructions basically. And cooking hotter to get done faster did not hurt my last brisket. I think by monitoring the right spot (thick of flat, avoid band of fat between flat and point) and starting to probe at 195 in the flat versus point will do the trick for you.

        Comment


        • Mosca
          Mosca commented
          Editing a comment
          Shoot, I've injected SRF Wagyu. If you're only doing one, and you've spent almost $200 on it, and people are anticipating it, you might as well pull out all the stops.

        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          Haha good point Mosca. I've spent at most $55 on my Costco prime briskets, and if I ever see a piece of beef that costs $100-200, I am afraid I will have to pass it by and spatchcock a chicken instead.

        • PappyBBQ
          PappyBBQ commented
          Editing a comment
          +1 jfmorris. I buy lots of prime cut meat, but if I spent 100 bucks on something my wife would not be a happy camper and by inference, neither would I! I drool over the pics here of high dollar meats but it's as close as I'll get!

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