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Where to read a whole packer

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  • Breaktheory
    Former Member
    • Jul 2018
    • 53

    Where to read a whole packer

    I’m new to the game and have only done one brisket before - it was huge and I ended up cooking the point and flat separately...the point worked out beautifully while the flat came out really dry.

    im attempting an entire packer at once this weekend - should I be probing in the flat or the point - if my flat is at 203 but my point is still 192 what should I be doing?

    i did see a video where they propped the flat on firebricks to create more circulation around it but I question how effective this would be
  • Huskee
    Administrator
    • May 2014
    • 15328
    • central MI, USA
    • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

      Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

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      • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
      • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

      Beverages
      • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
      • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
      • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
      • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
      • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
      • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
      • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

      About me
      Real name: Aaron
      Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

      Occupation:
      • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

    #2
    Check both. You'll read (most likely anyway) some responses where folks will get their flat done quicker, and some the other way around. In my case, my most common occurrence is the flat will get done quicker, which goes against what others often experience. But if, as you say, you get a flat up to temp and a point only in the 190s, call it good! That's exactly how most of my full packer cooks go. Flat is 200+ and point is low- to mid-190s. Do the 1-2 faux cambro hold from there, and you'll love it! You don't HAVE to have both sides up to 200+, especially if you're using Prime. Maybe a select, but my experience with Select is limited to only one, my first one, so I can't speak with any real experience on them.

    A flat will ALWAYS be drier than the point, always, it's the nature of the two muscles. Even if you splurge on a Wagyu. To help with that, leave a generous fat cap on it. When you slice the brisket thin, almost like bacon, that fat cap will be a thin edge of soft fat on each slice, and that will translate to a delicious 'juicy' experience in your mouth. This will help with the overall experience of eating the flat.

    I like to trim almost all the fat between the two muscles. Peel the flat up and slowly slice away at the increasing fat band between flat & point like you're skinning a fish fillet. I stop just short of completely separating the two muscles. To me, this helps speed up the cook and eliminates too much fat later on when slicing it up to serve. Generous fat cap on top, less fat in the middle. This is my personal preference with a Prime & Choice brisket. You don't have to do this, I'm just sharing an option.

    Comment


    • EdF
      EdF commented
      Editing a comment
      What he said!

    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      Good overview Huskee

    • Scout789
      Scout789 commented
      Editing a comment
      My experience as well.
  • Mosca
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 3635
    • PA
    • Large Big Green Egg, Weber Performer Deluxe, Weber Smokey Joe Silver, Maverick 732, DigiQ, and too much other stuff to mention.

    #3
    Remove the flat and wrap/cambro it, then when the point is done do the same.

    That's one of the reasons to separate, because they often get done at different times.

    Comment

    • Breaktheory
      Former Member
      • Jul 2018
      • 53

      #4
      Originally posted by Huskee View Post
      Check both. You'll read (most likely anyway) some responses where folks will get their flat done quicker, and some the other way around. In my case, my most common occurrence is the flat will get done quicker, which goes against what others often experience. But if, as you say, you get a flat up to temp and a point only in the 190s, call it good! That's exactly how most of my full packer cooks go. Flat is 200+ and point is low- to mid-190s. Do the 1-2 faux cambro hold from there, and you'll love it! You don't HAVE to have both sides up to 200+, especially if you're using Prime. Maybe a select, but my experience with Select is limited to only one, my first one, so I can't speak with any real experience on them.

      A flat will ALWAYS be drier than the point, always, it's the nature of the two muscles. Even if you splurge on a Wagyu. To help with that, leave a generous fat cap on it. When you slice the brisket thin, almost like bacon, that fat cap will be a thin edge of soft fat on each slice, and that will translate to a delicious 'juicy' experience in your mouth. This will help with the overall experience of eating the flat.

      I like to trim almost all the fat between the two muscles. Peel the flat up and slowly slice away at the increasing fat band between flat & point like you're skinning a fish fillet. I stop just short of completely separating the two muscles. To me, this helps speed up the cook and eliminates too much fat later on when slicing it up to serve. Generous fat cap on top, less fat in the middle. This is my personal preference with a Prime & Choice brisket. You don't have to do this, I'm just sharing an option.
      My first and only was a prime - they’re cheap enough at Costco that I can do things properly.

      I trimmed the cap to about 1/2” across the entire packer before cutting it in half - do you think leaving a thicker cap on the flat would yield a more even cook?

      i would hate to shortchange the point - is separating it mid Cook something that’s commonly practiced?

      Comment

      • Huskee
        Administrator
        • May 2014
        • 15328
        • central MI, USA
        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

          Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

          Smokers / Grills
          • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
          • PBC
          • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
          • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
          • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
          • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
          • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
          • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
          • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

          Thermometers
          • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
          • (7) Maverick ET-732s
          • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
          • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
          • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
          • Thermapen MkII, orange
          • ThermoPop, yellow
          • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
          • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
          • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
          • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

          Accessories
          • Instant Pot 6qt
          • Anova Bluetooth SV
          • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
          • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
          • BBQ Dragon
          • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
          • Weber grill topper
          • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
          • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
          • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

          Beverages
          • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
          • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
          • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
          • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
          • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
          • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
          • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

          About me
          Real name: Aaron
          Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

          Occupation:
          • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

        #5
        Not sure necessarily about more even, haven't tested it but it can't hurt. I like to place the fat cap in the direction of the heat, so it acts as a buffer. My theory is this may help even the cooking out and do less drying of the flat. Again, just a theory with only anecdotal evidence. No, I've never heard of separating mid-cook. Separating before cooking is very common, you get "Bark360" on both muscles that way, and can customize the timing of the cook to each muscle this way, as Mosca mentioned above. Surely this will yield the most perfect end result for both. As of now my preference is still to cook it whole, since just like a big turkey the whole packer is more impressive to guests watching you bring it in and slice it.

        Comment

        • Jon Liebers
          Club Member
          • May 2018
          • 198

          #6
          when I see 195 I call it a day. I have found that 200-205 is just plain too hot and almost always dries out the flat to some degree. Wrapping helps but the magic # for me is 195. Then I let it sit , wrapped in towels in the cooler for several hours .

          Comment


          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            I done several to 195 and I totally agree. "203" being the number we need is like saying you have to wait an hour after eating to swim. It's just not the whole truth.

          • ClayJones
            ClayJones commented
            Editing a comment
            This is what I learned this weekend. I took one out at around 195 because it was passing the "wiggle like jello" test. Left the other in to 201 (It also hit a second stall while wrapped at 197 which probably means something) and it never passed the WLJ test... I just took it out based on instinct. Turned out the second one was a bit overcooked (to me... everyone else was happily munching away).

          • Jon Liebers
            Jon Liebers commented
            Editing a comment
            I've found when it seems to stall in the 190's I take my thermopen and take the temp from several different spots( all over the brisket) to get a better idea of what is going on . Sometimes its just a matter where the original probe is . and of course the wiggle test is the first clue.
        • HorseDoctor
          Charter Member
          • Sep 2014
          • 1147
          • Central Iowa

          #7
          Quit looking at the thermometer and just use it as a probe. It’s “done” when it is “probe tender” not necessarily at any certain temperature! Good luck!

          Comment


          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Glad you said it before I did, forget temps at the end, imo.
        • snowswamp
          Club Member
          • Dec 2017
          • 230
          • Lakewood, CO
          • Weber Genesis Silver B (converted to nat. gas)
            Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 (converted to nat. gas)
            Thermoworks Smoke
            Thermoworks Classic Thermapen
            Thermoworks IR-IND Infrared Thermometer
            Maverivk XR-50 Thermometer

          #8
          Thanks for the question and the discussion! I’m doing my first prime brisket tonight and was just about to post too.

          Comment

          • CaptainMike
            Club Member
            • Nov 2015
            • 2545
            • The Great State of Jefferson
            • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill w/SnS and DnG (Spartacus)
              Old school big'ol Traeger w/Pro controller (Big Tex)
              2 W22's w/SnS, DnG (1 black, 1 copper) (Minions 1 and 2)
              20+ y/o many times rebuilt Weber Genesis w/GrillGrates (Gas Passer)
              20 x 30 Santa Maria grill (Maria, duh)
              Bradley cabinet smoker (Pepper Gomez)
              36" Blackstone griddle (The Black Beauty)
              Fireboard
              Thermoworks Smoke and Thermapen.

            #9
            I don't start checking IT's until about 8 hours have passed, just doesn't seem necessary. I'll monitor grill temps and take a peek now and then, but just let the meat do it's thing. I'll put a probe in the flat and one in the point and start poking for probe-tenderness at 190. I am by no means an expert brisket cooker, but I have learned that probe-tenderness, at least for me, is what to shoot for. My "8 hour method" almost backfired on me last week when I inserted probes after about 7 1/2 hours and the flat was DONE. The point wasn't too far behind so I turned the heat down a bit and just let her ride. It was one of the best I've done. Here's a shot of the most recent. This was after 7.5 hours in Traeger at 250:

            Click image for larger version

Name:	Briskie.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	940.9 KB
ID:	538535
            Last edited by CaptainMike; July 26, 2018, 06:13 PM.

            Comment

            • Thom Emery
              Former Member
              • Sep 2014
              • 447
              • Indio Ca

              #10
              What if I told you

              Great brisket in 5 hours


              the-white-rabbit

              Comment


              • EdF
                EdF commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks! Will give it a try!

              • CaptainMike
                CaptainMike commented
                Editing a comment
                Thom, that is pretty much what I did with my last cook, minus pseudo-separating. I'll not do one differently.
            • Thom Emery
              Former Member
              • Sep 2014
              • 447
              • Indio Ca

              #11
              We separate good to great Briskets
              when cooking Choice grade we leave em together

              Comment


              • CaptainMike
                CaptainMike commented
                Editing a comment
                Duly noted
            • Breaktheory
              Former Member
              • Jul 2018
              • 53

              #12
              I love the matrix and this is hysterical but what is it that’s being done differently than a standard foil crutch?

              Comment


              • snowswamp
                snowswamp commented
                Editing a comment
                It looks that they cook at 300 F vs 225 F. I can’t find who originally posted the video, but they talk about it here as well: https://youtu.be/p3xLGPz6zVA.
            • gcdmd
              Charter Member
              • Sep 2014
              • 1070
              • The Republic of Texas

              #13
              Good discussion. The 203 "rule" may have started with Aaron Franklin. He said in his book and, I believe, in a video, that he cooks to probe tender and that 203 is frequently the temp the meat just happens to be. As indicated above, temperature does not have to be your end point.

              Comment


              • HorseDoctor
                HorseDoctor commented
                Editing a comment
                Correct!!! Brisket could be tender at 140F. if you spent 48-72 hours in a SV. Tender is a combination of TIME and temp!

              • gcdmd
                gcdmd commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you, HorseDoctor . I always appreciate your posts for their insight and clear explanations.
            • Huskee
              Administrator
              • May 2014
              • 15328
              • central MI, USA
              • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

                Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

                Smokers / Grills
                • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
                • PBC
                • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
                • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
                • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
                • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
                • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
                • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
                • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
                • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

                Thermometers
                • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
                • (7) Maverick ET-732s
                • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
                • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
                • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
                • Thermapen MkII, orange
                • ThermoPop, yellow
                • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
                • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
                • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
                • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

                Accessories
                • Instant Pot 6qt
                • Anova Bluetooth SV
                • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
                • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
                • BBQ Dragon
                • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
                • Weber grill topper
                • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
                • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
                • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

                Beverages
                • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
                • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
                • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
                • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
                • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
                • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
                • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

                About me
                Real name: Aaron
                Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

                Occupation:
                • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

              #14
              "203", to me, is like "55mph". Merely a decent suggestion. (LOL)

              Comment

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