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Prime Brisket: Probe tender where?

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  • wcpreston
    Club Member
    • Nov 2016
    • 198

    Prime Brisket: Probe tender where?

    I smoke nothing but Prime briskets. I usually wet age them 30 days before cooking them.

    I read somebody else's post that their Prime briskets were probe tender at 190. I happened to be in a hurry today, so I checked at 190 and it was indeed probe tender in the point. But it definitely was not probe tender in the flat. Should it be probe tender everywhere?

    I was rushed (I got started late). So I decided to pull it & put it in the faux cambro for 1.5 hrs. The result was meh. (Everyone loved it but I wasn't happy.)

    The fat between the point & the flat wasn't all melted and looked kind of like a gel. The flat didn't pass the "pull" test. (It took more than a slight tug to pull a slice apart.)

    1. Should it be probe tender everywhere before I pull?
    2. Will Prime briskets get PT at lower temps than Choice?
    3. At what temp would you start checking for doneness?

    Also, what do you think about separating the point/flat and cooking them separately? They tend to be done at different times anyway. This could solve that problem.

    Here's a pic of the result. I'd give it a 6 out of 10.

    Click image for larger version

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  • Jerod Broussard
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    #2
    Thickest part of the flat. Let it "hold" an hour or two and things will be peachy.

    I'm not against totally separating the point and the flat, but if it was really worth it, then I don't think a lot of people like Aaron Franklin and Smoque BBQ would be leaving the packers whole whenever they smoked them. Granted there are space considerations, but that doesn't stop plenty whole packers from coming out perfect.

    Comment


    • wcpreston
      wcpreston commented
      Editing a comment
      So if the thickest part of the flat is that way, the thinner part will be, too, right?

    • BBQ_Bill
      BBQ_Bill commented
      Editing a comment
      wcpreston
      Aaron Franklin explains how to know when a packer brisket is done in a Youtube video.
      I have posted that detailed information here in The Pit.
      A link will be provided sir, but not here in this comment as I don't believe that comments have that option available. (At least I cannot seem to post a Link in comments)
  • Jerod Broussard
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    #3
    wcpreston Having some drier parts to chop up is not uncommom. The key with good tender Prime is to not over do it and dry it out more than you really needed to. The key with a lower grade Select is to just take the thickest part of the flat to 203-205 and give it hot hold for a few hours.

    Comment

    • jecucolo
      Club Member
      • Nov 2015
      • 1274
      • Schertz Texas
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      #4
      My experience with prime is if you take them to 203 there is a good chance you will over cook them. There is nothing more disappointing then slicing the brisket point and it just crumbles. So even though you felt the brisket was mediocre it could have been worse!
      Brisket is finicky to get perfect and it takes practice. Holding it in the faux cambro is really a must. This is where so much of the breakdowns of fat happens.
      I probe the point though that takes a little experience too. I start checking at 190.
      I use Huske’s method of wrapping in foil or butcher paper around 180-185. The longer it is wrapped the more it is braised which isn’t how I like brisket.

      Comment

      • tdimond
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        • Jun 2018
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        #5
        I usually probe in a few spots in the flat, just to be sure. I make sure that the thickest part of the flat is included. The last prime ones I did were probe tender at about 190°. I had a space issue on the smoker, so I finished in a 275° oven, and I had some carryover heating in the faux cambro - temps rose to 195° before starting to drop.

        That cook also wound up with a 4 hour hold, and everything was really good.

        Comment


        • wcpreston
          wcpreston commented
          Editing a comment
          So if the thickest part of the flat is probe tender, the thinner parts will be too, right?

        • tdimond
          tdimond commented
          Editing a comment
          They should be. I'm also a belt and suspenders type.
      • Frozen Smoke
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 1528
        • Northern Mn

        #6
        There are no hard and fast answers to your questions. You can cook two primes side by side and one may reach 190 a hour before the other one. Does that mean it's done at 190? No. You may have to take one to 200 to be probe tender while the other may be probe tender at 195 but took a hour longer to get there.

        I usually don't even start to probe until I suspect I'm getting in the 160's. I judge that by how much sizzling I hear going on in the pit. When that fat starts rendering and dripping I know i'm in the 160's. That's when it's time for me to grab a pan and catch all that goodness. Then I know I'm good and don't need to probe again for several more hours. So time to grab another beer. When I go back to probing I'm usually a little better than 190. I like to be probe tender in at least 2 spots on the point and the flat. After that the Cambro does the rest.
        It's like the old golden rule says. It's done when it's done.

        Comment


        • wcpreston
          wcpreston commented
          Editing a comment
          I have a fireboard, so I'm monitoring temps along the way. I usually wrap at 160, but now I'm thinking of doing it later based on input.

        • wcpreston
          wcpreston commented
          Editing a comment
          Oh, and I know what you're talking about regarding it's all different. I was just inquiring as to whether or not there was consensus that Prime briskets TEND to get probe tender sooner than others.

          And also the big question was WHERE it's supposed to be probe tender. Now I'm learning "thickest part of the flat." But I still have the question "if it's probe tender there, will it also be that way in the thin part of the flat?"
      • ecowper
        Founding Member
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          Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

        #7
        I find that when the thickest part of the flat is 190 on a prime brisket, it is very close to probe tender. I start checking at 190. And that's also the last time I worry about internal temp. The point gets there sooner than the flat, for sure. I usually run a probe in the point and in the flat :-)

        Comment


        • wcpreston
          wcpreston commented
          Editing a comment
          That brings up another question. I've been measuring temp in the point. (I have a fireboard.) Perhaps I should be measuring in the flat. Or both? (I have five probes LOL)

        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          wcpreston I have a fireboard too, so more probes than I know what to do with :-) .... I measure the flat and point at the same time
      • CandySueQ
        KCBS President, and Moderator
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        #8
        Every time I try to go just by temp, I'm disappointed. I use my thermopen to FEEL with the temp part turned away from my eyes so I'm not fooled by the temp. I want no resistance in or out and every brisket is different!

        Comment

        • Huskee
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          #9
          Agree (of course) with all teh above. I'll add that my finished temps are anywhere from 195-210. Now, before you think "What?! 210?!", I'll add that a brisket or two got away from me and snuck up that high when company was over and wine was being poured. It turned out SO nice that now I fret nada about actual finished temp. I have served plenty that onyl went up to 195-197, and few up nearly as high meat will go, and as long as it 'holds' for 1-2hrs with a waning temp (not up at cooking temp), it will be great.

          Comment


          • wcpreston
            wcpreston commented
            Editing a comment
            I see BBQ_Bill rests until the temp drops to 140, then holds up to 10-15 hours at 150. The opposite of what I'm saying.

            BBQ_Bill, holding it at 150 like that for that long doesn't make it too fall apart like?

          • BBQ_Bill
            BBQ_Bill commented
            Editing a comment
            Negative on the long hold making them fall apart, crumbly soft. I copied Aaron Franklin. I want my packers almost as tender in the sweet spot of the flat as they are elsewhere in the flat. THEN I pull from the heat and rest for about 2 hours until 150°F internal. Next hold at 148°F for a long time. Every cow is different. Each one is done when done.

          • wcpreston
            wcpreston commented
            Editing a comment
            This is awesome. Will help me be more consistent w/my brisket cooks
        • jfmorris
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          #10
          I go for probe tender in the flat AND the point. The point will get there first, but that is fine, as it can take the extra heat, due to the higher fat content, so don't worry about overcooking the point.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Huskee I've done most of my brisket in the offset, and probably had the point towards the firebox. Maybe that is a factor due to the 10-20F difference I see across the 3 feet of grate.

          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah, if you're using an offset, you'd expect to see some variance. direct flow or reverse flow, JF? I'd guess direct.

          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Potkettleblack It’s a direct flow offset, with a home made deflector near the firebox which went a long way towards evening out temp end to end (went from 50 to about 10-20 differential end to end on most cooks). I have only ever cooked prime briskets here too.
        • Potkettleblack
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          #11
          In theory, a prime should be probe tender before a choice, but there's a lot of variation for a few reasons.
          The reason why I think the prime should be done earlier is that it SHOULD be more marbled.
          The reason I think there's a lot of variance, is that the entire cow is rated based on a partial ribeye marbling. If you look at people walking around, you notice they have different depositions of fat, and if you sampled people at their 9th rib on the back, you really wouldn't get an accurate measure on how well marbled their pectoral muscle was (brisket).

          The other cause of variance is that there are high choices that are nicer than low end primes. I tend to shop the choices at Costco, and molest the lot of them. For steak primals, I check both ends and push the bag around so I can see the marbling. And again, I touch em all. I pity the guy who is waiting for me to be done, though I'll point him to the #2. Some farmers don't submit for prime grading, and there's now some retired dairy cattle in the pool, and they will all grade to prime, even though they can be a bit tougher (but really great flavor... they're kind of Super Choice masquerading as Prime).

          The TLR is: Yeah, it should be, but reality is complicated and you're best off just using a toothpick to test the tenderness rather than sweating the temp.

          Comment


          • BBQ_Bill
            BBQ_Bill commented
            Editing a comment
            While shopping... watch out for longer than normal packers and oddly thick "looking" flats from Costco.
            -
            A warning. As the butcher/processor preps a packer, he/she can cheat out into the plate area, which is quite thin and will simply dry out/burn up during the smoke. Also they will fold the flat on the thin edge over to APPEAR thick.
            I will post a photo later that shows what I mean.
            Last edited by BBQ_Bill; January 21, 2019, 09:01 PM. Reason: Explained my post

          • new2smoking
            new2smoking commented
            Editing a comment
            BBQ_Bill: Why ‘watch out’ for ‘thicker flats’? What’s going on?
            Thanks
            Daniel

          • wcpreston
            wcpreston commented
            Editing a comment
            BBQ_Bill yea I'm not sure what you mean. Are you warning or suggesting?
        • jharner
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          #12
          Prime - Choice or Select Probe tender is just that PROBE TENDER. It goes through like butter. In my cooks the point always reaches probe tender before the flat, but it stays on the smoker till the flat is probe tender. Then goes to the Cambro. One better than CandySueQ once you are past 190 put the Thermopen away and use a wooden shish kebab skewer.

          Comment


          • CandySueQ
            CandySueQ commented
            Editing a comment
            One to You! If you're not heat adverse a toothpick works too but it's short reach.
        • rotagilla
          Club Member
          • Feb 2018
          • 26
          • Duluth, GA

          #13
          I have found that when I use the HOT AND FAST method on the PBC I need to take prime briskets a little higher temp than when I do LOW AND SLOW on the WSM.

          Comment

          • Santamarina
            Club Member
            • Aug 2018
            • 933
            • Wildomar, CA

            #14
            Brisket is the ONLY meat I cook to feel and not to temp. I also only cook Prime brisket - my local Costco has a never ending supply of Prime brisket at a great price!

            I want the whole thing to be probe tender. I usually cut a whole packer in half because I cook in a vertical offset and don’t have the room for a whole brisket. Wrapping and pulling happen when it’s ready (by feel and color), not by a clock or thermometer.

            Comment


            • CandySueQ
              CandySueQ commented
              Editing a comment
              I wish I could say I only cook prime or waygu! I cook the best brisket I can find and I've set up a small frig for wet aging. That makes a large difference, IMO! I cut point from flat on every packer.
          • new2smoking
            Club Member
            • Aug 2018
            • 203
            • Seattle, WA

            #15
            Looking for more brisket advice, suggestions:

            Sunday I am smoking a 19 lb Costco prime for our belated Hanukah feast at my sisters: Brisket & latkes. (mixed family, celebrate everything!) My sister used to roast/braise the brisket in the oven, using my deceased mother's recipe, but the flat was always tough. Before I knew what a point and flat were, I knew that I wanted the meat that was above the fat streak!

            I smoked my first and only brisket a couple of months ago on my KBQ at 250-275. I separated the point and flat, each on a separate rack, salt and pepper only, wrapped in aluminum at IT of 165 with some beef broth, taken to 203 without probing. Cambro for one hour. Family loved it, but I thought the flat was a little tough. (All agreed it was more tender than Mom's old recipe, and they liked the jus)

            So, today, in preparation, I trimmed the fat pretty severely between point and flat, but thought I would keep them together, possibly tie it together. Thoughts? I will attempt 250, butcher paper wrap after the stall, or keep naked? I am happy to post final results. I'm also curious about others' experience with separating points and flats. Is there any reason the flat should be tough if you do that (assuming that you do the probe testing, and pull when tender, which I hadn't on my first try)? I now understand that if you separate, they may well be probe tender at different times.

            Also, does anyone dry brine overnight? I read about applying the salt/pepper mix (1:1 or 2:1 or 1.5:1, etc), and I have read about dry brining beef ribs (did that twice, worked well), but I don't understand why if it's good for beef ribs, why aren't folks doing that for a brisket as well.

            I have photos below of my trim. Out of the 19 lb prime brisket, I trimmed off 6.5 lbs fat (which I will render in an aluminum baking pan on the top rack during the smoke), so have 12.5 lbs meat. Hope to use the tallow mixed with peanut oil for french fries in the future (ThermoWorks has great articles on that:

            https://blog.thermoworks.com/sides/h...-the-best-oil/

            https://blog.thermoworks.com/sides/g...-french-fries/

            https://blog.thermoworks.com/sides/e...-french-fries/



            Above: Costco Vacuum bag 19 lbs​


            BEFORE trimming (above and below)


            BELOW: After the trim, flat on top, point underneath
            BELOW: After the trim, Flat on top, point belowBELOW: After the trim: Point on top, flat below
            BELOW: After the trim. Point on top, flat below

            Is it worth keeping the point and flat connected and tie together, don't tie, or separate completely?

            OK, I'm out of questions for now............

            Daniel

            Comment


            • Red Man
              Red Man commented
              Editing a comment
              The pics didn’t come through. Definitely dry brine overnight, I often do it for 36 hours. I trim the fat between the point and flat fairly aggressively but have never had to tie them together.

            • wcpreston
              wcpreston commented
              Editing a comment
              The point and flat will be probe tender at different times whether you separate them or not.

              Most people say to wrap after the stall, or close to the end of it. That way the bark doesn't get too soggy.

              I absolutely dry brine overnight.

            • EdF
              EdF commented
              Editing a comment
              Check out this post. BBQ_BILL may have a more comprehensive description of his KBQ method but this should get you through: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...216#post411216
              Last edited by EdF; January 19, 2019, 10:18 AM.

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          Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

          Grilla pellet smoker
          We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5" x 29.5" footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.

          Click here for our review on this unique smoker


          Delta by Nuke,
          Stylish and Affordable
          Gaucho Grill

          Weber Genesis Grill
          Delta by Nuke burns wood or charcoal and comes with an adjustable height grill grate. This Argentinian grill will get your flame on!

          Click here to read our complete review


          Genesis II E-335
          A Versatile Gasser That Does It All!

          Weber Genesis Grill
          Webers? Genesis line has long been one of the most popular choices for gas grillers. The new Genesis II E-335 offers solid performance, a sear burner for sizzling heat and an excellent warranty.

          Click here to read our complete review


          GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

          grill grates
          GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily rmoved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

          Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


          Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

          PK 360 grill
          The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

          Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

          Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal


          Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

          kareubequ bbq smoker

          The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

          Click here for our review of this superb smoker


          Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

          masterbuilt gas smoker
          This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175? to 350?F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

          Click here to read our detailed review


          Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

          maverick PT55 thermometer
          A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

          Click here to read our complete review


          Track Up To Six Temperatures At Once

          Grilla pellet smoker
          FireBoard Drive 2 is an updated version of a well-received product that sets the standard for performance and functionality in the wireless food thermometer/thermostatic controller class.

          Click here for our review of this unique device


          The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

          NK-22-Ck Grill
          Napoleon's NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

          Click here for more about what makes this grill special


          Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

          Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill
          Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

          Click here to read our detailed review and to order