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Let it ride

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    Let it ride

    Based on the quantity of articles about smoking a brisket that instruct the cook to wrap the brisket once it reaches the stall, it would make one think that that is either the only way or the best way. But I don’t wrap. I don’t even bother it. I let it ride, so to speak. It takes a long time this way: I’ve had a full packer take between 21 and 24 hours to get to 198-205 degrees but oh my, it’s equal to some of the best brisket I’ve ever had and my bark is killer. I season 24 hours prior to cook. I inject Trader Joe’s beef broth and apply rub right before starting the smoke. And then put in probes at two locations and leave it alone until it reaches the temp. Basically a Meathead derived process. I cook at 230 ish.

    Is wrapping at the time of the stall primarily designed to speed up the process? Or are their other benefits?

    If I was running a restaurant I would definitely want the quicker result you get with wrapping at the stall. But for me, a 24 hour smoke is almost ideal. If dinner tomorrow is at 6pm, I can start it at 6pm the day before. For a smaller brisket or the times that I’m just surprised with a quicker finish, I pull it off and put it in a cooler and it’s still perfect a couple hours later.

    Are there others out there that let it ride as well?

    #2
    I prefer to let it ride. Wrapping not only speeds things up, but it helps collect some juices if you use something able to accomplish that.

    Comment


      #3
      First, welcome to The Pit. Second, wrapping is primarily for speeding up the cook. However, recently, people have "discovered" that raising the temp somewhere between 250* and 300*, (with some going even higher), will also speed the cook with no detrimental effects. Others will argue that raising the temp too high prevents proper rendering of the fat. Whatever works for you is right - for you.

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        #4
        I would argue that there may be some reason to wrap with lower grade brisket - choice or select - as the braising effect of the Texas crutch not only speeds the cook up, but holds moisture in. I've only done prime brisket, and wrapped after the stall, mostly to get it done, and because that was the process I first learned about here on the free side of AR.

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        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          I wrap anything less than prime in foil, and prime in paper. I go by when the bark is set and the color I want, not stall.

        #5
        Agree with what others said about speeding up the cook and also the braising effect. For me, speeding up the cook is not just about being impatient. I would rather use the extra time saved by getting a longer hold of the finished product. To me, the hold time is as much a part of cooking a brisket as the actual cook time.

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          #6
          Thanks for all the responses. Good info.

          Comment


            #7
            Welcome to the Pit!

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              #8

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                #9
                Welcome from Maryland.

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                  #10
                  Welcome from the mountains of NC. I never wrap, but if you should decide to try it use butcher paper not foil.

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                    #11
                    Welcome to The Pit from Madison, WI

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                      #12
                      Welcome to the Pit from the California Delta. I only wrap if I'm in a hurry and for the hold.

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                        #13
                        it also can halt color where you want it as well as bark hardness/thickness. Anything less than prime I use foil to help braise and tenderize/keep the meat moist. Prime gets butcher paper to keep the bark right where I want it.

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                          #14
                          Experiment and please don't listen to anyone who tells you to definitely do it one way or the other or to definitely use foil or paper. Experiment, find your preference. There are pros and cons to it all so it comes down to preference.

                          Me, I always wrap and it's always foil. But I wait until after the stall, (180ish) then the bark is hardy enough the foil doesn't hurt it, but it's not thick and crumbly or jerky-like. I've tried every which way, paper, early wrap, late wrap, no wrap at all, foil early or late wrap, etc, and my wife & I always come back to an after-the-stall foil wrap being our favorite.

                          Noteworthy: I use a stick burner, sometimes a kettle with charcoal & wood, so this packs a heavy smoke punch. Other cookers might be more gentle on the smoke and if you wrap on a gasser or pellet you may find the flavor to not be suitable to you, more pot-roasty. There's a thousand ways this could go depending on when you wrap, what you use to wrap, and what cooker you do it on. That's why I say don't listen to anyone who tells you it should be one way or the other, context matters a lot!

                          I like foil because the juices saved in the foil are great to drizzle back on the flat slices, or to keep in a dish with a spoon like gravy for those who want it, and the bark isn't hard, but it's there.

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                          • fzxdoc
                            fzxdoc commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Well said. Thanks.

                            Kathryn

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