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Outsmarted by a brisket

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  • BMStroh
    Club Member
    • Aug 2018
    • 16

    Outsmarted by a brisket

    Now that I’ve got a smoker that can hold temperature consistently, I figured I’d try an overnight brisket.

    For background, I’m at 7900 feet in Colorado, so water boils at 197; I’m always concerned about boiling all the moisture out of meat I’m trying to get to 200+ degrees. Because of that, I’ve probably pulled previous briskets too soon.

    The other problem I’ve had is that a 10-12 lb brisket (pre-trim) seems to take 15 hours to get to 195, even with a butcher paper wrap.

    Which leads me to Sunday. Based on prior smoke times and a plan to cambro for a couple hours to be ready for lunch, I kicked things off around 8:00 pm. At 165, which was around 2:00 am, figured I’d foil wrap to preserve some moisture and get to bed. Naturally, the foil wrap caused things to speed up greatly, and I hit 200 around 4:00, when I pulled both the point and the flat and finally got to bed. The point was probe tender; the flat could have used a bit more time.

    Unfortunately, despite finally hitting the texture I’ve been looking for, the foil wrap pretty much wrecked the bark, as it does, and left my wife feeling the meat was undercooked - I’ve barely gotten her to back off from well done steak, so we have different expectations here.

    Anyway, my future plans consist of a real overnight smoke, letting it ride out the stall unwrapped (although my paper wrap technique is terrible enough to not affect previous cook times...) to get a good bark. Based on altitude, am I going to wake up to a $50 hockey puck in the smoker or am I unnecessarily concerned here?
  • mrteddyprincess
    Club Member
    • Sep 2018
    • 290

    #2
    Let me take up forum space here and declare that I am unqualified to answer this question. I am among the many who have not mastered brisket.

    Comment

    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 11421
      • Near Richmond VA
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      #3
      When the point gets probe tender before the flat, (which is every time for me), you have to just let it ride until the flat is probe tender. The point can take it with all the marbling it has. I should add that since my first brisket, I have only cooked Costco prime briskets.

      Comment

      • Jerod Broussard
        Moderator
        • Jun 2014
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        #4
        I'd run hot (275+) so you can bark up quicker. That way once you have REAL BARK foil can't spoil the party.

        I've never preserved moisture in a flat by wrapping, but I have collected some good juices I can use at serving.

        If wrapping wrecks your bark, you never really had bark to begin with.

        Comment


        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Agree!!

        • Thunder77
          Thunder77 commented
          Editing a comment
          So speaks Jerod. Let it be written.... :-)

        • Craigar
          Craigar commented
          Editing a comment
          Bingo
      • mountainsmoker
        Club Member
        • Jun 2019
        • 1466
        • Bryson City, NC

        #5
        In 40 years I have never wrapped a brisket. Wrapping only speeds up the cook. There is no other reason that I have ever heard for doing it. For sure I would never wrap in foil. If you must wrap do it after the stall and use butcher paper. I always smoke my briskets at 275-300 and never have a stall or only a short one.

        Comment

        • jfmorris
          Club Member
          • Nov 2017
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          • Huntsville, Alabama
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          #6
          I am with Jerod Broussard here - I've wrapped at 165-170 in foil, and never had it wreck my bark. I put the meat probe in the thickest part of the flat, avoiding the deckle (the fat layer between point and flat), and monitor that for the entire cook. That said, I never wrap butts, and probably won't wrap a prime brisket if I am not time crunched, unless its choice or select.

          Comment

          • Huskee
            Pit Boss/Manager
            • May 2014
            • 14246
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            #7
            HAH! I always wrap in foil, Prime, Wagyu, whatever. After the stall, 180ish. Great bark. Goes to show you everyone has a different perspective. I encourage you to try different things to find what you like best.

            Comment

            • BMStroh
              Club Member
              • Aug 2018
              • 16

              #8
              Starting to think I was just too stingy with the rub vs this being a wrap problem. Thanks for the feedback.

              Anyone else happen to live where the boiling point is below brisket temp? If I can actually do a wrapped brisket in 8 hours, that may be easier to schedule around dinner than an unwrapped overnight, but I’m probably still going to try one at some point just to see.

              And I’m 100% on board with Costco Prime. My wife also hates the point, but I’d rather have a prime packer than a Choice flat, so most of the point ends up as brisket burritos at the moment.

              Comment

              • klflowers
                Club Member
                • Sep 2015
                • 2542
                • Tennessee

                #9
                I just did a "select" brisket that came out pretty well. I ended up wrapping it at around 165 cause it had been on the smoker for like 13 hours by then. Took an additional 3 hours after that; bark was just fine after the cambro. That being said, I think I was lucky with the cut, and I'll be sticking to Costco from here on out.

                Scheduling for brisket is tough - last time I had to have one done by a certain time, I wrapped and put it in the oven to finish.

                Comment

                • Troutman
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                  • Aug 2017
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                  #10
                  Originally posted by Jerod Broussard View Post

                  If wrapping wrecks your bark, you never really had bark to begin with.
                  Would you mind if I had some t-shirts made up with this slogan on them?

                  Comment


                  • Jerod Broussard
                    Jerod Broussard commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Not at all.

                  • Craigar
                    Craigar commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Do it before Sam the Cooking Guy snags it.
                • Beefchop
                  Charter Member
                  • Oct 2014
                  • 421
                  • Lafayette, LA
                  • XL Big Green Egg, Shirley Fabrication 24"x42" Patio Cooker

                  #11
                  Keep your eye on it, starting at the 8 to 10 hour mark. I just overcooked a 13" packer brisket during a 12 hour overnight cook with a cooker temp of approximately 250 degrees F. No wrapping. Next time I'll keep dibs on it with a probe (both grate temp and meat). I don't think the cooker temp shot up in the middle of the night, but it was 205 deg. F. at 7 am when I checked on it, and after a 2 hour rest, the meat was dry when I sliced it.

                  Comment

                  • ofelles
                    Club Member
                    • Jun 2018
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                    #12
                    Love the topic tittle. Sometimes the meat is smarter than I am!

                    Comment

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