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Smoked Brisket Technique Question

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    Smoked Brisket Technique Question

    Hey Y’all, I’m new to the forum and the Pitmaster club, but have used Meathead and the kick ass resources on AmazingRibs for years to get into the BBQ game. I’m going to use a friend’s Traeger this weekend to smoke brisket, since I currently live in an apartment with strict rules on using my charcoal smoker. I’ve studied the method pretty closely and had good results using it in the past. But I’m wondering if I am crazy to Try and transport the brisket back to my indoor oven once it approaches the stall and no longer will need smoke. This is partially because I don’t want to hang out in their backyard for 16 hours. The time line (post-dry brine etc) would look like: 1) 5:30pm- brisket on at 225 f with smoke. 2) 830pm? -At 150 f internal, tightly wrap in foil for the crutch and place in insulated cooler 3) 9pm? drive back to apartment (12 min drive) and place in oven at 225 f for the rest of the cook. 4) 7am? When done, remove from oven, place back in insulated cooler for the cool down (4hours) and hold temp until lunch. Any thoughts or suggestions? If this sounds dumb let me know!

    #2
    Welcome! You won't have much smoke flavor using pellets and wrapping that early, but that could be what you're going for if you like the smoke flavor to be delicate. I'd suggest wrapping after the stall, at about 7-8hrs in, to ensure you have a good bark buildup and max smoke adherence.

    Usually, and this could just be me and the size briskets I use and how I trim them, but they tend to take 12 maybe 13 hrs total, and that includes 1-2hrs of 'faux cambro' hold time. If you're serving for lunch, and you want to cook at your buddy's and not stay there too long this sure seems to make the timing quite difficult in this particular case, since likely you don't want to start at 11pm and stay there until 7am. I can't help with your timing there. Sometimes briskets will take longer, if it's a real big one, say 19-21lbs, but usually 12-13hrs is what they take me, from a 4lb flat to a 17lb packer. If you wrap as early as you say, you probably will get her done in closer to 10hrs, ballpark, if you're sure your cook temp is actually 225. Something to keep in mind though is if you cook them too long or even hold them too long, they can and likely will get quite crumbly and be more difficult to slice. There's a relatively brief happy point at which they're tender and yet still sliceable.

    Comment


    • hoovarmin
      hoovarmin commented
      Editing a comment
      Huskee Is that Beaker in your avatar?

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      hoovarmin Yep, and he doesn't look too impressed with me

    • hoovarmin
      hoovarmin commented
      Editing a comment
      Huskee are you playing the role of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew? I feel like you have recreated some iconic image with which I should be familiar.

    #3
    Welcome to The Pit.


    Personally, I'd leave it in the Traeger until I was ready to leave. Then I'd wrap and transport. If you take it off and cambro it, it will start to slowly loose temp. While not terrible, you'd have to gain back any lost temp before it could get done. That might lead to the flat turning out dryer. I hope someone else with more brisket experieeeence will chime in. Jerod Broussard ??

    Comment


    • Troutman
      Troutman commented
      Editing a comment
      I was kinda thinking the same thing. You don't want to ramp up to a temperature, let it cool off then try to ramp back up again without time and dryness potentially being the result. Try to wrap, cambro and transport as fast as you can.

    #4
    Only thing I have to add is smoke that sucker at 275*. When yo get home run your oven up to at least 300-325*. The smoke stage is gone, at that point a BTU is a BTU.
    Last edited by Troutman; May 6, 2020, 03:56 PM.

    Comment


      #5
      Like Troutman says smoke it hotter. I run my WSM around 240-250. Set your friend’s Traeger to 250, or even 275, and get the brisket up to anywhere from 170-180 before you have to leave. Get it home and in the oven at 250 and run it up to 200-205 :-)

      Comment


        #6
        First is 225 the best smoking temp for the Traeger? Some pellet grills do best at 190-200. Some one with a Traeger can answer this. Second I never wrap until I have hit the stall and even left it. Usually 170, with smoke all the time. Then I use butcher paper to wrap and finish till probe tender. Depending on the grade this could be from 187-203. When I wrap I take the temp up to 275 as it is wrapped and has a layer of moisture around it. Good luck and enjoy your brisket.
        Last edited by mountainsmoker; May 6, 2020, 04:29 PM.

        Comment


          #7
          I don’t own one, but my experience eating barbecue from friends with pellet smokers is that they don’t have a very strong smoke profile. Definitely leave it in the pit longer.

          Also, I never wrap brisket until AFTER the stall. It takes at least that long to develop bark and smoke flavor.

          As others have said, a little hotter will help too. I do my brisket at ~250°F and finish a whole packer in 9-10 hours - even without wrapping until after the stall!

          The rest of your plan is solid. Once it’s wrapped it can finish cooking in the kitchen oven no problem. You can even rest it there by setting your oven to “warm” (which is usually around 170°F).
          Last edited by Santamarina; May 6, 2020, 08:20 PM.

          Comment


            #8
            Agree with everyone else. Let it ride unwrapped until you need to leave. Then wrap and finish in oven

            Comment


              #9
              Thanks everyone! This is super helpful. Sounds like consensus is to wrap after the stall and leave it on the smoker as long as possible. Sounds like y’all tend to smoke it a little hotter, at 250-275. Is this better for the bark and does that temp drastically affect the tenderness? I’ve only ever tried it at 225 and I’m a little manic about keeping it low because I’m always worried about Brisket-dryness.

              Comment


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                I go anywhere from 225 to 275, my personal avg is 240. Why? Dunno, just is. Honestly, I don't notice much difference in that range. You'll be ok at 225 or 275, don't fret too much.

              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Don’t fret too much is great advice. Have fun with it :-)

              #10
              Aaron Franklin, who is a BBQ god, cooks brisket at 275F. Meathead, who is also a BBQ god, cooks brisket at 225F. Nobody ever complained about either of their brisket outcomes. My take is that anywhere in that range is fine. The temp is less important than consistency, humid cook chamber, good meat, smoke, dry brine ..... once I figured all that out, I started running my cooks at 240-260 and not worrying about the temp too much.

              Comment


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                AF cooks according to his dial thermometers, and it works for him. What's his actual grate temp? Hmm, could be 225 after all. Could be 300, who really knows.

              • ecowper
                ecowper commented
                Editing a comment
                Huskee that is true .... point is, consistency is more important than being precisely at 225 or 250 or 275 or whatever

              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                ecowper Yes! Consistency yields predictability, regardless of specifics.

              #11
              Lots of good advice above. I admittedly didn't look too closely at the timeline, but I wouldn't be afraid to use that method. I would wait until after it has stalled for some time to develop bark before wrapping, though.

              Comment


                #12
                I've finished brisket in the oven before, after wrapping in foil - which I did around 170F or so, after the stall. In the 4 hours you are at your friends (5 to 9?), you won't get past the stall, but take it as far as you can, and the hotter temp will get it farther along for sure. You might want to run the oven a little cooler in the 225 to 250 timeframe, once you get home, but it would be best to be able to do a 1-2 hour hold after it reaches your IT of 205ish, before serving.

                Comment


                  #13
                  I have cooked about 30-40 briskets in my Trager so far and have found that 225 until it hits around 170 usually wont give me the nice dark color I am looking for. I usually run 250-275 until I get the color I want which is usually about 6-7 hours. I also smoke it fat side down with the point facing to the right. Seems to be a hot spot in the right front of my Traeger which is why I place the point to the right. I then wrap in tightly in a couple layers of butcher paper until it hits about 200 which is usually about 3-4 hour later. You could do this in your oven of course. Probe for tenderness then faux cambro for at least an hour and slice. Anyway that's what seems to work the best with my Trager.

                  Comment


                    #14
                    Bring a bottle of scotch, a handful of cigars, a change of clothes, and stay the night. Your welcome.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      I've done several briskets by your planned method with excellent results (no complaints!). If you're going to wrap in foil, I'd suggest using a hotter oven (300 - 400) to finish the cooking. Faux cambro holding for 1-2 hours is very important, so gauge your time accordingly.

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