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Brisket fail

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  • Henrik
    Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
    • Jul 2014
    • 4477
    • Stockholm, Sweden

    Brisket fail

    I did a humbling cook today, an epic brisket fail. I set the goals high - tried out a new brisket from Scotland, a PGI (protected geographical region) named "Scotch Prime Beef Brisket". Grass fed, low antibiotics, free ranging et.c. But the brisket looked funny. It looked like it was all point. After thawing it turned out to be almost the opposite. It was a very long and very large flat. The point was super thin in certain areas. I trimmed it hard and separated point and flat.

    I smoked the point in my Big Green Egg with the Smobot as temp controller to automate things. I smoked the flat on my Weber kettle with the Pit Viper and FireBoard 2 to automate that grill. Smooth sailing I thought.

    I used black pepper only as rub.

    The temp ran away on me in the BGE, from 250 to 300 to 380, even though the top vent was fully closed. I smoked the point in 4 hours, no wrap.

    The flat took forever, and even dropped in temp. After 8 hours (and wrapping) I gave up, that one's heading for the trash can.

    I don't know what went wrong, need to contemplate on this, but man this went south.

    The brisket

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    Before trimming

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    The flat + point. See that flap? That's the point (supposedly)

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    The flat

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    The point

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    The cookers

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    The point. At least that one looks edible. Was probe tender too.

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  • smokin fool
    Club Member
    • Apr 2019
    • 2220
    • Mississauga, Ont

    Well....you know the Scottish, if some the Scottish cattle are like some of the Scottish people things are bound to be difficult.
    Chalk it up to some slab of meat they passed off as brisket or the proverbial tough old bull they finally slaughtered after 30 years of service.
    Win some, lose some.


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      Good way of seeing it. Thanks, I needed that. After all I have smoked _many_ briskets, and this one didn’t look right.
  • CaptainMike
    Club Member
    • Nov 2015
    • 2680
    • The Great State of Jefferson
    • 24X40 Lone Star Grillz offset smoker
      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)
      Thermoworks Smoke and Thermapen.

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. Which reminds me, do you know what's the last thing to through a bug's mind after it hits your windshield? Its butt.


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      Ha ha ha! Thanks Captain!
  • Ahumadora
    Club Member
    • Oct 2015
    • 2170
    • Warkworth, New Zealand

    That looks typical of an Argentine brisket except they are thinner and leaner than yours.
    Just got back from shopping and hit the guys at the meat counter up for a brisket. They chose the biggest one and after trimming was 4 kilos (8.5 lbs).
    I left it there and didn't buy it.
    I only trim the fat down to 1/4" and leave as much on as possible. You have watched too many comp brisket trimming videos where they have huge well marbled briskets and no problems trimming off all the fat as there is plenty inside.

    Grass fed may have good flavor but sucks for making juicy fatty brisket slices.


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      This was given to me. But even before trimming there wasn’t enough ‘good fat’. I’m gonna stick to my regular briskets, I have yet to fail those.

    • holehogg
      holehogg commented
      Editing a comment
      Thats why I rarely get to cook brisket here ours are far worse looking than that.

    • texastweeter
      texastweeter commented
      Editing a comment
      Our grass fed briskets from our cattle always end up as pastrami. And yes they seem to always have much more flat, and much less point than normal from corn feed steers. Leaner and smaller is always the case with grass fed as well.
  • BFlynn
    Charter Member
    • Oct 2014
    • 950
    • Third Coast

    How much single malt did you have?
    I'm assuming that smoking scottish brisket requires Scottish whiskey.

    What temp did your flat get to before you pulled it?
    Was it just taking a long time? Or did it juts not get tender?


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      It hit 67 Celsius. Then it started backing down. But the bark didn’t form right, and took on a green hue. So I tossed it.

    • BFlynn
      BFlynn commented
      Editing a comment
      Never seen a green brisket before.......
      Tossing was probably the right move

    • ofelles
      ofelles commented
      Editing a comment
      Henrik I think they slipped you and Irish brisket!
      Last edited by ofelles; September 30, 2020, 11:08 AM.
  • Spinaker
    • Nov 2014
    • 10960
    • Land of Tonka
    • John "J R"
      Instagram: JRBowlsby
      Smokin' Hound Que
      Minnesota/ United States of America

      Dexter (Beagle mix)
      Kinnick (American Foxhound)

      Big Green Egg (Large) X3
      Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

      Karubeque C-60
      Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
      Lodge L410 Hibachi
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
      R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

      Weber Spirit Gasser
      FireBoard (Base Package)
      Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
      Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)

      Big Green Egg Plate Setter
      Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
      Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

      Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
      Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

      Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
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      Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

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      Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60

      Buck 119 Special
      Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

      Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
      Next Major Purchase
      Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

    This happens to the best of us.

    Move on and keep the smoke rollin!


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
  • Jfrosty27
    Club Member
    • Mar 2020
    • 1300
    • Muskego, WI
    • Current cookers:
      Rec Tec RT700 "Bull" pellet cooker
      Smokin-It model 2 electric smoker w/ Maverick 732 temp monitor and cold smoking kit
      Weber Genesis 3 burner gas grill w/ rotisserie
      Charbroil Grill2Go gas grill
      Weber 22" Performer Deluxe kettle grill w/ThermoPro TP-20S temp monitor
      Onlyfire rotisserie kit for 22" kettle
      Weber Smokey Joe
      SnS Deluxe
      The Orion Cooker convection cooker/smoker (two of them)
      Blackstone 17" griddle
      Joule Sous Vide circulator

      Favorite beer: Anything that's cold!
      Favorite cocktail: Bourbon neat

    Well don’t feel too bad. I have made just three briskets in my entire bbq life and screwed them all up badly. All three ended up in the trash. That fact has made me gun shy on brisket. Haven’t even tried one in about 7-8 years. With the prices shooting up on this cut it is even harder to muster up the courage.


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      Nah, the brisket looked funny from the start. And I didn’t pay for it (sponsored). But I’ll stick with my regular supplier.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Actually, brisket prices are now down below where they were in January... time to try again! . I guess I've been luck and had all my briskets come out, after being scared to do one for decades, and doing my first about 3 years ago.
  • glitchy
    Club Member
    • Jul 2019
    • 1048
    • Central IA
    • MAK 2 Star General
      Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
      w/ Big Joetisserie, SnS LP, and Vortex
      Weber Q1000
      Fireboard 2 Drive
      Anova Precision Sous Vide
      All the (pellet) grills I’ve loved before:
      Traeger Junior Elite^
      GMG DB
      Traeger Texas Elite
      Memphis Pro§
      Traeger Pro 575
      CampChef SmokePro STX (ugly grills need love too)
      Weber SmokeFire EX4§
      Traeger Select
      CampChef Woodwind WiFi w/SearBox^
      Weber SmokeFire EX4§

      ^ = Favorites
      § = Love/Hate Relationships

    A bad brisket usually still makes really great chili...just sayin

    Not that I've ever cooked anything less than a perfect slices drape over your finger fully intact dripping juicy goodness everywhere brisket before personally. I don't know what this trash talk is Henrik and Jfrosty27.


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment

    • Jfrosty27
      Jfrosty27 commented
      Editing a comment
  • Chuck in Charlotte
    Club Member
    • Oct 2017
    • 157

    If someone like Henrik has trouble with a brisket, what chance does someone like me have? This is disappointing, especially when you're looking forward to a great meal and it doesn't turn out so great.


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      I’ve cooked over a hundred briskets from different brands. I’m just gonna put this down as a rotten apple.

    • ecowper
      ecowper commented
      Editing a comment
      Chuck, if you read this and follow this, I can promise you will turn out a good brisket.This is the result of me messing up a lot of brisket so that you don't have to! :-)

  • HouseHomey
    Club Member
    • May 2016
    • 5555
    • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
    • Equipment
      Primo Oval xl

      Slow n Sear (two)
      Drip n Griddle
      22" Weber Kettle
      26" Weber Kettle one touch
      Blackstone 36” Pro Series
      Sous vide machine
      Kitchen Aid
      Meat grinder
      sausage stuffer
      5 Crock Pots
      Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
      cast iron pans,
      Dutch ovens
      Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
      The help and preferences
      1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
      A 9 year old princess foster child
      Patience and old patio furniture
      "Baby Girl" The cat

      Erik S.

    When my cook fails I turn it into a braise and let it rip. Perhaps a nice shred after the bath. Even chunkage will work. Add cheese, roll it and fry it!

    Pull it out of the trash. It’s wrapped right?


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, but it had a green hue, so it stays there.

    • HouseHomey
      HouseHomey commented
      Editing a comment
      Ugh! Maybe it’s that Scottish moldy moss the cheap whiskey tastes like. 😬

      Gonna have to pass on the green hue 👍

    • Ahumadora
      Ahumadora commented
      Editing a comment
      I have had a few with a green hue... Didn't look right but smelled ok.
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 13517
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      Pizza insert
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      lots of probes.

    Next time...


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
  • IowaGirl
    Club Member
    • Dec 2018
    • 682
    • Northeast Iowa, USA

    I'm all for being a frugal cook, but I draw the line at dealing with green meat. Sounds like the trash was the best and safest place for it.

    You have my sympathy, Henrik. May your next brisket be wonderful!


    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      Unless your Dr.Suess then green food is fun!
      But yes, let the racoons get the tummy ache.
  • ecowper
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 3642
    • Maple Valley, WA
    • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
      Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

      Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
      Thermometer = Maverick ET732
      Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
      Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
      Thermapen Classic = Grey
      PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

      Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
      Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
      Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
      Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

      Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"

      Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

    Man, how disappointing for you. I would be super excited about the chance to cook a cool Scottish brisket and then really grumpy about the outcome. But you did make the right decision to get rid of the green stuff.


    • troymeister
      Charter Member
      • Aug 2014
      • 1520
      • Forest Park Il
      • Weber 26

        Weber Performer 22.5, Weber 18.5, WSM 18.5, Smokey Joe

        2 Slow N Sears, Charcoal Rotisserie, Kettle Pizza for Weber 22.5, Vortex, Grill Grates

        Smoke Thermometer, Igrill, Thermapen, Thermapop,Maverick 2 probe
        I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I put it in my food.

        One cannot have too many grills.

      I hate when that happens....Remember the only people who don't make mistakes are the people who don't do anything.


      • Henrik
        Henrik commented
        Editing a comment
        So true.
    • Steve B
      Club Member
      • Jun 2016
      • 3163
      • Rockland county New York
      • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
        Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

        22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

        Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

        1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
        1 maverick et-733 - gray
        1 new standard grilling remote digital thermometer
        1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
        1 thermoworks thermopop - red

        Pre Miala flavor injector
        taylor digital scale
        TSM meat grinder
        chefs choice food slicer
        cuisinhart food processor
        food saver vacuum sealer
        TSM harvest food dehydrator

      Are you sure it wasn't Sheep? I've heard things about Scotsmen and Sheep.


      • Henrik
        Henrik commented
        Editing a comment

      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        Only the Highlanders. Us Lowland types not so much :-)



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