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Brisket Post-Mortem

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I cooked my first brisket this weekend. I've been cooking with my Akorn since last spring, but it was time to for its true initiation. The results were good but certainly not perfect. I'm looking for advice for next time.


I started with a 13lb Prime (yes Prime from Sam's) packer from Sam's Club. I did have to freeze it, but I let it thaw in the fridge from Tuesday until Friday.


Friday at around 2pm I trimmed the top side fat down to 1/8-1/4". I cleaned out most of of the vein of fat between the point and the flat. I removed the lower side silver skin. I applied kosher salt and put it back in the fridge.


At 11pm I fired up my Akorn to 225. My Auber controller worked great. I didn't have anything suitable in chunks, so I threw on some mesquite chips. I installed my Smokin' Stone and put a pan of boiling water on top of that.


I injected it with low-sodium beef broth.


I went simple on the rub. Just cracked black pepper and chopped garlic in oil.


I inserted the probe from my Maverick 733 and actually got the brisket on the grill right at midnight.


I went to bed and didn't hear a chirp until about 11:30 the next morning. At that point my Auber was having a hard time keeping temp. The meat was at about 170, just through the stall. I opened up to see if I was running out of charcoal. What had actually happened was that my water pan had boiled over and soaked my coal. (Lesson 1 learned, don't fill it to the top).


I removed the grate with the meat and wrapped it up in foil. By the time I got everything back together with fresh charcoal, I had dropped 10 degrees in 10 minutes.


Around 4:30 pm, my probe was showing 195. I opened up and checked with my Thermopop. It was actually around 190. I found it still a little too firm at that point.


I let it go another half hour and tried it with a fork. This time I found it tender.


I pulled it off and separated the point and flat. I wrapped the flat in double foil and popped it into an ice chest in a towel.


I carved the point into cubes as best as I could for burnt ends. It was at this point that I thought everything might not be perfect. The meat wanted to shred, not cut although I tried sharp serrated and non-serrated knives.


I put the ends in a pan on the grill with a little sauce and let them go for an hour, stirring once in a while.


After the hour, I removed the flat from the cooler. Again, carving was an issue. The texture was far too soft. I ended up with a platter of shredded beef. The "burnt ends" were no better.


All in all, my guests still enjoyed the meal, but I wasn't happy with the outcome.


Here are what I believe might have gone wrong...


1. Simply overcooked.

2. Too much broth injected at the start

3. The cooling when I needed to reload charcoal did me in.


I'm open to any and all suggestions.


I'm also looking forward to leftovers at dinner tonight [emoji1].


Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk



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Yeah, probably overcooked it.  Perhaps it was the removing/cooling/reheating that was the main contributor to this.  So I agree, remove the water pan from the equation next time since that's what caused the extra work.  I've never used a water pan and have never had an issue with dry brisket.  Keep it simpler next time.  I usually also just cover my deflector plate with foil instead of using a drip pan, but the pan would guarantee no run-off, so either way is good.


Oh and I'll add that I rarely enjoy my cooks as much as my guests do.  It seems that there's always something that could have been done better.  So don't be surprised if things go better next time but you still sorta feel the way you did this time.

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Thanks for the input. I looked back at over the sites I used for direction on this cook and realized that nobody mentioned a water pan. That must just have been my habit.

Funny observation about others enjoying the outcome more than the cook does. That's exactly why I gave up home brewing years ago. All my friends loved the (free) beer. I never found a recipe that satisfied me.

I'm already looking forward to my next one, although my next goal is to smoke a whole turkey.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

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10 hours ago, 5698k said:

Don't be surprised at how fast the turkey cooks.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'll second this. I couldn't believe that a turkey could cook so quickly on a kamado as compared to other means of cooking. In my experience, only deep frying in peanut oil is faster. 

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8 hours ago, KamadoJosephine said:

love the username @Pitcritter :-D 

Thanks. Funny thing is that it's not really BBQ related.


I work in the casino industry.  That's an old derogatory term that gamblers use to refer to the pit staff.


I do like that it works in this context though...

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