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Brisket cooking way too fast?

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Grill = Akorn.  Temp control by TipTopTemp.  No leaks.  Probes = Thermoworks Smoke and Thermopen MK4.  I've confirmed that the probes are accurate, and there was no obstructions on the pit probe.


Put on a 16lb Packer (probably a few pounds less after trimming) at midnight.  According to the Smoke's graphs, the pit temp held between 215-235 all night.


The brisket hit the stall after only 3 hours of cooking, so IT of 160 by 3AM.  When I woke up to make some pit adjustments (it jumped to around 250 at 6AM, probably when the sun came up and the TTT compensated for change in ambient temp) the  meat was already at around 180, so I'm wrapping in butcher paper, however it's going to be finished  - including resting - in under 12 hours, which just doesn't seem right.


Had I wrapped when the stall hit, that would have been at 3AM, and maybe it would have been done around 8.  How is that even possible for a 16lb packer?  Everything was timed so that it would be done (including rest) in around 16 hours, though obviously every piece of meat is different.  I would not have expected a piece to be THIS different though.




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Man this is weird.  I took it off to wrap it.  Admittedly, it was off the grill for longer than it usually would have been since I was also monkeying around with the smoker temp to try and bring it back down to 230ish.  While i was doing that, I had it resting (wrapped) in the oven at 170.  


The IT dropped to 147.  At first I thought I was sticking the probe into the paper incorrectly, so I unwrapped and used my thermopen, and same reading.  


So I'm unwrapping, putting back on the smoker (it's at around 270, there doesn't seem to be anything I can do at this point to bring it back down short of starting over, and LOL to that.)  I figure it's already "cooked" to 175, and I'm basically reheating it to there before it'll cook more.  


Going to wrap (foil this time - nuts to butcher paper... too wet and messy) around 170 and let it roll from there.


1) Is it normal for IT to drop that much if it's out of the cooker for a little while?  Again, it was in the oven while out of cooker.


2) Is rolling for the first roughly 7 hours at 225, then having a... "delay", then finishing around 270 the worst thing in the world?  Second worst?  Or no big deal?


3) I still do not understand how I got to the stall so fast - any ideas?


4) I'm now thinking that I overreacted a bit to the IT reading, and that since it was at the stall with roughly 25 degrees to go, it still would have probably taken within a couple of hours of my expected time.   


5) Is it highly recommended to wrap employ the "crutch" at the stall?  Or is that just to help it along if you can't wait it out, meaning literally a "crutch"?  I think that maybe if I didn't worry about wrapping, I could have just rolled with it after re-stabilizing my temps.



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I recently scored 18# Prime brisket at Costco for a good price. After trimming some of the fat off the

final weight was probably 15#'s. I Q'ed it on an off set smoker burning Pecan wood. I expected it to

take at least 15 hours at 250 deg. F. if not longer. After a few hours, the brisket temp was moving

right through the 150's and 160's and hitting 170. At that point I put it in pan, covered it with

aluminum foil and added a little apple juice. It continued to cook and hit 204 deg. at the 10 hour mark.

It was like probing soft butter and thoroughly done. 10 hours! Go figure. It was the best brisket that

we ever had and I've done quite a few over the years. Previous brisket cooks took a lot longer.


As for your questions...

1) You put the brisket in an oven that was almost 100 deg. lower than that of the Joe, I'd expect to see

some drop. It also depends on how long you had it off the Joe and in the oven. You could have wrapped it in

foil and put it back on the Joe till it was done regardless of the Joe's temp. You can always wrap the meat

in foil, then wrap in towels and place in a cooler to hold and rest. The meat will stay hot for quite a few hours

till time to serve.


2) I'd say no big deal.


3) See my commentary above - Don't know. Seems like each cook is different.


4) Probably so. Kamados tend to retain moisture so you may not have had to wrap at all.  There are no hard and

fast rules for foiling. It's usually done at around the stall temp which is a bit of moving target.


5) Wrapping with foil helps to capture moisture, preventing the meat from drying out. It also helps to

cook the meat a bit faster -  Think "Braising". Using foil, paper or nothing is your call, whatever works best for you.

I've Q'ed meat to the stall point on my offset to get the smoke profile I like then wrapped and put it on

a Kamado at a higher temp to finish the cook in a shorter time. Works just fine. I've also done them with out

wrapping and going the long haul and they turned out fine too.


As for chasing temps on your cooker - Keep in mind that just about all the meats that you cook on it can be

done over a wide temperature range. A butt or brisket can be done from 225 to over 300 deg. with little to no

difference in taste. So if your Joe temp drifts over time, it's no big deal. In my cook described above, the pit temp

varied +/- 25 deg. as new wood was added and burned down.


Just some of my thoughts. Hope your brisket turned out great.



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First, I am convinced that– all things being equal– briskets cook faster in Kamados compared to other smokers. Second, I never plan for long cooks. I give myself a ten to twelve hour window for the cook- depending on how much time I want to invest–  and I have exceeded that probably only once, even with cooking much larger briskets. At about the 7 or 8 hour mark, I pretty much know if I am going to finish earlier or later and have the flexibility to either speed up the cook or slow it down.

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