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Cooked my first brisket...strange cook.


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I’ve been wanting to try my hand at a brisket for a while now, but they are hard to come by in my neck of the woods, so when my local Costco had them in stock I joyfully picked one up. I had a group of guys over for dinner tonight and knew this would be a great opportunity to cook it, so I researched like crazy and got to cooking last night/early this morning.

 

I was planning to eat at 6pm and as my brisket was about 12lbs I figured I would put it on my KJ around 2am, and that would give me plenty of time if the cook went long. Had my grill setup around 250, had some nice smoke coming out, and got the brisket on a bit before 2:30am. Set my smoke thermometer to alert me if it got too hot and went to bed. Woke up at 7am, and the brisket was at 170. I figured it was going into the stall so I went back to sleep. 1 hr later it was up to about 180! No idea why it was cooking so fast, but long story short I pulled it off the grill at 11am, threw it in the oven, wrapped and with some beef broth at 170 degrees for about 90 mins, then let it rest in a cooler until 6pm.

 

The brisket was overdone, but tasty with good smoke flavour. Not sure when I will do another but glad I did it.

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17 minutes ago, hipfan said:

... it was up to about 180! ...wrapped and with some beef broth at 170 degrees for about 90 mins, then let it rest in a cooler until 6pm.

 

The brisket was overdone, 

My money's on underdone. Your timeline was good; the meat wasn't done early. 

 

At about 170 internal temp, I normally wrap in a "tight" foil tent (open sides), and wait for the temp to hit 200-205. The meat should have a gelatinous consistency, kind of jiggly in the foil. Then I close the wrap and start the rest. My goal is to spend hours above 195. The foil should contribute about 1/2 cup of juice after defatting, too. 

 

But my first brisket looked a lot like yours. Keep at it; even if it's not perfect, it'll still taste good. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

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48 minutes ago, hipfan said:

My smoke thermometer was reading well past 203. I pulled it at about 210 in the point, and the flat was higher than that.

 

you had failed to mention that in your posts if you pulled it at 210 its going to still cook resting so yes its a little overdone.

 

i try to cook mine to just under 200 then let it rest turns out perfect every time but each piece of meat is different i take my temp probe and if i can slide it in like butter your brisket is done but pretty much magic number is 203

 

brisket can be difficult or easy it all depends this is trial by error you will get it down

 

 

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I, too, made my first ever brisket recently. While visiting family in TX I used his Big Joe while he had to swoon a potential client.

I have seen him do briskets before, but this was my first time, picking out and buying a brisket, then cooking it, while also using someone else's smoker (I have a vision, but they cook very similarly, Big Joe just bigger).

 

Anyway, We have not eaten yet and like others have said pulling it right around that 200 degree mark is what he told me. Here is how it turned out. It is vacuum sealed and will be making it for the neighbors this weekend.

The point was overcooked when I pulled it but the rest seemed pretty much spot on. I am thinking I probably shouldnt have sliced it already, but oh well.

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Was it direct or did you use a deflector plate.  Also if your thermometer is off it could have even been hotter than 250 which I think is already hot..  Have you calibrated your thermometer?  I do them direct at 200 for 15 hours and they never dry out.  Another reason they often come out dry is over trimming.  I pull them out of the bag, season them up and slap em on the grill.  As long as the temp does not get out of control, they won't dry out at at 200.

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On 7/24/2019 at 2:20 PM, Family_cook said:

Was it direct or did you use a deflector plate.  Also if your thermometer is off it could have even been hotter than 250 which I think is already hot..  Have you calibrated your thermometer?  I do them direct at 200 for 15 hours and they never dry out.  Another reason they often come out dry is over trimming.  I pull them out of the bag, season them up and slap em on the grill.  As long as the temp does not get out of control, they won't dry out at at 200.

Used deflector plates, and my thermometer is calibrated. One thing that may have caused a bit of an issue was that I filled the KJ up a bit too much with charcoal and one of the plates was slightly raised up, maybe 1/2". So perhaps part of the grill was hotter than the rest, but my smoke thermometer noted the highest temp was around 300, so while that is a bit high, it's not outrageous.

 

Perhaps next time I won't trim the fat, and also cook it fat side down. Every video I watched said fat side up, but maybe that would help protect the meat?

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On 7/24/2019 at 12:26 AM, hipfan said:

it was up to about 180! No idea why it was cooking so fast, but long story short I pulled it off the grill at 11am, threw it in the oven, wrapped and with some beef broth at 170 degrees for about 90 mins, then let it rest

 

On 7/24/2019 at 10:56 AM, hipfan said:

My smoke thermometer was reading well past 203.

 

Please tell us how you got past 203 F when you put 180 F meat in a 170 F oven? Bad data leads to bad conclusions. 

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3 minutes ago, fbov said:

 

 

Please tell us how you got past 203 F when you put 180 F meat in a 170 F oven? Bad data leads to bad conclusions. 

When I pulled the brisket off the grill it was around 210F. I put it in the oven at 170 because I needed it to rest for more than 6 hrs. 

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So...

7 AM you're at 170

8 AM you're at 180

11 AM you're at 210

... a consistent 10 F rise per hour. Apply some target criteria earlier in the cook. Good advice above on target criteria. I also foil mine, because I hate dry meat. 

 

Regarding rest, I did 3 pork butts and a beef shoulder yesterday, about 40 lb. Put them in the cooler as they reached 195 F, between 4:00 to 6:30 AM, and left them until 4 PM. They were still in the mid-140's after 10-12 hours. You only need an oven for more than 12 hrs. hold time. 

 

And I was cooking at a 5 F per hour rate... much slower than you. So many thing to try when you start using a Kamado... I just figured out how to get my smoke ring back. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

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8 hours ago, hipfan said:

When I pulled the brisket off the grill it was around 210F. I put it in the oven at 170 because I needed it to rest for more than 6 hrs. 

 

when I pull my brisket @ 200-205F and wrap it in towels then place in oven which is off it takes about 6 hours for it to come down to 140F which is where I like it to be when I carve it up, so as said above you don't need to heat the oven. Two things I would suggest for next low n slow cook is to try and keep temp under 275 or so and pull meet when probe tender or @ 203F if you prefer to cook to temp, these will help with the overcooking and should still give you that great flavor, good luck!!

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My guess from all your comments is you over cooked it and probably over dried it when you added the beef broth. 

 

When the grill is also kicking up to 300, it is very important the follow through of properly resting and holding brisket. The follow through after pulling off the grill is as critical as the 12 hour cook and even more so when the brisket is early. 

 

At 170, I would of probed the flat leave it and start spritzing every 30 mins. Though every 30min spritz with an overfilled firebox is not a good idea either since you going to keep increasing temps. It will increase cook time at the back end but being 7 hours early is undesirable too, so its a balance of understanding your brisket, your firebox, and you kamado. 

 

When you pulled off at 11am I would of pulled and rest for 10-15mins and do the feel test. Is it still feel like a brick or is there bend to the flat? Do a tender check with the probe, is buttery and velvety or is it tough?

 

If the flat feels tough still and there no bend, then the flat is not done. Throw it back on and cook it back up and repeat test, this is more common for 16+# and has its own steps on to make sure you push through the 2nd stall. 

 

IF the brisket feels great and you are saying to yourself this looks good but I got 7 hours!

 

Then let it rest....... get some clean kitchen towels, clean bath towels in a pinch. Cover the brisket up and let it rest for the next 3 hours. Don't go too crazy on covering it, 1 thick towel is enough. The rest should take about 2-4 hours from here putting you at about 2-3pm to be ready for slicing. The more your peak the quicker the rest will go. 

At this point you can throw it in the oven, cooler, or back on your kamado. Goal for oven and kamado is 150-200 as a holding temp. Each has its pros and cons and dependant on what has happend with your cook too. 

 

Good luck on your next one. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, hipfan said:

Perhaps next time I won't trim the fat, and also cook it fat side down. Every video I watched said fat side up, but maybe that would help protect the meat?

 

Fat up is common in stick burners, where the top of the chamber is naturally hotter than the bottom and the firebox is off to the side. I have switched to fat down on kamados since that's where the heat source is and like my results (better bark, and drying isn't a problem with prime cuts). I also trim aggressively. However I know very good cooks who do it fat up, so there's no magical rule one way or the other. I personally go with fat toward the hottest part of the chamber.

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