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Beef brisket stalled at 165F and would go no further


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I'm a newcomer to the kamado world, though after a few different cooks I've more or less got to the point where I can get my Kamado Joe to the desired temperature and keep it there. This last weekend I found a piece of brisket (about 3 pounds) at my local butcher and thought I'd give that a go. I found these instructions that included use of the Meater, which I have, so thought that might work. To get to the point, the internal temperature of the meat rose to 165F then levelled off. That wasn't totally unexpected – I've learnt from other sources that on slow cooks the temperature can stagnate in the middle for a while – however it stubbornly stayed at that point. I lost some heat while wrapping the meat in butchers paper and didn't get all that heat back, which actually saw the meat temperature drop a little. In the end I had to call it a day. The meat was certainly edible and tasty, but not as tender as I was expecting.

 

My initial thought is that the problem was the meat, which was quite lean with very little fat through it and no marbling to speak of. Would that explain why it wouldn't break down any further and come properly tender?

 

 

IMG_1E4784BB08ED-1.thumb.jpeg.bcb4d51a90cea4e6216a216046aedc78.jpeg

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Definitely the stall, but with only a 3 lb brisket, I would think you would have powered through it more quick than what is shown in your graph. You’re probably right about the temp not recovering. See link below for more info on the stall. Happy cooking!

 

https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/more-cooking-science/understanding-and-beating-barbecue-stall-bane-all/

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2 hours ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

there is no such thing as powering through a stall @240°.

Good point. I was thinking that such a small piece of brisket shouldn’t have stalled for too terribly long, but then I remembered the beef ribs I cooked a couple of months ago. 10 hours for a less than 5 lb rack.

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Thanks folks. Good advice and food for thought.

 

Meathead's article is interesting. Based on something else I had seen, I spritzed the meat with water each hour, which could have contributed to the evaporative cooling effect and prolonged the stall. I also wrapped the meat in butcher's paper at 160, not foil (per the 'Texas Crutch'). I don't think the paper would prevent the cooling effect as well.

 

I clearly need more practice, and probably more patience. And to plan further ahead so the family don't starve!

 

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every time you open the dome to check the meat or spray it, you are letting heat out.

 

i dont bother with spritzing, if i want moisture in the dome i use a water pan.

 

Remember

 

"If youre lookin, youre not cookin"

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A kamado by nature is a very humid heating environment. I seldom if ever spritz any more. If I do it to add flavor to the bark of something I am roasting- ala a leg of lamb, etc.

 

I also am wondering how much the "If youre lookin, youre not cookin" statment actually applies to the kamado. While, it's certainly not ideal to keep opening the lid unnecessarily, a well heat soaked kamado, isn't going to drop temp significantly when the lid is opened. That heated ceramic holds and maintains the temp. That statement was developed for metal cookers (offsets, bullet, drum, etc.)

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I also use a small water pan ... just a steel pie-pan that I also sometimes use for pies ... and a very nice (wireless!) external-reading thermometer ... ~$40 at Home Depot.  It separately tells me the temperature inside the firebox and the temperature inside the meat.  So I don't have to "look."  The lid remains closed-and-locked for as long as it takes, except for very occasional breaks to flip things over.  Yes, the firebox temperature briefly "dips," but it doesn't matter, as the food-probe will instantly tell you.

 

The very nicest thing about Kamado is that, once you establish the firebox temperature, it tends to just stay there, even for many hours.  It takes a little getting used to realize that you an actually "set it and forget it" in a cooking process that is driven by a fire.

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My best briskets have been those that I wrapped in parchment paper at 165. I'm told that wrapping will help you get through the stall as well.

 

Attached is the most recent one, a 15 lb. one that everyone was raving about how great it was.

 

The dip in the meat temp is where I pulled the brisket off to wrap it. After I put it back on, it ran right through the stall.

 

image.png.dda2a2b352fff74d184f8922e709bcae.png

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When you hit the stall at lower cooking temps you can wrap in foil or pink butcher paper w/o wax coating, crank up the temp, or pan and cover the pan with foil.  If you wrap in foil or pan most folks add some liquid to the cook.  You can also wrap/pan and crank temps.

 

When I was cooking on my stick burner I simply cooked at higher temps to minimize the stall and cook cleaner smoke.  With my current pellet grill I cook low for an hour or two for smoke flavor and then crank the temp to get the food done.

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