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View Full Version : Trying to conquer my nemesis (brisket)...temp or feel??


Atlasman
03-10-2013, 10:55 PM
So I'll just be blunt.........my brisket is low grade dog food.

I've tried hot and fast like Myron......turned into a charcoal briquette.

I've tried painfully low and slow for as much as 16 hours......dry and tough.

I have injected....marinated....mopped and misted...foil and no.


ALWAYS DRY and tough.........lay a slice across your finger and it hardly bends at all.

Getting very frustrated.

I have cooked by temp and feel pulling anywhere from 190 to 205 and rested up to 4 hours...........don't know why I am missing so badly.

I have a decent flavor profile that scored well but I got killed on tenderness.


Lil' Help???

I have an XL big green egg and a 22" WSM both controlled by gurus for spot on temps.


Are you guys pulling by feel or temp??

I haven't cooked the best cuts of meat to date ( best I could find) but I ordered 3 big pack from snake river which will be here Wednesday.

Could it be as simple as meat quality??


Are you guys cooking wagyu to different temps then say "prime"??


Sorry for the ramble and please know I have searched and researched this topic extensively........not just looking for secrets, I am nearing the end of my BBQ rope with this cut.


Thanks

Bourbon Barrel BBQ
03-10-2013, 11:00 PM
Tell us your normal time and temp process and when you wrap.

GrillsGoneWild
03-10-2013, 11:06 PM
Don't dare cook up a Wagyu until you have a regular brisket down. Yes, the quality will get you a better end product but I would guess this isn't the problem. I suspect you haven't been only cooking up select packers.
Are you cooking packers or just flats? I get a better end product with packers.
What temp are you starting to check for resistance? I usually will start at 190 and then every 20 minutes until the flat probes with no resistance.
Maybe some pics of your slices can let us know a bit more about the texture.
I also assume you are cutting across the grain.

KC_Bobby
03-10-2013, 11:25 PM
Tell us your normal time and temp process and when you wrap.

To expand on the above
Inject/Rub?
Pit temp?
Wrap temp?
What do you put in your wrap?

Pitmaster T
03-10-2013, 11:27 PM
you are why i came up with the night train

continue without it at your own peril




select

Red Valley BBQ
03-10-2013, 11:27 PM
Don't dare cook up a Wagyu until you have a regular brisket down.

I would have to agree. Wagyu is too expensive to experiment on. It's a different monster than a "regular" brisket.

If you think the quality of meat is a factor, try to find the best packer you can. Restaurant Depot carries Angus briskets that I have had plenty of success with. If you don't have one nearby, try to find a butcher that's local.

Atlasman
03-10-2013, 11:37 PM
Tell us your normal time and temp process and when you wrap.

I try to foil by look rather then temp. Once the bark sets up after maybe 6-8 hours is a good ballpark. From there I have pulled at temp and feel with equally lousy results.

Temp when I foil is probably 160-170 in flat near point.

Atlasman
03-10-2013, 11:40 PM
Don't dare cook up a Wagyu until you have a regular brisket down. Yes, the quality will get you a better end product but I would guess this isn't the problem. I suspect you haven't been only cooking up select packers.
Are you cooking packers or just flats? I get a better end product with packers.
What temp are you starting to check for resistance? I usually will start at 190 and then every 20 minutes until the flat probes with no resistance.
Maybe some pics of your slices can let us know a bit more about the texture.
I also assume you are cutting across the grain.

I am cooking packers in the 15-17lb avg size range. I am cutting against the grain.

landarc
03-10-2013, 11:45 PM
I have to say you are probably not pulling at the right time. The feel is missing for you. You cannot go by temperature. You have to go by feel, whether with a probe, or with a learned ability to feel when the meat has given up the toughness.

The Nightrain brisket (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=870047&postcount=4) exercise is a good way to feel what is right.

Atlasman
03-10-2013, 11:45 PM
To expand on the above
Inject/Rub?
Pit temp?
Wrap temp?
What do you put in your wrap?


I have injected with everything from beef broth to melted butter to butchers

Rub is smoking guns hot, Plowboys bold, trim tab pig powder, 3 eyes or some other commercial rub I feel like trying.

Pit temp has been as low as 225 and up to 350 for Myron's run.

Wrap usually gets mop or mist liquid I used that day.

KC_Bobby
03-11-2013, 12:14 AM
Wrap usually gets mop or mist liquid I used that day.

I may be reading your comment not as you have intended, but wondering if you're putting enough liquid in the wrap. How much are you putting in - 2oz, 4, 6, 8 more?

MikeMSD
03-11-2013, 12:17 AM
I run flats only at 275 and have had great results. I've been doing it by feel though, so can't tell you what temps I'm hitting. I just foil it when it looks right and probe until I feel it's tender. I've overshot a couple of times and had pulled brisket, but never been dried out.

Crash
03-11-2013, 12:39 AM
We wrap once we get the bark looking the way we want. We pull them off the cooker once our Thermapen slides in the way we want. We never go by the temp reading, just the feel.

Also, fat striation throughout the choice (or better) flat is a must for us. If we can find one packer out of 20 that we think is good enough...it's a minor miracle.

Brisket is the toughest to dial in, IMO.

Best of luck.

Q-Dat
03-11-2013, 12:49 AM
you are why i came up with the night train

continue without it at your own peril




select

It sure got me going in the right direction.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57815

Atlasman
03-11-2013, 05:30 AM
I may be reading your comment not as you have intended, but wondering if you're putting enough liquid in the wrap. How much are you putting in - 2oz, 4, 6, 8 more?


I'd say 6-8 ounces is about right.

bmonkman
03-11-2013, 06:04 AM
I'm still learning how to do a good brisket and have ruined many a good packer.

Here is what I have learned so far....

- when trimming the fat leave around a 1/4" on the fat cap and trim off most of the hard fat - trimming off too much of the fat will take away from the moisture

- when using an injection leave it sit for at least a few hours - I turn it over so the injection liquid can run through the meat

- if you pull the brisket off too soon it will be tough - you need to be patient - one of the phrases I read so often when I was starting was variations of "It will be ready when it is ready" - my reaction was WTF does that mean - I now understand this to SO be the case with brisket

- internal temperature is only a guide - the true test is how easily your probe slides into the meat - this is where I am still learning - I plan to give Pitmaster T's Night Train test a go

- keep it simple to start with - too many variables will just fark you up if things go wrong and you are trying to figure it out

Good luck and don't give up!!

Brian

Hawg Father of Seoul
03-11-2013, 06:57 AM
Put the expensive stuff down. Wrapping makes it easier, but you really do not need any thing to make good brisket.

Set your pit to 250-275, wrap that dude TIGHT when it looks good or when it probes over 160 and pull it off when it hits 210.

You have to see what you are looking for before you can hit it perfectly. Fark all of this "feel stuff" until you cook one tender enough to see what it should feel like.

Qbert60
03-11-2013, 08:57 AM
The the first time I cooked a briskie, I killed it. Not in a good way. It was dry as the sand in the desert. My first competition was 2 weeks after this. I scored a 6th place. I hadn't cooked another brisket in between this time. You know how I learned? YOUTUBE! I can't tell you how much I learned from Youtube. I am not good enough yet to be able to tell what the temp is by feel. I use an internal probe. I have wrapped at 155. I have wrapped at 165. I normally focus the wrapping around what the "stall" starts. I find that if I do that, I don't have much stall to worry about. I do cook on a UDS using a diffuser to deflect heat. Pit temps are around 250*-275*. And I normally cook choice meat from RD. Hope this helps. Good Luck and check Youtube.

Untraceable
03-11-2013, 09:01 AM
Following this closely. Im going to get it right. did a packer this weekend 17lbs 14hrs at 250 unfoiled and it was my first exercise band brisket. I thought it probed well? and it almost wiggled. I really reached a point of almost no progress and me thinks i should have foiled there and blasted it to finish

I figure I could spend money on a class or videos or just buy a chitload of packers and get my arse to work.

bruno994
03-11-2013, 09:15 AM
Sounds to me like your overthinking a great piece of meat. Smoke until it hits 160, wrap until it hits 190+, then open foil for 2 reasons, to reset bark and to allow you to probe the flat portion for tenderness. When a toothpick or probe slides in easily, rest it for a couple of hours, slice and enjoy. Ya'll come on down to Texas, we'll teach you how to cook a good brisket...

HeSmellsLikeSmoke
03-11-2013, 09:18 AM
You may find this thread to be as helpful as I have.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=154329

Pitmaster T
03-11-2013, 09:20 AM
I have injected with everything from beef broth to melted butter to butchers

Rub is smoking guns hot, Plowboys bold, trim tab pig powder, 3 eyes or some other commercial rub I feel like trying.

Pit temp has been as low as 225 and up to 350 for Myron's run.

Wrap usually gets mop or mist liquid I used that day.


"Oh MY GODah..." Charlton Heston

There should be a switch some of old timers could use to switch people off. Too much noise. not u some others.

You cannot buy the skills needed to make a brisket tender and juicy from a jar or bottle or even an injector.

BrewerDJ
03-11-2013, 09:27 AM
Like most of the people on here, I've been trying to perfect my brisket for years. In fact that was the 1st thing I ever put in my smoker. I am always trying new things. Here are a couple of youtube videos that I have thought helped me

BBQ with Franklin: The Payoff - YouTube

BBQ with Franklin: The Brisket - YouTube

They are both of Aaron Franklin. Last time I was in Austin he had not opened yet. I am planning to go back as soon as I can to try his place. And buy a new hat. :biggrin1:

Pitmaster T
03-11-2013, 09:31 AM
Fark all of this "feel stuff" until you cook one tender enough to see what it should feel like.

This is hilarious. Notably silly.

I say this is intentionally silly because hawgs got admirable skills.

this was like the teacher hottie that told me her march on the texas capital to protest lawmakers there was not about politics.

What Hawg says to do could put you on your way to a more tender product...

but tenderness is not about "feel" so ignore it. LOL

Pitmaster T
03-11-2013, 09:39 AM
Like most of the people on here, I've been trying to perfect my brisket for years. In fact that was the 1st thing I ever put in my smoker. I am always trying new things. Here are a couple of youtube videos that I have thought helped me

BBQ with Franklin: The Payoff - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMIlyzRFUjU)

BBQ with Franklin: The Brisket - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmTzdMHu5KU)

They are both of Aaron Franklin. Last time I was in Austin he had not opened yet. I am planning to go back as soon as I can to try his place. And buy a new hat. :biggrin1:


yes... this guy is good... very knowledgeable about brisket and various technicians. i will cherish forever the day (this past january) he personally passed me his brisket, slipped off his glove and said "your that funky guy on you tube! uh tri level rub - right? why did you shut down your website... it was very informative. you look so serious now"

i couldn't tell if i was insulted or complimented. got 2 bottle of his espresso sauce though for free... should i open it?

bmonkman
03-11-2013, 09:53 AM
i couldn't tell if i was insulted or complimented. got 2 bottle of his espresso sauce though for free... should i open it?

If you want to send me one of the bottles I will be happy to test it for you.

Brian

Pitmaster T
03-11-2013, 11:39 AM
You are like many of us... a victim of the brisket PSYCHE or rope a dope. Here is my prescription...

http://youtu.be/J6Hey54O6Qs

watch all that....



then all this

http://youtu.be/d0hk0zwCsz4

http://youtu.be/uJeMNJocWnE


same brisket


Since this is THE most common error for newbees to brisket ... and some who have thought brisket needed to be sliced thin for years because they didn't know.... and those who refuse to try the Night Train... I really need to make this an official brisket video












now bow to the genius of brisket

http://youtu.be/NvDok3kjB7c

landarc
03-11-2013, 12:09 PM
I'm still learning how to do a good brisket and have ruined many a good packer...
Brian
I knew you knew nothing about cooking a brisket! :razz:

Sawdustguy
03-11-2013, 03:30 PM
Put the expensive stuff down. Wrapping makes it easier, but you really do not need any thing to make good brisket.

Set your pit to 250-275, wrap that dude TIGHT when it looks good or when it probes over 160 and pull it off when it hits 210.

You have to see what you are looking for before you can hit it perfectly. Fark all of this "feel stuff" until you cook one tender enough to see what it should feel like.

210* will get you overdone brisket. When you pull and rest it the temp will rise another 10* to 15* and your brisket will start to become mushy.

JD McGee
03-11-2013, 03:47 PM
Smoke it at whatever temp you want until the bark is dark brown...usually around 160 to 170 degrees in the middle of the flat (just in case ya wanna know) then wrap it tightly in foil or butcher paper and toss it back on for another two hours at whatever temp. After 2 hours in foil/paper start probing the middle of the flat for resistance using some sort of small diameter probe (I use a thermapen) when you feel little resistance to the probe rest the brisket for at least an hour then slice it against the grain. The secret is the wrapping and pulling it to rest at the right time. Also do not trim all the fat off...leave at least 1/4 all over for juice. Good luck!

On edit...I am assuming a packer...not a small flat otherwise it's a little different ballgame.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/12/uhevuge8.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/12/ma8ehavu.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/12/yte2e7y7.jpg
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didisea
03-11-2013, 07:39 PM
Are you wet aging your briskets? You should try and age them for 35-45 days in a "quiet" refrigerator, if you have a extra refridge in the garage, that is where I keep mine. Keep them in the original cryo vac, and watch for any signs of rupture, especially if the brisket came frozen. The enzymatic breakdown will help make your brisket more flavorful and tender. Use at least a choice packer with a nice thick flat. It doesn't need to be prime or waygu. Practice on some choice packers, before you blow money on higher grade meat.
Put some foiling liquid in your brisket when you foil it - like 6-8 oz of low sodium beef broth.
After you foil the brisket at around 155-165 deg, DO NOT look at the temp on the thermopen. It doesn't matter what the temp is at all. You are only looking for the feel of "butter" with your thermopen or other probe. I could not tell you what my last umpteen briskets have finished at - it doesn't matter. It only matters what they feel like. Don't stick the guru food probe in the meat either after you foil. I have the 20 min rule. Once the brisket is getting close to done, set the timer for 20 mins, probe the brisket. If you don't feel the "butter," then set the timer for another 20 mins and continue this until you get the "butter" feel.

Hawg Father of Seoul
03-11-2013, 07:56 PM
210* will get you overdone brisket. When you pull and rest it the temp will rise another 10* to 15* and your brisket will start to become mushy.

Maybe, maybe not, but I bet he will find out what a tender brisket "feels" like. All this BS about "butta" does not teach any one fark all. You do not get it until you get it.

BTW vent your brisket and get it back down to 170 before resting it. Letting it cook in the warmer is imprecise at best.

bmonkman
03-12-2013, 05:53 AM
I knew you knew nothing about cooking a brisket! :razz:

Snort.