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Old 02-22-2005, 09:28 PM   #4
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Join Date: 08-11-03
Location: Long Island, NY

I would put them in later in the day, so they come out of the cooker at midnight...-1-2 am. Time it to come off as late as possible, or as late as your willing to stay up. Then wrap them tightly in a couple towels and put them in a cooler and add more towels to the cooler to take up any dead air space. I always heat the cooler for a few minutes by adding a lttle boiling water and closing the top. When its time, drain the water and the briskets go into a warm cooler. With 3 briskets packed on top of each other and wrapped up in towels, the heat load should last at least 8 hours if not little longer. They will stay hot and continue to tenderize while in the cooler and at noon, you'll have fresh hot briskets to slice up.

Before I read this forum, I usually just relied on cooking temps and times. Now I am relying more on internal temps which I think allows for more consistent results.
Try this next time. Instead of relying on internal temps..... dont. Rely on tenderness. Estimate time at 1hr - 1:15 per lb. Then at 180 start checking for tenderness. Insert a probe into the flat. If it goes in with little or no resistance, your done. If thats at 180, who cares how long its been cooking, the brisket is tender. A few more hours in the cooler will make it perfect. But taking off a brisket at 190-195, even 200, when it was possibly done at 185 makes for a dry or overcooked cut. IMO, its wiser to use the internal temps to know when to start checking for doneness/tenderness, and not to use that as the deciding factor. I have had briskets done at 180-185 and coolered for 5-6 hours that were juicy and tender. Bringing them to 190-195 would have wrecked them.. some brikets may need to go to 190, but I rarely let them go higher than that(192 max). Taking them out at 190, and spending some time in the cooler is usually enough. They can climb another 8 degrees in the cooler on their own heat load and continue to cook and tenderize.

Being that your going to be coolering for a while, it may even work to remove it when it has a small amount of resistance when you insert the probe. Le t it finish cooking in the cooler. That way it will continue to cook, but not overcook.
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