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Unread 02-28-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
dworl
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Default Brisket Help

This weekend I attempted my third brisket and the results were better than the first two times but still had a dry, slightly tough texture. At this point I need some advice. I am cooking on a Traeger 075 and have listed additional information regarding the cook below. I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks.

Meat: packer brisket, choice grade, corn-fed
Weight: 14.37 lbs.
Smoker: Traeger Texas
Pellets: Hickory
Ambient Temp: 57 degrees
Injected 12 hours before
On far right side of chamber at 325 deg, fat side up for 2.45 hrs
In pan covered with foil, fat side down at 275 deg for 1.35 hrs - 200 deg in the point
off smoker and under blanket for 3 hrs
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:02 PM   #2
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What temp have you cooked your previous briskets to? (in the flat)
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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I am somewhat surprised that you could get the point to 200 degrees that quickly, even at those relatively high temps. When I do a high temp cook, it usually takes me ~ 4 hours at 300-350 to get to 160-165, then ~ 2 more hours in the foiled pan.

What was the internal temp when you put it in the pan and covered with foil? I would recommend 160 to 165.

Did you put any liquid in the pan? I would recommend ~ 1/4" of water or beer.

What was the temp in the flat when you pulled it?

Are you sure that the thermometer you used to check the pit temp is accurate at grate level?
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Bro, there are a lot of different inaccurate temp/time combinations that work for cooking a good brisket. BUT, none of them replace the feel of knowing when it is done. It almost sounds like you are in to times/temps too much. Any meat, especially brisket is done anywhere from 185 to 210. It is when the meat is tender when probed. There is no set of rules for a brisket. Keep after it and cook some more to get the feel for it. Good luck!
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:24 PM   #5
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Good notes and information, you forgot to mention if it was a left hand or right hand brisket. We all know the left hand ones are more tender.

I'm not familiar with the flow dynamics of a Treager, but I'm guessing the heat flows across the top of the grate and that's why you went with the fat up?

And with those temps (both pit and internal) you should have been close, but you have to cook a brisket tender and not really count on the internal temp. So maybe it was not done enough. It's hard to explain but in foil, things reach a temp but it takes time for that temp to soak-in and work in your favor. Maybe you caught it as soon as it got to the 200°, or maybe your thermometer was off a hair.

As far as toughness goes, with no disrespect, did you slice it against the grain?



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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:28 PM   #6
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Good point Wayne.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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the previous two attempts had other issues related to learning the Traeger but the flat temp was higher than the point..205-210.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:44 PM   #8
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Ag76 - All three times I have tried brisket the meat has come to temp very quickly. I didn't check temp at time of panning, just went by time. I had injected the brisket so there was at least 5-6 cups of au jus in the pan after cooking but I did not add anymore at the pan stage. I forgot to note the flat temp but it was higher than 200. My first reaction was that the pit was running hot but I verified temp with a remote probe (was 10 degrees lower at the grate then the digital probe displayed but close enough).
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:45 PM   #9
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Hmmm, now I'm wondering about the accuracy of your meat thermometer. Doing a foil finish (provided you don't cook off all the juices or added liquid) you can over cook a brisket so tender it falls apart like pot roast. I mean even a 1" thick slice will still fall apart.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:47 PM   #10
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good question but definitely sliced against the grain. Sounds like I should just start testing every 30 min or so once the flat hits 185.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
Hmmm, now I'm wondering about the accuracy of your meat thermometer. Doing a foil finish (provided you don't cook off all the juices or added liquid) you can over cook a brisket so tender it falls apart like pot roast. I mean even a 1" thick slice will still fall apart.
you thinking the temp is actually much hotter than probe displays thus cooking meat too fast?
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Unread 02-28-2011, 10:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dworley View Post
you thinking the temp is actually much hotter than probe displays thus cooking meat too fast?
No, the other way. I'm wondering if the probe is giving you a false high.... Like telling you it's 200° and in reality it's 185° or something.


Maybe you need to try The Night Train In A Dark Closet - An experiment and learning experience on brisket tenderness. All you need is an oven, a 5 pound flat, pepper, celery salt and some foil. I recommend this to a lot of younger barbecuists. You learn what a tender brisket feels like, plus you get a great meal to boot.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ght=experiment





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Unread 02-28-2011, 11:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
No, the other way. I'm wondering if the probe is giving you a false high.... Like telling you it's 200° and in reality it's 185° or something.


Maybe you need to try The Night Train In A Dark Closet - An experiment and learning experience on brisket tenderness. All you need is an oven, a 5 pound flat, pepper, celery salt and some foil. I recommend this to a lot of younger barbecuists. You learn what a tender brisket feels like, plus you get a great meal to boot.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ght=experiment





I'll try anything at this point. thanks.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 12:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dworley View Post
Ag76 - All three times I have tried brisket the meat has come to temp very quickly. I didn't check temp at time of panning, just went by time. I had injected the brisket so there was at least 5-6 cups of au jus in the pan after cooking but I did not add anymore at the pan stage. I forgot to note the flat temp but it was higher than 200. My first reaction was that the pit was running hot but I verified temp with a remote probe (was 10 degrees lower at the grate then the digital probe displayed but close enough).
My suggestions would be:

1. Check the accuracy of all thermometers/probes you are using. I boil some water on the stove and see how close to 212 I get. Calibrate accordingly if your thermometer allows for it.

2. Add ~ 1/4" of liquid such as water or beer to the pan before foiling.

3. Pan and foil at 160 to 165.

4. Start checking for tenderness with the probe at ~ 185. You might have to go up to 200 to reach the point where the probe inserts like it is going into a soft stick of butter.

I have cooked a lot of excellent briskets using the high heat method, mainly because I do not have 12 - 15 hours to spend on it due to my work load. You can also cook a great brisket using low and slow, i.e., maintaining a pit temp of ~ 210 - 225. Be prepared to spend 12-15 hours if you do it this way, possibly longer for a big brisket.

If I can be of any more help, I would be more than glad to. I have certainly received more than my fair share here.
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Unread 03-01-2011, 12:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag76 View Post
My suggestions would be:

1. Check the accuracy of all thermometers/probes you are using. I boil some water on the stove and see how close to 212 I get. Calibrate accordingly if your thermometer allows for it.

2. Add ~ 1/4" of liquid such as water or beer to the pan before foiling.

3. Pan and foil at 160 to 165.

4. Start checking for tenderness with the probe at ~ 185. You might have to go up to 200 to reach the point where the probe inserts like it is going into a soft stick of butter.

I have cooked a lot of excellent briskets using the high heat method, mainly because I do not have 12 - 15 hours to spend on it due to my work load. You can also cook a great brisket using low and slow, i.e., maintaining a pit temp of ~ 210 - 225. Be prepared to spend 12-15 hours if you do it this way, possibly longer for a big brisket.

If I can be of any more help, I would be more than glad to. I have certainly received more than my fair share here.
great suggestions, thanks much appreciated.
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