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Unread 12-26-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
e4c6
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Default Brisket probing question - help please

My question, followed by some explanation, is when you probe for tenderness ("like butter"), do you probe in just the point, or both the point and flat?

Reason I ask is every time I've done a brisket (probably 5 or 6 times, I'm a newbie, full packer each time) the point has probed like butter, but the flat offers considerable resistance. The first couple of times I let it cook longer to try and get the flat tender also, but then the whole thing ended up overcooking and dried out. The last couple of times I've simply pulled the brisket when the point probed tender, so as to not overcook, but the flat is not very tender and feels undercooked.

Does this happen to anyone else? Is there something obvious I'm doing wrong? Feel free to insult, but be gentle haha :)
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Unread 12-26-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
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Im thinking, as you well know, of the fat content in different areas of the cut. I wouldn't pull it until the rest is budda. It's the nature of the cut of the meat. Maybe some foil will make the difference.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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the point almost always gets tender alot faster than the flat, so don pull until the flat is like butta', then you can seperate the point and reseason and put back on the pit to make burnt ends, the flat is where its at on probing....
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Unread 12-26-2012, 07:56 PM   #4
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Where about on the brisket do you probe? I probe where the flat meets the point, right on top.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help so far guys, really appreciate it.

I usually probe in two separate places. One is in the thickest part of the flat, the other is in the thickest part of the point. Am I supposed to probe somewhere closer to the middle?

For those that are advocating to leave it on longer until the flat is butter, is there a risk of overcooking it? I've tried to do that before but the thinner edges of the flat get burned. Am I doing something wrong?
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Unread 12-26-2012, 08:25 PM   #6
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Probe the point And cook the flat to butter like consistency. You will be good to go. Think about using an injection and wrapping.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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There are two things here. First, I probe in two or three locations. Always in the flat, there is no value to probing the point. I like to probe the thicker parts if the flat, and close to where the flat and point meet is most important. I also trim off any edges if the flat that are thinner than 1" or so. Makes for fewer burned edges.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Interesting advice, thank y'all. If the flat isn't butter, I just must not be cooking it long enough. I guess I'm a bit gun shy after a couple of runs of some dry meat.

How do people get such juicy, tender brisket without wrapping/foiling at some point? I've had brisket at restaurants where they don't wrap at all and it's just moist and tender. I feel like there is some secret I don't know haha.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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The real answer is that the cooks cooked with other cooks, who knew what they were doing, for a long enough time, that they also learned to do it right. For most of us, that is just not an option.

So, we come here, get ideas, cook and ruin meat and eventually get a grasp of the truth. For me, I like to start with a good cut of meat. Makes it easier to start with choice grade brisket packers. I prefer meat in the 12 to 14 pound trimmed range, so a 14 to 16 pound packer. I leave at least 1/8" of the fat cap. I trim the sides and edges so that they are no less than 1" thick. I cook the entire packer until the flat is done, probes quite easily. You can wrap of not, it will still come out good. I separate the flat, spray it with about 1/8 cup of beef broth or other flavorful liquid, wrap in foil and rest for 2 to 4 hours. The point goes back on, and cooks until it jiggles. it gets wrapped in foil and rests along with the flat.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 09:14 PM   #10
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Cooking at higher temps for less time makes moist and tender result.

Most of the best BBQ joints in Texas keep their pits between 275-325.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 09:31 PM   #11
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I have never checked the point for temp,I have never dried any out there is to much fat running through it, please don't pay any attention to the deckle/point/moist/fatty end just try not to burn it, as for the flat feeling like butter well I think your just going to have to cook a few more to get the feel of butter(or start checking at 200*). You want to catch the butter feeling on the way up(almost buttery feeling) meat will carry over up to 10* when you pull it. Probe in the thickest part of the flat for checking tenderness right into the top of the flat. I start the cook at 275* after a hour n half I ramp it up to 325* after another hour n half I wrap it and continue to cook until flat is tender about 2 to 3 hours. I have taken every experiment/test run and came up with this recipe.

Here is a older video I did that is tried and true, I just don't cook at 350* anymore unless I'm in a real rush or its chicken, good luck on your future paper bag cookery I see in your future of brisket cooks.

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Unread 12-26-2012, 09:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e4c6 View Post
Interesting advice, thank y'all. If the flat isn't butter, I just must not be cooking it long enough. I guess I'm a bit gun shy after a couple of runs of some dry meat.

How do people get such juicy, tender brisket without wrapping/foiling at some point? I've had brisket at restaurants where they don't wrap at all and it's just moist and tender. I feel like there is some secret I don't know haha.
if you want tender moist & juicy cook it hot 300 is where I keep my grate temp +/-25 deg The longer that brisket sits at a low heat the easier it is to dry it out. When you cook L&S the meat goes through a stall the outside gets dry out while the inside tries to cook as the collagen and fat break down at different rates. This is the reason so many L&S cooks use foil. When you cook at higher temps there is no stall the temp steadily rises and the collagen breaks down and the fat renders at the same rate.
If you have ever made jerky you keep your temps at around 170 to dry out a thin strip of meat. Cooking a brisket at 225 is not much different in relation the the thickness. The difference between 225 and 250 is about the same as 170 is to 225, 250 is a little better but you will still have a stall while surface drying will be slightly reduced. Once you get to 275 there is a small stall and you can get by without foil.and your cooking time will drop into the 45-50 min a lb zone. At 300 the time drops to 30-40 min per lb the bark will be firm and te fat fully rendered.
Some H&F Flat Shots from a few packers

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Unread 12-26-2012, 10:11 PM   #13
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Bludawg those pics are gorgeous, thanks for posting. For that particular brisket, what temp did you cook at? 300?
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Unread 12-26-2012, 10:16 PM   #14
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Bludawg, that is some fine lookin' brisket there!
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Unread 12-26-2012, 10:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e4c6 View Post
Bludawg those pics are gorgeous, thanks for posting. For that particular brisket, what temp did you cook at? 300?
On a stick burner you cook in a zone for me it is 275-325 I try to stay as close to 300 as I can. I usually go 4 hrs then wrap in BP until it probes tender. I don't use a cooler I park it on the counter top an pt my cheap analog thermo in it when it drops into the 150's (3-4hrs) it's ready to carve up.
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