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Old 05-12-2013, 05:40 PM   #1
Q*bert
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Default First Brisket attempt. Please critique

After reading many threads, watching many videos, & talking to many people, I finally got around to smoking my first brisket today. I started with a 11.35lb RD packer. Trimmed, injected, & rubbed yesterday evening & put on the UDS at 250 at 6:30 this morning. S&P for the rub, beef base, worcestershire, soy sauce, & accent for the injection, & cherry for the smoke.

Hit 165 a bit sooner than expected at 10:30. Wrapped in foil & back in the smoker. Surprise no.2 when it hit 200 at 12:15. I knew then we were going to be having an early dinner. Took it off the UDS, opened the foil to vent for 10 minutes, then wrapped back up & into the igloo surrounded by towels. Took a little nap & came back at 3:30 to slice off the point to make burnt ends with a cup of Head Country & 1/4 cup of au jus. At 4:30 the flat came back out of the cooler & I sliced it up.

Here's where I need some help folks. I don't know if it was over done or under done. I just know that it wasn't the consistency I was looking for. It was more steak/roast consistency than a good 'almost fall apart' brisket consistency. I did the pull test with a slice & had to pull a good bit before it came apart.

Flavor wise, not bad for the first time out. I know what I need to work on there. The burnt ends turned out great though. Moist, almost melt in your mouth.

Overall I'm pleased with my first brisket. Any and all advice, critiques, or criticisms are welcome.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:43 PM   #2
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Looks good from here. You sure trimmed that sucker up hard, nice cooking.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:55 PM   #3
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It looks like you sliced it with the grain. It should be cut across the grain. This will definitely affect the texture. Also, cook till it probes tender, not by temp.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:56 PM   #4
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If you cook by feel, there is no such thing as a tough brisket. Master the art of the shishkabob stick and you got it. Internal Temp will only get you close. Leave a little fat on it also. Anytime you foil your gonna get that pot roasts finish, especially if you foil anytime before 180.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
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Looks like a really lean cut to me! Shop, Shop, Shop & then shop some more! Look for long grain with nice fat marbling. They should feel loose and supple like "a you know what"!
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:03 PM   #6
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Looks nice on the Plate. Brisket need to be sliced Across the Grain not with it( BluDawg trade Secret Cut off the corner on the Flat so you know where to start the slices)
Don't cook by temp or you will never get it right on a consistent basis Cook By Feel

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YOU CAN NOT COOK GREAT BBQ ON A CONSISTENT BASIS BY COOKING TO AN INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OR BY TIME ( XXX MIN PER LB) YOU MUST COOK BY FEEL! For Brisket it must pass the poke test(probe like soft butter it the thickest part of the Flat) Ribs pass the Bend Test, Pork Butts when the bone wiggles loose. These are the only reliable methods to ensure that your cook will be a success. There is one exception to these rules and that is Poultry which must achieve and internal temp of 170 deg in the thickest part of the thigh and 160 in the breast.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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I always do a brisket that is around 15-18 lbs. I soak overnight in beer and a few spices, but that depends on the look of the cut I get. Then I rub it real good with my favorite rub (Rudy's rub for brisket, it's really close to my own rub, so I buy it instead of making it), and again overnight in the fridge. I wrap it for the first few hours, then unwrap and finish. Mine on the smoker takes about 6-8 hours. It is very tender, and pulls very well, and has a big ring. Good luck, and let us know how it comes out!!!
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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You are correct that its undercooked. These guys are correct that it should be probe tender.
Unless your cooking competition i would NEVER trim that aggresively. You removed much of the flavor and the fat aids in moisture retention.
Looks like its cut just fine.
Practice, practice, practice.

And try the KISS principal when cooking brisket until you master it THEN you can add all that other crap.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:46 PM   #9
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Thanks for the help everyone.
-I did cut across the grain. Should have taken a pic of that.
-I am practicing for an eventual comp, so I wanted to practice the trimming to that standard.
-Since I'm cooking on an UDS the fat cap was down to provide a heat shield. Should I put a deflector underneath & cook fat up?? Would that help with tenderness??
-So if i understand correctly, get up to @200 & then just test it, test it, test it?

Once again thanks everyone
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q*bert View Post
After reading many threads, watching many videos, & talking to many people, I finally got around to smoking my first brisket today. I started with a 11.35lb RD packer. Trimmed, injected, & rubbed yesterday evening & put on the UDS at 250 at 6:30 this morning. S&P for the rub, beef base, worcestershire, soy sauce, & accent for the injection, & cherry for the smoke.

Hit 165 a bit sooner than expected at 10:30. Wrapped in foil & back in the smoker. Surprise no.2 when it hit 200 at 12:15. I knew then we were going to be having an early dinner. Took it off the UDS, opened the foil to vent for 10 minutes, then wrapped back up & into the igloo surrounded by towels. Took a little nap & came back at 3:30 to slice off the point to make burnt ends with a cup of Head Country & 1/4 cup of au jus. At 4:30 the flat came back out of the cooler & I sliced it up.

Here's where I need some help folks. I don't know if it was over done or under done. I just know that it wasn't the consistency I was looking for. It was more steak/roast consistency than a good 'almost fall apart' brisket consistency. I did the pull test with a slice & had to pull a good bit before it came apart.

Flavor wise, not bad for the first time out. I know what I need to work on there. The burnt ends turned out great though. Moist, almost melt in your mouth.

Overall I'm pleased with my first brisket. Any and all advice, critiques, or criticisms are welcome.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q*bert View Post
Thanks for the help everyone.
-I did cut across the grain. Should have taken a pic of that.
-I am practicing for an eventual comp, so I wanted to practice the trimming to that standard.
-Since I'm cooking on an UDS the fat cap was down to provide a heat shield. Should I put a deflector underneath & cook fat up?? Would that help with tenderness??
-So if i understand correctly, get up to @200 & then just test it, test it, test it?

Once again thanks everyone
NO!! Forget about the meats temp it will lie to you no two pieces will ever finish the same one may go probe tender at 185 and the next one may go to 220. That is why cooking to feel is so crucial to being consistent. If the thickest part of the Flat is probe tender the rest of that Packer will be perfect too.

BBQ RULES

"YOU CAN NOT COOK GREAT BBQ ON A CONSISTENT BASIS COOKING TO AN INTERNAL TEMP OR BY TIME(XXX MIN PER LB) YOU MUST COOK BY FEEL
!"For a Brisket that is probe tender, Pork Butts when the Bone wiggles lose, Ribs pass the Bend Test. These are the only reliable methods to indicate the proper time to declare the cook completed with success.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:11 PM   #12
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I start checking about 195. Then about every 20-30 minutes until it probes really tender. I use a heat deflector in my UDS and run it fat side down. Maybe yours is a little underdone but it looks great.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
If you cook by feel, there is no such thing as a tough brisket. Master the art of the shishkabob stick and you got it. Internal Temp will only get you close. Leave a little fat on it also. Anytime you foil your gonna get that pot roasts finish, especially if you foil anytime before 180.

Foil dont = Pot Roast
Not knowing how to use it does.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:16 PM   #14
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My $.02 inline below

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q*bert View Post
-Since I'm cooking on an UDS the fat cap was down to provide a heat shield. Should I put a deflector underneath & cook fat up?? Would that help with tenderness??

The tenderness (or lack thereof) is because it wasn't cooked long enough. Adding a deflector or flipping it fat cap up won't change that. Even with a deflector I would cook fat cap down in a UDS.

-So if i understand correctly, get up to @200 & then just test it, test it, test it?

Sort of As mentioned, some briskets are done at 185, some not until 205. Most of the ones I cook seem to fall into the 195 to 205 range, but I start checking at around 190. The one that I did today (14 lb. RD Packer) was probe tender at 195 (I use my Thermapen as my probe, so I knew the temp as a by-product ). It all depends on how much internal fat and connective tissue the brisket has.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #15
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Looks like you cut most of the hard fat from between the flat and point. I've never seen one trimmed up like that.
As you're seeing we all go by probes like butter not temp. The temp probe is only used for temp till you start probing then you probe every 15-30 till it probes like butter everywhere.
Personally salt and pepper or a very slight variation is all you need for rub.
If you cut against the grain you should have it look like this:
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