MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 07-21-2019, 07:40 AM   #1
wire-it-up
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Join Date: 03-27-15
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Default Chuck Roast Finishing Temp

Greetings Brethren. After dealing with my low and slow addiction for about 5 years now, I've come to realize that chuck roast is my favorite thing to cook and to eat. I follow the methods of a well known pit master pretty much religiously. However, I have found that his recommended finishing temp for chuckies isn't high enough to get consistent "fall apart" tenderness. He says to take it to 195-200 IT. But when I pull them from the smoker in that range and let them rest an hour, one muscle will be very tender, and the other one not so much.

Yesterday's cook was 5 chucks of various sizes. Three of them were manager's special, so half price. It wouldn't all fit in one pan, and the top of the Humphrey's seems to run slightly hotter than the bottom. I discovered this because the probe was in a roast on the top rack, and when it reached the suggested IT, I took it off and let it rest. I moved the meat that was on the bottom to the top, and put the probe in one of the roasts in the second pan. It had another 15-20 degrees to go. After the 1 hour rest, I shredded the first pan of meat. As has happened a few times before, I wasn't thrilled with the tenderness. So I let the second pan go to 207. That made all the difference in the world. Every fiber just crumbled in my hands. So much easier and faster to shred that way, not to mention easier to chew. None of the meat in the first pan was what I would call "tough", but just not as tender as I like, particularly given the time investment for a low and slow cook (about 6 hours at 250 on these - half the time exposed to smoke and the other half panned in broth, covered with foil).

I really need to start a BBQ journal, and make notes about things like this. I seem to forget that I need to take chucks hotter when following that recipe.

I was curious as to the "done" IT the Brethren take their chuckies to before pulling.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:43 AM   #2
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chuckies (like pulled pork) aren't done at a specific IT, but when they're probe tender.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:44 AM   #3
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That's another thing I need to remember... to probe for tenderness rather than watching for a specific IT. I think that has been my downfall with brisket, to the point that I don't really try to cook brisket anymore.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:26 AM   #4
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That's another thing I need to remember... to probe for tenderness rather than watching for a specific IT. I think that has been my downfall with brisket, to the point that I don't really try to cook brisket anymore.
NOOOOOO! Can’t have that. I believe this is a cry for help and a Brethren intervention is required. (See the ongoing thread started by Flingr...). http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=273862
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:30 AM   #5
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I'll take all brisket advice I can get. Smoke Ninja was helping me some, but work and family obligations get in the way, and with limited time I just cook what's easy. Another issue I have with brisket is that I would be the only one in the house eating it, for the most part. My household consists of me, my wife, and two daughters. None of them are big into beef like I am. And even if I manage to start making really good brisket, I don't want to eat a whole one by myself. I give a lot of meat away at work, but that can get expensive. However, I am open to trying brisket again... maybe just not a whole packer if I can find just the point.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:32 AM   #6
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I swear chucks take forever to get tender.

you are right about going by tender and not temp. I've pulled a few early and had to chop the beef and then return to pit to finish
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:46 AM   #7
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Straight answer...I smoke to about 203 and begin probing. The chuck usually is probe tender at that point.
For some reason, going by the probe is a hard lesson to learn for some, like me. Now I probe everything. With a Thermapen, you kill 2 birds with one probe. With brisket it's essential. For us mortals, there's no other way to tell whether that flat is ready or not.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:06 AM   #8
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I have wanted a Thermapen for a long time, and my birthday IS coming up, LOL. I have a cheap digital thermometer from Lowe's, and it seems to do okay. But as I understand it, the Thermapens are the Cadillacs of thermometers.
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:24 AM   #9
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I have wanted a Thermapen for a long time, and my birthday IS coming up, LOL. I have a cheap digital thermometer from Lowe's, and it seems to do okay. But as I understand it, the Thermapens are the Cadillacs of thermometers.
I think everyone needs a thermapen, but the problems you are experiencing I am not sure it would change anything. You are used to the probe you have, so just make yourself ignore the temp and learn the feel that you are looking for. That will ensure you get the result you are looking for and hopefully that success will translate to giving brisket another go. I haven't actually looked at the readout on my thermapen for a brikset or butt in years.

Which Humphrey's do you have?
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:19 PM   #10
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I have the Weekender. I love it, but I wish I had bought a bigger one. When I bought it, we had just moved across the country and funds were low. I couldn't get a bigger one at that time. I make it work, and I don't do a lot of really large cooks.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:59 PM   #11
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I have the Weekender. I love it, but I wish I had bought a bigger one. When I bought it, we had just moved across the country and funds were low. I couldn't get a bigger one at that time. I make it work, and I don't do a lot of really large cooks.
Preaching to the choir :). I bought a Pint and less than a year later ordered the whole hog. I really like the looks of the weekender line. I told Nicole I am hoping to order a holiday weekender by the end of the year! #addict
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:59 PM   #12
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Do you still have the Pint?
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:10 PM   #13
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Do you still have the Pint?
Yes sir.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:16 PM   #14
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Preaching to the choir :). I bought a Pint and less than a year later ordered the whole hog. I really like the looks of the weekender line. I told Nicole I am hoping to order a holiday weekender by the end of the year! #addict
Yep... addicted! I have a couple cookers I really like but not 2 from the same builder.

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Old 07-21-2019, 02:18 PM   #15
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I was curious as to whether you sold the Pint when you bought the bigger unit. I don't know if I would keep the Weekender or not if I were to upgrade to a larger cooker. If I could get a decent price on it, I'd probably put the money toward the bigger smoker. I would love to have both, but I'm running out of deck space. There's already my Weekender, a WSM 22, and Chargriller 50/50 out there. The deck isn't very big. I've actually considered adding on the to the deck, LOL. Then I'd want another cooker.
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