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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.

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Old 07-17-2011, 02:38 PM   #1
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Join Date: 07-29-09
Location: Fair Haven NJ
Default Brisket help

I've done a few competitions but lately I have been struggling big time with brisket (just like everyone else I guess).. I did a practice one over the weekend trying to identify the problem but no joy...

I use an 18" Weber bullet so I'm a little limited on the size of the brisket I can fit. Last comp I found a small packer (about 10 lbs) and tried it, but I overdid it and we were lucky to get 6 usable slices out of the small flat so I am back to doing big (8 lb+) flats. Anyway my butcher cut me a big flat with a little bit of the point still on it from a 16lb packer (about 8.5 lbs total). I injected with beef broth, ran about 230 consistently. It hit 165 in about 4 hours so I removed the small point portion, and foiled with a cup of beef broth until 190. Wrapped in tight foil and put it in my oven (off) to rest.

I put the point piece back on until it hit 210 or so and put that in the oven too. The burnt ends were excellent but the flat was very dry (as usual with me).
I don't know if I am pulling it too late maybe? The probe of my thermapen went in easy, but there was still a touch of resistance (I have waited until it goes in like soft butter but have resulted in falling apart pieces with that).
I never injected before last weekend but I don't see that it is helping at all.

Am I pulling it too early? Should I try high heat (never done that before)? Any help would be appreciated. We weren't DFL in brisket with our falling apart one last week but close enough and I really want to improve before we end our season in September.

Thanks for any help. (yes I have read a ton of brisket threads but they all assume you are starting with a big packer and I just don't have the real estate for that).
Smoke on the Water NJ
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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Take this for what it's worth. We cooked the same contest, cooked what we thought was by far the best brisket we'd ever done and came in 47th in brisket. With that said, I think Butcher's makes a heck of a product and we use it religiously (along with some other stuff). Using an 18" WSM, you probably couldnt go wrong doing a nice big flat. Some who use 18"s, separate the flat and the point before putting them on. We like to cook ours high heat, though. Also, we usually foil at 165 and pull the temp probe after that. The only thing I use it for once it's in the foil is testing for doneness. this does take a little bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

Of course, what do I know, we havent gotten any calls in brisket yet. (However, I think we did get robbed in Wildwood with 47th place....oh well).
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:08 PM   #3
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I'd bump up the temp. The longer it's in the cooker the easier to dry out. I would not seperate the point portion. That's gonna be the side you probably get the best slices from.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
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I cook CAB flats only for comp, I use the poke test religeously, for KCBS I usually pull mine off the pit and put in Cabro, at 188-192.....In Texas its 199-205.....I also use Butchers....Flat is always full of juice, and tender...I cook at 275-300*...
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:22 PM   #5
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I would highly recommend Butcher BBQ injections for brisket. They have helped our briskets tremendously. I use select Briskets from Restaurant Depot. I have an unscientific view that the lower the grade of brisket the longer you cook it to get it tender and with a gentle pull. We don't ever have a dry brisket with using butchers.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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I stopped using the Thermopen as a guide to slide it into the brisket. I found the point was too small. I have better luck checking it with a butter knife. Since I started doing that, I haven't had the problem with the flat still being a little tough.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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i can't figure out brisket. sometimes i nail it. sometimes not. and i always use the probe to test for done, not temp.

with that said, i DO like butchers and i DO like prime dust.

i did try a method last week-end that was successful...i just let it rest, wrapped in foil, then wrapped in a towel, simply on the counter for @ 1.5 hours. be careful with this though as the temps could drop below safe, so keep an eye on the temp at this point.

the last brisket i did i did not duplicate this process and it was dry and pretty tough. probed like butter though before i took it off and coolered it.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:39 AM   #8
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Join Date: 07-29-09
Location: Fair Haven NJ

Thanks for all the advice. My partner and I have another practice cook this weekend, will see how it goes.
Smoke on the Water NJ
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #9
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buy a cheap thermometer to use as a probe thermapen is to sharp and narrow. trust your butcher,I use briskets from the local grocery or walmart foil at 165 and let it rest once the probe goes in with very very little resistance
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:57 PM   #10
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some say I'm crazy but I run mine at 225 until I hit 210, and pull. Foil, Wrap, and in the cooler for a MINIMUM of 1 hour, up to 3 or 4 if you have the time.
I also use butchers and prime... But have great flavor even without...
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:02 PM   #11
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:15 PM   #12
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FAB, CAB and SGH....

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