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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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Unread 10-05-2011, 06:27 PM   #1
fnbish
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Default Brisket finish in the 180's??? Need Help....Again.....

Please stick with me as I'm sure I will type many paragraphs to give you lots of detail .

So with only a few competitions left this year and feeling comfortable (relatively speaking of course) with my chicken, ribs, pork I'm really trying some new things with brisket since I feel and know it is my worst category. Though my last 2 competitions my brisket did better than some of the other meats. Had one finish middle of the pack and this last weekend 7th of the 30ish teams.

But.........I have to date never ever once cooked a brisket flat that I didn't think was at least a little dry. The point and burnt ends are pretty good I think what potentially has helped bring up our scores. So I have no idea what people are doing to get moist slices that I see in the pictures. My most recent thought process is for me 195-205 is just too high and most of my briskets get done a few hours before turn in and rest and potentially keep cooking in the foil/cooler. My last brisket seemed juicy when I took it out to remove the point and make burnt ends, but was not when I sliced it a few hours later.

So after reading through as many brisket threads as I could find including the ones in this competition forum compilation (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=13677) I saw a few people mention they take their briskets off anywhere from 180-185 and that is it because they do in fact keep cooking from carry over temperature.

Here is the big question bolded and underlined as to not get lost in my long post . Does anyone here take their briskets out in this range (180-185 or even just before 190)???

I know a question you will want to know is "how do I cook my brisket?", and I have tried about every method I can think of that I found on this forum. I've done hot and fast, low and slow, in the middle temperature. Of those 3 cooking temps I have foiled and not foiled in each variation and also done fat cap up and down in each variation with trimming fat cap variations mixed in too. I've also done each method in each of my 3 cookers. Also should mention I use the Choice Packers they have at Sams most recently, but have also wrecked plenty of what I'm guessing is select from Walmart and also some choice and select briskets from Kroger.

I also do the probe test starting at 190 and I have never ever felt it go in what people say is just "like butter" in the flat. It feels like that in the point, but literally never in the flat. At first I just thought I was a complete brisket cooking idiot and maybe didn't know what I was really feeling for, but then put the probe in the point and it goes in and out super easy. Folks say if it doesn't go in easy you need to keep cooking till it does even to 205 or 210. When I do that it still never goes in easy and just overcooks more.

So I'm going to be the first to say that I obviously just really suck at cooking brisket and have some type of idiot block that keeps me from doing so because you would have thought I might have had 1 brisket out of all of them that were not dry. But as much as it frustrates me it is still fun and I love cooking at home and competition .

So are there any other 180-190 brisket finish temperature believes/do'ers out there?? I'm going to try one this weekend that way no matter how the "butter" test feels at that range I'm going to take it out and let it rest for 90mins (about the time it rests at a comp while the burnt ends get made). It seems I have tried all the combinations of cooking possible and the only thing I haven't tried is simply taking it off earlier. I figured would ask around since I you all have helped me a ton with everything else.

Also if you think of something else it could be let me know.

Thank you if you have read all of this and are willing to help.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 07:33 PM   #2
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Curious to see some replies. Word for Word, I have the exact same issue.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 07:40 PM   #3
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me too.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 07:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclancey View Post
Curious to see some replies. Word for Word, I have the exact same issue.
So i'm not the only one I see . I doubt the pulling early method will be a complete fix as it is probably the right mix of cooking techniques to really nail a brisket. But at my last comp when I too the brisket off and touched the flat it really felt like there was juice in there. More than normal. But come slice time it was dry . Hopefully I'll/we'll get some good advice
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Unread 10-05-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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The key is probably this... What goes up, must come down.

Cooking a big piece of meat is as much about what happens after you take it off as it does during the cook. So you take your brisket to 195-200, then what happens? It has to come back down. The slower it comes down, the more it cooks, rendering the connective tissues and breaking down collogen. The faster it cools, the less of that process happens. My advice is focus less on the right final temp range, but more on the holding process. 195-200 is a good range to pull it. Put a probe in it and monitor the brisket as it holds. Too done? Cool faster. Too tough? Cool slower.

As far as the "feels like butter" test, it is a false test. Direction of the grain is going to affect the feel. Are you probing with the grain or against the grain of the flat? This is going to make a difference.

Good luck.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 07:52 PM   #6
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Also, inject with a phosphate based product like Butchers Beef Injection. Phosphates attract moisture to protein.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 07:56 PM   #7
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i probe in multiple directions. never pull before tender in all of them, regardless of temp.

i've held in a cooler for many hours and very few, vented first, not vented. still...a bit dry.

i as well have done HNF, LNS, in the middle, etc.

i personally do use butchers now.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy View Post
The key is probably this... What goes up, must come down.

Cooking a big piece of meat is as much about what happens after you take it off as it does during the cook. So you take your brisket to 195-200, then what happens? It has to come back down. The slower it comes down, the more it cooks, rendering the connective tissues and breaking down collogen. The faster it cools, the less of that process happens. My advice is focus less on the right final temp range, but more on the holding process. 195-200 is a good range to pull it. Put a probe in it and monitor the brisket as it holds. Too done? Cool faster. Too tough? Cool slower.

As far as the "feels like butter" test, it is a false test. Direction of the grain is going to affect the feel. Are you probing with the grain or against the grain of the flat? This is going to make a difference.

Good luck.
Great advice I hadn't thought about. Every time I take the brisket off I go ahead and take the probe out so the Maverick can still monitor pit temp for my other meats. When I practice I'll leave the probe in there and see what happens. Because as I mentioned when It came off at 195 this last weekend the flat seemed like there was juice in there. But it rested double wrapped in foil and a big towel for 90mins while the point finished up.

For the "butter" test I actually never thought about which way to probe. I always went in more against the grain now that I think about it. But each time may have been a little different. I never understood this test and it kind of ticked me off because so many people make it sound like it is so easy like it happens every single time. And maybe it is and I just can't cook brisket .
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Unread 10-05-2011, 08:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plowboy View Post
Also, inject with a phosphate based product like Butchers Beef Injection. Phosphates attract moisture to protein.
This last brisket that got a 7th I injected with beef broth, a little sugar, little salt, and some rub. I feel like it did give more flavor which my brisket typically lack as well. Is there anything like that butchers injection in grocery stores. Looks like that one you have to order online.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
i probe in multiple directions. never pull before tender in all of them, regardless of temp.

i've held in a cooler for many hours and very few, vented first, not vented. still...a bit dry.

i as well have done HNF, LNS, in the middle, etc.

i personally do use butchers now.
I might have missed this but I'm going to ask, Do you wrap your brisket in your cooking cycle?

Also using my product how much do you inject and how large of brisket? How long do you let it set before cooking?
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Unread 10-05-2011, 08:37 PM   #11
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we may be hijacking here....but we'll see.

with your product, yes, wrap after @ 5 hours. 275* give or take.

inject @ 1/2 strength w/ prime dust. sit in fridge for @ 8 hours. no more.

cook another 2 or so...till probe tender. split off point, vent flat, rewrap it, and into a cooler for @ 5-6 hours.

10-14 pounders pretrimmed.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 08:43 PM   #12
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I would suggest buying better cuts of meat, or learning how to select better cuts from what's available. The only time I've had the probe test not pan out was when I couldn't find good cuts to use. Probe against the grain laterally. You'll feel the "butter" texture in the point first, followed by the opposite end, then finally in the middle. If you can't achieve this with a better cut, try cooking at a lower temp. Try cooking with out foiling to get better flavor. I don't know what it is, but foil sucks the life out of briskets when I've used it.
Also, no matter how juicy your brisket is when you slice it, its going to dry out fast. The pictures you are refering too were probably taken right after they spritzed with AJ or something else that gives it a sheen. The tell-tell sign is when the garnish is shinny too.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 08:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwert View Post
I would suggest buying better cuts of meat, or learning how to select better cuts from what's available. The only time I've had the probe test not pan out was when I couldn't find good cuts to use. Probe against the grain laterally. You'll feel the "butter" texture in the point first, followed by the opposite end, then finally in the middle. If you can't achieve this with a better cut, try cooking at a lower temp. Try cooking with out foiling to get better flavor. I don't know what it is, but foil sucks the life out of briskets when I've used it.
Also, no matter how juicy your brisket is when you slice it, its going to dry out fast. The pictures you are refering too were probably taken right after they spritzed with AJ or something else that gives it a sheen. The tell-tell sign is when the garnish is shinny too.
Thanks for the tips. I've been sticking with Sam's choice for the last few competitions and home because they have been some of the best looking cuts I can find and the best price to. The meat is the most deep red I have found and looks the freshest even when compared to a butcher shop where I get my butts. I haven't tried a really low cooking temp like 210-215ish which I heard some teams run.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 09:14 PM   #14
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For the brisket I use, I pull off at 195 in the point. And yes, I have felt that "like butter" feeling but only a couple of times. Brisket has been our strong point all year. I know many have scoffed at the SRF briskets, but what I have won with them has paid for the brisket in all but one or two comps. After I started using them my scores soared. I had been using Sam's or whole packers from local butcher and well...just didn't get it done. First comp. I used SRF in, I got 3rd out of 47 in sevierville, TN and have only been out of the top ten twice. Once was a darn near DQ the other was 11th. The DQ was due to a question of rather sauce or liquid was pooling in the box. The rep. determined it was not, but our scores suffered. He told us that the 2nd judge questioned it. We got one good score and the rest was not so much good. We still go 29th out of 59. I was not all too happy because it had a great taste. Darn Jameson's Irish whiskey! I have since not taken a drink of it at comps. Although, I am having one now.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 09:15 PM   #15
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wish i could help. I cook two different breeds of cow for my briskets lately, and they all have consistently finished way under your normal 195-205 realm. I find the "butter" test to work out pretty nicely, and ever since i used that as a gauge instead of temp, ive made way more consistent product. Like plowboy said, if its already there, get that bad boy to cool down quick, but if you think you pulled it a little early, wrap it up and let it finish. Both ways ive done it it worked good. This is from about 20+ briskets cooked over the summer, not in comps yet, but under comp time and schedule as im practicing for my rookie season next year!
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