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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 02-20-2013, 04:14 PM   #1
Gig'em99
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Default Anyone really sharing secrets?

I know I'm guilty of not really wanting to, or divulging my "discoveries."

Although generally new to the Brethren, I certainly like this forum. Among others I've been members of, this one stands out IMO as a place that is far more welcoming, friendly and helpful.

Anyway, in my short time, I've seen a lot of questions come up. Many of which I have "my answer" to, but one I'm reluctant to give...because I compete. Why share secrets that I've taken 10 years to come up with? On the other hand, I wish I had someone that could have just pointed me in the right direction with out the "you're just gonna have to cook, cook, cook." Not saying that isn't important, it's very important...but I spent a lot of time and money figuring things out. And there isn't a lot of time and money out there these days.

So, I'll pass on something that I've held on to for a long time regarding competition brisket. In the end, I don't think it'll make me less competitive either.

I have a way, a method, that get's every brisket I cook loose enough to gently pull apart a slice, but to hold a slice. This method has NEVER failed me in a competition, or in the back yard AS LONG AS I selected a good piece of meat. Now, admittedly, that is a hard part to describe, but when I pick a brisket it's got to be soft and pliable through the flat. You should be able to bend over fairly easily. If's it stiff and not frozen, this method won't work.

Here's my "secret."
Get your brisket to 185 to 195 degrees, throughout. Keep it there for no less than 3 hours. I use a warmer box. Longer than 3 hours makes NO DIFFERENCE (provided you're not letting the temp creep up). But at the 3 hour mark you're safe. Take it out and slice it up, box it. Taste it, etc. The tenderness and texture will be there. It'll hold a slice, with a nice snap or pull if you want it. By the way, at that point, you can let is rest too...the fats and collagens have rendered (it's just chemistry). If you have time to let it rest, do so for 30 min to an hour. It just get's better.

Sure there are other ways...take it up to 205 in the point, then wrap in towel, etc... I've done it that way, and not been able to get good turn in slices. They're always done, but sometimes too done.

Let's face it...in a comp, we're on the clock. So the popular adage "it's done when it's done" doesn't really work for us. We need to KNOW it's done, and in time for it's turn in.

Hot n fast, low n slow...doesn't matter, those temps and rest time combinations have worked in comps for me over the past 5 years, with 3 top 5 finishes and 1 first place in brisket. I use the same process in my back yard too.

For what it's worth, I always use full packers in the 12-18lb range. I never buy select. Almost always by choice, but I'm picky when I select.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents, or 10. Give a try, I'd like to know if it works for you.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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I have no problem sharing technic, flavor profiles though are OFF-LIMITS!!
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Unread 02-20-2013, 04:39 PM   #3
Gig'em99
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I completely agree.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 06:08 PM   #4
Gig'em99
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Default Anyone really sharing secrets?

Oh yea, forgot to say that I always foil after 4-5 hours.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
Lake Dogs
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IMHO (and we proved this a number of times), there are no secrets, just what works for you. Share your recipes, down to the ounce. Share your techniques, down to the minute. Side by side, against someone doing the exact same thing, you'll produce 2 different tasting and probably different textured product.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 08:12 PM   #6
Gig'em99
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Default Anyone really sharing secrets?

Well you're always going to have 2 different pieces of meat.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Anyone really sharing secrets?

Agreed. Techniques yes. Flavors no.

I have actually shared our no scrape bite through chicken skin method (nothing groundbreaking) with several brethren. I'm all for sharing secrets that help get around obstacles caused by silliness like chicken skin having to be bite through(yeah I know its not a requirement) and garnish. I currently have no tricks for garnish, but if I ever come up with something to make it easier you can bet I'll be sharing.
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Unread 02-20-2013, 11:30 PM   #8
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A few years ago at one of the Midwest Bashes, our own Damnit Andy gave a total brisket tutorial. When he was asked if he wasn't worried about others copying his technique his answer was something along the lines of: "I can't do it exactly the same week after week, so how can you?"
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Unread 02-20-2013, 11:59 PM   #9
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One of the top rated brisket cooks in the country told me that he doesn't use anything except salt, pepper, and garlic in his competion brisket, and even then, he doesn't inject, only cooking liquid....he told me that right up until he threw me up against the wall in private and told me in a different forum (again, in private) that he didn't have anything against me. In the end, it's not what people tell you, but what people do that matters. I'd be very, very wary of what people tell you and pay a lot more attention to what people do if I were you...but what do I know, eh?

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Unread 02-21-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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If I ever get good at cooking anything I'll gladly share
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Unread 02-21-2013, 01:05 AM   #11
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take bits here and there...then practice ...use what works for you..do not over think the cooking process
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Unread 02-21-2013, 03:34 AM   #12
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Default Anyone really sharing secrets?

I'm still kind of new to competition and i'm verry happy there are folks who share theire techniques...

After spending hundreds of euros on meat, rubs, marinades and sauces, and trying to cook the best cuts i only made a huge leap when i started to combine others techniques...

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Unread 02-21-2013, 06:17 AM   #13
Pitmaster T
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Thanks for bringing this up! I just answered an email from someone on this precise subject. Not really a secret.... unless you don't know it. And there are scores of people that don't. I have LONG since maintained just what you are writing and people often get the wrong idea.

I think actually when Franklin dude did his brisket thing he was asked "and so Franklin person, do you rest the brisket?" and he was to have responded..."oh it rests, alright." giving many who understand socio-linguistics a cue to his "secret."

I think its marvelous that you are sharing this... really I do... because its the key to this particular and complex cut. But once you figure it out... its no longer complex is it?

I have put it this way before.... cooking brisket is like a my first girlfriend sweet Yvette. God she was so beautiful. I would pedal my heart out on my bike to get to her house back in the day... the reason why was so I could spend more time with her. I wanted to just be around her as long as I could. I cannot tell you how beautiful she was... okay, she is on my facebook.... so pretty that you didn't want to kiss her because she's be out of focus cuz ur too close. Know what I mean? and if I had to be home at 7 I would stay with her until the very last second and pedal hard back to my house miles away.

So let me tie it up.... I long discovered that you can go nearly as fast as you want to the stall... where ever you think that is.... but when you get there you need to slow down and keep the brisket there for a long while... in your case I agree... a rather large portion of the whole cook. The guy I just wrote made an error he was not happy with... he did everything right (he was using my hot and fast method) but then got impatient at the stall and tried to blast through it. He ramped up the temp... it burned, the fat and collagen weeped out too fast and he was not happy with the results.

and to make this point even more excruciatingly long, :-) my girl Yvette stands out in my memory (like a brisket) as an example of me understanding the complexity of women (or her - we were real young then) a little bit too. You see when she would invite me over, I basically had said everything right over the phone, at school etc.

When I got to her house I was courteous... shy, listened to her, resisted my urges to be an asshat or too fresh.... and eventually it paid off... she gave me my first kiss... she did it... I rushed everything until I got there (to the stall) then relaxed and let things unfold. That's the way a brisket is... you can rush it to the stall, but they really need that long processing time afterward for texture and taste to distribute.
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Unread 02-21-2013, 06:50 AM   #14
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That should be title: A reading from Pitmaster T's new book, "Love and BBQ"
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Unread 02-21-2013, 06:50 AM   #15
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Default Anyone really sharing secrets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Q-Dat View Post
Agreed. Techniques yes. Flavors no.

I have actually shared our no scrape bite through chicken skin method (nothing groundbreaking) with several brethren. I'm all for sharing secrets that help get around obstacles caused by silliness like chicken skin having to be bite through(yeah I know its not a requirement) and garnish. I currently have no tricks for garnish, but if I ever come up with something to make it easier you can bet I'll be sharing.
Do you mind sharing your chicken secret with several more brethren? :)
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