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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-02-2013, 03:05 PM   #1
Love4ZBBQ
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Default Brisket - Selection Consequences

I will be cooking my first brisket tomorrow. I've been doing quite a bit of research on how I will prep and cook it. Of course, now that it is coming down to the day before, I'm starting to get nervous!

In doing my research, I started to doubt if I picked out the best brisket or not. I'm concerned that my flat section isn't thick enough. What is the thickness of a thick flat v. a thin flat? I don't think my flat tappers off to thin, but I'm not sure!

If my flat is too thin, is there anything I can do to help it cook well?

I have also read that it is good to pick a brisket with a tip that is rounded rather than pointy because the pointy tips aren't as tender. Is there anything to do to help a more pointy tip cook so that it is tender?

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 05-02-2013, 03:20 PM   #2
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I consider a flat that is less than 1" to be problematic. If it is closer to 2". Then that is good. Easier to cook. I like to trim the edges square, as I believe this takes care of those thin edges that seem to want to dry up. Too thin is hard to comment on, I am going to say that even if it is thin, say 1" (hard to believe it would be thinner) you should still be able to pull it off. What is your planned process, that matters a lot.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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You might consider wrapping in butcher paper at the 6-7 hour mark. You will find several threads on this. I have found this helps protect thinner briskets. We smoke cases of briskets and don't have a choice on this thickness. Sometimes this thin edge dries out and is sacrificed to make sure the rest of the flat is cooked long enough, to probe tenderness in the thickest part of the flat.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 04:15 PM   #4
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Trim it up to where it is thicker save it for Stew or Chili. Don't get over concerned about the point if you get the Flat right the Point will be incredible. Shoot for Probe tender in the thickest part of the Flat. If it probes tender there you nailed it. I cook at 300 on the grate and Wrap in Butcher paper at the 4 hr point somewhere in the next 2 hrs the thickest part of the Flat will have that hot knife in soft better 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) 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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Unread 05-02-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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It is your first brisket. Just cook it and see how it turns out.

Don't sweat yourself over all these details, cook it with whatever method you already decided on and see afterwards what information seemed to be in line with your results. This one will just give you a good baseline.

Good luck..........and stop thinking......
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Unread 05-02-2013, 10:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Good luck..........and stop thinking......
First off, I will respond to this. I need a beer first to stop thinking! And I am about to have that

Thanks for the advice all! I am planning on cooking closer to 300 like BluDawg suggested as it is still cold here in Colorado for a long cook. So I will do what he suggested with the butcher paper around the 4 hr point.

Once I got home I measured my brisket at the thin end of the flat and it is between 1" to 2". So I think I will be fine! I uploaded a pic with this post so you all can see what I am talking about.

Also, the point is rounded! I guess when you are at work thinking about your brisket it is easy to be pessimistic!

Here is the flat end:
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File Type: jpg upload.jpg (56.4 KB, 143 views)
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Unread 05-03-2013, 05:41 AM   #7
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yeeuup...Joe is right toy already know the basics, however you have to experience them before reallity sinks in...keeps some notes, know what temp the grate temperture is where the meat is placed...one thing I never do though, is to trim thin sections of meat off just to get a thicker cut, this exposes the grain to the pit and potential loss off juice, just let the thinner section go and TRIM after cooking, you might also find out that this area still is very good and now when you start slicing the thicker sections it will be great..if it is a piece just hanging and not attached to the main meat section then trim before hand...however what ever technique you develope, read everyones ideas, try them..throw 3/4 of them out after just does not work for you and go on to cook YOUR way and make it work!! Good luck..
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Unread 05-03-2013, 07:55 AM   #8
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Take a deep breath and cook it. It is going to be ok.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 08:19 AM   #9
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Once upon a time the burnt ends were trimmed and given away!
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Unread 05-03-2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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I cooked my first brisket last weekend. It was a small one. 7.5 lbs. Seasoned with Kosher salt coarse ground pepper and garlic powder. I cooked it for 13 hours until it was probe tender. I didn't foil it but put it in a foil pan for the last 4 hours to collect the juices. I let it rest for an hour then sliced it up. When I went to slice it it pulled apart. Couldn't get a good slice out of it. Regardless it was delicious very moist and tender. Next time I will aim for the nice slices. I was mainly happy that it was edible and not tough and chewy. Good luck and don't sweat it.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #11
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Don't over think it, it's just a brisket and BBQ is supposed to be fun and relaxing! Good advice above, and I'll echo the notion of wrapping in butcher(or parchment) paper after you hit the 160 mark. After you wrap you don't need to concern yourself with IT as much, just take that flat to probe tender and the rest should be golden. Good luck and may the smoke be with you!
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Unread 05-04-2013, 09:29 AM   #12
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Looks like I didn't have anything to worry about after all... It came out moist, tender, and super delicious! Thanks for the help all!

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Unread 05-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #13
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Great job with your first attempt at brisket!
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Unread 05-04-2013, 10:00 AM   #14
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Unread 05-04-2013, 10:17 AM   #15
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Hey your going to screw something up if not n the first you will down the road its just natural. Once you find your way then you will be golden
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