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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 09-03-2013, 08:49 AM   #1
MikeJ65
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Default Probing Brisket

I foil my brisket and check tenderness by probing like most of us. However, since I saw a DQ for foil at the first contest I judged, I am paranoid about probing through foil. My problem now is that I seem to be really slowing down the cook when I remove from the pit and open the foil to probe (I have a vertical, so I can't probe without removing it). It seems like it takes at least 30 min. to recover before it will resume cooking.

Should I just probe through the foil and check my slices carefully, use a leave in temp probe so that I only check if temp indicates I'm close, or some other method?

Brisket hasn't been a disaster for us, but my comfort level is much lower than the other meats.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 09:14 AM   #2
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I check thru the foil, and make absolutely sure each slice that goes into the box is checked and rechecked. The way we prepare and box it, there's at least 3 times where the brisket is seen. (I'm knocking on some wood right now)
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Unread 09-03-2013, 09:20 AM   #3
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We probe through the foil but in out last contest we had a piece of foil on one of our turn in slices. The piece of foil was on the bottom of the piece and it was extremely small but it was there. It was noticed after the judging for appearance so based on PNWBA rules it was only one judge who gave us 1's so that was a blessing.

I'd never seen a foreign object in a box other than at that comp. Three years ago someone had some fluff on their pork, this year us with foil and another team had a mosquito in there chicken.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 09:28 AM   #4
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The mosquito must have really appreciated the bite-through skin on that chicken.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #5
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Make a hole in the foil with the tip of your thermometer first, then push it into the meat through the already made hole. Pinch the hole shut afterward.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Make a hole in the foil with the tip of your thermometer first, then push it into the meat through the already made hole. Pinch the hole shut afterward.
I agree with Ron_L this works for me.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 11:01 AM   #7
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Use a metal buffet pan with a metal lid. Works for me. Just put it on a little earlier since it will take longer to heat up.
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Unread 09-03-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
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ive always probed through the tinfoil with my thermoworks thermalpen and never seen or tasted aluminum
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Unread 09-03-2013, 10:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Make a hole in the foil with the tip of your thermometer first, then push it into the meat through the already made hole. Pinch the hole shut afterward.
This
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Unread 09-04-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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If you are using a sharp pointed temp probe it should be a non issue. It can happen with the bunt pointed ones. Also, if you use foil as a cutting board it can come from there.
I was a thermopen and have never had any foil fragments in or on the meat.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #11
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It can happen with a Thermapen too. I temp through the foil, and last year a small piece got pushed inside the meat fibers of one of our briskets. Of course we probe in the area we plan to use for turn-ins, so it got sent to the judges. Apparently it caught the light during appearance scoring, and 1 judge noticed it. They called over the rep and pulled apart the slice to confirmed it was indeed a tiny "fleck" of foil that was buried in there. We were DQ'd for a foreign object. I tried opening the foil for a few comps after that, but noticed the same effect you're describing. Now I just temp with a little more care, and pay even more attention to what's going in the box.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 05:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Make a hole in the foil with the tip of your thermometer first, then push it into the meat through the already made hole. Pinch the hole shut afterward.
This^^

but I don't bother with a small hole in the foil
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Unread 09-05-2013, 05:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntFinger_Jason View Post
It can happen with a Thermapen too. I temp through the foil, and last year a small piece got pushed inside the meat fibers of one of our briskets. Of course we probe in the area we plan to use for turn-ins, so it got sent to the judges. Apparently it caught the light during appearance scoring, and 1 judge noticed it. They called over the rep and pulled apart the slice to confirmed it was indeed a tiny "fleck" of foil that was buried in there. We were DQ'd for a foreign object. I tried opening the foil for a few comps after that, but noticed the same effect you're describing. Now I just temp with a little more care, and pay even more attention to what's going in the box.
Almost the same thing happened to us a couple of years ago. Fortunately my wife saw it as I was putting the slices into the box and we got it out before we turned it in. That brisket ended up scoring a 180!
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Unread 09-05-2013, 06:53 PM   #14
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I just flap over the foil, not wrapped tightly at the top, so I can get back in there and take the temp... besides, one area of doneness, temp check, does not tell you how the whole brisket is doing.. I hit it 5-10 times in different spots.
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Unread 09-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntFinger_Jason View Post
I tried opening the foil for a few comps after that, but noticed the same effect you're describing. Now I just temp with a little more care, and pay even more attention to what's going in the box.
The first time I did this I about drove myself crazy. It was tender on the thin part of the flat, so I thought I would give it another 30 min. Started checking about every 30 min. with really no change. Finally, we got busy with chicken and rib turn-ins. It cooked untouched for maybe 50-60 min. and was done. Didn't realize how much it would cool from opening the foil.

Thanks for your help everyone, I will start carefully probing through the foil.

Maybe I'll check it with a metal detector, just to be safe.
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