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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 01-19-2014, 10:44 AM   #1
Royalslover
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Default Brisket disaster-please help

OK here's the situation. I cook on a UDS. I make brisket fairly often and imho they range from really good to perfect. My buddy has a Traeger pellet pooper and he had a fundraiser at his house. He wanted to do something really nice for his guests and decided to cook a brisket. He has done ribs and pork butt and had great success with those. I walked him through my brisket process and he pretty much followed it exactly. Smoke until the bark is right, wrap in butcher paper, take off when it probes tender, and let it rest in a cooler. His turned out dry and burnt. He couldn't use the flat at all. He was able to salvage enough of the point to serve his guests but was very disappointed with the outcome. I even picked out the packer for him and it was a beauty. Any opinions on what went wrong?
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Unread 01-19-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
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well obviously he didnt follow your advise......
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Unread 01-19-2014, 10:49 AM   #3
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The heat source is very close to grate on Treager, sounds like he needed to flip it during the cook or use a lower setting.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:06 AM   #4
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The traeger can overcook and very often keeping the brisket in foil may be the solution. I got rid of mine years ago but remember this very problem. Does he have the digital controller on it? I found that I needed to do a full cleaning on it each time and use the foil over the drain to keep it from flaring up with fatty meats. Best bet is to check it early and often.

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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:14 AM   #5
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Was it falling apart or could he slice it but it was dry?
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:20 AM   #6
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The flat that wasn't under the point was completely ruined. Literally burned to a crisp. Couldn't slice without a chainsaw. He said he was able to get maybe 2 ounces of meat for each of his 8 guests.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:23 AM   #7
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I have no Traeger but have seen guys post it runs much hotter than controller says - tell him to sell it for UDS money.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmittyJonz View Post
I have no Traeger but have seen guys post it runs much hotter than controller says - tell him to sell it for UDS money.
A buddy that has a Traeger now uses his UDS ( Big Poppa) and getting a second one after tasting the difference.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:26 AM   #9
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Imo what went wrong was the smoker change. The cooker can determine the process. As stated pellet cookers have a different heat source than drums.
Also your friend may have botched the process. I think he may have cooked to hot.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:43 AM   #10
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I typically cook between 300 and 350. He head steady at around 260-275.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:47 AM   #11
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Did he monitor the internal temp? I find that is very important to use as a rough guide.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royalslover View Post
I typically cook between 300 and 350. He head steady at around 260-275.
Then he did not follow your process.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Royalslover View Post
I typically cook between 300 and 350. He head steady at around 260-275.

As others have said you're cooking on two completely different cookers. Heat source, and distance from the heat source are going to be the biggest differences between the two.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:53 AM   #14
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Good point about the temp. He about had a heart attack when I told him how hot I cooked. I told him that most people don't cook near that hot and he would be fine cooking at a temp he is used to. I think where he went wrong was it might have been done when he wrapped it. I told him not to worry about the internal temp but to just probe it. I'll bet if he would have probe it when he wrapped it he would have found it almost tender at that point. I'll take the blame for that mistake.
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Unread 01-19-2014, 11:54 AM   #15
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I cook on both my Traeger and UDS frequently. There are several differences on a Traeger, or any pellet cooker for that matter, that can change your cook dramatically.

First, the RTD that detects temperature in the grill is not really in a prime location, it is put in the location where it is least likely to get damaged. So the temperature you are actually cooking at can vary depending on your location of the hunk of meat in the grill.

Second, the temperature variance across the pellet grills tends to vary even more at higher temperatures, and you are cooking at a fairly high temperature for a long cook for this type of cooker. Rotating your meat around can help reduce this effect.

Third, the forced air flow from the fan reduces the cooking time due to more heat transfer, this is especially noticed on longer cooks like a brisket. So when you tell him it may take 8 hours on your UDS, it may only take 6.5 or 7 on the Traeger. If you don't keep an eye on it, it can burn easily.

My suggestion on the Traeger, from my experience, is to not cook hotter and faster like people do over other heat sources. It just doesn't seem to turn out as well. I cook at the 225 setting on my Traeger and it generally gets done about the same amount of time as cooking at 250 - 260 on my UDS's. Also, the pellet cookers produce more smoke at lower temperatures so I think doing this improves the taste.
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