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Unread 04-25-2014, 08:02 AM   #1
Allnight03
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Default Brisket Question

Turned out my best brisket ever last week. I've done about a dozen since buying my WSM last summer with increasingly better results.

Previous briskets, I could always manage to have a moist, tender point, but the flat would be dry and fall apart tender. I would cook at 225f until probe tender in the thickest part of the flat, and wrap and FC for 2-3 hours when resting.

This cook, I cooked at 270f, pulled when probe tender in the thickest part of the flat, but rested unwrapped on my counter for about an hour. This tells me if I am going to FC, I need to pull sooner so the flat doesn't overcook.

So on this latest brisket, I was very, very proud of how the flat turned out. At the risk of sounding like Daniel Vaughn, I will say the texture was velvetty and moist and the buttery textured fat tasted like pure heaven. BUT, the point was not quite rendered enough for my liking.

I feel like this last cook took me from medium level to advanced, but not expert. I need to figure out how to get the point as done as I would like without overcooking the flat. I'm sure it depends on the pit and right now I'm on an 18.5" WSM (agonizingly pursuing a stickburner before year end, persistence with the wife is key!)

Pic of last week's flat below. Thanks for all feedback.

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Unread 04-25-2014, 08:09 AM   #2
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If you want to get the point more done while keeping the flat protected, do what a lot of other do. Pull the brisket when the thickest part of the flat is probe tender, separate the point and flat, and then you can either make burnt ends or throw the whole point back onto the pit for another hour or so.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 08:18 AM   #3
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I always trim the fat cap down to at least 1/4" or less so that it renders better and helps to create a crunchy, flavorful bark. Thick fat caps do nothing but separate the meat from rub and smoke, both of which you loose when you are trimming the fat off later in order to eat the brisket!
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Unread 04-25-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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Thank you for the suggestions. If possible, I would like to keep the cut as one piece and not separate the two muscles.

Yea, I trim to about 1/4" fat cap. I think I'm good there. I was referring more to the marbling in the point not rendering enough to my liking.

I saw a picture the other day of a brisket draped over a bowl or pitcher. I thought this was so the brisket would fit more easily in the smoker. It gave me an idea. I know on my WSM the top of the dome runs 10f hotter than grate level. If I was able to elevete the point and cook the point 10f hotter than the flat the entire cook, it could solve my problem.

Has anyone tried this? Seems like an advantageous hot spot like others have spoken about on their offsets.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 09:52 AM   #5
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Great pic!

I think that's an idea worth trying. You can also try positioning the point closer to the edge of the grate, where it might get more direct heat from below.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 10:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Great pic!

I think that's an idea worth trying. You can also try positioning the point closer to the edge of the grate, where it might get more direct heat from below.
That's an idea! Also if you usually cook fat side up the entire time, try flipping the brisket half way through the cook to even out heat exposure.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 10:30 AM   #7
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Congrats on moving a little further along the brisket learning curve. I'm still probably a few mediocre briskets behind you on the learning curve, but this is my summer of brisket, so please keep posting as you move from advanced to expert and I hopefully move from medium to advanced.

I read that if you'll let the brisket cool down to at least 170F on your counter before you wrap it in foil and stick it in an ice chest, the brisket will stay warm for hours but won't continue to cook. I tried that last week, rested it for a total of 2 hours, and it was one of my better efforts to date.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQArk View Post

I read that if you'll let the brisket cool down to at least 170F on your counter before you wrap it in foil and stick it in an ice chest, the brisket will stay warm for hours but won't continue to cook. I tried that last week, rested it for a total of 2 hours, and it was one of my better efforts to date.
Yes, it's always a good idea to let the meat cool before putting it into a cooler or cambro. I leave a thermometer in the thickest part of the flat and if I'll be serving soon, rather than put the meat in a cooler, I'll let the temp come down to about 150 before wrapping but if it's going to be several hours before guests arrive I'll do pretty much as BBQark described.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 11:40 AM   #9
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Thanks guys - very good information.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 01:00 PM   #10
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Letting it vent after pulling it and allowing a nice long rest does wonders for brisket. One of the best ones I've done was rested 9 hours. It cooked faster than expected and I couldn't get to it till then. I did have to stick it in a warm oven the last hour or 2 though. I didn't temp it, so no idea what temp it was.
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Unread 04-25-2014, 01:46 PM   #11
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I read somewhere else that the manufacturer of the warming ovens that Franklin uses to hold his briskets recommends holding them at 160F. I'll probably stick with venting, wrapping, and resting in a cooler most of the time, but if I need to hold them for longer than a few hours, I'm thinking about ramping the wsm down to 160 with an ATC and using the wsm to hold them.
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