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Old 04-17-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
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Angry Night Train Brisket-FAIL..UTTER FAIL

Well, spent $31 on an 8lb flat this weekend and was going to do the Night Train brisket in the oven. When I've tried smoking one the problem I've had is that it falls completely part when I go to cut it.

Rather than staying together in slices it just peels part in shreds. So I figured I'd do the Night Train experiment and learn how to do it that way. Well I be %@#* if it didn't turn out the same way. I have no farkin' clue what I'm doing wrong.

I can cook the fark out of ribs, pork butt, turkey and chicken but crap my pants when it comes to brisket. Hell, I followed the instructions to a tee and still farked it up. Sorry for the rant but this is getting quite frustrating. I think I'm about to go eat a turd.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:18 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are way overcooking it. At what temperature do you pull your brisket?
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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let's backtrack to the smoked brisket for a minute...A few questions that may help get you back on track

How are you cooking it (temps, any time in foil) ?

How are you judging doneness ?

Are you letting it rest ? If so, how long and in what holding device ?

How thick are you slicing it ?
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:33 PM   #4
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^^^great questions from Militant Squatter. I'm really looking at the question of how thick/thin are you slicing it. I believe some of those TX fellers, T included, are slicing pretty thick (which I see as a good thing btw).

If briskets are too much of a pita, check out the chuckies. But, if you're anything like me, you ain't gonna let go until you kick its arse.

The night train experiment calls for a 5# brisket, so it seems you'd have an underdone rather than overdone brisket with an 8#er. Have you confirmed your oven temp is accurate?
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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Stupid question, are you slicing across the grain?
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
let's backtrack to the smoked brisket for a minute...A few questions that may help get you back on track

How are you cooking it (temps, any time in foil) ?

How are you judging doneness ?

Are you letting it rest ? If so, how long and in what holding device ?

How thick are you slicing it ?
How are you cooking it (temps, any time in foil) ?- Foiled it, oven set at 275, cooked 8 lb brisket for 7 hrs. I used the same time ratio given for the 5 lb.

How are you judging doneness ?- With this experiment I let it cook the time that I figured it would. The 5 lb brisket is to be cooked 4-4.5 hours. So I cooked my 8 lb 7 hrs.

Are you letting it rest ? If so, how long and in what holding device ?- Yes. 1 hour. In the foil it cooked in.

How thick are you slicing it? 1 inch as instructed. And across the grain.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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My guess is you've overcooked it a bit..

Your application of the ratio of hrs/lb may not be a perfect science... Nor do I know if Donnie's original intent was for the experiment to be so rigid in the cooking time.... Also remember, that ovens usually aren't a steady temp (ex. 275) , but at times could push even higher...several variables can affect your result.

I think you're closer than you think... don't give up on cooking it on the smoker just yet.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamabuzzard View Post
How are you judging doneness ?- With this experiment I let it cook the time that I figured it would. The 5 lb brisket is to be cooked 4-4.5 hours. So I cooked my 8 lb 7 hrs.
You never gave a meat temperature. Did you take it or did you cook solely based on time?

Cooking on time alone is a sure path to failure more times than not.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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Interesting - I cooked a 5 pounder yesterday following the same directions and it came out fantastic. 275º for 4:15 let it rest for an hour, removed the juices and man was there ever some juices, then under the broiler for 10 minutes +/-
It was very tender, juicy and delicious

Like others have said I think you cooked yours too long
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
You never gave a meat temperature. Did you take it or did you cook solely based on time?

Cooking on time alone is a sure path to failure more times than not.
I cooked soley by the time because the instructions said wrap it in foil and do not peek until the timer beeps. But it was user error (ME) and not the instructions for the brisket. It called for a 5 lb flat and I couldn't find a 5 lb flat so I bought the smallest one the store had which was 8 lb and cooked it 7 hrs in foil. Obviously it was too much.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:08 AM   #11
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cooking it too hot. lower to 225
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsmith View Post
Interesting - I cooked a 5 pounder yesterday following the same directions and it came out fantastic. 275º for 4:15 let it rest for an hour, removed the juices and man was there ever some juices, then under the broiler for 10 minutes +/-
It was very tender, juicy and delicious

Like others have said I think you cooked yours too long
Yep, I had to estimate on the time because I was using an 8 lb flat. I followed the same ratio as the 5 lb brisket and applied it to the 8 lb one and obviously that was the incorrect thing to do. Oh well, you live and learn...
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:11 PM   #13
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The timing is no linear in a braise. In the Nightrain experiment, you are braising and the amount of time it takes to get done will not track in a strict mathematical ratio due to the vagaries of how mass takes and transfers heat as well as the moisture content and shape of said mass. Oddly, the amount of time cooking the 8lb brisket roast would have been very close to the time for the 5lb roast. As you heat the moist environment in the foil, you are actually raising the temperature of the liquids inside of the roast at the same time. Given that the larger flatter shape is going to heat from all sides at the same time, and given the flat shape, the interior moisture is heating at about the same rate despite the weight difference. This means that the actual rendering of the connective tissue will begin to occur at about the same time, and the stall as connective tissue renders will be about the same. The primary difference being the total amount of connective tissue rendering.

In a smoker, this actually also applies. Hence, the mystery of how a 10lb packer and a 14lb packer can both take 12 hours to cook. Part of the problem with using time, versus feel, is that the individual composition of meat varies widely (hence the 22 hour pork butt). Heat penetration is influenced by mass and shape of meat. Oddly, mass of a given roast is determined by both density of tissue and amount of internal moisture.

The major difference in timing is actually in the composition of the meat, not the weight alone. You're more likely to have succeeded with a 5.5 hour cook time over an 7 hour cook time. I would give it another shot. This time with the shorter cook time. And a smaller cut of brisket to save a little money.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamabuzzard View Post
I cooked soley by the time because the instructions said wrap it in foil and do not peek until the timer beeps. But it was user error (ME) and not the instructions for the brisket. It called for a 5 lb flat and I couldn't find a 5 lb flat so I bought the smallest one the store had which was 8 lb and cooked it 7 hrs in foil. Obviously it was too much.
You do know that thermometers generally have a pointy end...and foil isn't bulletproff
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
The major difference in timing is actually in the composition of the meat, not the weight alone. You're more likely to have succeeded with a 5.5 hour cook time over an 7 hour cook time. I would give it another shot. This time with the shorter cook time. And a smaller cut of brisket to save a little money.
I appreciate the information I didn't know that. It's just frustrating as all get out to spend that kind of money and screw it up. I didn't totally screw it up because it still tasted good.
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