PDA

View Full Version : Brisket Advice Needed - cook on Sat serve on Sun


jgh1204
02-22-2005, 07:47 PM
I plan on cooking 3 briskets on Saturday to be served for lunch on Sunday.

I will rubbing down the briskets on Friday and putting them on at 8 AM Saturday and they should be done around 8 PM.

My usual plan is to smoke for 9 hours at 215, then put the briskets in pans, cover tightly with foil and cook another 3 hours at 250. Then, I let the briskets sit for 1 hour, then scrape off the fat cap, slice the point from the flat and scrape off the interior fat.

Before I read this forum, I usually just relied on cooking temps and times. Now I am relying more on internal temps which I think allows for more consistent results.

Since I will not be serving these until Sunday, logistics do not allow me to cook until Sunday AM. Would I be better off just letting the briskets cool, then do the fat trimming on Sunday as we warm them up for serving?

I use the juice from the pans to season my frijoles ala charra(see recipe section).

Any thoughts?

Also, been readin the whole fat cap up/down discussions. I think I lean to the down side. If you do cook fat cap up, would it help/hurt to pierce the fat cap in places to allow the rub to better penetrate during cooking?

tommykendall
02-22-2005, 07:55 PM
Would I be better off just letting the briskets cool, then do the fat trimming on Sunday as we warm them up for serving?


That's what I would do - more protection.

Bill-Chicago
02-22-2005, 09:02 PM
How big are these dino turds?

Full packer briskets or flats only?

I actually might consider this (don't know your whole story here, if your bringing these to a party)

Cook briskets to 170 in the smoke, wrap and cook to 190. then in the cooler. Throw in frdge after few hours in the cooler.

In the morning, slice cold brisket (very easy to cut cold brisket "thin"). Throw into vacu-seal bags.

Bring to party. drop into large roaster pan of boiling water, or casserole dishes in the oven of boiling water in the dish and in a 425 oven for about 2 hours.

cut open them vacu bags from boiling water or baking pans for a great treat. I pour the water out of the very hot casserole dish, open up the bag with the juice (I know you said you reserve this for other items) and pour right into the dish for pre sliced, heated brisket goodness.

hmmm.....beeeffff

BBQchef33
02-22-2005, 09:28 PM
I would put them in later in the day, so they come out of the cooker at midnight...-1-2 am. Time it to come off as late as possible, or as late as your willing to stay up. Then wrap them tightly in a couple towels and put them in a cooler and add more towels to the cooler to take up any dead air space. I always heat the cooler for a few minutes by adding a lttle boiling water and closing the top. When its time, drain the water and the briskets go into a warm cooler. With 3 briskets packed on top of each other and wrapped up in towels, the heat load should last at least 8 hours if not little longer. They will stay hot and continue to tenderize while in the cooler and at noon, you'll have fresh hot briskets to slice up.


Before I read this forum, I usually just relied on cooking temps and times. Now I am relying more on internal temps which I think allows for more consistent results.


Try this next time. Instead of relying on internal temps..... dont. Rely on tenderness. Estimate time at 1hr - 1:15 per lb. Then at 180 start checking for tenderness. Insert a probe into the flat. If it goes in with little or no resistance, your done. If thats at 180, who cares how long its been cooking, the brisket is tender. A few more hours in the cooler will make it perfect. But taking off a brisket at 190-195, even 200, when it was possibly done at 185 makes for a dry or overcooked cut. IMO, its wiser to use the internal temps to know when to start checking for doneness/tenderness, and not to use that as the deciding factor. I have had briskets done at 180-185 and coolered for 5-6 hours that were juicy and tender. Bringing them to 190-195 would have wrecked them.. some brikets may need to go to 190, but I rarely let them go higher than that(192 max). Taking them out at 190, and spending some time in the cooler is usually enough. They can climb another 8 degrees in the cooler on their own heat load and continue to cook and tenderize.

Being that your going to be coolering for a while, it may even work to remove it when it has a small amount of resistance when you insert the probe. Le t it finish cooking in the cooler. That way it will continue to cook, but not overcook.

jgh1204
02-22-2005, 09:48 PM
Thanks guys.

I am cooking for a good friend's daughter's baptism reception. At first they said 20, now they say 35 people.

I am probably going to add a butt, introduce these people to decent pulled pork.

tommykendall
02-22-2005, 09:54 PM
At first they said 20, now they say 35 people


It'll probably be 20. No shows piss me off but that's another thread.

Arlin_MacRae
02-22-2005, 10:01 PM
It'll probably be 20. No shows piss me off but that's another thread.

Leftovers...mmmmmm.

Wayne
02-22-2005, 10:31 PM
I agree with Phil but I would put the briskets in one of those big church roasters overnight set to 180 degrees. My roaster will hold three medium sized primal briskets fat cap and all. You will need to add about 2 pints of water to the bottom of the pan. This kind of accomplishes the same thing as the warm cooler, it is probably 6 of one and half dozen of the other, and I am sure that what ever method you use they will turn out great. When I cook brisket like this I usually shred the beef just like you would with pulled pork and add back the juice at the bottom of the roaster. This makes great sandwiches. In fact the more juicy and wet the bread the better I like it. I usually never use BBQ sauce but some people do so besure to put someon the side when you serve it up. The overnight cook off can sometimes loosen the meat so much that it does not want to slice thin, so if you slice it you need to slice it thick. When you trim the fat cap and start to slice it up you will know whether you need to slice it thick or thin or even consider shredding it. Just make it up as you go along and all will be fine.

I would not worry to much about the fat up or down decision. I like to put mine fat up so the fat will liquefy into a natural baste and run down into the meat. This takes the rub flavor on the fat down to the meat also. I use a fork and pierce the fat a lot so that the liquid can find its way to the meat easier. For as long as a brisket has to cook I am not sure that it makes any difference whether you cook it fat up or fat down. Liquid tends to flow from high concentrations to low concentrations so I would guess that the liquefied fat would flow up into the meat as easily as it would flow down into the meat. I have fixed briskets both ways and do not see much difference between the two.

BBQchef33
02-22-2005, 11:33 PM
Use the same technique i posted for butts. Estimate pork butts at 1.5 hrs per lb.

BTW,,, I always cook briskets fat cap down. Seems to protect the bottoms from the heat shadow below it.

I have also used a 120 degree oven instead of a cooler to hold the briskets wrapped in foil. For some reason, results arent as good. Figured the 120 would just slow the temp drop, but i think it has a different effect by allowing the inital temps to climb higher and longer before leveling off and then dropping. Results just werent the same.

jt
02-23-2005, 07:57 AM
I agree with Phil on the tenderness thing. I've taken them to 190-195 and then into the cooler and they were a little dry. They were probably ready for the cooler at 180-185. My plan for the next brisket cook is exactly how Phil described it - start checking around 180 and move 'em to the cooler when tender.

Arlin_MacRae
02-23-2005, 09:02 AM
Same for me. Cap down and in the cooler at 175 - 180. Always tender and juicy.

jminion
02-23-2005, 10:04 AM
jgh
Looking at your time table, holding in a cooler will be asking a lot. If you decide to cool I would suggest you take the brisket to 190 internal and then get it cooled fast you have about 2 hours to get it 70 to be safe, then another hour to get it 40. On the reheat you need to take it to at least 165 to meet standards by most health dept for serving to the public.

BBQchef33
02-23-2005, 10:40 AM
Ive held multiple briskets and pork butts in a cooler for 8-10 hours. Always leave the probes in and watch temperature of the top one to make sure they stay above 140 for the duration. A single one will cool down much faster than 3 stacked together. With a good cooler and 3 briskets I think the heat load will hold. At least to go overnight. In the morning if temps are going below 140, hold them in a warm(<180 degrees) oven for a little bit. Get them back top the 150 mark and cooler them again. (or just keep the oven at 140)

IMHO, If you try to cool it down, factor in the 2-3 hours in the danger zone to get it to 40 degrees, and then the hour or 2 it will spend between 40-140 to get it back up on the reheat, i think he'd be beter off just holding at 140, instead of dealing with 5 hours of dropping and climbing internal temps.

Jorge
02-23-2005, 10:50 AM
A couple years ago now I did Q for 60 for the better half's father's b-day. Cooked the beef the day before and wrapped in foil and put it in the fridge. Heated it up slow the next day. Worked for me and nobody got sick. While I was cooking I foiled all of the briskets at around 150-160 and took them up to 185-190 before pulling them. As I pulled each one from the smoker I set them in a big steamer pan and drained all of the juice off before re-wrapping. Put all the juices into the fridge and chilled it so I could skim any fat, and then used that in a sauce. Something similar might work for your beans depending on the flavor you are looking for.

One problem you rarely have around here is getting plenty of input and experiences. Take what works for you, and make sure you let us know what you tried and most importantly what worked and didn't.

jgh1204
02-23-2005, 12:36 PM
I have backed off starting at 8 AM and will wait until the afternoon around 3. I can always sleep it off Sunday afternoon.

How about I put the cooler in the oven? :lol:

Jorge
02-23-2005, 12:51 PM
I have backed off starting at 8 AM and will wait until the afternoon around 3. I can always sleep it off Sunday afternoon.

How about I put the cooler in the oven? :lol:

Now that, would be a fine example of Aggie engineering! :D

BBQchef33
02-23-2005, 01:40 PM
I have backed off starting at 8 AM and will wait until the afternoon around 3. I can always sleep it off Sunday afternoon.

How about I put the cooler in the oven? :lol:


dont laugh.. Although in the oven is a little wierd... When i did the 2 pork butts last weekend, i put them both in an igloo cooler with no dead airspace. Then put the cooler next to the radiator and threw my jacket over it. 11 hours later the butts were still at 146 and 151.

racer_81
02-23-2005, 01:54 PM
I have backed off starting at 8 AM and will wait until the afternoon around 3. I can always sleep it off Sunday afternoon.

How about I put the cooler in the oven? :lol:


dont laugh.. Although in the oven is a little wierd... When i did the 2 pork butts last weekend, i put them both in an igloo cooler with no dead airspace. Then put the cooler next to the radiator and threw my jacket over it. 11 hours later the butts were still at 146 and 151.

you go to A&M too?

jminion
02-23-2005, 05:01 PM
Phil
Based on his plan he has somerwhere around 12 plus hours to hold those briskets, that's a lot to ask. The cooling techniques are per the heath dept code for food service. To hold for 12 plus hours with a heat source will give him dry brisket.

Wayne
02-23-2005, 05:58 PM
I think you guys are splitting hairs. I have held briskets in a moist roaster in the oven or in an electric roaster for over 18 hours at 180 degrees and never had one come out dry. All you need to do is make sure that the bottom of the roaster has liquid about 1/2 inch deep. I even drove from Wichita to Cedar Rapids with two hot ones in a cooler and they stayed moist and good. They were about 180 degrees when I put them in the cooler.

BBQchef33
02-23-2005, 07:12 PM
agree with wayne. 3 briskets wrapped and cooler will easily hold for 8-10 hours. Never said to hold for 12 hours witha heat source. Recommended JGH adjust his start time so meats come out after midnight or later to reduce hold time ...so now hes starting at 3pm. If hes doing packer cuts, hes lookin at 10-12 hours cook time. If they come out 3am,,... with a good cooler, I'm sure he can safely cooler them without temps dropping below 140. Just needs a good cooler... no old styrofoam 7/11 special.

chad
02-23-2005, 07:36 PM
Jim;

I'm with you. It's safer and less hassle to chill the brisket and then handle it safely and quickly for serving.

I'm doing five briskets and chicken for 65 in May and my plan is to rub the brisket Thursday, cook, slice, sauce and pan it up on Friday and then chill it. I'll be grilling the chicken halves on Saturday and only want to have to reheat the brisket and serve it.

Now, I've got refer space for the brisket - that might not be the case for everyone.

Just my $.02 worth.

PS: I've done this same routine for the past two 4th of July celebrations for 200 and 400 people. I haven't poisoned anyone and haven't wasted any beef.

BBQchef33
02-23-2005, 07:46 PM
Jim;

I'm with you. It's safer and less hassle to chill the brisket and then handle it safely and quickly for serving.

I'm doing five briskets and chicken for 65 in May and my plan is to rub the brisket Thursday, cook, slice, sauce and pan it up on Friday and then chill it. I'll be grilling the chicken halves on Saturday and only want to have to reheat the brisket and serve it.

PS: I've done this same routine for the past two 4th of July celebrations for 200 and 400 people. I haven't poisoned anyone and haven't wasted any beef.

The difference here is your serving the next day, JG is serving the same day. if ya Gotta hold for more than 12hours, i would go with chilling it. but hes lookin at a 8-10 hour hold.

chad
02-23-2005, 08:03 PM
Just keep it hot or cold - in between is not good.

jminion
02-23-2005, 08:10 PM
Phil
Maybe I read it wrong but I thought he was pulling it off at 8pm Sat and serving Sunday afternoon.

Wayne
Your cooking method isn't classsic brisket I'm not saying it's bad but there is a difference between reheating and holding meat in liquid for 18 hours. The texture is not the same.

BBQchef33
02-23-2005, 08:56 PM
he was... but i recommended he push start times to later in the day so they come off after midnight. if he pulls at 2-3am, then he can hold in a cooler till 11 or noon. if it needs a push because temps are getting near 140, a few moinutes in a warm oven just to re-establish the heat load will get him to noon.

Jeff_in_KC
02-23-2005, 09:38 PM
I'm going to get a new cooler for holding my meat (get your minds out of the gutter!). We have one at work that I believe is made by Igloo that's supposed to keep cold for up to five days without adding more ice. It's GOTTA be better insulated and thus would hold heat longer for foiled meat...

jgh1204
02-23-2005, 09:59 PM
Went to sams tonight to buy the briskets and butts. Out of butts completely and all the briskets were 10lbs and stiff as boards, could not bend them hardly at all. Ended up going to HEB and they at severl 13 pounders that bent tip to tip with ease and the flats were fairly thick. The had Butts for 99cents. So that is 2 13 lbs briskets, 2 11lb butts and 4 4lb chickens.

The chickens will be brined Friday and cooked saturday AM and chilled. The butts will be brined as well.

I sincerely appreciate all the discussion on this topic.

Wayne
02-23-2005, 10:10 PM
Wayne
Your cooking method isn't classsic brisket I'm not saying it's bad but there is a difference between reheating and holding meat in liquid for 18 hours. The texture is not the same.

Of course the texture is different. I usually serve it shreded or sliced about 1/2 inch thick. It fact it really wants to be shredded. My family loves it and demands it when I fix beef. It also fits his schedule if he does not want to cook all night. However, I would never serve anything to a big group that I had not perfected with a few test cook offs. In reality he should probably fix it the same way that he has in the past and try all the suggestions with smaller batches and a less critical group of dinners.

I plan to fix a more classic brisket this weekend. When I cook it I will start in the morning and cook it to tenderness like was mentioned earlier, and we will simply eat it when it is done.

jgh1204
02-23-2005, 10:26 PM
Chopped beef brisket is a classic sandwich. Usually made from trimmings or brisket that is being carried over to the next day. Wayne, your technique sounds similar.

Wayne
02-23-2005, 11:10 PM
Chopped beef brisket is a classic sandwich. Usually made from trimmings or brisket that is being carried over to the next day. Wayne, your technique sounds similar.

It is similar because it is exxentially the same thing. I just use the whole brisket. Normally I do this when serving a lot of people or I plan to freeze most of it for future use. I also fix it when we decide on a week night to have BBQ the next evening. That way I can cook it in the smoker all evening and then put the brisket in the oven at midnight and serve it the next evening after I get home from work.

Neil
02-25-2005, 03:56 AM
I don't care what you all say, I'm hungry for brisket NOW! Happens everytime I read one of these threads.

jgh1204
02-25-2005, 08:14 AM
It is not quite done yet, still a bit rare.

jgh1204
02-26-2005, 05:26 PM
The chickens were done this morning. Put two 11lb pork butts on at 11:30 and 2 13lb briskets on at 2. Everything looking good so far.

jgh1204
02-27-2005, 03:26 PM
Final report.

On Friday night, brined the chickens and butts. Used a solution of 1/4 sea salt, 1/8 cup lite soy sauce, garlic powder and onion powder to 2 quarts water. The all went into the brine about 6 PM.

The chickens went on at 9 AM, at 250 degrees with hickory chunks in the smoke box. They reached 155 degrees at about 11 AM. I put them in a large roasting pan under foil for another 30 minutes, bagged them and put them into the refrigerator.

Pork butts went on at 11:30AM at 200 degrees again with hickory chunks. They reached 160 at about 9 PM. Put them into a large foil pan, covered tightly with foil and put them back on. The reached 200 degrees at 11:30 PM. I took them out of the pan, foiled them put them in a towel lined cooler. At 1:30 AM, I removed them, let set 45 minutes and then pulled them. Surprisingly very little fat. Bagged the pork and put into the refrigerator.

We ended up going with just 2 briskets. I could not fit 3 with the pork roasts. I put them in the smoker with the pork butts at 2 PM. The briskets reached 160 at 11PM. I put them each into their own foil pan and covered tightly with foil. They hit 180 at about 1:30 AM and were tender at 2 AM. One was at 200 degrees the other was about 195. I took them out of the pans, wrapped tightly with foil and placed them into the same cooler the pork butts came out of. It was still warm from the pork.

Went to sleep at 3 AM. Woke up at 7:15, loaded up the family and drove to McAllen which is about 45 minutes away. We put the pork and the chickens into the oven to re-heat. Put the briskets into a roaster oven on lowest setting. This was about 9:15AM this morning. The brisket was still too hot to handle without oven mitts.

We were back from the church around 11AM. Sliced everything up. Have to say, it was probably the best brisket I have done yet. The pork roast was great and the chicken was also some of the best I have done. Went with fryers this time and I think that helped.

The briskets were great, very small amount of fat for a packer. I am guessing we had at least 30 lbs of cooked meat after trimming. The final head count for lunch was 30 and we probably had at least twice as much meat as we needed.

I made up a double recipe of my quick beans ala charra(see recipe section) and left out the japs for the kiddos and the guests from South Dakota. We put about 2 cups of the brisket juice and some of the meat trimmings into the beans. The beans were a big hit. I am sure people will be thinking about those all night. :)

Once again, thanks for all the advice. Being able to do the bbq was a huge help to my friends as they had lots of family coming in and that was one less thing they had to worry about. I think coolering the brisket and keeping it hot made a big difference in the serving quality. Plus, I was able to do everything for less than $100 which saved them lots of $$$$.

Well, I am dozing off as I type. If I remember anything else, I will add it later.

jminion
02-27-2005, 06:23 PM
jgh
I'mglad everything worked out well. One thing to think about when cooling meat by foiling or bagging before cooling it causes the cooling to take too long. Leaving it uncovered until cooled is the safest way to handle that process.

scottm4300
03-07-2005, 04:30 PM
What a great thread! I'm facing a similar dilemma on Easter at realtives house. I promised a brisket for Sunday afternoon at 5, and after messing with a rack of ribs last weekend in the highly exotic Brinkmann Cook and Carry, I'm a little convinced that I won't be able to finish off a brisket on Sunday.

So, I'm thinking of smoking it Saturday - get it up to about 180, then cooler it sometime around 9:00 Saturday night. On Sunday, I'd go through the reheatihng process - although I'm a little confused about the best way to do that. I could easily bring my Cook and N Carry with me and reheat it in the smoker, or just set his gas grill on low and heat it up slowly that way.

I REALLY like the idea of dousing it with a good porter when I foil it! Think I read that in a different thread.

Some much knowledge, so little time to try it all!

Scott