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View Full Version : Faster, hotter, smaller brisket cook tips?


wahoowad
01-31-2018, 03:04 PM
My half dozen brisket attempts have been the same approach: Costco-Prime/12 -14 pounds pre-trim weight/250-275 temp/12-15 hours/top rack WSM with some really good portions and some dry portions of the meat.

For the heck of it I want to try and bring my cook times down - 8 to 10 hours might be a game changer for me in terms of avoiding overnight cooks and timing for meal time. I see others mention cooking smaller briskets and/or fast-and-hot so this seems doable with good results, right?

For the price I can't beat Costco Prime - everything else seems a dumb move cost wise. Even though I'd love to see if Choice produces similar results, not gonna pay more when I can get the prime.

Am I going to have really good brisket doing the following:

- 300 - 325 on the WSM;
- 9 to 10 pound brisket pre-trimmed
- might experiment with wrapping for the first time since I expect a smaller brisket to be pretty thin in the flat.

Steer me... :-D

THoey1963
01-31-2018, 03:07 PM
Never cooked one that small or at that high temperature. A bunch of other tipe is the brisket doc linked in my signature. Give you something to do until the flood of good responses come in...

daninnewjersey
01-31-2018, 03:10 PM
I regularly cook briskets at 300-325 As long as you keep half an eye on them the only thing that happens is you get a great brisket in way less time.

KevinJ
01-31-2018, 04:04 PM
I regularly cook briskets at 300-325 As long as you keep half an eye on them the only thing that happens is you get a great brisket in way less time.+1...

Burnt at Both Endz
01-31-2018, 04:14 PM
Well here is the steering...."it's done when it's done", simple as that!

pjtexas1
01-31-2018, 06:01 PM
Under 10 pounds is what I cook 90% if the time. I cook at 300. In my opinion you really should wrap. I wrap in bp with the fast cap up. The first part of the cook is fat cap down. The really skinny end of the flat is trimmed if because it just burns up. I cook that little piece next to the brisket as a snack.

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Kimo1
01-31-2018, 06:24 PM
Try Bludawgs method
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=3001532&postcount=67

pharp
01-31-2018, 08:51 PM
I think you could get it done in 5-6 hours if you wrap. I like the results at those times/temps.

patrickd26
01-31-2018, 08:57 PM
If I'm doing a smaller brisket, or just the flat, my method is to wrap after 4 hours or 160 (whichever comes first). It hasn't failed me yet! I'll even start my un-wrap part at 250 for 4 hours or 160, then wrap and ramp to 325. It all turns out good! Get a grate thermometer so that you know what your actual grate temp is if you use the 4 hours/160 rule.

Pork Floyd
02-01-2018, 04:51 AM
I have cooked a ton of brisket on a Weber. If you cook your brisket on the lower rack right over the water you will be pleasantly surprised. If it s too long and hangs over the edges of the grate, have the point side hang over, not the flat.

There is less direct heat there and therefore it dries out less.

Phil

SeanBBQ
02-01-2018, 08:54 AM
Before I got my Pint I had cooked 7# to 9# briskets on the Weber Performer.

Temps around 350 and put brisket over a water pan on one side with coals on the other. Let it go about 2 hours or so. Outside temps/Wind/Other will dictate but when IT hits around 175 - 180 I wrap. Then placed back on in same spot for another 1.5 - 2 hours until IT hits 203 - 205 (probe tender) then pull it. Let er rest until IT is around 140 - 145. Slice er up and eat.

Never failed me. Making a brisket in under 4 hours is awesome when you dont have the time to sit there for 12 + hours. Made probably 20 this way and works every time.

wahoowad
02-01-2018, 09:47 AM
I have to say I am surprised to hear some of these responses regarding cook times (with and without meat temps). I always thought most folks did either:

~ 190+ done by probe checks

or

~ 195 - 203 temp (with/without probing)


Some of these cook times suggested by folks doesn't look like it will produce temps in the 190+ range given my (albeit limited) experience of how long it takes to come up to temp.

I guess it is encouraging me that brisket cooked to lower temp is still going to be good brisket. I guess I will have to try it and see. Just hard to imagine it will be probe tender if it isn't cooked for the longer times I have in my head.

pjtexas1
02-01-2018, 09:54 AM
I have to say I am surprised to hear some of these responses regarding cook times (with and without meat temps). I always thought most folks did either:

~ 190+ done by probe checks

or

~ 195 - 203 temp (with/without probing)


Some of these cook times suggested by folks doesn't look like it will produce temps in the 190+ range given my (albeit limited) experience of how long it takes to come up to temp.

I guess it is encouraging me that brisket cooked to lower temp is still going to be good brisket. I guess I will have to try it and see. Just hard to imagine it will be probe tender if it isn't cooked for the longer times I have in my head.

at 350+ you can cook a brisket in 4-5 hours. at 300 i find the small ones do not cook that much faster than a 15 pounder. at 300 it will take 6 hours or so and my finish temps if i can remember are usually over 205 and more likely 210. i have not had a brisket finish in the 190 range since i stopped cooking at 225.

Burnt at Both Endz
02-01-2018, 10:07 AM
Too add on to what Paul said, when cooking at higher temps, there will be no stall. The temps keep rising, so it will produce a much shorter cook time.

wahoowad
02-03-2018, 06:32 AM
Alrighty folks! Thanks for the guidance and courage to risk a brisket by trying something new. That's always been my hesitation - producing a bad brisket given the costs and time.

But gonna do it today. Heading early to Costco to pick up a Prime and get home to get it going. I'm hoping this can be done in 6 hours, not including a rest....

sthamm
02-03-2018, 07:43 AM
Try Bludawgs method
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showpost.php?p=3001532&postcount=67

Agreed. I routinely do my pretrimmed 13-15lb briskets at 325+ and usually closer to 350. Wrapped in BP at 4 hours and they're usually probe tender in 2-3 more hours depending on how aggressive the trim. You should be fine with your 6 hr time slot if you get a smaller pretrimmed brisket. Highly recommend wrapping at some point....the times I haven't, the fat cap bark can get burnt up if you aren't spritzing religiously.

scribe9154
02-03-2018, 09:25 AM
1

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wahoowad
02-03-2018, 10:21 AM
** <RANT> Costco didn't open until 9:30! What the heck? So I sat in the parking lot and looked at brisket and bbq on Instagram for 40 minutes... </RANT> ***

Costco only had a bunch of giant Prime briskets out, larger than I wanted to try...except for some odd reason they had one out of cryovac, cut in half with the flat in one package and the thicker point/flat section in another package. At 7.0 lbs the point+flat section was smaller than I was aiming for but I could tell it was nicely trimmed so that is what I brought home.

I didn't have to trim anything so it was a quick slather of mustard and a heavy coating of MeatChurch Holy Cow.

On the way home from Costco I stopped at Lowes and grabbed a bag of Royal Oak briquettes for $6 as they tend to burn faster and hotter than the Weber briquettes I've been using lately. I'm using oak and hickory chunks in my Weber 18" WSM, and I'm a water pan guy so filled it with hot water. This will be an experiment for me to see if I can get the higher temps I want while using a water pan. (I first had to chip the greasy ice out from my last cook - 11 degrees here last night :rolleyes:)

https://i.imgur.com/BXrQUjDh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/kXQOSCjh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/ToMSNNoh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/NXno8wWh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/zKX4Eq4h.jpg

wahoowad
02-03-2018, 10:30 AM
Oh man, this WSM is doing what it likes to do - sitting right at 250. It's acting like it isn't going to want to climb up to the 300-325 I wanted for a hot'n'fast cook.

It's only been 20 minutes but I have all vents open. Yeah, I know the meat is cold. Yeah, I know I did a water pan (filled with hot tap water). Yeah, I know it is 30 degrees outside.

I did a full starter chimney so hopefully they will get some other coals going and the temps will climb soon.

https://i.imgur.com/18e9GThh.jpg

pjtexas1
02-03-2018, 10:43 AM
In my experience water isn't your friend above 275, if you can get to 325 it's gonna eat up a lot of charcoal. It should get there once the water burns off though. But I don't think this is anything you didn't already know.

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wahoowad
02-03-2018, 11:00 AM
Temp has slowly climbed from 250 to 270 over the past 45 minutes. All vents wide open. Given my previous cooks I would have expected to be 280+ with all vents open and a full chimney that I dumped on. It's 32 and chilly but I've smoked in colder and don't think that should add too much.

I have a small siphon tube that I'm thinking of using to drain the water pan so I don't have to take it all apart.... That's the one thing I dislike about the WSM - getting at the lower shelf can be a mild hassle, especially once you have probes in things and need to move that top rack aside.

wahoowad
02-03-2018, 11:19 AM
Well that was interesting. Just used some tubing to siphon water out the water pan. I got about half out before the tube melted :biggrin1:

Having the side door open for those 5 minutes gave the fuel some oxygen and temps jumped to 320, but it is quickly dropping again below 295 as I type.

I don't want to impose a lot of temp swings so am just going to ride it out without fooling it much more. If it takes longer it will just have to take longer. I have brisket and ribs vacuum sealed in the freezer from other recents cooks so dinner is still safe :-D

Jester
02-03-2018, 11:43 AM
My half dozen brisket attempts have been the same approach: Costco-Prime/12 -14 pounds pre-trim weight/250-275 temp/12-15 hours/top rack WSM with some really good portions and some dry portions of the meat.

I've not been to Costco in quite some time, what are their prime cut briskets sell at price per lb?

wahoowad
02-03-2018, 11:49 AM
For me (Virginia) $2.99 to $3.29 past few months.

wahoowad
02-03-2018, 02:47 PM
Today's cook has been an adventure. I've been struggling with temp spikes into the 330's when the water pan ran dry. I was trying to use it dry but had to put water in it a couple times to help the WSM keep temps around 290-300. The the temp would drop into the 270's before slowly climbing back to 290-300. Then a spike would happen again.

This half of a brisket I'm using today is the bigger end with the point on it. Instead of getting smaller it has increased in size. I am hoping that is a good thing meaning there is lots of moisture inside. It has caused my bark to not form as well as previous cooks because it is expanding. I usually have a really nice tasty bark.

I think I'm going to wrap as I'm at 165 and 4.5 hours into the cook. This will be my first attempt at wrapping. Today my butcher paper arrived from Amazon.

Hinds15
02-03-2018, 06:46 PM
I can never find royal oak briquettes only lump. On the bright side homeDepot priced matched Weber briquettes at 5$ from a picture I got off FB.

wahoowad
02-04-2018, 09:10 AM
Despite some temperature fluctuations yesterday I still am confident my cook averaged around 280/290 which is hotter than I've done a brisket before.

Timewise it was faster than a low'n'slow, but still took me 10.5 hours. I took it to 208 while doing the probe checks starting around 190. I could feel it getting more and more tender which gave me confidence to go past my usual 203 pull temp.

I was expecting something closer to 6 to 8 hours given the higher temps so it finished well after dinner. By the time I gave it an hour rest it was late and I put the whole thing in the refrigerator so my slicing and pics don't get to show whatever hot juiciness it may have had. But it looks pretty marbled and I'll be eating some slices for dinner.

Verdict on my hot'n'fast experiment? Inconclusive. Yes - it finished sooner than my prior 12 - 14 hour brisket cooks and the bark formed (MeatChurch Holy Cow + apple juice spritzing). But the temp fluctuations made fire management a worrisome headache. Next time I will still try it with no water, but perhaps let it come to a steady temp first so I can get my bottom vents set right. This should prevent the spikes.

https://i.imgur.com/qdVmVKVh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/0OmBMgzh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/uO4oNxbh.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/3yeQJ1Rh.jpg