MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 05-12-2007, 03:51 PM   #1
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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Default The art of holding Q

I couldn't find a thread on how to successfully hold Q. It is one thing to smoke it perfectly and serve it when it is the perfect time for the meat, but quite another to hold it well beyond that time.

I don't know how BBQ joints can figure out how to have the right amounts at the right times. Perhaps the ones with a steady stream of customers have a great advantage over those that don't know when customers will arrive.

On a lesser scale, we all have the same problems at home when the meat gets ready well in advance of what was planned.

Is there a thread that someone can point me to? Or, barring that, any good hints?
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Old 05-12-2007, 04:14 PM   #2
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Wrap in foil. Wrap in multiple layers of old towels. Put it in a cooler in the sun. The meat will continue to cook for a while with this method so keep that in mind. I've held butts with this method for 5 hours, still too hot to touch with bare hands when I took them out. Got a brisket in the "cooler" right now.

Learned this from "The Brethren".

That said, be sure to keep your coolerin' towels separate from your bath towels. My bride mixed them up in the laundry one time. I dried off after my shower and I smelled like the inside of my cooker for a while. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
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Old 05-12-2007, 04:19 PM   #3
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Cooler is your friend.

Your best friend.

Will hold a butt that hit 190 to 165 over 3 hours.

If your guests miss a three hour window, farkem, and eat it yourself :)
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Old 05-12-2007, 04:24 PM   #4
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All the above plus a 170-180 degree oven works wonders also.
Just make sure they have lots of moisture and stuff will hold a long time.

TIM
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Old 05-12-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=10813

I had put this thread in the roadmap.
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:03 AM   #6
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I wrap in plastic wrap, it helps keep the moisture in, then wrap in foil, then wrap in towels & put in a cooler. 3 - 5 hours later still to hot to handle.

Also, I've read some people use a Cambro, just an expensive "cooler" used in the resturant & catering biz...
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:00 AM   #7
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All of these suggestions are great. Meat will hold in a cooler for 6-8 hours if you wrap it with towels.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
I couldn't find a thread on how to successfully hold Q. It is one thing to smoke it perfectly and serve it when it is the perfect time for the meat, but quite another to hold it well beyond that time.

I don't know how BBQ joints can figure out how to have the right amounts at the right times. Perhaps the ones with a steady stream of customers have a great advantage over those that don't know when customers will arrive.

On a lesser scale, we all have the same problems at home when the meat gets ready well in advance of what was planned.

Is there a thread that someone can point me to? Or, barring that, any good hints?
Just use your hands
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:20 PM   #9
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Here is a graph put together by The Naked Whiz, you know the dude with the lump charcoal database. He used two towels in the cooler for insulation. The outside temp was 70° to 80°.



The chart pretty much sums up his experiment, but you can read the entire article here.

http://www.nakedwhiz.com/coolerholding.htm

He does make a valid point about folks saying something like "I held a brisket for 6 hours and it was still too hot to handle". He claims that meat in the 115° or 120° range is actually "too hot to handle", but it is in the danger zone. A cable probe in the meat is the most reliable way to monitor it's temp while it is in the cooler.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:23 PM   #10
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Thanks Thirdeye -- very helpful.

It never occured to me to put my maverick to work in the cooler! Duh.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:50 AM   #11
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I will second the plastic wrap and then the foil. The plastic wrap will keep the juices in and around the meat insead in the towels and cooler.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SP View Post
I will second the plastic wrap and then the foil. The plastic wrap will keep the juices in and around the meat insead in the towels and cooler.
The plastic wrap is a great idea for more than just holding the juices in for the meat. More often than not, I leave a trail of juice on the floor and counter which plastic wrap will stop.

I'm gonna start doing that too.
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:25 AM   #13
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The 5-day coolers do a much better job than a regular cooler. I line the bottom of it with a big piece of foil that reflects the heat as well as catch any leaking juice. I put 4 butts in it last week and when I took them out 4 hours later they were still at 170-175*. If I think it's gonna be longer than that I stick a probe in one and cover all of it with foil (shiny side down this time).
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:33 AM   #14
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I have also played around with either leaving the cooler in the sun during the cook, or filling with warm water and quickly dry toweling it.

If the cooler is warm as the stuff goes in, it stays warmer, longer

(At least I beleive it does)
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willkat98 View Post
I have also played around with either leaving the cooler in the sun during the cook, or filling with warm water and quickly dry toweling it.

If the cooler is warm as the stuff goes in, it stays warmer, longer

(At least I beleive it does)
I used to laugh at one of my buddies, he slips the loaded cooler into a black garbage bag for some extra heat generation. I guess every little bit helps.
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