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 03-06-2015, 10:21 AM   #1
whiterockque
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Default Brisket Bark Help

Alight guys, I need your input. Often when I slice my brisket my bark is mushy, I could almost wipe it off with a towel kind of mushy.

Thinking it could be a few different issues:

1. Using too much rub?
2. Stop using meat glue? I use mustard, but maybe I should stop.
3. Stop foiling? I use foil, maybe I should use butcher paper.

I just got black ops rub and looking forward to using it this Monday and hopefully solving my bark issues.

I'm a backyard warrior with no real desires to compete...just to really impress my friends, neighbors and of course my father in-law that has been cooking longer than I have been alive.

Also, I use a UDS but include a water pan very similar to WSM.

Thanks!!

Dustin

Last edited by whiterockque; 03-06-2015 at 10:23 AM.. Reason: forgot one thing
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:23 AM   #2
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I'm betting #3 is the true culprit.

What temp do you cook at? Have you tried a lower and slower cook and not wrapping at all?
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:24 AM   #3
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I would say stop using the mustard and don't foil until the bark is a little more set. Butcher paper will help if you still have issues with foiling but usually once the bark is set foil will not change it too much.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:26 AM   #4
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I cook around 220-240 and wrap when the internal temp hits 165 ish.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterockque View Post
I cook around 220-240 and wrap when the internal temp hits 165 ish.
It's been a long time since I cooked low and slow but that was about the same IT I used to wrap in foil. I was using a stick burner and I never had any issues with mushy bark. The stall is brutal at those cooking temps without wrapping. I know brisket is expensive but either use oil or something else instead of mustard or try BP. I am the have to know type so I would try one at a time so I would know for sure what the fix/issue was.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:35 AM   #6
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I'd guess with the given info your wrapping before the bark is set. The slather isn't necessary with brisket, the rub will stick just fine. That being said I tend to get more bark faster with the slather. It could be too much rub but hard to say sight unseen. Kinda doubt it, brisket can take alot of rub. I don't like to wrap based on temp but rather condition. Don't wrap until you can't wipe the rub off, that's what is meant by "set"
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:35 AM   #7
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STOP IT..... JUST STOP IT!!!!!!!!
1. Using too much rub?
2. Stop using meat glue? I use mustard, but maybe I should stop.
3. Stop foiling? I use foil, maybe I should use butcher paper.

If you can t see through the rub you use to much
not a brisket but you get the idea

no need to use meat glue or anything for that matter to get the rub to stick if you must something that will add flavor like Wooster or hot sauce
Switch to butcher paper

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Old 03-06-2015, 10:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterockque View Post
I cook around 220-240 and wrap when the internal temp hits 165 ish.
If your cooker will do it, cook hotter (275 - 300 range). As pjtexas1 said try butcher paper, unlike foil it'll breathe rather than steam the bark. I use oil before I apply my rub, it helps the rub stick but I think that it also helps in bark production.
Here's my brisket cooking method which always yield's a good bark and is very similar to Bludawg's KISS method, give it a try next time.
CENTRAL TEXAS STYLE BRISKET
To make a true central Texas style brisket you'll need four key ingredients, beef, kosher salt, coarse black pepper and smoke! Here's my method.
Start with a whole packer brisket. A whole packer consist of two parts, the point (fattier portion) and the flat (the leaner portion). Be sure and ask your market manager or butcher for that cut.
Once you have found your brisket, trim the fat cap layer down to about 1/4 inch or less. The idea is to have a thin layer of fat that will render down, marry up with your spice rub and become a sticky, crunchy and flavorful part of the bark.
After the fat has been trimmed down, I like to apply some cooking oil which helps the rub to adhere to the meat and activates the natural oils in the spices.
The spice rub will consist of a 50/50 blend of kosher salt and 16 mesh coarse ground black pepper. I like to dust mine with a little garlic powder as well but the important things are the salt and pepper. Coat the meat well with the rub and allow the rub to mix in with the oil for 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat the pit to 275 (different cookers like to run at different temperatures and you may be cooking at higher or lower temps but the method remains the same, only cooking time is effected).Smoke the brisket for 4 hours, after the first 4 hours wrap the brisket in butcher paper and continue cooking at 275, checking the flat for tenderness after 3 more hours of cooking. To do this simply find a sharp pointed object such as a thermometer or skewer and poke the flat in several places, (always determine doneness by probing for tenderness, not IT) when it has the feel of room temperature butter it's time to pull the brisket off of the cooker.
Allow the brisket (still wrapped in butcher paper) to rest on the kitchen counter for a minimum of 2 hours, at the end of the rest period it's ready for slicing. Slice against the grain and enjoy.
Using this method I can usually get a 15 pound whole packer done in 7 to 8 hours (not counting resting time).
P.S. If you are using foil to wrap with, vent it after removing the brisket from your pit until the IT has fallen to the 150 to 160 degree range and then reseal it for the remainder of the resting period.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:40 AM   #9
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Definitely stop using mustard. Just use the natural moisture of the meat or splash a little bit of water or worchestershire sauce onto the meat. You just want it damp to hold the rub, not soaking wet.

If you plan on wrapping using foil, don't wrap until the bark tells you too. This means that the bark is nice and crusty and set and the color is starting to get past the color you want. You can also use butchers paper instead of foil, but I use foil and have great results. My briskets normally don't stay wrapped for more than 2 hours when i cook hot and fast. Usually it is 1-1.5 hours but I have had a few go 2 hours in the wrap. This gives me a nice bark, a roasted meat texture vs pot roast texture, and allows me to capture some of the drippings to use make an au jus with.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:35 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the feedback. I am gonna nix the mustard and wait until bark is set before wrapping. If I can get my hands on it, I'll also try using BP Monday.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterockque View Post
Thanks for all the feedback. I am gonna nix the mustard and wait until bark is set before wrapping. If I can get my hands on it, I'll also try using BP Monday.
Sounds like a plan to me. I use a real light coating of Worcestershire sauce, then rub with kosher salt and coarse black pepper. I only wrap in bp if my bark feels like it's getting too crusty. After my bark starts to setup I will spritz occasionally with a 50 50 Worcestershire and water mix to keep the bark moist.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:47 PM   #12
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There is NO RULE TO WRAP - just leave it on at 220 degrees for a couple more hours - it will get to temp. If it's dry make sure you inject.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:51 PM   #13
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Ive never had a problem due to the slather (i would swear mustard increases my bark formation) but i agree you should try try and eliminate as many variables as possible. I lost my way awhile back and my solution was to start from scratch. Just salt and pepper smoke and time. No wrap, no sauce, no spritz, no nothing that wasn't necessary. Built techniques, rubs, and such slowly one thing at a time, starting from the bottom up.
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:58 PM   #14
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Salt.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoke ninja View Post
Ive never had a problem due to the slather (i would swear mustard increases my bark formation) but i agree you should try try and eliminate as many variables as possible. I lost my way awhile back and my solution was to start from scratch. Just salt and pepper smoke and time. No wrap, no sauce, no spritz, no nothing that wasn't necessary. Built techniques, rubs, and such slowly one thing at a time, starting from the bottom up.
Absolutely this.

I got into bbq and then tried to do too much at 1 time. I was ending up with product that I wasn't completely happy with (albiet good product, but it wasn't my best) So I went back to basic fundamentals and slowly built my technique and flavor profiles. Now I know if I something did turn out, where exactly in my process I messed up. My consistency for turning out my bbq has greatly improved because of it.
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