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 08-03-2016, 09:40 AM   #1
Imp81318
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Default First Brisket this weekend - need LOTS of help!

We have been planning to celebrate my FIL's birthday this weekend while we're in town visiting my in-laws so I offered to smoke a pork shoulder or make pulled beef (pepper stout beef) since he loves BBQ. Well, I just got a call from my wife and found out that I am smoking a brisket that my MIL already has in their freezer. I believe it is a flat weighing around 4 lbs, but I'll have to take my scale out to confirm when I get there Friday night. Dinner will be at 5 on Sunday, so allowing for plenty of time to rest, I'd like to have it coming off the grill into a cooler around 1. I've been wanting to cook a brisket, but this is not exactly what I had in mind...

I know about Bluedawg's method to cook at 300 to cook a whole packer more quickly. Is there any reason this wouldn't work on just a smaller flat? I am thinking that if I start out cooking at 300 or so until I hit a certain IT, I can then cut the heat back to say 250 or so to give myself a wider window to work with when testing for probe tender to avoid over cooking.

I am thinking right now, based on the timeframes in Bludawg's post, that I'll get up around 5 to get the brisket on the smoker by 6. Assuming around 4 hours for the bark to set, I'll wrap in butcher paper (or foil if I cannot find any butcher paper in time), then cook another 30 minutes or so before starting to check for probe tenderness. I'm going to have a thermometer in the meat just to monitor temperature and progress so I can get a feel for when to lower the pit temp as the temp ramps up.

Anyone have any other thoughts? Do my timeframes seem reasonable for a 4 pound flat, or am I allowing too much time to cook? Will a flat this small do as well with a cooler hold for 4+/- hours as a full packer would or should I try to plan it to be done closer to meal time?
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:42 AM   #2
Imp81318
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For reference, here is the Bludawgs brisket recipe/method that I referred to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
This is MUCH easier

BluDawgs Brisket

K.I S.S. some of the best brisket you will ever eat! Total cook time including the rest 8 hrs or less. I promise it will be as moist as mornin dew on the lilly, tender as a mothers love, pure beefy smoky goodness.

1 packer 12-15 lb
Trim off the hard fat on each side of the flat thin the fat cap to 1/4"

Mix your Rub
1 part kosher salt 4 parts Med grind Black peppa by volume( this is a true 50/50 BY weight)
apply a coat of rub you need to be able to see the meat through the rub clearly.

Pre heat the pit to 300 deg
place brisket on the pit Fat Cap Down and point to the firebox unless it is a RF cooker then point to away from the FB

Maintain pit between 275-325 if cookin on a stick burner
cook Brisket 4 hrs
remove from pit wrap in a single layer of Butcher paper Return to pit Fat cap up.
after 1 hr probe the thicket part of the Flat only! If it isn't *probe tender it should be within 1 hr.
once it is probe tender remove from the pit keep it wrapped in the paper you cooked it in and allow it to rest on your counter until the Internal temp reaches 150 this will take about two hrs.
Don't ever slice more than you can eat big pieces retain moisture and won't dry up on you like slices will.
*PROBE TENDER> This is the feel that is mimicked by cutting room temperature butter with a hot knife, there should be no drag
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:56 AM   #3
aks801
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So you already have BluDawg's method, that's a good start.
For your first brisket, nobody did you a favor by having just a flat to cook. The danger is that it will be dry. You'll probably be able to wrap it before the 4-hour mark. I use butcher paper but you might want to use foil this time, here's why: have a disposable pan underneath the flat on a lower rack (if that is possible). When you foil it, pour in the liquid from the pan so the flat can braise and help it to stay moist. This will cut down on the bark but you can get some of that back by finishing the flat with no foil.
You can probably get away with not starting the cook so early in the morning.
Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:06 AM   #4
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Read through this...

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=57882

It is a great reference.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aks801 View Post
So you already have BluDawg's method, that's a good start.
For your first brisket, nobody did you a favor by having just a flat to cook. The danger is that it will be dry. You'll probably be able to wrap it before the 4-hour mark. I use butcher paper but you might want to use foil this time, here's why: have a disposable pan underneath the flat on a lower rack (if that is possible). When you foil it, pour in the liquid from the pan so the flat can braise and help it to stay moist. This will cut down on the bark but you can get some of that back by finishing the flat with no foil.
You can probably get away with not starting the cook so early in the morning.
Good luck!
Are you thinking it might be dry due to lack of fat to render, or due to over/under-cooking since the window for proper doneness will be smaller?

Thanks for the quick feedback. At least I'm going to be taking my own kettle out there to cook on so I'll have a familiar cooker. That's 1 think in my favor...lol...
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Read through this...

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=57882

It is a great reference.
I've read through that, thanks for the reminder! I know that I plan to do a simple, traditional texas rub (i.e. equal parts salt and black pepper). I'm just not entirely sure how the cooking time will vary for such a small flat compared to the larger packers typically smoked.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imp81318 View Post
Are you thinking it might be dry due to lack of fat to render, or due to over/under-cooking since the window for proper doneness will be smaller?...
Both?

Just don't undercook it. It took me many attempts to get that through my thick head.

I like the sound of your S&P rub: that's all you really need. Just cook it, wrap it at some point, and cook until probe tender. I bet everyone will love it!
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:57 AM   #8
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I would think 4lb flat is going to be fully cooked in 5 hrs or less, especially at 300 degrees.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
I would think 4lb flat is going to be fully cooked in 5 hrs or less, especially at 300 degrees.
Thanks. I saw in another thread that you cook flats by themselves and wrap. What temp and how long do you cook them for, typically?
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imp81318 View Post
Thanks. I saw in another thread that you cook flats by themselves and wrap. What temp and how long do you cook them for, typically?
Just remember that the higher the temp, the narrower the window for pulling at the right time.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aks801 View Post
Just remember that the higher the temp, the narrower the window for pulling at the right time.
Right. That's why I'm thinking that if this brisket is really going to cook that quickly I can afford to go lower and give myself a bigger window to pull it at the right time.
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imp81318 View Post
Thanks. I saw in another thread that you cook flats by themselves and wrap. What temp and how long do you cook them for, typically?
I am certainly no expert, but I know what works for me. I try to keep the temp in the 225-250 range. You should have plenty of time to cook a small flat, so I would suggest letting it get up to wrapping temp slowly, and use a pan with some au jus to finish. You may end up have to hold it for a while, and that seem to be the best way to keep it moist if you finish early.... which Ive done a few times. (insert PE joke here).
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aks801 View Post
Both?

Just don't undercook it. It took me many attempts to get that through my thick head.

I like the sound of your S&P rub: that's all you really need. Just cook it, wrap it at some point, and cook until probe tender. I bet everyone will love it!
I use a version of Big Bad Beef rub (from Amazingribs dotcom) for my brisket. I cut down on the black pepper though as I find this too peppery for my taste. They recommend salting the meat first, and separately, which I do when I am not running short on time. I highly recommend it.

Ingredients
3 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili or ancho powder
1 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder
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Old 08-03-2016, 02:32 PM   #14
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I prefer Packers. I would cook it in a disposable foil pan on on of the racks made to fit in the pan - even Dollar tree has them. I'd add a little bit of beef broth. I'd start checking it at 3.5 hrs - probally take 4-5 hrs but you never know.
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Old 08-03-2016, 03:18 PM   #15
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Unfortunately, there isn't much hope for a 4 lb flat, IMO. The big packers are hard enough to cook, tiny flats....no thanks.

That said, good luck with your cook.
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