Easter Brisket - In charge (Now with Q-View!)

Discussion in 'Beef' started by dukeburger, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So, after my pulled pork became talk of the town, I've been given the responsibility of doing the meat for a family lunch on Saturday afternoon and I'm choosing to do a brisket. Lunch will be for 10 people. I only have one brisket flat under my belt (using Big Chief and oven) and it was fairly successful. This will be a 11lb packer on my new WSM and I'm hoping to try burnt ends this time.

    Lunch is at 12pm Saturday and is a 1 hour drive to the family farm.

    My plan:

    1:30pm Friday afternoon, fire up WSM, prepare and rub brisket with a coat of Jeff's sauce and SPOG.

    2:00pm put brisket on @ 225*F

    Given the 1.5 hours per pound guesstimate, my completion time would be ~6:30am Saturday morning (16.5 hours). Lots of cooler rest and time to make burnt ends. Depart time will be 11am at the latest.

    I should add I'm not planning to foil during the smoke as I'm hoping for a good bark.


    What do you guys think of the timeframe? Possible @ 225*F or should I go 250*F?

    Should I start earlier? If so, and it is done way before needed, what method do you guys use to reheat?

    Leave probe in while resting in the cooler?


    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  2. rmmurray

    rmmurray Master of the Pit

    It should keep hot in the cooler for 3-4 hours. Even if you started a little earlier I wouldn't see the need to reheat in that time frame. 225 should get you though it too.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  3. kapdon

    kapdon Smoke Blower

    I would plan an earlier start. An hour or so, not much earlier but enough that you have extra time to ensure the meat is tender. Just because you have a plan to hit an internal temp doesn't ensure you have tenderness. Sometimes the internal temp can stall for a while requiring extra time to get it to the temp you are targeting.
  4. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks kapdon and RMM. What is the max amount of time it should sit in a cooler? I don't mind starting earlier, but I'm not confident enough about the option of reheating it.

    How hard is it to overcook a brisket? Once it reaches butter tenderness and is still 6 hours away from meal time, is it alright to foil and stay on heat for another hour or two before the cooler rest?

    Thanks again. Appreciated.  [​IMG]  
  5. kapdon

    kapdon Smoke Blower

    If you have plenty of time then don't start earlier, I was just expressing to make sure you have time for corrections if things don't go as planned.

    As for cooler time, well that is whole new ball game. You are surely going to receive several different answers on that one. I hear from an hour to who knows when. Someone once told me they "threw it in the cooler over night." Seems a little risky to me to have it in a cooler that long but everyone has there own method. Personally I have never tried the cooler trick.
  6. rmmurray

    rmmurray Master of the Pit

    Like kapdon said, you'll get many answers on the cooler time. I've heard 4 hours tops, but can tell you that I've done 2 hours personally on a Christmas ham.
  7. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Start early...when it's not finished and you have hungry guests, you'll regret it.   You'll be fine with 4+ hours wrapped in a cooler, I used to use a cooler, then I invested in a Cambro, same principal, just easier to store food in.  If you need to reheat, just slice it up, chop, whatever you do, then defat the au jus from the cook, pour it over the meat, then off to the oven to reheat at 300 degrees for an hour or so.  Make sure you are cooking to tenderness, not IT.  I suggest start checking for tenderness with the toothpick test around 195 IT, then every 4 to 5 degrees of rise after that.  Once the toothpick slides in the flat section like a hot knife into butter, pull it and rest it.  Once it reaches butter tenderness as you said, pull it, vent it for about 10 minutes to let the excess heat and steam release to stop it from over cooking before it goes into the cooler.  Do not leave it in any type of heat source or you'll have just chopped sammies.  The venting will stop the cooking at the correct tenderness.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I totally agree. I would add that I don't know where everybody get's 1.5 hours per pound but figure 2 hours per pound. Brisket might not even be tender until 212 degrees or it could be done at 200. Large muscle meats have a mind of their own and they can't tell time worth a darn. Just like bruno said. Do the probe test. The toothpick does not lie.
  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have had Butts and Briskets still piping hot after 5 hours double wrapped and wrapped in towels in a good cooler. I mean so hot you would think you just pulled it out of the smoker.
  10. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    After reading your replies and suggestions I've decided to make my start time for 10am on Friday morning at the latest.

    You guys are right - I'd rather have to reheat than have all these people waiting on me. [​IMG]

    I'll be picking up the brisket tomorrow from a local butcher.

     I'll be sure to post some yummy Q-view, fellas. Thanks for all the help. [​IMG]
  11. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you put that brisket in at 10am on Friday, I can almost guarantee you that you'll be reheating it.   Heck, it will probably be done before midnight. 

    That said, there's nothing wrong with reheating a brisket.     Supposing that it does finish way earlier, that will be too long to try and hold in a cooler.    Pull it from the smoker when ready, if foiled, unwrap it to let it vent for about 20 minutes or so, then wrap it back up and either put it in an empty fridge or crash cool it.   To do this, just throw the brisket into a plastic garbage bag and submerge in an ice water bath.  Once it cools, throw it in the fridge.

    To reheat, wrap it in foil (if not already wrapped) and throw it in a 250 degree oven for 1-2 hrs.  You want to bring it up to about 150-160 degrees or so.  Pull from the oven, throw it in a travel cooler and head on out to the get together.

    Personally, I'd just start the brisket at about 3 or 4 PM and I'd also cook at a minimum of 250 degrees.  Keep an eye on internal temps as the cook goes along and if it looks like things are going too slowly, open up the vents a bit and increase the chamber temp.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  12. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I should mention that the forecast for tomorrow has taken a turn. Looking at 7*C with a low of -5*C with a chance of rain and snow (figures, huh?). I will see how the wind factors in tomorrow morning and base my "go-time" decision on the elements..
  13. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here it is, and she is TENDER [​IMG]

  14. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I would probably put a pillow case on that and take a nap with it. Beautiful Brisket there.
  15. rmmurray

    rmmurray Master of the Pit

    Yum yum!
  16. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Walked in the door with it in one arm and it was just folding around it, as if it were hugging me...[​IMG]
  17. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Something came up today, so I'm back to my original plan of a 3pm start. And we've been given the Okay to show up at 1 or 2 if required.

    Turned out to be a nice day despite the forecast, but it is getting chilly out there. (anyone have a spare welding blanket? [​IMG])

    So, we're just passed 4 hours in here. Maintaining 230 - 240*F quite easily. Using Kingsford Competition briquettes and hickory chunks.


    Rinsed, pat dried, rubbed with Lea & Perrins and SPOG

    4 hours in, probed @ 139*F  IT

  18. rmmurray

    rmmurray Master of the Pit

    Woohoo! I'll be in bed when your done (east coast time). Good luck with it. I'll catch you tomorrow.
  19. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Looking good!  The real challenge will be getting pics before the slices are all gone.
  20. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    11:30pm. The great wall of stall at 147*F for the last 2 hours... quick shot as I adjusted my probe.


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