Foil OR no Foil ?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by tiki guy, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. tiki guy

    tiki guy Smoking Fanatic

     I'm new to the site and new to smoking . I am preparing for my first brisket this week-end and have gotten some really good advise . As instructed I have been surfing the forum, and some times for a newbie all this info can be both scary and confusing .

    Case in point :    while surfing I see some smoke for 2 hours at 200 - 225 then remove the meat wrap in foil and return it to the smoker for the remainder of time ( var ring from 6 to 8 hours ) at a higher temp.

    SO    Here is my question :   FOIL /  or NO FOIL ?

    I had always thought the meat should be left on the smoker till the IT was just right (or just under) and then removed wrapped in foil to rest before serving .

    10 - 12 pounds of brisket people arriving around 5:30  I had planed on  9 AM start @ 200 and let it go with a temp prob in it watching the IT .......... checking it ( reading the temp)   at around the 5 hour time line ........NEVER thought of the foil deal ? 

    Any helpful answers will be appreciated ..............Thanks in advance Guys
  2. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Well this my help ya meat will only take smoke till about 165F so anything after that is just going to darken your bark... I like to hit 165-170 and than foil this cuts down on the cook time and you will still have a nice bark..

      Have fun and Happy smoking
  3. Tiki fresh from my memory.  I started with a 10.5 pound brisket (point and flat) weight after trim, I started my chimney at 3:00 am Sunday morning.  I let the coals burn down a tad to much which slowed my smoker start up temp.  I got the temp up to 235 at about 3:40am. It took 3 1/2-4 hours to come up to 140.  We'll say it's now 8:00 am.  It then took two more hours to get to 160.  At 160 it stalled until about 3:30pm.  At 165 I foiled it where I kept it foiled to 180-190.  I then placed it wrap in a towel in a cooler for one hour.  Time now is 7:00pm.   Things I would have done different.

    1.  Give myself more time.

    2.   Left it foiled to 190-200

    3.  Left it in the cooler for 2 hours.

    FYI after I had it in the cooler wrapped in foil and a towel when I took it out I couldn't hold it because it was so hot.

    So I don't think your going to make your times unless you cook it hotter.
  4. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like to cook at 240ish.

    I figure 1.5 hours / pound and then add at least 2 hour.

    I don't usually foil untill I am done which for me is 200+ ish AND a probe that goes in like a hot knife througn butter. I foil when the meat is done and file it to let it rest in a warn dry cooler.

    Good luck!
  5. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I like to smoke till 140 and foil with liquid till 190 myself. I don't care for the bark and like to slice them, but that's just my preference. 
  6. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I smoke at 225º and foil at 165º.

    I allow 2 hrs per lb. And sometimes I still run out of time!

    You don't want to have to call  for Pizza [​IMG]

    Good luck and remember the Qview
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you are doing a 12 lb packer you don't need to be in a hurry to foil.  I think the advice you read where to foil after 2 hours is usually intended for smaller flats that tend to dry out.  Some people foil at 140 some 160, it's just personal preference for how moist the meat needs to be and how much smoke you want on it  Everyone has given great advice but you need to remember that foiling too early will work against developing a nice bark

    Assuming it is a packer have you considered separating the point and the flat while cooking and treating them a bit different?  
  8. tiki guy

    tiki guy Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Guys

    I shall do my best , its confusing but I'm learning , I was under the assumption  IT ( internal Temp)  was like the "normal" temps  ( Ya know  120 -125 Rare , and  160 well done )    So hearing the "Smoker brisket temps of 190  was very strange to me and I do not want to dry out a good hunk of meat . 

    So when I saw all the talk on foil .....well I thought   OK ...... Back to the Pros on the forum !

    You Guys are great , thanks for the help ...( I'M SURE I'll BE BACK , with more dumb questions )

    I am gonna allow more time now........and not rush , keep a low temp for the first hours , keep checking the prob....and trun it up a bit near the end ...check temp ....take it off and foil it   till its time to eat !   and hope for the best .   I let ya'll know how it comes out with pix
  9. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think you'll do fine Tiki,

    The only dumb question is the one you don't ask [​IMG]
    ellymae likes this.
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    We do them just like elly, because we love the great bark you get by not foiling early.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All a matter of personal preference.

    I usually smoke between 225˚ and 240˚, and foil at around 165˚, but Mrs Bear & I don't like a whole lot of hard bark.

    Experiment with all of the above until you find what works for you----Think of how much fun that experimenting is gonna be!!!

  12. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  13. I've struggled with brisket getting it as tender as I've wanted and I finally tried foiling it around 150-160 and then bringing it to 200.  Then I put it a towel and then a cooler for an hour.  Seriously came out so tender and good.  I won't do it different next time. 
  14. lookwow

    lookwow Smoke Blower

    Im a convert from foil to no foil after seeing some of SMokingAl's posts. I like the heavy bark and its franky easier to not foil in the middle of the smoke.

    WHen smoking cuts like brisket and pork butt you need to go much higher for IT then if it was a steak. These cuts of meat need the heat to break it down and remove that toughness so take it to 190 at the least.

    Also the best advise anyone can give you for brisket is to remember which way the grain of the meat is and cut a cross the grain. If you dont do this nothing will make your brisket good as there are fiberes strands that go along the grain and they cant be broken down through the cooking process.
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great advise on the temp and slicing direction. I like to put a mark on the meat, so I know which way to slice it. It seems to be easier for me to tell which way the grain is going, before it's smoked.

    I even like to take it farther, like 205˚, but then you might have to use an electric knife to slice it, because it gets soooo tender.

  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    A real easy way to make sure you cut it right is to score the fat cap in the same direction as the grain before you smoke it. Sometimes the grain will not be straight & will bend different ways after it cooks, but the score lines will bend with it.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Al,

    I think I did that on the one, after you said it before, but the next one I forgot, until I already scored it a different way!!!

    It was a severe attack of CRS !!!

    Thanks Al,

  18. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I hear you Bear!

    It's tough being an old fart!

  19. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

      You have some excellent advice;I,however like the Bark and DO NOT foil.Once I place the meat in the smoker,I LEAVE IT SHUT ,for the estimated time of cook(1.5/lb) and always get a great bark and having cooked the thing withthe Piont UP,I have no problems with moisture.

      I have this theory that you create an environment in the smoker that is excellent for tendering the meat.All I do is watch my therms. and enjoy my company.If you have different meats,either crank-up another smoker or use you Grill

  20. tiki guy

    tiki guy Smoking Fanatic

    Daum !       That is some serious meat !    ( oldschoolbbq )   and love the pix of yer smokers .

    I think I have a good base of info here , and Today I mixed up a Rub, checked out the meats  gonna pick up mine Thurs.

    My Plan .......... Friday night around midnight put it on .......200  and let it go threw the night , check temp threw- out ....

    THANKS again to all   and hopefully  I'll have a good report with pix !  

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