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First Brisket attempt this week...all comments/suggestions welcome

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey all -

 

Going to take the plunge and try out a beef brisket at some point this week, since I have the whole week off.  Will probably happen on Wednesday, but not for sure yet.

 

At this point, I'm planning on doing it on my 22" Weber kettle grill and following pretty much exactly the process outlined in the YouTube video by the BBQ Pit Boys (link included below):

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0PYZL8lMrA

 

Other info:

- Planning on doing 6.5 - 7lb flat cut brisket from Costco

- Thinking will be 8-10 hours for full cook (after brisket goes on)

- Shooting for 225-250 degrees grilling temp, using briquettes and hickory chunks, adjusting vents as needed

- Planning on mopping every 45 min (as suggested on video)

 

A few questions that I wanted your feedback/opinions on:

 

1. At the beginning of the video, he says he uses about 100-125 unlit briquettes - but seems to dump about one chimney full (significantly less) of unlit briquettes down before adding his lit charcoal for the minion method.  

 

QUESTION: Anyone have a good estimate of how many unlit (and lit) briquettes to use for my 22" Weber?

 

2. In the video they do the "Texas cheat" when internal temp of brisket is 190 (they say about 8 hours into the cook), then they wrap it in foil and put it back on the grill for another 1 - 1.5 hours, then take it off and slice.

 

QUESTION:  What have you used for the wrapping/resting part of a good brisket cook?  I have seen people say wrap in towels, wrap in foil, coolers..etc.  What method works best for my setup and how long for each step?  Also, what should be final internal temp (just before slicing)?

 

3. Lastly, please feel free to comment/question/suggest anything you think would help.  Am fairly new to this (as you can see), and not at all above trying to learn as much as possible beforehand (luck favors the prepared)..

 

I plan on doing some nice before, during and after Que-view (vue) shots for all of you!  Thanks for your time!

post #2 of 18
190 seems pretty late for the texas cheat or crutch or whatever. I never wrap until its ready to come off the cooker at 200 IT. And the most important thing the video doesn't have is the rest period. That double foil wrap with a little liquid, and rest in a towel or blanket and then in a cooler is when the magic really happens for brisket. Couple hours at least but it will keep much longer. As for mop / spritz..... remember every time you open the smoker you increase your cook time and release whatever moisture is already in there. Best thing for brisket is patience. Mop or spritz a few times if you must..... otherwise just let it be. You'll be fine. All the best.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the comments geerock, will take them into consideration.  Have heard and read quite a few people recommending foil and towel, might go with that instead...

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

OK, today is brisket day!

 

5.7 lb flat cut went on grill at about 5:45am.  Not quite an hour in and temp of grill seems to have stabilized at around 250.  A little higher than I would like, but will fiddle with it later perhaps.  Rethought my previous strategy (thanks geerock) and will only mop 3 times throughout the cook (approx every 3 hours or so).  Planning on pulling it off when IT hits around 205 and bamboo skewers go in like butter, then wrapping in towels and into the cooler for 2 hours.

 

Que-view of the "before" coming shortly and will update as much as possible throughout the day...

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Sorry all, still a true newbie...here are some images pasted in...

 

 

 

Brisket rubbed down and ready to go...

 

 

About one hour in, doing first mopping...also can see setup here.  Internal temp at about 86.

 

Comments?  Suggestions?  Pitfalls?

 

Will keep updating as I can!

post #7 of 18
Personally I wouldn't mop at all as it just adds additional time to your cook with little to no benefit. I would also probably foil wrap with some type of beef broth liquid around 165 degree as the smaller flats tend to be lean and can dry out easily.
post #8 of 18

No mopping for me either, adds cooking time since your opening the lid of your smoker so often.  If you want to keep the top moist without as much heat loss, spritzing is always a good option, but not necessary.  Of course, this is BBQ, so you do it how you want, find what you like, modify, try again, modify, that's half the fun is making changes from one cook to another.  There is no "right" way to Q, to each his own.  Below is my method for brisket, works like a charm, but once again, it comes down to personal preference, make it your!  Most of all, follow the last sentence below....

 

 

250 pit temp, smoke for 4 to 6 hours until the IT reaches 160 or so.  Fat side up or down, your preference, but if your heat source is below the meat, go fat side down to protect the meat from direct heat which defeats the purpose of smoking meat.  Wrap in foil or butcher paper your choice once the IT has reached 160 (if your not a wrap guy, at the very least pan it at this point to catch and save the precious juices that will begin to come from the meat as it enters the stall, these juices will come in handy later for vac sealing leftovers or if your brisket turns out dry), continue the cook until the meat reaches 195 IT, at this point start probing the flat section (thin, lean end) every 30 minutes or 5 degrees of IT increase, until a toothpick can be slid in easily, like probing a tub of butter. Once you have reached this point, pull the brisket from the pit, vent the foil or other wrap for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the cooking to stop and the excess steam to escape, wrap in foil or foil pan if it is not already, place in a cooler wrapped in towels for at least 1 hour, 2 or more is better.  Once the IT of the meat has dropped down to 160 or below (optimal temp for the juices to have been redistributed through the meat), it is time to slice it and enjoy.

Have fun and most all have patience!

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips guys!

 

bruno...Once you wrap or pan it at 160 IT, how do you monitor your IT?  Just foil wrap around the probe.  Seems like it would be hard to get a good seal around there...also do you just wrap it "as is" or do you add beef broth or liquid during the foil wrap?  

 

njfoses...what liquid do you use and about how much?

 

Will probably ditch the mopping also...you guys have WAY more experience and if you say ditch...I ditch!

 

Again, thanks a lot!

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Grill holding steady at 235-40...IT at 123 after 3 hours...

post #11 of 18

Sounds like your off to a great start!  The seal does not have to be supertight when wrapping, the wire going to the probe won't hurt you at all.  As far as liquids, you can use just about anything you like, whatever is handy, beer, Coke, Dr. Pepper, beef broth, apple juice.  I use beef broth, but have used the sodas in the past.  About a cup of liquid with a bit more of your rub or just some salt and pepper in the bottom of the pan or foil before you place the brisket in. 

Patience....

post #12 of 18

Sounds like your off to a great start!  The seal does not have to be supertight when wrapping, the wire going to the probe won't hurt you at all.  As far as liquids, you can use just about anything you like, whatever is handy, beer, Coke, Dr. Pepper, beef broth, apple juice.  I use beef broth, but have used the sodas in the past.  About a cup of liquid with a bit more of your rub or just some salt and pepper in the bottom of the pan or foil before you place the brisket in. 

Patience....

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

4 hours in...grill holding steady at 235, IT at 136...

 

Also have decided to do some ribs and poppers on my ECB later (yes I know that's another forum...)!

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Just passed the 6 hour mark...high winds and hot weather are making it hard to keep temp under 250...IT now 150...10 degrees to go before the foil and push through the stall...will snap a quick picture before I wrap it...

post #15 of 18

You'll be alright above 250.  Sounds like it's progressing well.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Have been stalled at 158 for about 45 min (7.5 hrs in), decided that 158 was close enough to 160 (could be thermometer error, etc.) and so I pulled the lid and...

 

 

Another angle...

 

 

I was excited about the look and the smell was out of this world!  I was also happy with the briquette consumption (or lack thereof).  I double layer foiled it up with 1 cup of beef broth mixed with a little more of the left over brisket rub...put this little bundle of joy back on the grill for the stretch run...

 

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

Finished product time!  

 

Just out of foil, towels and cooler...

 

 

And sliced...

 

 

All-in-all not to shabby for a guy's first go round...after a total of 14 hours from on the grill to on the plate, here's the rub (pun intended):  Meat was pretty tender, fat cap was silky and melty, average juiciness.  Was hoping for a more bolder flavor and was surprised by how quickly the meat dried out after slicing.  This was quickly remedied by adding a little juice to the top of the slices.  The guests and my wife were all very happy and so in that regard it was a success!

 

Two things that may have had some bearing on the final result:

 

.  I had to remove the meat from the chamber of foil/towels/cooler after 90 min instead of the 2+ hours that some people suggested.  I was willing to wait, the guests not so much!  Not sure how much that 30 min would have mattered.

 

2. I took bruno994's advice and did the toothpick test, but admittedly did not wait until it was "butter soft", again out of respect for my guest's schedule.  Another hour on the grill, along with the above may have yielded a bit better results.

 

Special thanks to bruno, njfoses, and geerock for giving me some great advice...I really appreciate it!

 

Feel free to continue to comment/critique/make suggestions...always enjoy learning from you pros!

post #18 of 18
Looks good. Sounds like a success for sure. The big thing with a longer rest is to get the IT back into the 160 range which is the optimal temp for the juices to have been redistributed throughout the meat. This will help out with the quick drying out of the slices but that is also pretty normal for any brisket. Once again your brisket looks great. Glad to help
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