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My First Brisket!! (W/Q-View)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello Forum, I've been doing chicken and pork for a bit now and decided to branch out into the beef! Picked up a nice brisket flat from a local butcher approx 6.5 lb (figured that's a safe start in case I turn it into a beef brick). At the advice of a few friends who have made great brisket, I pulled it from the fridge @0645 and washed and dried before lathering with French's mustard

Let the brisket set at room temp while I loaded the Traeger Lil Tex Elite with a mix of cherry/hickory/oak pellets and preheat to 275*F. Once reached I gave the brisket a generous covering of a rub that I have grown quite fond of (mainly based with smoked paprika, brown sugar, and chili powders) and injected with beef broth before tossing her onto the pit, fat side down. I heard fat side up let's all that wonderful flavor roll over the brisket and I've heard fat side down protects it from the direct heat and prevents drying out...going to try the latter this time

I am aiming for an IT of 165*F before placing into a pan and wrapping it until I get an IT of 190-200*F, aiming to slice this brisket vice pulling it. I will keep you updated as i go, and I'm soliciting all advice or pointers along the way!!!
post #2 of 12
Sounds like you have a great plan. Not much I can add as I think you have all bases covered except you didn't mention about the rest period after the meat is done. I assume you got it covered, but the magic really happens for brisket after you wrap her with a little juice or other liquid and cover with towel or blanket and drop in a cooler for an hour or two.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reminder on the rest period. I planned on putting the brisket in a pan and covering with foil when it hits 165*F IT. Should I take it out of the pan when it reaches 200*F, wrap it in foil and pour the juices in the foil and put it in a cooler or just put the whole pan in the cooler and throw a towel over the pan and shut the lid??

Here is a status update: brisket has been in the smoker set at 275*F for approx 2 hours and the brisket IT is reading 151*F on my Maverick. I stuck the probe dead center of the brisket and aimed for a dead center depth when I inserted it, is this a good spot?

I've noticed the brisket is bowing up in the center and I'm wondering if that is why I have a high reading on the brisket so soon, thoughts about re-positioning the probe?
post #4 of 12
I'd wrap out of the pan with the juices and put in the cooler. At 275 you are about right. Shes gonna slow down any time now. You been doing good....don't panic. Stay patient. Dont worry about the swell in the meat.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Sounds good, we hit 167*F at 11:24AM so I pulled it and just did a double foil wrap, and poured some room temperature beef broth into the bottom of the foil wrap to give it some extra juice :biggrin:.  Put it back on and the temp climbed up to about 174*F, which was taken at 11:33AM.


It's 11:46AM and the internal temperature is 181*F, time to do what everyone else does to have success, sit back and let the foil wrap do its job.  I'm anticipating the stall at around this point.  Has anyone had a brisket that didn't stall at all and cooked too quickly.  I was aiming for this to be done between 4:00 - 6:00PM, but the good thing is this is a self imposed aimpoint, and I'm just doing trial an error, no fancy guests, just me and my roommate as "guinea pigs" if you will!  :hit:


I'm trying to do my best not to worry about getting done too early, is it wrong to actually want this brisket to stall on me??  I was thinking I wouldn't be wrapping it until at least 12:30PM...

post #6 of 12
Hang in there, grasshopper! You're doing fine. Even if you're done a little earlier than expected the brisket will keep for you for 3 even 4 hours in the wrap as long as you have her tucked in real nice. If you want take the temp down a bit but mist important stay cool. You'll be fine.
Edited by geerock - 12/21/13 at 9:14am
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Sounds good to me!!   I've gotten to an IT of 204*F so I pulled the brisket and wrapped it in a towel and dropped her into my cooler and set the timer.. it's 12:51PM, so the next post and Q-View shall be in 2 hours, thanks for hanging with me through my slight "crisis" on the forums geerock!



post #8 of 12

The foil helps to avoid/minimize the stall. The stall is caused by evaporative cooling, and foiling stops the evaporation.

Between that and the 275 rather than 225, you can see why it finished basically in <6 hours rather than 8-9 hours...


Still waiting for that QView ;-)

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Alright everyone!!  I've done everything I can do and here's the rundown from my log book, and what I think I would change differently:


1. 0645: Pulled brisket from fridge and washed and dried before lathering with French's mustard, set at room temp

2. 0745: Placed my all purpose rub on both sides and all around it

3. 0807: Put the brisket on, fat side down on Trager Grill at 275*F to aim for 165*F IT  (maybe put the temp at 225*F next time)

4. 0935: IT is 124*F

5. 1030: IT is 158*F

6. 1124: IT is 167*F

7. Double wrapped in foil and added some room temp beef broth, wrapped tight and back on at same 275*F (should have done 225*F)

8. 1133: IT is 174*F

9. 1217: IT is 192*F

10. 1246: IT is 204*F

11. Wrapped it in a thick bathroom towel (strictly for BBQ use only) and stuffed it in my Playmate Cooler by Igloo for a tight fit.

12. 1605: Opened the cooler and it has an IT of 167*F (Tried to wait for my roommate but couldn't wait any longer).


Here is the QView of the finished product!!!



Here is the brisket unwrapped, the fat cap is visible from this view as well as the grill indentations.



Here are the first two cuts on the brisket, I hope I made the cuts right, I think this is against the grain as I've been told to do.  Had a nice smoke ring to it on the meat side, so I was happy!!!:yahoo:



Here is a top down view of the brisket, I did notice when I was cutting it was a bit tough, but cut none the less nicely as I was expecting it to..but the fork would get stuck with only about 1/4 of the tips inside of the brisket and was tough to remove...thoughts?



Here is a close up of the first two cuts.


My Thoughts After Tasting.


For my first brisket ever I think I did a good job.  My only comparison I have is what the judges have said on BBQ Pitmaster's, and I know it takes years of trial and error to get the results these fine gentleman and ladies have gotten.  I did notice it did not have any elasticity to the slices, and like I said above, it seemed tougher than I would have thought after such a long wrap and set in the cooler.  It doesn't taste dry to me, but at the same time the cuts of the brisket aren't exactly moist on the inside either.  I've seen more moisture from Turkey's on Thanksgiving after slicing them, so I definitely think the 275*F cooking had something to do with that...maybe.  When I take a slice of brisket and place it in my teeth and pull...it has some significant tug and I'm left with brisket slice hanging out of my mouth... As far as taste is concerned I am very happy.  It has a wonderful smoke flavor to it and the rub did not overpower the natural flavor of a great beef brisket.  Here is some more QView for the jury to render a better verdict



This is one piece after pulling it apart



Here is a slice fresh off of the brisket, nice bend to it..but not much elasticity



Here is a view looking lengthwise down a cut of brisket.


Final Thoughts: 


I kept the juices that were left in the foil and put them in a bowl.  Is this something you can drizzle over the brisket slices prior to serving if it is heated back up or do you discard this juice?  I am overall, very happy how this brisket came out.  It wasn't a brick and it had great flavor.  I am ready to try it again soon, and I welcome any thoughts on how to get a bit more tenderness into my brisket smokes.  The cutting is a bit difficult, and I've done oven bag briskets where the knife just slices right through it so I know what a brisket is capable of doing in an oven, so I can imagine what it can do in a slow smoke.  My thought is I left it in a 275*F environment for approximately 3 hours which might have dried it out too much for the wrap and setting to save.


Thanks to everyone who's sent messages and replied to this thread.  I've written your comments in my journal for next time so I don't forget the hints and pointers!!!  Happy smoking!!!!




post #10 of 12
What grade of meat were you working with?
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Bwarbiany - It was called a First Cut from the butcher that I got it from, approx 6.5lb, I think it would be considered a brisket flat though??? I remember the guy saying it did not have the point attached
post #12 of 12
Yeah thats a flat. 1811, try a full packer next time. They tend to be less expensive and you get the best part of the brisket....the point. Butchers, meat markets, etc. usually all give you the same kine of bull..... first cut, prime cut, trimmed cut.....all trying to to make it sound like they're giving you something special. All while they keep the point and jack up the price. A trusted butcher / meat market is very important to have.
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