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Brisket help

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I posted this on the beef board first, realized it should probably go here, apologies for the double post in advance.

I put a packer on the smoker at 5:30 am, intending to serve around 7:00 tonight. It's about 11 pounds after trimming. The grate thermometer says I've been running 225-250, but the internal probe reads 140 already. I suppose there's a bunch of things that could have happened, but regardless, this thing is running way ahead of schedule. I'm considering leaving it unwrapped through the stall to slow it down, is that a good idea? If it hits 203 too quickly, any thoughts on how best to reheat it so it doesn't dry out?
post #2 of 8
Yes there is no problem leaving unwrapped through the stall. You could also double wrap it in foil and wrap in towels and put it in a cooler when it's ready and it'll stay nice and toasty for a few hours.
post #3 of 8

I have an 11-pounder on since 11:00 PM last night and I'm right on schedule to eat at 6:00 PM.  I always allocate 1.5 hours/pound plus 2 hours to rest plus one hour extra for flexibility.  I run it 230-250 and my briskets have never been done before 1.5 hours/pound.  I wrap in butcher paper at 165-170 and never open the smoker after that.  Given my experience, I doubt you will be done early.  Rather, you will likely not hit 203 degrees in time for it to rest, unless you jack up the temperature.  In my opinion, 2 hours to rest is absolutely essential, and I've rested a brisket up to 5 hours with great results (rest in butcher paper, bath towel, cooler).  Good luck.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I appreciate the advice. I was planning on resting it for a couple hours, my concern was that it might be done five or six hours early. As long as it's ok to rest for five hours, I think I can keep it cool enough to get it there.
post #5 of 8

Resting more than 20-30 minutes, to retain juices, is not necessary if it is done. Done being probe tender, probe inserts with no resistance. Think about it...If it is done... Is it going to get more done or better done, by waiting 2 hours in a cooler? Long resting in towels and a cooler can Overcook it. A brisket that is perfect tender, now gets all that heat held against it in the cooler. That heat, anything over 150°F, will continue to breakdown connective tissue. Open the foil 2,3,5 hours later and that heat has given you a brisket that falls apart, so much so it can't be sliced. If it continues to go fast, pull a few degrees shy of your goal and rest as long as needed. Most of what we do is an art but science plays a part...JJ

Edited by Chef JimmyJ - 9/19/15 at 7:47am
post #6 of 8

I understand that brisket can become mushy and difficult to slice under certain circumstances.  However, this has not been my experience using the method I described above.  I use butcher paper, not foil, and I take brisket to 200-203 degrees.  I am always able to make good slices from the flat that pass the pull test.  I think resting serves to retain and redistribute the juices as the temperature declines after pulling from the smoker.  The main point of my response to Abartel was related to his estimated time.  He's worried about being done too early, but I see it otherwise.  He put his 11-pound brisket on at 5:30 AM, anticipating a 2-hour rest.  That results in a cooking time estimate of slightly less than 1 hour per pound.  That's not even close to anything I've ever done at the temperatures he maintains.  I always err on the side of being done early because I have also experienced doneness at 2 hours per pound.  

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Currently it's at 163. Rain is on the horizon, so I'm going to have to wrap and finish in the oven - I'm not skilled enough to cook in the rain. Sadly, I wasn't able to find unwaxed butcher paper, so it's going to have to be wrapped in foil, which I know is not ideal. I figure it I keep the oven around 200, it should cook slowly enough that it'll hold of hitting 203 till 4:00 or so, I hope.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ugh, I came back from a quick errand to find it at 198, in a 200 degree oven. Turned it off to see if it'll hold for a bit while I come up with a new plan.
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