New to the community here, but figured I'd ask you fine folks for some advice. I cooked my first brisket a few weekends ago and loved it, but had a few questions. I'll run you guys through what I did. Basically, I tried following Aaron Franklin's Brisket recipe found online, except I couldn't find any oak so I used big pecan chunks...
Bought an 11lb USDA choice brisket at the local HEB on that.
Woke up Saturday morning at 5:30, got the large egg rocking. 3 chunks of pecan with new lump charcoal on top of the old lump. I made sure all my ash was cleaned up and flow would be good throughout the egg. For what it's worth, I've been trying out the BGE lump charcoal.
While the egg got up to temperature(250F), I trimmed about a fat off the brisket and seasoned with salt and pepper according to Franklin's recipe. Brisket rested for about an hour before I finally put it on at 07:30am. I did have a pan of hot water below the brisket as well. I think I remembered placing it fat side up. I placed my iGrill probe into the thickest part of the brisket (I guess it's called the point?) and tried to get the tip about halfway down the thickness so it was in the middle. Is this where I am supposed to put my probe? I did not open the lid ONCE while smoking. Enjoyed the day and made sure the temp was regulated, never below 240 and never above 260. Most of the time it was at 250.
Started hitting my plateau like everyone said I would at about 1030 am or 11am where the brisket stayed at around 160 or so. Brisket stayed in the 160s until 12:30pm.
Now here is where I think things started to fall apart maybe. My plan was to wrap in butcher paper at about 175 and then throw it back on the egg until temp got up to 201F.
I wound up wrapping it in butcher paper at 185F at around 2:15pm. Closed the lid and watched the temp slowly creep up. Now here is where I got all flustered... Brisket temperature kept increasing, got up to 196F by 4:08pm, and then all of a sudden, my brisket temperature started dropping. I figured I'd wait it out and see if it was just a weird pocket of fat that was contributing to the weird readings, but sure enough the temp kept going down and soon I realized I'd never get up to 201F.
I wound up taking the brisket out at 5:40pm and it felt nice and tender with plenty of bark. I let it rest an hour on the counter top while it was still wrapped in butcher paper. Man did it smell good. After an hour of resting, I began to slice and cut. (I'm not very good at cutting the meat yet so take it easy on me)... the first cut I made, all this juice came out and I was so surprised and happy. But then I realized soon thereafter that other parts of the brisket were definitely drier and appeared overcooked. I think I got a good smoke ring too. It tasted fantastic, and the juicier more moist parts of the brisket were fantastic. Unfortunately, I kept thinking only about the drier cuts.
Does anyone have any pointers for a newbie like me? Sorry for the long post. I have an iGrill 2 with two probes that syncs to my phone, so I have all the smoke data in a text document. Did I leave it on too long? Why did it not come up to 201F? Is there an easy way I can remember on how to cut the brisket afterwards?
Any help would be appreciated. I'll try posting pictures down here http://imgur.com/a/7cFp4
If this doesn't work, let me know and I'll figure out a way to size the pics down.
Thanks for your help,