What I don't get about Brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by matt r, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. I have only done 2 full packers so far, and gotten very lucky that they both turned out pretty well. So I'm certainly no expert! But when i see someone on tv doing briskets, they always seem to just put a rub on, toss it onto the smoker racks, and then leave it alone. I never hear about stalls, Texas crutch, foiling, etc.
    Are we doing this right, or are we overthinking it??
    Again, im a total newbie, so i don't know the answer. Im just wondering what you all think.
  2. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    People try to decrease time in the heat and keep it from drying out the thinner flat end by foiling.
    Leaving it on and not touching it for longer time with no wrap is risking dry slices . You increase odds of juicy brisket using wrap and getting it done faster is all. Steam is hotter and keeps moist food better I reckon 🤓
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  3. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I hate the Texas crutch. It kills bark. Inject a quality piece of meat with a quality injection, and use a simple s&up or SPOG rub. Just did a 17# prime packer at our smoker gathering and was told by many people it was the best brisket they ever had. Jokensmoken actually said he liked it better than Lockharts in Texas. I was impressed with it as well but I've been to Lockharts and it's the best brisket I've ever had bar none. No comparison.

    If you don't care about bark wrap it. But if you want that bark let it be. Start probe testing at 190 degrees and don't pull until its probe tender.

    Everything else is overthinking. And with brisket you have way to much time on the smoker to over think.
  4. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Do you wrap and rest after getting it off the smoker?  I do for at least for an hour or two.

  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now that I'm not working, I throw the SPOG-rubbed packer in the smoker the evening before I'm going to eat it.  Set the smoker at 225F, go to bed, and sleep like a baby.  I don't worry about fluctuations in temperature because of the temp controller.  I don't give stalls a second thought.   

    In the morning when I wake up, I check the IT.  It is usually in the high 160s to 170s.  I crank the chamber temp up to 275F and let it get probe tender in the flat and point.  IT is usually around 200F, but it has been both lower and higher when tender. 

    Remove from the smoker, put in a pan, cover in foil, and rest for 2-3 hours under a bunch of clean, old bath towels for insulation. 

    Slice and serve. 

    Once I learned to stop trying to cook/smoke briskets with my brain or the clock, they started turning out juicy and delicious.     
  6. smokinal

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

    Lately I've been doing briskets at higher temps.

    My pit likes to run around 270-280, so without wrapping they get done in about 1 hour per pound.

    We like the bark, so I'm not a fan of wrapping.

  7. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead


    Yes normally I'll wrap for at least an hour to let the juices redistribute through the meat. And yes that does effect the bark to a point as well. Just not as much as using the crutch.
  8. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Then we are in 100% agreement!  

  9. burgerbob

    burgerbob Smoke Blower

    I'll wrap the brisket in butcher paper in order to keep the bark nice and crisp.  Hillbilly has a very good point that doing a Texas crutch will totally kill that bark and make it very soft.  The butcher paper will allow the steam out of it to keep the bark but the best bet is most likely to leave it uncovered.  

    I too overthink my briskets and go by temperature rather than by probe tender.  Although they turn out good then are below satisfaction for me.  I need to learn to do it strictly by probe tender and not by temp but it's hard to get out of that mindset.
  10. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I myself care more about the bark flavor. The crispness of a 1/16" surface crust doesn't make or brake it.. I would prefer that I can get nice uniform slices and not have the knife sawing through that crispy bottom and tearing it up or getting shredded bits. Good firm tasty bark. Not like jerky though 🤓. To much fat cap is nasty too.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  11. natej

    natej Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    try using a heat deflector in your vertical cooker and cooking fat cap down... did the trick for me, no more crusty bottoms [​IMG]
  12. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Mine is always great. 👍 I was talking about people that like crispy hard bark.. I don't like that.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  13. Thanks guys, but this is not really what I was getting at. What I meant to convey was if you watch bbq tv shows, they always seem to toss the brisket in the smoker, come back 18 hours later, and its magnificent! Looking at this thread alone, we have mentions of ANPS, heat deflectors, Slow n Sears, and all other types of cooking techniques. Why do the tv guys just throw the meat on and we have to do and use all this other stuff? That's what I mean when I say "are we overthinking it"?

    Again, Im a newbie so this is NOT meant as any type of criticism. Just me wondering what the disconnect is between Myron Mixon and the rest of us...if you catch my meaning.
  14. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    You need to keep accurate temps in the smoker and the meat. Other than that ? Toss it on and leave it alone if you want. 😉 some people only smoke a couple briskets a year and will use all the little tricks to keep it juicy. That person that mentioned a deflector in the smoker was talking specifically to me. Lol
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  15. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I throw it on and wait till it's at 195 to start probing for tenderness.  This may take 12,16,24 hours.  Meat is done when it's done!  When the probe slides in with no resistance, I remove and wrap and rest.  This method has resulted in fall apart briskets my last two times.  They are incredibly juicy and tender, just not perfect slices.

  16. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Sharpen the knife? 🤓
  17. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If I do brisket, and I rarely do, I like it like this.

  18. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Nice and fall apart almost.. and sauced. 😎
  19. natej

    natej Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I think that tv shows us what it wants to show.. perhaps the big guys like mixion dont want the world seeing exactly how they cook their meat? I also think that bbq is an extremely personal thing, one pitmaster will love and swear by spritzing and the next will dislike it..

    Do what YOU love the results of best and in my opinion that is the correct way to bbq

    In response to asking about your briskets, when you rest them youll need to let the cooking process stop before resting in foil otherwise the brisket will continue to cook while resting and end up falling apart

    Or you could try pulling it off a couple degrees earlier and wrap it up in foil immediately and let it rise to the temp you want in the rest
  20. halfsmoked

    halfsmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Remember that it is TV and they don't take the time to show you the full scale of what they do. I mean if you watch any cooking show most of the time they show how then put it in the oven or smoker step aside and pull one already finished out of the oven. Real TV  [​IMG]   yup for sure.


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