Brisky question(s), particularly for those who wrap (BP, not foil)

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scvinegarpepper

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I've done my share of briskets over the years. But I haven't done one in a few years. I'm planning to do one this weekend and will be trying some new techniques out because I always like trying new methods, especially on cuts that I don't do often enough to truly nail down "my" preferred method.

I've got a prime brisket that's just shy of 16 pounds (pre-trimmed), that I assume will end up around 13-14 pounds after trimming. I don't always wrap, but I will be wrapping this one (again, research and development). It's been so long since I've done a packer, this will be my first time wrapping in BP (I used foil in the past).

One question I have, for planning/timing purposes is, what sort of times are y'all seeing once you wrap until you hit your finished temp? Now, I of course, never go by strict times, or even temps. I use temps as a loose guideline, but ultimately go off of feel and probing. Just looking for some ballparks from personal experiences for timing purposes (and of course I can't find any of my notes from past brisky smokes). Oh, and I'll be running the smoker at 225-250.

Also, where do y'all land on applying rub the night before vs. the day of? I've always gone back and forth on this. But for those who do it the night before, do you apply more rub before going on the smoker, or just pull it out the fridge for an hour or so and straight on the smoker?
 
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Displaced Texan

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I am typically getting 11-13 pound packers. My total cook time is usually 11 hours. I apply the rub the day of. I think it does not penetrate the meat, so it is only there for bark flavor and to catch the smoke, if you will, to make a nice bark. Never rub the night before.
 
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thirdeye

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My wrap times average 2 hours, but I'm cooking at 5,400' where water boils at 203°. Also, foil works better for me as paper breathes more (or a foil boat with a paper topper).
 

scvinegarpepper

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Thanks friends. Ultimately I'm trying to figure out when I should throw this guy on. In a perfect world (but I have some flexibility), I'd like to be able to pull it off to rest in the cooler around mid day on Saturday. So I'm obviously starting on Friday. But can't decide if I should go like early evening Friday, or put it on late Friday night. But I also don't want to stay up all night. I'll be using my pellet smoker for this one, so I have a fair amount of control over things.
 

Displaced Texan

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Thanks friends. Ultimately I'm trying to figure out when I should throw this guy on. In a perfect world (but I have some flexibility), I'd like to be able to pull it off to rest in the cooler around mid day on Saturday. So I'm obviously starting on Friday. But can't decide if I should go like early evening Friday, or put it on late Friday night. But I also don't want to stay up all night. I'll be using my pellet smoker for this one, so I have a fair amount of control over things.
What I have been doing is smoking from about 3-10 pm. Wrap and then finish in oven at 225° for 4 hours. Yes, I have to get up around 2 am to pull, but then in to my warming oven. Whatever method you have to hold and keep warm. I can hold like that for 12 hours, slice, and it is very good. So, I can be "open for business" for friends or whomever at 11 am if need be.

Hope that helps.
 

thirdeye

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What I have been doing is smoking from about 3-10 pm. Wrap and then finish in oven at 225° for 4 hours. Yes, I have to get up around 2 am to pull, but then in to my warming oven. Whatever method you have to hold and keep warm. I can hold like that for 12 hours, slice, and it is very good. So, I can be "open for business" for friends or whomever at 11 am if need be.

Hope that helps.
I like using my 18 Qt roasting oven.
Po2bbVp.jpg
 

scvinegarpepper

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Feb 23, 2010
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Lowcountry, SC
What I have been doing is smoking from about 3-10 pm. Wrap and then finish in oven at 225° for 4 hours. Yes, I have to get up around 2 am to pull, but then in to my warming oven. Whatever method you have to hold and keep warm. I can hold like that for 12 hours, slice, and it is very good. So, I can be "open for business" for friends or whomever at 11 am if need be.

Hope that helps.
Great info. And my oven (gas) will go as low as 170, so I have no problem holding in there. If I do go that route, and I wrap with BP, I assume that's no problem in a 170 degree oven?
 

Displaced Texan

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Great info. And my oven (gas) will go as low as 170, so I have no problem holding in there. If I do go that route, and I wrap with BP, I assume that's no problem in a 170 degree oven?
Others may be able to speak better to this, but I would tend to think 170 may slowly continue the cooking vs holding process.

But, if you can time it to only need to hold for 4-6 hours, probably not a problem.
 
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noboundaries

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Great info. And my oven (gas) will go as low as 170, so I have no problem holding in there. If I do go that route, and I wrap with BP, I assume that's no problem in a 170 degree oven?

3-5 hours. 4-6 hours. It all works. Make sure the wrapped brisket is in a pan or you'll have a mess. I use foil to wrap and pan rest in the oven because I haven't seen a huge difference in using BP. The bark is a little firmer but that's about it IMO.

If you have an oven therm, either analog or wireless, test your oven temps at the different shelf positions. My gas oven set to 170°F registers 155°F on average on the middle shelf. Temp drops to about 150°F, fires off, climbs to 160°F, then drops over about 10 mins before it cycles again. It was a circulating oven without the $150 circulator installed, so that may have something to do with it.

There's nothing critical about that info unless you're baking, but it's nice to know your equipment. I've tested mine at all levels and several temps. Lower temps have a greater discrepancy between lowest and highest shelf positions (up to 25°F lower than set) than higher temps (up 15°F lower than set).

Folks have given BP magical powers with smoking. My guess is that it got started because it was cheaper, lighter, and more easily disposable than foil. It worked, and the myth of smoking perfection grew.

IMO.

Ray
 
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chopsaw

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Great info. And my oven (gas) will go as low as 170, so I have no problem holding in there. If I do go that route, and I wrap with BP, I assume that's no problem in a 170 degree oven?

Others may be able to speak better to this, but I would tend to think 170 may slowly continue the cooking vs holding process.
I've use the oven to both finish and hold .

If the brisket is done , probes tender wrapped in BP I put it in a cold oven ( pulled off the smoker ) with a therm for IT .
I watch the IT and when it falls to about 150 , I turn the oven on at 170 . I continue to watch IT and cycle the oven on and off as I see fit . I try to keep the temp of the brisket around 170 at the highest . I've held for several hours like this .

If I use the oven to force the finish , I go in with the oven set to 300 unwrapped ( brisket IT is 180 or so ) . I watch the internal rise of the brisket . When it probes tender I turn the oven off and open the door . When it cools enough I move to the counter and cover with plastic wrap and a towel . Sits on the counter until time to eat . Therm installed to watch internal temp . I slice around 170 . Time on the counter is 45 to 90 minutes . IT never gets below 170 or it goes back in the oven .
I've done the forced finish twice now . Hit my target on time to eat and had really good results .
 
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Hijack73

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I'm with the above. I foil tent a pan and oven finish pretty much all of mine now. Paper is mucho in vogue but my big theory is that it's mucho in vogue 'cause the internet tells us it's THE WAY TO DO IT. For everyone that loves it, go for it. I've got a roll a quarter mile long myself and I use it occasionally, so I'm not knocking it, I just think it's overrated.

When it comes to coating it with S&P beforehand, if it happens, great. If I don't, it's still great. Someone convinced me that a brisket needed a day before rub to form a pellicle a long time ago and I believed it for a very little while.
 
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Displaced Texan

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I'm with the above. I foil tent a pan and oven finish pretty much all of mine now. Paper is mucho in vogue but my big theory is that it's mucho in vogue 'cause the internet tells us it's THE WAY TO DO IT. For everyone that loves it, go for it. I've got a roll a quarter mile long myself and I use it occasionally, so I'm not knocking it, I just think it's overrated.

When it comes to coating it with S&P beforehand, if it happens, great. If I don't, it's still great. Someone convinced me that a brisket needed a day before rub to form a pellicle a long time ago and I believed it for a very little while.
All I know is when I unwrap the brisket from the paper, it is drenched in rendered fat. I am hoping good things happen from that.
 
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chopsaw

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I haven't done it before and want to try it.
That's what it comes down too . If you don't try different ways how would you ever know .
I like the pink paper wrap , but don't use a cooler for holding . Most swear by the cooler and a long rest . That's fine if that's what works for them . I tried it twice and like the oven finish / hold and counter rest better .
Be interested to see your results .
 

scvinegarpepper

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Update: smoke went great, pulled it off when probe tender, already wrapped in BP (IT was about 203-205), put it in a cold oven around 7am (8 hrs ago) until the internal was down to around 160. Then I turned the oven on to 170, and it’s holding around 150-160 degrees (oven temp). Internal of the brisket is around 155. Should I just leave it like this until I’m ready to slice (in about 2 hours)? Or should I move it to a preheated cooler with towels for an hour or two before slicing?
 

thirdeye

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Paper is mucho in vogue but my big theory is that it's mucho in vogue 'cause the internet tells us it's THE WAY TO DO IT. For everyone that loves it, go for it. I've got a roll a quarter mile long myself and I use it occasionally, so I'm not knocking it, I just think it's overrated.
Using the paper will make for easy countertop cleanup when prepping things like jerky or sausage. I bought the 24" wide roll.
 

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