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Changing my method for brisket: separating for burnt ends?

jcbigler

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Hey guys,

I'm thinking about changing up my method for brisket this week.

I have two prime briskets, a 13.8lb and a 15.65lb. Both of these are going to end up being overnight smokes, one starting Wednesday night for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday early afternoon, the other starting Thursday evening for another Thanksgiving dinner on Friday at my sister's place which is about a 2 1/2 hour drive.

So, in order to try to get some sleep on both days, I am considering changing my process. Instead of smoking both the flat and point together, wrapping with butcher paper at 170ish and then taking it to 203; I'm considering separating the flat and point at the beginning of the smoke and cooking them separately, still wrapping with butcher paper at 170 and cooking to 203.

If I do this, then I will make burnt ends out of the point once it gets up to the 200 degree range.

My thought process is that if I separate them, they will cook faster and I can start later, like 5am instead of midnight.

I usually cook hotter, in the 270-280 range, and my briskets have been cooking quite fast lately, as fast as 8 1/2 hours for a 12.5lb brisket trimmed down to about 11lbs recently. I will keep my cook temps higher. Hopefully this will allow me to cook this 15.65lb brisket in the 8-9 hour range. Plus I'll get some good burnt ends out of it.

What do you guys think?
 

SmokinAl

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I think it's a solid plan.

If I'm making burnt ends I always separate the two before I smoke them.

Al
 

lemans

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Why not? You can trim the fat cap off the point and leve a 1/4 inch on the flat and get both muscles perfect
 

jcbigler

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Well, here we go. Got up at 04:00. Got the coals started and the smoker warming up. It was a brisk 32 degrees here this morning, frost on the car windows, but the grass was still just barely wet.

Trimmed like I usually do. Separated the flat and point, not my best butchering job and I cut into the flat a little too much I think. Rubbed with salt and pepper. Got the brisket pieces on right at 06:00.


 
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jcbigler

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One thing is for sure. splitting the muscles up sure speeds up the cook process. I'm 2 1/2 hours in and the point is already at 138 degrees and the flat is at 152 degrees.

I'm actually worried about it cooking too fast now and finishing too early.
 

timstalltaletav

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One thing is for sure. splitting the muscles up sure speeds up the cook process. I'm 2 1/2 hours in and the point is already at 138 degrees and the flat is at 152 degrees.

I'm actually worried about it cooking too fast now and finishing too early.
Can always wrap in foil and a heavy towel or two and stash it in a cooler to hold the temp.
 
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SmokinAl

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Looks like everything is coming along nicely!

Al
 

jcbigler

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Well I'm disappointed. Not nearly as tender as it should have been. It just didn't cook long enough. I'm going to have to rethink my process for tomorrow's brisket, which probably means an overnight cook, instead of just an early morning. :icon_cry:

Let this be a lesson to all you newbies out there. There IS NO substitute for time. You can't rush it, even running hotter than normal.
 

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