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Quick Brisket Question

jcam222

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People on both sides of the fence on this one. I do fatback down towards the heat source.
 

radioguy

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I do fat side down for first 3-4 hours, then flip it fat up for the rest of the cook.

RG 20190504_110348.jpg
 

Little-m

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People on both sides of the fence on this one. I do fatback down towards the heat source.
I do fat side down for first 3-4 hours, then flip it fat up for the rest of the cook.

RG
Here's my reason for asking. I've done two brisket smokes:
First one took 6.5 hours and was fat side up. Turned out juicy but not a very pronounced smoke flavour.
Second one done yesterday, fat side down, long smoke - ~10 hours. Turned out with nice smoke flavour but was drier than hell - even with broth injected.

I guess I am looking for best practice process, as I don't want to dump another $100 on something that may not turn out well....

Mark
 

EaOutlaw1969

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I am no expert but from what I have read and learned to get a nice smoke ring and flavor plus juicy meat seems to always include wrapping the meat at some point during the cook either in foil or butchers paper and includes a long resting period. some people add beef broth to the foil as well.
Hopefully a legendary pit master will pipe in with the specifics .
 

bregent

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Turned out with nice smoke flavour but was drier than hell - even with broth injected.
The main cause of dry brisket is over cooking. Did you pull it by internal temp, or by tenderness?

Fat side towards the heat source is a good way to protect the meat surface from burning, but doesn't prevent the brisket from drying out if overcooked. In my pellet grill I like to put fat side up as the fat will drip and baste the edges, keeping them from getting too dry. Pellet grills tend to dry out the surface. On my charcoal smoker, I cook fat side down. But either way is doesn't result in a big difference. I've also found that injecting is a good way to get flavor inside, but does little to keep it from drying out. $100 is a lot, how much are you paying for brisket up there?
 

jcam222

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Sometimes the perception of dry brisket can come from undercooked as well due to not completely rendering fat. I start checking around 190F until proven tender. Probe tender is the ultimate finish test even over temp. Should slide in and out like butter. I also like to put mine in cooler after for 30-60 minutes.
 

radioguy

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I agree with JCAM, probe tender and make sure you rest it 45-60 minimum. I inject with strong beef broth.

RG
 

Little-m

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Joined May 27, 2019
The main cause of dry brisket is over cooking. Did you pull it by internal temp, or by tenderness?

Fat side towards the heat source is a good way to protect the meat surface from burning, but doesn't prevent the brisket from drying out if overcooked. In my pellet grill I like to put fat side up as the fat will drip and baste the edges, keeping them from getting too dry. Pellet grills tend to dry out the surface. On my charcoal smoker, I cook fat side down. But either way is doesn't result in a big difference. I've also found that injecting is a good way to get flavor inside, but does little to keep it from drying out. $100 is a lot, how much are you paying for brisket up there?
Both actually. I smoked the brisket with the tip on and poked at 190* The tip was fine but the thinner part was well done. It was running real late yesterday so I yanked it and cut it up. We pay about $5 a pound up here on average.

Mark
 

Little-m

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I am no expert but from what I have read and learned to get a nice smoke ring and flavor plus juicy meat seems to always include wrapping the meat at some point during the cook either in foil or butchers paper and includes a long resting period. some people add beef broth to the foil as well.
Hopefully a legendary pit master will pipe in with the specifics .
Yeah, I'm thinking about wrapping on the next go-around.
 

Little-m

Smoke Blower
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Joined May 27, 2019
Sometimes the perception of dry brisket can come from undercooked as well due to not completely rendering fat. I start checking around 190F until proven tender. Probe tender is the ultimate finish test even over temp. Should slide in and out like butter. I also like to put mine in cooler after for 30-60 minutes.
I agree with JCAM, probe tender and make sure you rest it 45-60 minimum. I inject with strong beef broth.

RG
Indeed. If it wasn't so darn late when I pulled it off the smoker I would have done it. Wrapped the first one which turned out quite well.

Mark
 

jcam222

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Indeed. If it wasn't so darn late when I pulled it off the smoker I would have done it. Wrapped the first one which turned out quite well.

Mark
Sometimes briskets can just be stubborn and vary in quality as well. I always inject brisket (and shoulder clods) with Butcher Blocks Prime Brisket injection. I swear by it.
 

noboundaries

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Dry and tough is undercooked. Dry and crumbly is overcooked. Trying to diagnose the dry problem only knowing fat side up or down, without knowing smoker used, chamber temp, weight of meat, cut (flat, packer, point), IT, and whether probed for tenderness, and where probed, is kind of like tossing darts in a dark room.
 

Cabo

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I do them fat side down until they stall. Then I wrap them in butcher paper fat side up until 195 when I start probing.
 

mike guy

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Joined Sep 12, 2019
Fat side down for me. Reasoning is that I like to spray the bits that start to look dry or off color. The fat side doesn't get dry, so to me it makes sense to have the side you need to spray exposed.

I'm not sure it matters a whole lot to be honest.
 

sandyut

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This is an age old question and from my research there is no right answer/one way to do it. I finally chose fat side down for mine and stopped reading.
 

Little-m

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To be honest, I was a bit turned off by this last brisket. Not because of how it turned out, but because I trimmed no less than 5 pounds of fat off it before smoking. I pay $5-6 per pound for brisket so dumping $25 in the garbage has me second guessing whether it is even worth doing.

For $80-100 I can pick up a nice Strip loin, or even a Ribeye roast aged 21 days and not have to dispose of anything. I think I will forego the brisket until perhaps next summer. It just doesn't make sense at this point.

Thanks to all who responded.
Mark
 

sandyut

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not sure where you live, but if you have a Costco anywhere half way close, they sell prime packers for $3.79 and choice for $2.79 a pound almost all the time - at least in Utah.

I think the most I trimmed off was about 3-4 LBs of a 15 pound packer- but I posted up on here about how to select a brisket and learned a little about how to minimize excessive fat.

Just a couple thoughts.
 

bregent

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I pay $5-6 per pound for brisket so dumping $25 in the garbage has me second guessing whether it is even worth doing.
I don't throw out fat anymore - I save it in the freezer and then render into tallow which I use for frying and soap making. That may not work for everyone but at least I feel better about putting it to good use and not trashing it.
 

Little-m

Smoke Blower
147
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Joined May 27, 2019
not sure where you live, but if you have a Costco anywhere half way close, they sell prime packers for $3.79 and choice for $2.79 a pound almost all the time - at least in Utah.

I think the most I trimmed off was about 3-4 LBs of a 15 pound packer- but I posted up on here about how to select a brisket and learned a little about how to minimize excessive fat.

Just a couple thoughts.
I'm in Canada and I made my purchase at a Costco. Canada = $$$. Strange how the new setup doesn't show the locations of members...


I don't throw out fat anymore - I save it in the freezer and then render into tallow which I use for frying and soap making. That may not work for everyone but at least I feel better about putting it to good use and not trashing it.
If I even attempted to bring up the idea of making soap from fat my wife would have me strung up by the dingles lol. More power to you if you make use of it though.
 

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