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PaulW

My first brisket

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I think I have temp control down to a science, so I'm gonna try my hand at my first packer (15 lb choice) brisket this weekend.  My initial plan (before reading bunches of posts on this forum) was to cook at 225-250.  Dinner is at around 5 on Sunday so I figured I'd start it at 10pm on Saturday night.  

After everything I've read, I'm thinking of going with a hotter quicker cook, 275-300 and wrapping it in butcher paper at 160-170.  

I'd use the main grate with a foil drip pan underneath on the lower grate.  I'm just going with a simple kosher salt and pepper rub this time around.  

Is my best bet to put it on the cooker at around 5am?  That should give me some leeway in either direction with cook-time.  

Anyone have experience with the coffee wood for briskets, or am I better off with oak?  I'm also going to try to keep some chips smoldering in the cold smoker as well.

Any suggestions are very welcome and thanks in advance.

IMG_1536.thumb.jpeg.2f5f01aac78e871c18d458e917fd8f04.jpegPaul

 

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My vote is to stick to your original plan. Start early take your time, you can always crank it up later when you wrap it it you need to. If you get done early you can always wrap a towel around it and put it in the cooler. You also want it to rest at least an hour preferably 1-2hours+. I’ve had Bridget rest wrapped in the cooler for up to 4 hours with no major issues. Relax and take your time with Brisket. Biggest mistake people make with brisket is not giving themselves enough time 

the wood selections shouldn’t matter too much just make sure you fill the basket. You said you’ve got temp control down to stick with the wood that you have the most confidence in nailing the temp. Don’t worry if your temp fluctuates a bit during your cool it’s ok. 
 

ive also had a lot of success developing good brisket bark by spritzing it with apple juice every hour after it’s been in there 5-6 hours. I usually put mine on at night like you mentioned, wake up around 6am, start spritzing, then wrap it around 11am-1pm, take it off KK around 3pm-4pm serve 5pm-6pm. Usually I do my briskets at 240/245 and I usually get a 13-15lb one 

hope that helps and good luck 

Edited by Troble
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21 minutes ago, Troble said:

My vote is to stick to your original plan. Start early take your time, you can always crank it up later when you wrap it it you need to. If you get done early you can always wrap a towel around it and put it in the cooler. You also want ig to rest at least an hour preferably 1-2 hours

I second what Troble said.  Time is a brisket’s friend. Although I’ve not tried my coffee wood yet, I’m a huge fan of post oak mixed with a little bit of pecan for brisket. Salt and pepper is on point.  Best of luck.  

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Either plan is fine, but you do want to finish early. A brisket wrapped in foil, then a a towel, then a cooler, (FTC), will stay hot for hours.

I’ve cooked low/slo, and hot and fast, no real difference in in result. That said, 250°+ is more consistent time wise, because below that, the length of the stall is much less consistent.


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I just watched this video yesterday and a lot of what he says clicked with me - his particular riff on Aaron Franklin's method. The interesting thing in his approach is a very long rest - as much as overnight. While I might not be that long with my next one, the one takeaway that I will use is the finger poke method to know when to wrap and not just go by IT. 

 

I just watched this one. He's consistent in his advice and has good tips here, too.

(1) 12 Brisket Mistakes Everyone Should Avoid - YouTube

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He clicks with me too tony.  And not to change topic, but his pulled pork video is great.  He does the same finger poke on the rendered fat cap as well.  And my rest was 4 hours. Several things on his approach work well. I tried his pork butt cook for a family gathering and it was a HUGE success  Served the pork with his coleslaw and mustard sauce recipes.....both were excellent.  I’m eager to try the brisket video. 
 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the advice.
Interesting in the “top mistakes” video, he recommended 225 for ceramic cookers - thinking it would burn if cooked at 275 or above.
From the hot and fast proponents in the board here, it’s far different from their experience.
Guess I’m just going to have to have more parties to experience it myself.


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Ran the temps between 250-260.
Wrapped in butcher paper at 5am at 170.
Somehow, I lost good temp control when I pulled it to wrap. (I only had the dome open long enough to pull it out and put it back in.). The KK temp crept up to 280-290 over the next few hours.

The brisket was at 203 by 7:30am. Tender to the probe.

I put 2 layers of foil around it, wrapped it in a thick towel and put it in my best styrofoam cooler with the temp probe still in it.

If (when) the temp drops to 150, I’ll stick it in my oven at 170 until guests arrive at 4.
This went way faster then I thought it would. Like everyone says, it’s BBQ- done when it’s done.

Any other thoughts or suggestions are welcome.


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Cooking at your temperatures powered through the stall. Had you cooked at 225° ish, you’d still be cooking, wondering if it’ll be done in time. Neither is right or wrong, there’s simply a big difference in temps significantly higher than 225° as far as cook times. At the lower temp, the stall can last seemingly forever, or it can be somewhat linear. At 250°+, the cooking is quite linear, and the finish time can be fairly well predicted.

Great job, I’m sure your guests will wonder how long you’ve been doing this!


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So early in my Learning process my briskets were never done on time and you cannot rush it. I watched a YouTube video put out by Meatchurch titled “Overnight Brisket”. Essentially they were saying start your brisket in the evening at 190 F and cook overnight and then raise the temp in the morning. I did this any my brisket was still not done on time. I’ve since settled on cooking about a 15lb full packer brisket that I’ve been trimming about 1-2lbs off. I’m starting it in the evening at about 225F target and then raising the temp to about 275F in the morning and then wrapping with butcher paper when I hit the 160-170F range. Cooking until it’s done and then foil, towel, and cooler technique. So far I’ve had two successful cooks in a row so planning to stick with this technique. Also, a few years ago I went too the Salt Lick in Texas and was very happy with their brisket and ended up buying their dry rub which I really love on the brisket! I’ve also been making this size brisket for small gatherings and saving the flat for making brisket chili. I also vacuum the leftover brisket in sections and then freeze / reheat via sous vide which I’ve also been very happy with.

Congrats on your cook!

Paul

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Thanks.
My cook turned out decent and the guests were happy but I know the KK is capable of better.
I like your idea of 225 overnight and bumping it it the morning. My other option would have been to start it at 4am and do the whole cook at 275 - should be about 10 hours.

I was surprised I lost temp control when I pulled it out to wrap. That’s the first time that’s happened to me.
Always learning and improving.


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On 5/30/2021 at 7:44 AM, PaulW said:

Somehow, I lost good temp control when I pulled it to wrap. (I only had the dome open long enough to pull it out and put it back in.). The KK temp crept up to 280-290 over the next few hours.

I'm wondering that in the process of opening/closing the lid, the top vent shifted a bit on you, which lead to the temperature increase?? That short of an opening time shouldn't have lead to a sustained temperature rise?

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