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Thread: HoDeDo Brisket

  1. #1
    "Smoke" on your cooker is 175-185 degrees, In order to get the fat and collagen to really break down and give you a tender finish, you will be cooking at long time at that low temp to get your brisket tender. (notice I didnt say to get it cooked -- it will be "cooked" hours before it is tender) The suggestions above are good... start at the smoke setting, to get some good smoke flavor going, but then bump the heat to finish and get your cook tender.

    Several things can effect your tenderness and juiciness The age of your brisket (how old was the cow?), the fat content - ie how much marbling does it have ( that equals moisture during the cooking process), and how much collagen does it have (strands between the fibers that will break down into gelatin, and also increase the moisture in the meat, as well as increase the tenderness.) The collagen is what makes your brisket tough, so you have to cook the brisket long enough to break those protien strands down..

    Cooking longer risks drying out the meat however, esp. if it is low in the nice marbled fat that helps keep your meat moist.... so how to combat these things all working against you:

    Marinate or inject your meat. -- Add moisture! and flavor! I suggest as a good starting point - Dr. BBQ's Big Cow Beef Injection (2 cups beef broth, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne powder)

    Think about Grandma's Sunday brisket... it was cooked/braised in the oven or crock pot... Use some of that theory in your smoker. After several hours low and slow, wrap your brisket, so that it will hold it's juices and with what it does release, it will be able to braise in them. I believe BP suggested a foil pan, then covering the pan... however I dont like to use pans, I have seen people steam the flavor out of a brisket, turning it to pot roast foiling in a pan where it can steam. I would suggest tightly wrapping it in two sheets of foil.

    Finally, cook time... That brisket will need time to cook in order to let the collagen and fat break down properly. Heat and moisture drive the denaturing of those proteins. I would cook, to color and feel, with an occassional temp check; vs, worrying about hitting a time mark. Cook it at smoke for a couple of hours, then bump the temp to 225. at the point you like the color of the brisket, wrap it. Then cook it wrapped, until you can poke it with our meat thermometer and it slides in with little to no resistance. like sliding a hot skewer into a block of soft butter.

    I would bet you will cook it closer to 8 hrs. Good luck, I can't tell you how many pieces of shoe leather I have created over the years

  2. #2
    Senior Member sparky's Avatar
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    so, let me get this right. smoke until you like the color (2-4 hours or so) then tightly wrap with 2 sheets of foil. this has nothing to do about cooking temp? it's all about feel? i always thought you cooked a brisket till 190-203 degrees? obi wan help a young jedi....
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
    so, let me get this right. smoke until you like the color (2-4 hours or so) then tightly wrap with 2 sheets of foil. this has nothing to do about cooking temp? it's all about feel? i always thought you cooked a brisket till 190-203 degrees? obi wan help a young jedi....
    Depending on the temp you cook at, will likely also change the color you get ( amount of smoke put out/fuel used , amount of rub caramelization, etc) At 225, I would say 4-6 hrs is a safe window - and yes, at that point, tightly wrap - and if you feel the need, reseason, or add another layer of new flavor, (rub, juice, whatever - optional) Then cook until it is done. Done could be 185 or it could be 215... but yes, your temp window is correct. I dont pull based on it hitting a specific temp or time limit... I pull based on how it feels when that probe goes in -- is there resistance? does it feel tight? Once it is pulled I crack the foil to keep it from continuing to cook as much - and let it rest in a cooler/cambro for at least 30 min...(up to two hours).

    You will learn overtime what temp the feel equates to. When we were practicing out in Scottsdale, we were playing the temp game. I would guess the temp based on feel, and then we probed it with a thermapen. I think I was within a degree or two most times. You just learn the feel over time. And BTW, using a pellet cooker, will mean that you will get some consistency on those times, if you are cooking similar briskets -- I know after 6 hrs in my FEC, that puppy will be 155-160 internal temp, and after wrapping, and 2-3 hrs more inthe cooker, It will be close to done, and in that temp window you mentioned.

  4. #4
    Sparky - so if you want a base line to start from, run the lil Tex at 225, and wrap at 5 hours, ( put in cooker and dont open it for 5 hrs). See if the temp of your brisket is around 155-60. Let it go 2.5 more hrs, and check the feel/temp... when it is right, rest for an hour, then see what you think.save the jus from the foil, and use it as a bath once you slice -- pour it over the top of the slices or put the slices in it, for serving.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by HoDeDo View Post
    Sparky - so if you want a base line to start from, run the lil Tex at 225, and wrap at 5 hours, ( put in cooker and dont open it for 5 hrs). See if the temp of your brisket is around 155-60. Let it go 2.5 more hrs, and check the feel/temp... when it is right, rest for an hour, then see what you think.save the jus from the foil, and use it as a bath once you slice -- pour it over the top of the slices or put the slices in it, for serving.
    Are you sure you need so much time to cook it? O_o
    Can you show what you got in the end?

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