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Big Poppa's Brisket tips

Big Poppa

Administrator
Most cooks hit home runs smoking all cuts of meat and then hit the wall with brisket. I did....I stopped cooking them. I decided this offseason that I would become a good brisket cook. Here is what I have learned:

1. Brisket is hippie meat. What? I believe that it is full of karma. If you don't embrace it the brisket will be dry.....really funny but sort of true. It sort of has a mind of it's own!

2. I trim the top of the brisket of the silver stuff and the fat gobs....i trim most of the fat between the point and flat and separate it about 1/3 of the way. I do not trim the bottom at all.

3. I season liberally. Good to do several hours before and then rub in in even more when you put it on the cooker.

4. I cook at 275

5. I cook fat side down the whole cook. (let the arguments begin)

6. I foil at color (usually around 145 it but I dont have a probe in it until foil) and very early in the cook compared to most back yarders. When it gets to be a deep reddish brown with a little black...it goes into the foil....I have my secrets for what liquid I put in the foil but it is at most a half cup. I also I usually put a light re coating of Little Louies with black pepper at foil.

7. I make sure that there is no air in the foil.....steamed meat isn't good...you are braising.

8. When I hit around 198 I.T. I probe with a thermapen but most of the time I dont look at the display. I want to feel the resistance to the entering probe. I probe in the point, mid flat, and tip of the point. This will tell me how close I am. Most cooks wait until there is no resistance..like butter before pulling it from the cooker but I want to pull it just before that. I will always pull when it hits 203 mid flat. Always.

9. I vent it for about 3-5 minutes...I separate the fat from the foil juices and discard the fat and pour about 1/2-3/4 cup of foil juices and re tighten the foil and let rest at room temp. After about a half hour I put some towels on top. I avoid cambros and coolers with brisket at all costs.

10 I will lightly sauce the flat and return it to the cooker for about 5 minutes to set.

That's as much as I can tell without getting in trouble with the team!
 

Buffalotom

New member
Thanks BP. I had just about given up on Brisket also. Is there a secret for foiling real tight to keep out the air? Or are small air pockets okay? Thanks
 

jimsbarbecue

Moderator
I see a BP Video on this in the future?
Very close to what I do. I will use a cambro only after it has rested at room temp and only when it is needed because of dinner times. Also same no Cambro rule for rib eye roast until the rest period is over. Which I determine by when the temp falls from the take off temp. Don't ask how I know but BP is right at 203 the brisket comes off even if I can't get a probe in it with a hammer. It won't get better, just drier. I foil with the white cotton gloves and the plastic gloves over my hands so I can get the foil as tight as possible. There are actually guys who wrap in plastic wrap as tight as possible and then foil to elimanate air pockets. Yes ONLY Fatside DOWN too.
 

firehouse_bbq

New member
Very interesting BP, thanks for the tips. Do you inject it?

Also, very interesting that you do not like to cambro it, but keep it at room temp. Need to try that. Also, really like the tip about foiling it tight, I always put the brisket in a foil pan, and simply cover the pan, lots of air and steam that way.

Do you use the same techniques for a "standard" brisket compared to a strube or wagu brisket? Do you prefer a larger brisket or smaller?

Thanks again!

Pete
 

Big Poppa

Administrator
I want to keep the brisket at least 145 the towels are great....the foiled pan is steaming the living daylights out of your brisket. I use the same technique if is choice, prime or wagyu

OH yeah and I dont inject
 

firehouse_bbq

New member
Thanks BP, I was going to cook a brisket this weekend, so I will try your tips and see how it goes. The foil pan/steaming makes total sense, just never would have thought of it. I do the same thing for my pork butts.......hmmmm

Will post some pics of the brisket cook!
 

Chili Head

New member
Hey BP do you cook yours on the top rack or bottom?
I think the temp is higher on the bottom rack...closer to the fire pot.
 

MossyMO

New member
9. I vent it for about 3-5 minutes...I separate the fat from the foil juices and discard the fat and pour about 1/2-3/4 cup of foil juices and re tighten the foil and let rest at room temp. After about a half hour I put some towels on top. I avoid cambros and coolers with brisket at all costs.

10. I will lightly sauce the flat and return it to the cooker for about 5 minutes to set.

Excellent topic, thanks for posting!

I differ on #9 as I go direct from cooker to cooler with the brisket tightly double wrapped in foil with towels added. As far as how long it sits in the cooler I've went as long as 6 hours and it is still steaming hot.

I have only done a few briskets in my life and with your practicing and comp experience am interested in hearing your thoughts on why to open foil to remove steam and why you avoid coolering? and if anyone else has thoughts or experience on my questions, please chime in!

As for #10 I like the idea and want to try that on the next, honestly makes quite a bit of sense and feel silly I never thought about doing that...
 

Big Poppa

Administrator
mossy let me clarify something...I am not saying that this is the only way to cook a brisket...its the way I cook them and then thoughts behind my madness!
 

MossyMO

New member
mossy let me clarify something...I am not saying that this is the only way to cook a brisket...its the way I cook them and then thoughts behind my madness!

Nope, understand completely... just wanted to hear the reasoning behind that method; thanks!
Everyone has their own preference, but doesn't mean it is the only way; heck I know people that will only smoke with fresh, green, small tree branches... nobody is right or wrong, just preference and taste buds differences.
 

TentHunter

Moderator
Good discussion! :)

7. I make sure that there is no air in the foil.....steamed meat isn't good...you are braising.

For clarification's sake, when you say "steamed meat isn't good" you're referring specifically to this type of a cook, correct? Pastrami is traditionally steamed after being smoked, & I'm gonna tell my mom you said her pressure cooked beef for Beef & noodles isn't good! (just funnin' ya! :p)

Seriously, a big advantage I see when I wrap tightly versus braising in a pot or pan is wrapping tightly leaves no room for water vapor to circulate, so the heat is forced to gently rise up through the meat. It may soften the bark slightly, but doesn't destroy it like braising in a pan might.

If I have to transport any distance for a church luncheon, etc. then I tend to use a foil pan because it makes for easy transporting, serving & clean-up. But I know I'm giving up the bark when I do that.
 

Big Poppa

Administrator
i use a foil pan but the brisket is tightly wrapped in double foil....steamed brisket for competition will get you last place.
 
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