When is a brisket done?

padlin00

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I don't make cook many briskets, last summer was the last, going to do one up Friday and had a question on how you determine it is done. In particular, for a full trimmed packer, the difference in thickness from one end to the other is significant. Last one I did the flat only end hit 203 when the end with the point being much thicker was 189, so one end was probe tender the other not. How do you handle such a beast? last time I left it on till the point end hit 202 and ignored the flatter end.
 

SmokeOCD

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Does the Trailblazer have hot-spots? Flip the meat around to maximize the heat on the fat end.
I prefer the point, so I make sure that part is perfect; so I guess I do what you do. I just make sure on the 1070 the fat part (point) is to the left (hot-spot).
If you haven't bought it yet, there is quite a variety of brisket sizes and shapes. Try not to get one that looks like a volleyball attached to a steak.
 

DenStinett

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Yeah, 205+/- is what they say
Or, when the Probe slides into it like it's going into Butter
I split the two Muscles and cook them as two Roasts
Each are done at different times
Has always worked for us:
Sunday's (Aug 14) Brisket.JPG

Sunday's (Aug 14) Briskets.JPG

Sunday's (Aug 14) Brisket Flat.JPG
 
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padlin00

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I had thought about splitting it, which I've done before, but I'd like to try and keep the flat as moist as I can, at least the part under the point. Don't remember if I rotated it before, but I will Friday.

Trying a brisket from the small farm in town, Black Angus with no grading. Supposedly black Angus is choice or better, looks to have a lot of marbling.
 

Waterboy

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I’d recommend you render down some of trimmed fat and add the rendered goodness when you wrap. It’ll help with the flat.
 

mikeporter616

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I generally go until the flat is tender. The point often goes to a higher temperature (210+), but there is enough fat that it is fine. A rest of 3+ hours helps a lot.
 

Jim6820

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A rest of 3+ hours helps a lot.
There’s the key right there; let it rest like @mikeporter616 said. And, like @SmokeOCD suggested, keep the point on the hot side of the grill and the flat on the cooler side. It is important to really get to know our grills and their personalities.
 

DenStinett

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I had thought about splitting it, which I've done before, but I'd like to try and keep the flat as moist as I can, at least the part under the point.
When I split them, I keep the Fat under the Point on the Flat and trim it as part of the Fat Cap

I’d recommend you render down some of trimmed fat and add the rendered goodness when you wrap. It’ll help with the flat.
I do add Smoked Tallow to both when I wrap them
 

SmokeZilla

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I realize this may be a little late for a response and agree with the control and use of hot spots, but here is my trick. I recommend tenting or shielding the flat when it hits ~190F. That will slow its exposure to heat and keep it tender and moist while you wait for the point to finish. I use the heavy duty Aluminum Foil, double it up and shape in so it completely covers the flat like a sock. If you really want to get radical, before you double up the foil to make the sock, put a wet thin cloth between the sheets of foil. It will slow down the temperature rise as it shields the protein from heat until the rag starts to dry. It also adds moisture keeping the flat very moist. Works every time. As a suggestion for your future cooks, don’t select a brisket with a flat that is less than 3-4 inches thick at its thinnest point (no pun intended), when possible.
 

llbts1

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Good stuff SmokeZilla. I will give this a try on the next brisket. Thanks for the tips.
 

Roaniecowpony

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I tried Harry Soo's method of rehydrating immediately after removing from the pit. It was one of the most moist briskets I've ever done.
 

SmokeZilla

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I agree with Jim6820. The main purpose for the temp probe is to get a general range of the temperature. After it is in range, you should use it to check for tenderness. Kind of like using a toothpick when you are baking a cake. I also have to confess that I only cook full packers and they usually range from 15-22 lbs. My record cook is 30 hours and I was nervous it would never clear the stall that lasted almost 7 hours. What grade of beef did you start with? I usually use Costco prime grade as it is typically pretty consistent.
 

padlin00

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Costco only had Choice when I looked the other day, ended up with an upgraded Black Angus from an in town farm, figured it was worth a try. It was badly cut, almost no fat cap and had some meat from whatever adjoins the brisket on it.
I pulled the point too early, it sat at 202 for about an hour. Thought it was ok but certainly not peanut butter tender. That's what I get for only cooking one brisket a year.
I pulled the flat at 207 2 hours later when it felt tender, even that wasn't peanut butter tender, but closer then the point.
 

RolandS

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What is the best way to let a brisket rest?
Keep it wrapped and set inside a cooler to keep warm? Or can you let it rest on the grill? I imagine it would get cold then? Especially in winter...
 

Roaniecowpony

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What is the best way to let a brisket rest?
Keep it wrapped and set inside a cooler to keep warm? Or can you let it rest on the grill? I imagine it would get cold then? Especially in winter...
There have been a lot of ways people have "let it rest". Most are some form of passive rest. That is: no active heat involved. Most involve some form of insulation. Ice chests/coolers are popular, because everyone has one. I leave mine in a large restaurant tray, covered in foil, and placed in my Cambro, which is just another form of a cooler.

I would not let it rest on the grill/smoker, unless you were going to serve within the hour and it was a summer day.
 

Jim6820

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What is the best way to let a brisket rest?
Keep it wrapped and set inside a cooler to keep warm? Or can you let it rest on the grill? I imagine it would get cold then? Especially in winter...
I rest my brisket—and, other cooked meats—in an insulated cooler bag. First, I put the meat in a foil pan that fits easily in the bag and cover with foil. The pan is put in the insulated bag with a large, folded towel on top and then the bag is zipped closed.

I have “rested” cooked meat this way for up to 5 hours while still maintaining a safe temperature. Generally, if the meat might need to hold longer than 3-4 hours, however, I put the foil-covered pan in the oven on the lowest temperature setting. Mine has a “Warm” setting that seems to hold things at around 150F.
 

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