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Brisket Failure
November 29, 2009
8:07 pm
The Pup
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Forum Posts: 4
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November 20, 2009
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I tried the HomeBBQ.com Brisket method (to the letter) and I had less than ideal results…somewhat dry and definitely over-cooked.

I set the Traeger (maybe I should have used the FEC100) for 250F.  I wrapped the meat at 160F (internal) and removed at 195F.  It took 14 hours for 10.4lbs of Walmart-sourced Brisket (and about 18lbs of wood pellets with an outdoor temp average of 50F).  I did not trim any fat and marinated per instructions.

Some of the meat was too dry to eat and I would argue that most of it was overcooked (although we ate it just the same and all liked the taste).  Although it had a great smoke ring, the bark was a little too tough for my personal taste.

I believe I failed to get a good seal on the heavy-duty Aluminium foil double-wrap and that I do not know my Traeger grill's hot spots yet (I may have placed the thin part of the meat on the hotter grill section).  I also believe I should have wrapped the Brisket earlier…perhaps at 140-150F (internal).

During the BBQ, I noticed two significant internal temp plateaus…as expected, one at 160F (3 hours) and another (not-so-expected) beginning at 180F (6 hours).  I double-checked my temp sensor and it was working properly. 

I assume, if I am going to use the Traeger again for Brisket, I will need to do a thermal survey of the grill surface (I have a dozen surface temp gauges on hand), and I will need to ensure I have a tighter foil wrap.  I also believe the my ideal Brisket is not a “pulled-pork” affair and that I should consider removing the Brisket earlier (regardless of internal temp) if I see a significant plateau so late in the cooking regime.  

I believe the Brisket's later internal temperature plateau was trying to tell me something…I just did not know what to do.  So, I stuck with my plan to leave the lid closed until I saw at least 195F (internal) per instructions.

I want a juicy and tender Brisket…so I still have much to learn on the Traeger; however, this is an expensive way to learn.

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November 29, 2009
11:04 pm
homebbq
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Forum Posts: 125
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June 24, 2008
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Sorry to hear this…

First, I have a Treager on my porch, and thats what I cook on at home.. The method works just fine..

Second, it should never have taken 14 hours to cook a 10 pound brisket at 250 degrees to 195 internal, even if you don't wrap it. One of the biggest reasons to wrap a brisket, is to get it done sooner, which would give you more moisture in the brisket.

Also, 195 degrees should not yield an overcooked brisket, unless the meat was select in grade, or a very low end choice, in that case 195 is to high, it would be more like 190 where that brisket needed to be pulled (I gave a range of 190 – 196 in the article for that reason). Internal temp is also just a guide, the tenderness ultimately determines when it should be pulled.

On my traeger, that brisket would have been off the pit after about 7 hours, 8 hours max…  Something definately went wrong here… First, I would make sure your thermometers are calibrated, and in your Traeger as well, to make sure you know where its cooking at. Next, make sure your getting a good quality piece of meat (choice or higher). 

Kevin
HomeBBQ.com

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December 1, 2009
8:30 pm
The Pup
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November 20, 2009
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Thank you for the timely reply.

I also suspect I did not get the best quality meat from Walmart…although it seemed to have fair marbling and a great deal of fat.

I will try again sometime in the future, I will stick to your proven plan and I will report back the results when known.

Also, can you tell me off-hand where your observed hot-and-cool spots are located on your Traeger grill?

Thanks,
Mike

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