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Brisket Timing Poll

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  • Brisket Timing Poll

    Hello All,

    As an introduction, I am a new Kamado Joe Classic owner, purchased about a month ago. Growing up, a close family friend owned (and still does) a kamado that he purchased back in the 70s, and I've enjoyed so many great meals off of it that it was my first major purchase after buying a house this summer. So far I've done three whole chickens, two using a New York Times splayed chicken recipe, and one beer can, and I've smoked a pork butt as practice in preparation for the brisket I'll be cooking overnight tonight. That one turned out just okay after running out of time and cranking the heat toward the end without a proper thermometer. I now have a Maverick 732 that I'll be figuring out tonight.

    Now on to the brisket. I've done a lot of research on these forums and elsewhere and have decided on a method, which is largely following along with Meathead's Texas recipe. What I'm not sure of is how much time to allow for the cooking, so I thought I'd poll the forum and see what people think. At one point Meathead says 12-18 hours and at other times he states much less than that. I don't know if 18 hours might also include the rest time after the cook and I just don't see much consistency in different recipes. I realize that "it's done when it's done" but I want the best consensus on how much time to give myself.

    The Facts:
    -We're hosting a party tomorrow afternoon. I would like to serve at 3pm.
    -I'm currently dry brining a 12lb packer brisket that I injected with beef broth. I'll be throwing on some dry rub an hour before it goes on the grill.
    -I'm going to do my best to hold the grill temperature at 225. Since I only had the dome thermometer when I did the pork, I held that at 235 without issues but have no idea how accurate that was and cheated upwards to be safe. Now I have the Maverick and should be more sure of things.
    -I'll be using pecan chunks along with KJ lump.
    -I'll be cooking indirect with the plate setter and a water pan.
    -I'll cook point and flat in one piece.
    -I'll cook fat side down, only flipping if it appears to not be cooking evenly after a few hours, according to Meathead's suggestion.
    -I'll use the crutch, probably an hour or so after the temp hits 150 or stalls. This is not so much to speed through the stall as to try to avoid drying out the brisket.
    -I'll cook to 195 and check the tenderness, bringing it up above 200 if needed.
    -I'll separate the point and flat at the target temp, put the flat in a cooler, and cube the point to make burnt ends.

    So... assuming that all of these factors are set in stone and not going to change, what time do I put the meat on tonight? I'm leaning toward 8pm but I'm afraid it would then sit too long before serving if it cooks faster than I expect.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!

    ~SB

  • #2
    My experience is to pay more attention to the temp of the meat, vs. the time of the cook. But you should be done after 12-14 hours, if cooking around 250 degrees, give or take. Also, I believe the consensus from others more experienced than me, is that these kamado's are very good at moisture retention anyway, so much so that most using these do not add a water pan for moisture, but many use a pan to catch the drippings... to each his own and good luck.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by rdwelch View Post
      My experience is to pay more attention to the temp of the meat, vs. the time of the cook. But you should be done after 12-14 hours, if cooking around 250 degrees, give or take. Also, I believe the consensus from others more experienced than me, is that these kamado's are very good at moisture retention anyway, so much so that most using these do not add a water pan for moisture, but many use a pan to catch the drippings... to each his own and good luck.
      Thank you, that's consistent with the timing I'm hoping for. I wasn't sure about the pan but was going to do it per Meathead's recipe, which doesn't use a kamado.

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      • #4
        Well, things didn't go as planned. I smoked the brisket for 4 hours keeping it fairly steady wavering between 220-230 before going to bed at midnight. The temp was holding so well that I made the mistake of turning the alarm off before bed to not bother my wife. 4:30 this morning I wake up and see that the grill is at 400. The brisket looked great and was around 185 but I wasn't prepared to pull it so early so I left the lid up until I could get the kamado down to 300 then closed it and turned the vents way down. Then I watched the grill temp drop all the way down to 180. The coals somehow got snuffed and I'm not sure why. I wrapped the brisket in foil and put it in the oven at 250 to finish. I used fresh lump and there is plenty left so I don't know why it went out but the brisket is sitting in a cooler waiting for the guests to arrive and I'll see how it turned out.

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        • #5
          how did the brisket taste? I don't cook brisket to a particular temp or length of time, each brisket is different, when it's fork tender, it's done!

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          • #6
            Haven't logged in for awhile. It was fantastic! My wife's been begging me to make more since.

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