OK, last night I talked about cooking your brisket on indirect heat at 225 degrees. I'm not sure if I mentioned you can plan on the total cooking time being around 1 1/2 hour per pound of meat. I also talked about the "stall". It usually occurs around 150 degrees, but for the second time in a row my brisket hit the stall at 160 degrees. It took about 3 hours before the temperature started to rise above 160. One it started to come out of this stall, I moved the brisket to a "Texas Crutch."
The Texas crutch can also help you power through the stall faster if you choose to do so. The main purpose is to maintain moisture. It's a fairly easy step, and at this point you will be able to move it to the oven, so you won't have to check on it as often, or keep adding wood chips! You can just use foil if you like, but I prefer using a "turkey sized" aluminum roasting pan. Place your brisket in the pan, then pour one cup of beef broth in the pan with it. Don't pour it over the meat, that will wash the seasoning off! Just pour around the brisket. Now, cover the top of the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Either leave the meat thermometer in the brisket (under the foil) or push it through the foil and back into the thickest part of the brisket. That is what I prefer to do so you can monitor the temperature without opening the foil. Set your oven around 225 to 235 degrees, or you can continue to cook it in the crutch on the grill if you prefer.
When is the brisket done? I shoot for an internal temperature of 190 degrees, some prefer going up to 195 degrees. I have also pulled one off when it reached 185. Anything over 180 is acceptable. For your first time I would shoot for 190. There is another way to check. Take the brisket out and poke it. If it jiggles, it's probably done, if it seems firm it may need more time. This is what some pros call the "wabba wabba" point. Check out the video clip as I check my brisket. It is easy to see that it hit this wabba wabba point, and I pulled it off at 190 degrees. If you pull it off under 180 degrees, be cautioned, you may end up with a stomach ache!
Hold on, you're not done yet! Now you need to put the brisket through a "rest" period, of at least 1 to 2 hours. Get yourself a good plastic cooler big enough to hold a brisket, and wrap the inside in a towel or blanket. Set your brisket in the cooler, still in the foil. Cover the top with the blanket or towel and close the cooler lid. The brisket can set in there for nearly 4 hours and will most likely stay above 180 degrees. I put mine to rest for 2 hours and it was still 185 degrees when I pulled it out.
|slicing the flat|
|cutting the point in half|
|slicing the "butt" portion of the point|
|slicing the middle portion|
A lot of this has been quick and dirty, but these are the basics. I am 4 for 4 on successful briskets, and I tell you the leftovers don't last long...if there are any! Give it a try, you will be glad you did. If you have further questions drop me a line and I will discuss it more with you. Good luck!