Help with brisket on my Traeger

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Glockjock
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Help with brisket on my Traeger

Postby Glockjock » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:43 am

Occasionally when I cook briskets on my Traeger the bottom of the brisket will turn out very hard and burnt. The rest of the brisket will be moist, juicy, and easy to slice but the last 1/4" of the bottom will be so hard it is unedible. What am I doing wrong?

I realize that if I take the time to document my technique each time I cook I could answer my own question. However, I don't cook often enough to solve the problem quickly on my own. As for technique, I cook at about 225º F to 250º F. Sometimes, but not always, I foil after about 8 hours. I normally don't rotate or flip my meats, and I'm betting that this may be a big part of my problem. I cook to about 195º F internal temperature which takes 10 to 12 hours.

Sometimes the entire brisket will slice easily. However, sometimes the bottom will be burnt cardboard.

So, what am I doing wrong? Should it be fat side up or down? Rotate and flip, or set it and forget it? Foil or no?

Thanks.
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TX1911
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Re: Help with brisket on my Traeger

Postby TX1911 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:55 am

You want the fat side down to act as a buffer between the meat and the heat. If that doesn't work, you may want to put a water pan underneath the brisket.
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OldUsedParts
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Re: Help with brisket on my Traeger

Postby OldUsedParts » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:11 pm

I'm a newbie brisket infant but what I.T. are you looking for when you wrap - - - 8 hours just seems ?"POSSIBLY"? too long before wrapping :dont:
OUP

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Swamp Donkeyz BBQ
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Re: Help with brisket on my Traeger

Postby Swamp Donkeyz BBQ » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:03 am

I cook my briskets in the same temperature range on my pellet pooper. It's not unusual for them to go 9 hours before needing to be wrapped. Like TX1911 said, you may want to add a water pan. I use a water pan, cook fat down, and have never experienced a tough exterior. Best of luck!
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Re: Help with brisket on my Traeger

Postby bondobill » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:37 am

Agee with Swamp donkeyz and TX1911.
I've only done 3 briskets in my RecTec. First 2 came out not so good.
On my third try I followed Swamp donkeyz directions from a thread he posted a while back
I placed a 14 # packer fat cap down on the upper rack. Directly under it on the lower rack I placed a large tin of water. Ran the pellet at 230 degrees. At iT around 165 placed the brisket in a foil tin covered it with foil and placed it on the lower rack. Probed tender at 196 IT.
It turned out fantastic :D

Your Traeger maybe running hotter then your settings. My sons Traeger runs as much as 40 degrees hotter then what you set it at.

That reminds me, I never thanked Swamp donkeyz for posting that thread....Thank you sir :salut:

Bill
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Papa Tom
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Re: Help with brisket on my Traeger

Postby Papa Tom » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:52 am

I used to experience what you describe, I do remember the "cardboard" was tasty and good to chew on like jerky but not good for presentation.
Now
1) Fat side always between the meat and the heat.
2)I modified the model T with a cast iron griddle screwed to the top of the flame deflector to further deflect and buffer the heat and eliminate that center hot spot.
I have done this on a couple cookers and just use a bargain griddle that is on sale (and will fit).
3) I "Smoke" for a couple hours then jack the temp to 250° to IT 160° then foil (foil pan with foil cover) to 205° adding 1/2 cup liquid. (I use Rhine wine but it could be most anything) The pan allows capturing the good juice.
4) Pull and rest.

Smoke on :coolnana:
tarde venientibus ossa....
Glockjock
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Re: Help with brisket on my Traeger

Postby Glockjock » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:56 am

Thanks for all your help. That makes sense. I've always questioned the "fat side up" mantra that I was taught years ago. I'll make sure to use the fat as heat shield next time I cook.

Thanks!
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Down_South
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Re: Help with brisket on my Traeger

Postby Down_South » Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:45 pm

+1 on fat side down. Get your meat completely dry with towels and don't apply salt until it's ready to go on the pit. The salt brings moisture to the top and creates a barrier to the smoke sticking. Give it a try.
~Aaron

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