**Fail** BP method for brisket - too fast/undercooked

Monty House

TVWBB Pro
Cooked a Costco 14 lb. prime packer this week. I don't normally check temperatures, using my Thermopen solely as an ice pick for probing. But, for whatever reason--probably the fact I was showing a newbie how to get perfect :rolleyes: brisket, I checked temps. We were cooking on his Traeger, and the temp was holding beautifully between 275-300. I checked at 4 hr mark and it looked like it was coming out of the stall (~185 internal)--gorgeous gooey mahogany brown. I thought "This is gonna be killer!" Wrapped in BP with about 2 tbsp beef broth and put back on. It was probing effortlessly at 60 min, with internal temps of 210. I immediately assumed I'd overcooked it. Let it rest for about 3 hours, and it was the toughest brisket I had ever cut. Completely undercooked. I wanted to crawl under a rock; good thing my buddy was really hungry. I took the remainder of the flat (the point turned out comparatively well), added liquid and wrapped in foil for a 2 hour cook at 300. It was a bit pot-roasty but the tenderness came back.

So, I guess the stories of "Temp right, probes right....but undercooked" are true for the BP method. Lesson Learned.
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Gotta figure if your temps show done at 4-6 hr on a 14 pounder, you're way too early even on a somewhat hi heat smoke (regardless of apparent internal temp).

Do the "jiggle" test?
 

Monty House

TVWBB Pro
I've cooked probably 10 BP briskets and never had what I'd deem a failure.... maybe a little overcooked but tender & tasty. This was borderline bad. And, no, Len, I was a little suspicious when I grabbed it (and it didn't have that jiggle), but the probe test and temperature part of my reasoning incorrectly won out. Not sure why I didn't trust my instincts.
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
How could it be undercooked pulled at 210? I always pull at 195-200. But again, I'm a newbie

Again a guess but: possible the probe has an internal flaw from regularly pushing it into the meat (I always poke a hole with a skewer first then insert the probe in that pre-made hole). It may check out ok in a boling water test but there is no force exerted on the probe/internals doing that test.

The action of pushing the probe in may cause an internal error (crimped/compacted/whatever internally).

I doubt there is any way to check that but try making a hole b4 inserting the probe and see how the probe reacts in future smokes. IMO.
 

Chris Hosston

TVWBB Member
Again a guess but: possible the probe has an internal flaw from regularly pushing it into the meat (I always poke a hole with a skewer first then insert the probe in that pre-made hole). It may check out ok in a boling water test but there is no force exerted on the probe/internals doing that test.

The action of pushing the probe in may cause an internal error (crimped/compacted/whatever internally).

I doubt there is any way to check that but try making a hole b4 inserting the probe and see how the probe reacts in future smokes. IMO.

I doubt you need to be doing a premade hole with a thermapen. Those are designed to be used in commercial kitchens and are really really durable. I just got a brand new thermapen and I can't wait to start poking it in come meat! LOL
 

Monty House

TVWBB Pro
I sincerely don't think it's the Thermapen. I run it under our InstaHot routinely for cleaning and it's consistent.

We're circling the crux of the issue, though: How can it probe tender and be at those temperatures and still be tough? I believe it because it happened, but I'm still trying to figure out how/why.
 

Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
There are concerns about a thermo being near a bone and rendering incorrect readings/no bone in brisket. I thought maybe it hit a fat pocket but can't find anything online about how a thermo might react to a fat pocket.

Carry over overcooked it? Just thinking out loud.
Nah. From what Monty said, it's way too short a cook time in general for that to be an issue.
 

Dwain Pannell

TVWBB Hall of Fame
My thermopen battery died and I replaced it. It doesn't seem to work right since. Sometimes it doesn't come on, others it reads incorrect temp (100* at room temp), etc. I guess what I'm sayin is maybe your theromopen failed like mine.
 

S.Six

TVWBB All-Star
I've cooked a lot of briskets and I find it very hard to believe that a 14lber was out of the stall after only 4hrs at 275-300°(especially as that is the temps that I smoke at). That and only 60mins later and it was at 210°? In BP? I've tried the BP a few times and found it just doesn't push the brisket to finishing that fast, that's why I prefer foil. I too would expect it to be your thermometer. I bring my briskets up to 200°IT 2-3hr rest and they come out pretty tender. total cook time 10-12hrs + rest at 275-300°. Weird stuff, hope it goes better for ya next time.
 

Terry Haggerty

New member
Puzzling,... did you insert probe in the point or flat? I think the flat is a more reliable reading for doneness. Suggest a few different spots.
 

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