Author Topic: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees  (Read 16553 times)

Offline Roget

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Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« on: August 10, 2010, 12:37:45 pm »
[b]I put a small beef brisket (4 lbs.)in my DBS at 10:00 this morning. By noon the IT was at 130, by 1:00 at 140, by 2:00 at 145. At 3:00 it was still on 145. It has not moved for over an hour.

The chamber temp. is fluctuating between 200 and 230. I can't seem to get it to settle down. I keep changing the temp. between 220 and 230. If I try raising the temp., it goes to 250.

Also my cabinet probe is crazy. (Maverick) It will beep me that the temp is too high, (147???) then 10 minutes later it is at 210. The air temp is 94 here. No wind. I don't understand.

I expected to have this for dinner tonight. I expected 5-6 hours. 7 at the most. At this rate I'm looking at 13 hours.
I may have a candy bar for dinner instead.

Any suggestions?
      [/b]
YCDBSOYA

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 01:03:11 pm »
Roget, I think the meat is just in a stall and should recover soon.

If you are worried about it, heat your oven to 230 to 240 and when it gets hot transfer it there.

Offline mikeradio

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 01:07:40 pm »
Hello Roget

Are your meat temps from the maverick as well?  If your having troubles with the cabinet probe, maybe
the meat probe is acting up as well.  Did you try fresh batteries?

or it could just be a stubborn piece of meat.  The rule of thumb is 1.5 to 2 hours per pound, but sometimes they
just take alot longer.


Offline watchdog56

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 01:17:34 pm »
Probably in the stall stage.

I hear Snickers fills you up ;) ;) ;D ;D

Offline EZ Smoker

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 01:21:19 pm »
In the future, consider FTC (That's Foil, Towel, Cooler... details below) as a way to get a handle on the unpredictablility of brisket.   When I cook a brisket, I figure on 1.5 to 2 hours per pound, plus 2.5 to 3 hours in FTC.    Then, if you run late and have to cut the FTC time down to 2 hours, or even less, you'll be fine.  And if you run early and have to stretch FTC out to 4 or 5 hours to keep it piping hot while you wait on dinner time, you're fine.   

If you're not an FTCer... FTC is a great way to work the timing on briskets and butts, and it provides the ability to keep the meat at temps hot enough to melt connective tissue (doing so makes it tender and juicy) without overcooking or drying out your meat.   When you pull the meat from the heat, just wrap it in foil (maybe 2 layers), then wrap a towel around it, and put it in a preheated cooler to keep it hot (not just warm).   I've FTC'd meat for 5 hours, then pulled it out and it was too hot to touch.   

So FTC is a valuable process simply for what it does to the meat, but it's also very valuable in timing a meal. 
For example, Saturday at 8:30 pm, I put two briskets in my smoker for Sunday night's dinner, one of them 10 pounds, the other 13 pounds.   When would they be ready?   Hard to say.   One came out at 3:55, and the other at 5:10, but I FTC'd both, and around 6:45, when the wife decided she was hungry, I pulled the first one out of FTC, and it was piping hot, tender, juicy, and delicious.   Then after dinner, we pulled the other one out of FTC and started cooling it down to start the vac-pack process.   Now I have almost 11 pounds of brisket in my freezer, ready for future meals.   
It may seem like I'm rubbing salt in the wound, but the truth is I'm trying to cure it.

Offline Caneyscud

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 01:46:04 pm »
Instead of refering to "the stall stage" (it sounds so negative), I like to refer to it as "hitting the plateau".  More poetic, more flowery and positive.  You know that something good is happening if you refer to "hitting the plateau"!  With a 4 lber - it should not be a long plateau.  Magic is happening - don't rush it if tempted - especially on a small brisket.  Trust your machine and your meat.  If everything is working - and it sounds as it is, the thing should be ready by 4 to 5.  It is best to leave the temp setting where you originally set it - I like 230 for a brisket - and let it perk away.  Changing the temp too high is a quick way of getting a tough or dry brisket. 
“A man that won't sleep with his meat don't care about his barbecue” Caneyscud



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Offline Roget

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 03:52:50 pm »
It is now 6:30 PM & the meat IT is only 156.

Rise of 11 degrees in 3 hours.

I had planned it to FTC. Should have had plenty of time for at least a couple of hours before dinner. (I FTCed the baked beans 5 hours ago.Time to transfer them to the fridge)

Both probes are Maverick, w/new batteries. Worked fine last time I used it.

This is my first brisket, so I expected it to be a learning experience. I just hope I learn something from it I can use on my next one. Unfortunately I can't figure out what the problem is.

Thanx for your interest.

YCDBSOYA

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 04:14:50 pm »
Where do you have your top vents set?

If you have a handheld Meat probe, take a temp of the IT in different areas of the brisket.

Also try removing the probe you have and placing it in another area.

You may be in a fat pocket.

Offline Roget

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 08:18:16 pm »
Top vents are about 1/4 to 1/2 open. ( I have tried them at different places)

I have already moved the probe. Made no difference.

It is now 11:00 and the meat IT is at 185. So it is finally getting there.
I just can't believe it has taken this long for such a small piece of meat.

The DBS seems to be working properly.(except for great fluctuations in cabinet temp) Makes me wonder if my thermometer is working properly. Hard to believe the cabinet temp can change by upwards of 30 degrees in a matter of minutes (both up and down)

I boated it at 170 IT so I don't know what it looks like since them. It looked like a cinder at that time, but was still full of juice, so I am wondering what I am going to end up with. 

Thank God I have plenty of Snickers bars to keep me going.

With just a little luck maybe I can have it for tomarrow's dinner.

YCDBSOYA

Offline DTAggie

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 08:36:00 pm »
FTC it.  185* is the perfect temp.

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 08:52:38 pm »
That may be part of the temp bouncing aroung.

3/4 vent to full

Offline DTAggie

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 09:16:48 pm »
I say Bradley should quit putting the vent cover on there.  I cannot even close mine now.  FULL OPEN

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2010, 09:22:38 pm »
Part of the learning process ... "You have to be smarter than your Vent"

If it is too dry, it becomes chopped brisket sammies.

Offline Caneyscud

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 06:08:02 am »
Just saying!  

I've NEVER had a brisket take over 2 hours per pound - much less your over 3 hours per pound.  I've had a butt or two take over 2 hours per pound and a clod over 2 when I overslept and let the fire die down.  Something is not copacetic.  The vent could have contributed, but unlikely the only cause.  

Two likely causes
1.  The thermometers, the digital processor, and the element are all wacky
2.  The maverick is wacky.

As for all three to be wacky at the same time - it is against odds and improbable that number one could be the problem.  It sounds as if the digital processor and the elements are at least working.  But again double check your connections and if you have the DBS on a long, thin extension cord, you could be getting less juice to the element.  Having it plugged into a plug on a heavily loaded circuit could also get you less juice.  That leaves the maverick.  I'd suggest testing the probes with ice water to see if they register 32 and boiling water to see if they register 212.  Just use the tips for testing - you don't want to get water into the probe/cable connection.  

Other things
1.  Lots of peeking
2.  Something blocking the heat from rising - such as foil covering the bottom rack or a aluminum pan of water on the bottom rack.  
3.  Probe placement.  The cabinet probe should be near the meat on at least the same level as the meat and not touching anything else.  The meat probe tip should be in the middle of the thickest part of the meat.  If it is in a fat pocket or air space - then some "incorrect" readings could be had.  If you reposition the meat probe, you have to wait a while for it to reregister the new temp.  The maverick is not an instant read and there is the lag in transmitting.
4.  Leaks.  Check the door seal and see if it is sealing well.  

Fluctuating cabinet temps are the norm (even as much as 20 or 30 deg) during the first of a smoke.  Apparently just the nature of the algorithm and the on/off nature of the control.  The element is either on or off - it does not vary in strength like a dimmer.  As the smoke goes along, the fluctuations get smaller until it is more or less "stable" as the meat temperature more closely matches the cabinet temp.  It is best to set the DBS on the desired temp and leave it there and let the machine do it's thang.  There is no need to change it generally.  If it is fluctuating, the machine will adjust itself.  If the temp is steadily reading lower and gradually climbing - that generally means you have a large load , the element is constantly on and the meat is absorbing all the heat the element can put out.  In that instance setting the temperature to a higher temp is not going to do any good - the element is already putting out as much as it can and it is already always on.  All you are doing is telling it to turn off at a higher temp.  

BTW how did the beast taste? 
“A man that won't sleep with his meat don't care about his barbecue” Caneyscud



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Offline Tenpoint5

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Re: Brisket stuck on 145 Degrees
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 07:53:42 am »
From reading your posts I have to agree with Caney. Yes the vent may have been a contributing factor but in your posts you have stated. "I was moving the heat up and down trying to control the heat and get it to level off" LEAVE IT ALONE. "I boated the brisket at 170º" Well you just stuck a big pan in there to block the heat and more than likely you had a liquid in there since you said it looked like "Cinder" So know you have to spend all that heat in the cabinet that was ment to heat your brisket up on heating that pan and liquid up. Now these are just observations from your writings and I could be all wrong. How did it turn out?
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