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Competition Brisket Practice

Next up in my competition practice rotation is brisket. I started yesterday afternoon with a beautiful 16# prime packer that I had wet aged for a few weeks in the downstairs fridge.

I trim pretty aggressively for competition. To see the step by step process, check out

Injected, rubbed, wrapped and into the fridge by 6pm.  I’ll hold out on the exact ingredients until after the comp season…

Onto the big Weber Kettle, with the Smoke-EZ mod at 11pm. I loaded up the charcoal ring with 15 pounds of Royal Oak lump, used the Minion Method and got her running steady at 275 with the CyberQ II. I also set up the Maverick ET-732 and went to bed with the receiver on the night stand.

At 5am, I opened my eyes and saw that the pit was still cruising along at 277 and the IT of the brisket was 165, time to get up and get to work!

I added 1/2 cup of beef broth to the pan and covered it with foil. I didn’t get a photo of this step, but you know what I mean.

At 9:30, the internal temp hit 200 and it probed like buttah, so separated the flat and double wrapped it in foil and a couple of towels and put it in the Cambro, which I had pre-warmed with boiling water in a hotel pan.

I trimmed the fat off the point, cubed it, rubbed and sauced and put it back into the cooker for about an hour. Then the burnt ends got covered up and put into the Cambro with the flat to wait for dinner time (simulated turn in time, 1:30)

Here’s how it turned out:

This is the turn-in presentation I’m working on:

And this is dinner.  The brisket was moist and delicious.

Thanks for looking!

29 Responses to “Competition Brisket Practice”

  • js-tx:

    Good looking brisket, always a home run! Is the particular flavor profile you are looking for always a little different for each comp. season? Do you notice any difference in wet aging your briskets? I did that about a month ago, and I noticed my smoke ring was sorta purplish. A quick search on the brethren site and somebody mentioned oxidated myoglobin or something like that. Did you notice any carryover cooking after the rest period?

  • Steve:

    Looks lovely. Looking forward to after the season when you might share your injection and rub ingredients.

  • Mister Bob:

    John, I’m always tweaking my recipes in the off season, but once the season starts I try to follow through with those flavors for the entire season. I don’t want one comp’s scores to make me second guess myself. I do find that wet aging results in a more tender brisket. For competition, I age for about 30 – 35 days from the packing date. The cause of the smoke ring is thoroughly explained here: I don’t get carryover cooking because I vent for 5 – 10 minutes before wrapping tight and resting.

  • Joe:

    Mr. All I can say is yor the man! I can tast it here in Lynbrook N.Y.
    I have been dying to make a brisket at home on my Traeger never did it before. It’s only me,my wife and son can’t do a whole one any ideas on using a flat? I need help otherwise you may see my van comming your way LOL
    Thanks Joe

    PS did the stuffed pork chopes they were fantastic.

  • Mister Bob:

    Thanks Joe, I rarely cook a flat, but when I do it’s the biggest one I can find, the smaller ones tend to dry out too easily. I usually only cook for me and my wife too. I vacu-pack meal sized portions and freeze the leftovers. Then I just drop the bag in simmering water and can have great ‘que any time, in about 30 minutes. Not as good as right off the pit, but pretty close!

  • Bob, Just wanted to thank you for another great post. Like Steve I look forward to hearing about your rubs and injection when you feel like sharing.

  • Joe:

    Thanks Bob for the help will be heading to RD Saturday and see what I can get besides Baby Back Ribs on sale for 2.89 lb./per case

  • Gary:

    Bob, I’m curious if you’ve ever tried cooking a Wagyu brisket or yet alone tasted it. If so, your thoughts about it. I read mixed reviews, thou not enough to consider spending the extra $$ to cook one as well. Thanks for another great write up.

  • js-tx:

    Hi MB, have you ever mixed beef consomme with your injection? I got some Campbells brand at home but I haven’t tried it yet. If only I could experiment every day!

  • Mister Bob:

    Hi John, in fact I always mix my Butcher’s Beef Injection with beef stock instead of water. I add some other ingredients as well. I like the idea of getting some extra flavor down deep into the brisket.

  • Mister Bob:

    Gary, the last few competition I’ve used Snake River Farms Wagyu briskets. The marbling is amazing, and it’s quite easy to produce a tender finished product. It does cook a little faster, and it seems to push right through the stall, so don’t go to sleep on it. I think the taste is outstanding! At $85 per brisket and another $65 to ship to the East Coast, whether it’s worth it or not is another question altogether. I’ve made excellent Prime briskets and some really really good Choice briskets too. I think every serious brisket cook owes it to himself to try a Wagyu at least once. Otherwise, you have only other people’s opinions to go by, and you know what they say about opinions…

  • js-tx:

    Is beef stock more flavorful than beef broth?

  • Mister Bob:

    John, either can be used in your injection, but I do think stock is more flavorful. While many people use the terms stock and broth interchangeably, broth is usually clearer and lighter than stock. Technically, beef stock is made with meat and roasted bones, where beef broth is made with meat only (both might also contain vegetables). Consomme is beef stock, clarified with a clearmeat of egg whites and lean ground beef that solidifies into a raft that draws proteins and impurities from the stock and leaves it perfectly clear.

  • js-tx:

    Thanks MB, I guess I need to experiment with some brisket injections now :)

  • Dennis B.:

    It looks like you smoke your brisket fat-cap down. Is that correct? I’ve always smoked mine with the fat side up, do you find that with injecting it, it doesn’t matter what side is up or down? Also do you do any trimming to the fat-cap? It didn’t look like you did in the step by step trimming post.

  • Mister Bob:

    Dennis, I do smoke the brisket fat cap down, especially in a cooker where the heat source is below the meat. There are two schools of thought on the subject: one that believes fat side up is the way to go because the fat renders and bastes the brisket. The other says fat side down so the fat cap acts as a heat shield and the brisket cooks more evenly. In competition, I’ll be turning in slices from the flat, and I like nicely developed bark that you get by cooking fat cap down, and I’ve never noticed that the brisket was any moister cooking the other way around.

  • […] Competition Brisket PracticeFeb 5, 2012 … Next up in my competition practice rotation is brisket. I started yesterday afternoon with a beautiful 16# prime packer that I had wet aged for a … […]

  • Where exactly do you put your temp probe? In the pic of the brisket on the pit it looks like you have it in the middle right where the point and flat meet but in the flat meat? Is that correct?? Thanks for all your help!!!

  • Mister Bob:

    That’s correct, I try to put the tip of the probe in about the middle of the brisket in the flat meat, and make sure it’s not in the fat line between the muscles.

  • Bob,

    I followed you prep process to the T last night. I just took my Brisket off the Smoker at 203 internal Temp. I’m gonna remove the flat and then cut up the Burnt Ends and put back on the Smoker for a bit. Don’t forget to let us know what seasoning you use when the Comp Season ends.

    Thanks for the tips

  • mark:

    I do alittle comp found your site to very helpful as you know theres lots to learn. Our team name is, The Dirty Old Basters, thanks Mark

  • So, if your competition season is over, would you care to share the rub and injection you used this year and what you liked about this combination? Thanks for any information.

  • Mister Bob:


    Instead of giving exact recipes, I’ll tell you this. I’ve been using Simply Marvelous rubs in different combinations for pork and ribs. I like to lay down a light layer of Season All first, then use a combination of the sweeter rubs on top. Cherry, Spicy Apple and Sweet Seduction are among my favorites. I’ve been injecting the butts with Smoke on Wheels Pork Marinade.

    For brisket, I use my own Blue Ribbon Rub. The recipe is on this blog if you search. I first hit the brisket with a light coating 50/50 black pepper and garlic powder, then a heavy coating of my Blue Ribbon Rub. I’ve been injecting brisket with Butchers Brisket Injection mixed with 1-1/2 times the water in the directions so there’s less chance of staining but I still get the moisture and tenderness boost.

    I’ll keep my chicken recipe to myself for now, but I do use the butter bath method described elsewhere in this blog. We’ve had a second, a fourth and two seventh place finishes in our last four comps. I think we have that one really dialed in. But stay tuned, I might decide to share some day…

    Good luck and smoke on!

  • Joe:

    Mister Bob,
    I followed your directions to the letter on my last brisket cook. 275 grid temp Got to IT of 165 foiled back on the pit….Target 195-200. Probed I thought it was not quite where it needed to be,however IT went to 200 so I pulled it. Let rest in cambro for about 1Hr. Smelled grate had a nice smoke ring…seperated the point from the flat..Point was still fatty like the fat did not render enough. When I sliced the flat it was moist but my opinion a little tough. Should I go with my gut and not worry about IT. Half hour more may have made it perfect. What is the highest IT that you have experienced and ended up with a good product?

  • Mister Bob:

    I have had a few briskets go to 205 before they finally give up and relax, I’ve never had one go more than 207. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. It sounds like another half hour might have done the trick. I usually start probing between 190 and 195, and take it off as soon as it probes like a muffin instead of a piece of meat. Most seem to go somewhere between 195 and 200, but they can go lower or higher.

  • Larry:

    Thanks Mister Bob!! I appreciate all your information!!!

  • Brad:

    Bob do you use a mop for your brisket every couple of hours to help keep it moist if so would it just consist of beef stock and some rub?

  • Mister Bob:

    Brad, it depends on the cooker. On an open pit, I mop about every hour. A common mixture would be beef stock, white vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce and soy sauce, all to taste. On a good tight closed pit, I don’t mop. My thought is that opening the pit loses more moisture than you put back on by mopping. If you’ve got a leaky (air leaks) pit, then adding a water pan or mopping might be a good idea. You’ve got to know your pit and you have to figure out what works for you. As usual, there is no right or wrong way to cook a brisket, or any BBQ for that matter!