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Last Place Brisket, I need a Slumpbuster
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mrcustomsteel
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 1997
Location: Bilings, still a Texan, MT

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14 06 8:26 pm    Post subject: Last Place Brisket, I need a Slumpbuster Reply with quote

You know when you turn a brisket and you feel good about it and you get 11th, 5th, or 20th it's kinda' like kissing your sister and you wonder what you might have done wrong.

Well, I came in dead last with my brisket in Lowell, MA, among those who got scores out of 33 teams. LAST! LAST! LAST! There, I said it. It was a complete F'in nuclear meltdown that started last Thursday when I picked up my briskets. A friend with a restaurant ordered them for me, 2@15lbs and 1@14lbs. Well, I liked'ta $hit right there but I figured I could handle it.

I trimmed them some but there was only so much I could do. Then, I figured since I had three, I'd do a little experimenting, you know, chasing that KCBS dragon, pretty, inedible brisket. IMHO

If y'all take anything away from this diatribe it should be "don't do your experimenting at a competition" at least not with all your meat.

I used a different marinade, tried to cook at a lower temp than I'm used to, let my wood get wet, had thermometer problems, finished them (I thought) too early, sample cut one too late to do anything about it, sliced pieces too thick (a table captain said it looked like meatloaf).

There were no delusions of grandeur when I turned in that box. I knew it was bad and was relieved to see no one else screwed up like me. It was just downright comical and a valuable lesson learned.

I have the off-season up here until spring to re-group. I'm going back to how I have been cooking them for 30 years, get my confidence back, take the KCBS judging class, then try some different approaches before I enter another contest. I'll keep reading here to see if I can figure out how to get in the money on brisket.

At least I have 40lbs of chili meat since it's starting to get cold up here. Anyone know of any good chili contests in this neck of the woods?
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14 06 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no contests are certainly not the places to be making big changes...sorry to hear about your brisket though that sucks...I know that we had similar problems the first time out and our brisket scores were pretty bad...got a contest in a month though and I figure that we should be able to get something worked out by then...
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SmokinOkie
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14 06 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, we've all been there when we have a day where something doesn't cook up right. You a man for stepping up and admitting it. And it's your first season.

Guess you learned a lesson and take something away from that. DAL is no fun, just don't go back there.

The key would be to practice over the winter. No quick fixes, just practice your contest meats and get the timing down.

You know I prefer those large briskets, but next time, if it's too big, trim it down if you're not use to something that size. Nothing says you have to cook the whole thing. The teams that do the best seem to always have consistent meat. I know Mike, I and other teams that trim their meat a certain way to finish in the box like we like. I don't just throw a hunk of brisket on the smoker as is, without thinking how I want to finish it in the box.

One rule for brisket. It's certainly better to start it to soon and hold it, than have to pull it off and cut it before it's finished. Start early and hold it in a warmer.

Shoot, we've all got stories to tell.

I'll tell one on Mike. At a contest he and I talked about not doing well, and I said Mike your a great cook even if the judges don't know it. Next contest he got his GC and he's invited to the Royal Invitational and Jack Invitational.

Best of luck.
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Seth711
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Joined: 07 Oct 2005
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Location: Woodstock, IL

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14 06 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anything you need to cook a larger brisket hotter not cooler.... A brisket that big I would start out cooking it at 230 for a few hours then crank her up to 250-285.


Seth
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Sa-Mokin
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hang in the man! You might be in RI but if you are "still a Texan", being able to cook good brisket has got to run in your blood.
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adolpho
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first contest was a disaster for brisket and having turn in times and not thinking logically was what got me. I started my briskets at 2am, thinking they can come off at 2pm, rest and then sliced and turned in by 3pm. Well I didn't take into account the cooking time loss by opening the door and using the same cooker for the chicken and ribs and basting them too. So naturally my times would have been extended. At 2:40 the brisket was only at 175 and I had to start slicing. Man was I sad, but now I know if I use the same cooker I'll start my brisket at midnight, or use foil when I add the chicken and ribs.
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Lakesidesmoker



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your gonna talk about your last place brisket, I think you should also metion your 2nd place chicken!!!! Congrats on that man!
BTW, it was great to meet you guys this weekend.
I had a blast in Lowell this weekend. I cooked for s--t, but I had fun!

Mike
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks y'all. And thanks Mike. It was good to finally meet you too. It was actually a 3rd place in chicken and 15th overall so it was not a total loss. It's like that one good golf shot in a day of hacking that keeps you coming back. I'm hooked and can't wait until next season. But a Texan getting last place in brisket in MA, man I'd rather go down to Austin and badmouth Darrel Royal than have that happen again.

I think I learned a lot more from that disaster than I would have from a 10th place or so. I have a crockpot full of 1" chunks simmering in BBQ sauce as I write so the meat is not a total loss.

I'll post pics of my turn-ins once I get them loaded so everyone can learn from them. Let everyone see what a 117.1428 brisket looks like.
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DawgPhan
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrcustomsteel wrote:
Thanks y'all. And thanks Mike. It was good to finally meet you too. It was actually a 3rd place in chicken and 15th overall so it was not a total loss. It's like that one good golf shot in a day of hacking that keeps you coming back. I'm hooked and can't wait until next season. But a Texan getting last place in brisket in MA, man I'd rather go down to Austin and badmouth Darrel Royal than have that happen again.

I think I learned a lot more from that disaster than I would have from a 10th place or so. I have a crockpot full of 1" chunks simmering in BBQ sauce as I write so the meat is not a total loss.

I'll post pics of my turn-ins once I get them loaded so everyone can learn from them. Let everyone see what a 117.1428 brisket looks like.


ouch...yeah still finished fairly well overall...those other scores must have been great...
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Lakesidesmoker



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrcustomsteel wrote:

I'll post pics of my turn-ins once I get them loaded so everyone can learn from them. Let everyone see what a 117.1428 brisket looks like.


I have some pics on my web site. Check em out!
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SmokinJoe



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
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Location: Sandy (Salt Lake), Utah

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good-lookin' turn in's, hoss!
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mrcustomsteel
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike those are great presentations. That brisket looks great. It looks juicy enough. What do you think the judges did not like? I'm almost embarrased to post mine after those.
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D. Tillery
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Lakesidesmoker



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrcustomsteel wrote:
Mike those are great presentations. That brisket looks great. It looks juicy enough. What do you think the judges did not like? I'm almost embarrased to post mine after those.


Dude, I wish I knew!
Our chicken was real good and scored bad! That was the one that surprised me the most. The brisket was a little blaa, but not 2nd to last blaa.
We did score good with presentation. But thats it.
Back to the drawing board.

Mike
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SmokinOkie
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have some pics on my web site. Check em out!


Maybe I missed 'em. Did I go to the wrong place? I went to the site in your signature and saw a bunch of sculptures.

Would like to view so I can give your better feedback.

Smokin'
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15 06 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okie, you must have gone to my site then. Look under Lakeside Mike's post for his site, then go to "pics".
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GOON'S BBQ
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16 06 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man sorry that the brisket came out bad man. I wish that I had time to come up to the comp, but I had to go to the in-laws for my FIL's birthday. It would have been nice to meet ya. Get some practice in this winter and knock'em dead next year!
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16 06 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Drumroll Please!


I'll post all my turn ins on another thread.
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EastTennQcrew
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16 06 9:58 am    Post subject: Temps Reply with quote

I posted to this same photo on another thread, but.

I the temp was only 175 when you cut it, it would have to been alittle on the tough side. And the thicker slices would have made it even harder to chew. Going thinner could have helped. Cooking it longer would have helped with the bark to, but it has a good looking smoke ring.

Kind of like the songs say Time heals all, and here I think it would have pumped up your score.

RandyE
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mrcustomsteel
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18 06 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pulled it at 185 and it sat wrapped in a warm chest for 2hrs. I need to test my Maverick because something's not right. A few hours in a crock pot and it was great.
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Char
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18 06 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lakeside what place did you come in with that brisket? For presentation.. are you allowed to use vegtables or fruits anything else besides lettuce leaves? Just wondering, it's something I'd like to get into one day.

I know nothing about competitions.. is that the usual thickness for comp. brisket? I thought it would be thinner, but what do I know.
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