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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-12-2006, 12:56 PM   #1
NCGrimbo
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Default Big brisket to small briskets.

Here's my delima. All I can find locally are briskets in the 14 to 18 lb range. I'm not ready to spend 21+ hours to cook the hunk of meat, but I want to try my hand at a brisket. Can I take one of these beast and cut it down to a more managable 6 to 8 lb hunks and still expect to get some good eating out of it? (ASS-u-ME that I manage to cook it correctly. )

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Unread 07-12-2006, 01:15 PM   #2
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If you wanted to part out a bigger packer (14+) I would remove the point from the flat and maybe cut the flat into 2 pcs.

That said, as a general rule, as the size of the cut goes down, the hrs per # to get it done goes up. I've had small flats (under 6#) take 12 hours to cook.

A 14# isn't all that bad a cook. I cooked packers up to 19# and never had one take anywhere close to 20hrs.

If you want to cook a packer and keep your time involved reasonable, try this.
Start a packer in the evening at 6pm or so, nurse it along until midnight or so. Wrap it up, put it in the oven as low as it will go (170-200) and leave it overnight. In the morning when it's done, turn the oven off and let it set cooler style until lunch (if the aroma allows you to wait that long).
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Unread 07-12-2006, 01:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCGrimbo
Here's my delima. All I can find locally are briskets in the 14 to 18 lb range. I'm not ready to spend 21+ hours to cook the hunk of meat, but I want to try my hand at a brisket. Can I take one of these beast and cut it down to a more managable 6 to 8 lb hunks and still expect to get some good eating out of it? (ASS-u-ME that I manage to cook it correctly. )

NC Grimbo
14 pounder should take way less than 21+ hours..you can also do as people suggested already and separate the flat from the point before cooking
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Unread 07-12-2006, 01:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcquer
That said, as a general rule, as the size of the cut goes down, the hrs per # to get it done goes up.
Now that's news to me. Explain please.
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Unread 07-12-2006, 01:52 PM   #5
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I've had to cut two in half and cooked them, without problem, to the right temperature. Just realise you've exposed the center to the heat, so watch for dryness.
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Unread 07-12-2006, 02:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Now that's news to me. Explain please.
Small flats take longer per# than larger cuts, that's just been my experience. An example someone here used recently, if hours per # really held true, how many days/weeks would it take to cook a whole hog?
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Unread 07-12-2006, 03:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqjoe
Now that's news to me. Explain please.
Let me take a shot at this.
We refer to poundage.
I think the determining factor is really cross section distance. Call it diameter or what ever.

Heat has to travel a given distance to the center of the meat to get it done.
So, if I take a 8# butt and cut it in half, I have reduced the distance to the center of the meat. But, it still takes a certain amount of time to cook. So, if the original butt took 1 hr per pound, it was an 8 hour cook. The smaller butt(s) will probably still take 5 to 6 hours at the same cook temp. 1.25 to 1.5 hours per pound. Lower overall time, but more per pound.

In the case of a Brisket (flat for discussion), if you lay it out and cut it vertically in half, you still have areas that are similar in thickness to the original and will take longer (per pound) than the full brisket to cook. Less overall time (probably), but longer time per pound.
If you were to slice it horizontally, the thickness (distance) would be dramatically reduced as would the overall cook time. Never tried that, but I bet the time per # would still be more than a full flat, but not by much.

In reverse, you can take two 1# steaks. One is 2" thick and about 6-7" in diameter. The other is 1/2" thick and about 12" around. Same weight, but drastically different cooking times.

That is why a whole hog does not take forever to cook. The distance the heat has to travel at the thickest part is not too much more than a full (large) shoulder with similar cook times.

So, we talk weight and nothing wrong with that. But, IMHO, cross section distance is the real key, all other things being equal.

Make sense??????

Back into my cave now.

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Unread 07-12-2006, 03:35 PM   #8
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Cutting the meat in half does not necessarily cut the cooking time in half. While the cooking time overall may be less, the ratio of hours to lbs can/will increase. I think?
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Unread 07-12-2006, 10:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcquer
If you wanted to part out a bigger packer (14+) I would remove the point from the flat and maybe cut the flat into 2 pcs.

That said, as a general rule, as the size of the cut goes down, the hrs per # to get it done goes up. I've had small flats (under 6#) take 12 hours to cook.

A 14# isn't all that bad a cook. I cooked packers up to 19# and never had one take anywhere close to 20hrs.

If you want to cook a packer and keep your time involved reasonable, try this.
Start a packer in the evening at 6pm or so, nurse it along until midnight or so. Wrap it up, put it in the oven as low as it will go (170-200) and leave it overnight. In the morning when it's done, turn the oven off and let it set cooler style until lunch (if the aroma allows you to wait that long).
I totally agree with KC. The only difference for me is I start my brisket, at 10 AM and smoke them until 9 PM. Then I wrap it up and put them in the oven at 215 degrees until 7 AM the next morning. Why this schedule? Because I know I'm not leaving the house until I work the brisket over for eating. It's my breakfast, and it's all I can do to wait until 7 AM to work on it. My oven has a timer and I turn the heat off at 5 AM. I've had great luck with this method. Also, I do my best to purchase 14.5 lb briskets.

Good Luck
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Unread 07-12-2006, 10:13 PM   #10
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I agree with Porky. I like bwiskets in the 12.5-14# range.
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Unread 07-12-2006, 11:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn
Heat has to travel a given distance to the center of the meat to get it done. So, if I take a 8# butt and cut it in half, I have reduced the distance to the center of the meat. But, it still takes a certain amount of time to cook. So, if the original butt took 1 hr per pound, it was an 8 hour cook. The smaller butt(s) will probably still take 5 to 6 hours at the same cook temp. 1.25 to 1.5 hours per pound. Lower overall time, but more per pound......TIM
Great explanation Kap'n. I think the term you're looking for is "dimensional analysis."

20 years after high school chemistry and I finally get to say it... The heckuvit is that those words are the ONLY thing I remember from the class.
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Unread 07-13-2006, 12:02 AM   #12
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Advil, tylenol, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen?
Fark it I'll take an asprin!
You can't convince me a 5# brisket takes longer to cook than a 15#er.
Oh god I have such a headache!
We don't have a Bellview even close to here.
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Unread 07-13-2006, 12:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
You can't convince me a 5# brisket takes longer to cook than a 15#er.
What I was trying to say, is that a 15# packer doesn't take 3x as long to cook as a 5# flat.
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Unread 07-13-2006, 09:05 AM   #14
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Headache is gone. Got it!
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Unread 07-13-2006, 09:42 AM   #15
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Great reply guys. Looks like I may just have to try the 14lb one and finish it in the oven.
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