A Word About Temperature

Jackson Ortega-Scheiner Smoking Leave a Comment

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Hi Dr. BBQ,

It was great to meet you at the Atlanta EGGtoberfest this year. I have been using an Egg for almost a year now and have attempted my first Briskets since meeting you in Atlanta. The Brisket recipe from your book, “Big-time Competition Brisket,” is great; especially your Big-Time BBQ sauce!  My Briskets have been very good but I have been perplexed about reaching the final 190°F temp before wrapping and placing in a dry cooler. Per your suggestion, I smoke at 235°F-240°F for at least 12 hours before peeking. Brisket temp is usually about 165°F-170°F at that time (12-pound brisket). Actually it is a little challenge fitting a brisket this large into a large Egg. The next 20°F of meat temp seem to take very long to reach. One took a total of 16 hours of cooking and another never reached above 172°F after 17 hours but seemed to be done if not a bit overdone and tending towards dry. Egg temp maintained a solid 235-240 the entire time and still had fuel left at the end. Am I doing something wrong or do these times and temps seem to be right by your experience? Regards,


Hi Ron,

First off, 16-17 hours isn’t unreasonable for a big brisket, but on the Egg mine don’t take that long. I’d guess that you’re using the temp gauge mounted on the Egg as your guide and that isn’t the best choice. It’s cooler at the grate level by about 25 degrees. Nothing wrong, it’s just that heat rises. When I write a recipe like that I have to make it adaptable to all cookers. If you’ll read some of the text in the book I explain that you’ll have to figure out what temp it is next to the meat regardless of where the temp gauge is on your cooker. Those wired readout probe thermometers work good for this. I happen to know that on the Egg I like to see a reading of about 260°F in the dome so I can make that one easy for you. There’s also a stalling point in the rise of temp in a brisket in the 165°F range that’s totally normal so that might be effecting you too, but the bottom line is that it takes a long time to cook a brisket and I don’t think you’re too far off with what you’re doing.


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