When choosing a comp brisket you............................

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When choosing a comp brisket you............................

Postby jtilk » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:42 pm

I've been wanting to post something of this nature for quite awhile, but kept holding off. After reading the post on here about "grass fed cattle" I figured I wouldnt hijack the post and finally break down and get everyone's input.
I made the comment on here awhile back about how I cooked brisket at the house and did one at the comp the same way yet for whatever reason the one at the house was considerably better. I still managed a final table at the comp, but not near the result I was looking for. The obvious conclusion that everyone stated was that "well every brisket cooks different"... Why this may be true, I contend that there are certain characteristics/ variables that one can attribute to a brisket to try to make the end results as consistent as possible. So cooking temp and same ingredients aside, are there certain things you look for when choosing a brisket you believe yields superior and consistent results?? (Wagyu, choice, or brand you believe in??... weight?... life expectancy left in the cryovac, fat color, thickness??... etc OR are you of the thought it's a crap shoot regardless)
-Josh

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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby Swamp Donkeyz BBQ » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:16 pm

I usually try to find one that weighs over 12 pounds with a thick, uniform, flat with good white fat marbling. I will usually do a little bend test on it too. I tend to stay away from briskets with thin, uneven flats and yellowish colored fat.
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby BAR "G" BBQ » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:53 pm

White fat cap perferred. Yellow fat cap = grass fed are minimal time on grain.
More marbling in the meat the better.
Thick/wide/even flat perferred although difficult to find on most occassions.
Weight range 10 to 12 lbs for comp cooking.
Only real way to know life expectancy is to buy by the case. Actual kill/package date will be on the box.
Never had much success with wagu at Texas comps.
I prefer choice or better although will on occassion find select that meets above criteria.
When buying prime briskets by the case I would rarely have more than two and on occassion three of the six that I would consider comp quality briskets.
Now with all that said it still comes down to a crap shoot controlled by the folks setting at the juding table. Case in point: cooked a small town cook several years back (19 Teams) and came in dead butt last. Week prior cooked an identical brisket in regards to flavor, tenderness, texture, ect (52 Teams) 1st place. Week following small town DAL was Meridian; cooked an identical brisket in regards to flavor, tenderness, texture, ect (200 Plus Teams) 3rd place. Long story short you can be beat by a piece of salt block if thats what appeals to the judges taste. jmho
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby 3 star redneck » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:10 pm

9-11 lb prime packer, trim fat down to about 7.8-9 lb packer......cook it...Bar G gave you some good advice..... :salut:
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby jtilk » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:20 pm

Well from what you guys have posted seems to be about what I look for ... primarily a flexible brisket, white fat as white as possible and red meat as red as possible, bout 10 lbs and good marbling. Although my scores seem to be somewhat inconsistent at times. Just looking to see if I'm missing something but it looks like I'm on pretty much the same page.
-Josh

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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby bruno994 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:54 am

10 pounds is a great cooking size, I agree, but for presentation, which is not as big a deal in Texas as is tenderness and flavor, but it's hard to find a good, thick flat on a 10 pounder. I have cooked a few, but most of the time I lean towards the 12 to 15 pounders, as they tend to give you a more uniform flat for a longer stretch. As far as fat and flex, I follow the same guidelines as everyone else has already stated. The one plus a 10 # brisket gives you is that it is much easier to shove into a 2 1/2 gallon ziplock than a 15.
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby dub' » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:48 am

The reason I reject 90% of the briskets that I reject is
the flats are too thin or are tapered to a knife edge
at the wide end. It's like they're supposed to be cut that way?!
It really is hard to find thick flats.

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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby ceaves » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:05 pm

First thing I do is look for a 12-14 lb Choice packer, then I look at grain. I want the grain to run as straight as possibe. You want to trim the brisket for the turn in box before cooking, so the flat can taper some and that's ok with me as long as it's nice and thick on one side. The other side will get cut off before cooking.

Not a fan of the bend test, just don't believe that to be a factor in how tender the brisket is. Once you freeze them at home and thaw, they bend different. That being said, I freeze all my comp briskets and try to thaw about 10 days before the cook.
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby RangerJ » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:07 am

Close my eyes and pray...

My brisket, or thats what I call it, cost me 3 GC's last year, and well, it's one for one this year
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby Woody Wood » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:00 am

RangerJ wrote:Close my eyes and pray...
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby js-tx » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:34 am

My local meat market carries prime angus most of the time so I try to find one with a thicker flat. They usually end up being around 12lbs or so. I think RWBTEX/Arnie posted a while back about looking for one with good marbling that's visible on the side opposite of the big fat band. I think that may be more important than a thick flat as you can always trim the thin side of the flat a little to make it thicker. Since I've been paying better attention to details, I've been happy with my results the last 2 comps. Some extra salt would probably have helped me at my last comp... :argh:

As far as the judges go.. yea who knows whos' going to show up that day and what they may like. Whatcha gonna do?
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby jtilk » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:47 pm

RangerJ wrote:Close my eyes and pray...

My brisket, or thats what I call it, cost me 3 GC's last year, and well, it's one for one this year


Dont get me started on this ... It's my achilles heel in comps. 2 comps that come to mind last year ... 32 teams 5th chkn and 5 ribs .. notta in brisket, county fair 152 teams 8th chicken and 7th ribs ... notta in brisket... :banghead:
-Josh

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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby js-tx » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:59 pm

jtilk wrote:
RangerJ wrote:Close my eyes and pray...

My brisket, or thats what I call it, cost me 3 GC's last year, and well, it's one for one this year


Dont get me started on this ... It's my achilles heel in comps. 2 comps that come to mind last year ... 32 teams 5th chkn and 5 ribs .. notta in brisket, county fair 152 teams 8th chicken and 7th ribs ... notta in brisket... :banghead:


May I ask what your method/recipe is for brisket? Perhaps we can help you out.
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby Butter » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:20 am

If the comp pays good money, I bring a waygu. I've placed every time I've cooked one. The grain structure and fat are like nothing else I've found. Yes they are more expensive but if the comp pays $1000 for 1st place brisket, are they really that expensive? The waygu I get come from the Imperial Waygu Farm. They are full sized briskets, usually 16-20 lbs. I trim them to get a consistent cook out of them and then I trim the slices when I'm turning in. Now that you can block edges in Texas I prefer to cook the brisket whole.
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Re: When choosing a comp brisket you........................

Postby js-tx » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:53 pm

Butter wrote:If the comp pays good money, I bring a waygu. I've placed every time I've cooked one. The grain structure and fat are like nothing else I've found. Yes they are more expensive but if the comp pays $1000 for 1st place brisket, are they really that expensive? The waygu I get come from the Imperial Waygu Farm. They are full sized briskets, usually 16-20 lbs. I trim them to get a consistent cook out of them and then I trim the slices when I'm turning in. Now that you can block edges in Texas I prefer to cook the brisket whole.


I've heard you can block edges in Tx Gulf Coast sanctioned comps, but I have not yet heard the same for IBCA or LoneStar comps. Can you block edges in IBCA and LoneStar comps now?

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