When cooking Brisket for a crowd when do you probe it with a temperature probe to ensure it is not overcooked.
The very thought of cooking a big, juicy brisket can get your mouth watering. Therefore, when you get the chance to do so, you want to have all the information on how to do it correctly.
An essential part of preparing a brisket is cooking it to just the right temperature. Those with extensive experience can tell by just using their eyes.
However, most of us need the assistance of a meat temperature probe.
Knowing where to probe a brisket using a temperature probe can be tricky. Read on to find out how to do it right.
Brisket Anatomy 101
Because there are only two entire Brisket portions, the Flat and the Point are highly sought-after cuts of meat. They’re the slices from both sides of the breast region near the sensitive rib flesh. The flesh is surrounded by a gorgeous exterior ‘fat cap,’ making it great for barbeque.
Brisket is divided into two sections: the Flat and the Point. The Flat is the part that wraps the rib cage, while the Point sits off to the side and ‘above’ it, forming the surface closest to the sternum by the front legs.
The Flat cut shape is rectangular in form and has a defined layer of flesh and fat that runs the length of the cut, making it highly consistent and simple to work with.
The Point (also known as the “Deckle”) is similar in design, but its sides tend to curve to a point at one end, hence the name
The flat contains the majority of the brisket’s bulk, it’s characterized by its elongated, slim, and rectangular shape. It’s topped with a thick layer of fat, referred to as the fat cap.
The point is significantly thicker than the flat, it also contains more fat, as well as a lot of connective tissue.
Should I Probe at the Point or the Flat?
Whether you’re smoking or barbecuing a brisket, its internal temperature varies depending on the density of the given area of the meat. The fact that the flat is relatively thinner than the point leads to them having different cooking speeds.
This raises the question as to whether it’s better to probe a brisket at the thinner flat or at the thicker point.
Opinions of experts are split on this issue. Some advocate for probing at the point because it has a slower cooking pace. On the other hand, others state that the point actually cooks quicker than the flat.
What’s known for certain is that the point and flat’s speed of cooking aren’t the same.
Best Place to Probe Brisket
The optimum place to probe brisket is at the center of the thickest area of the flat. This part of the flat is right next to the point. Therefore, probing enables you to simultaneously get a read on the temperature of both the point and flat.
You should stick the probe at an angle, not perpendicular to the meat. You should also make sure you’re sticking the probe deep into, and across the grain of the meat.
The internal temperature given by inserting the probe at the point isn’t as accurate as the one obtained by probing the flat. This is due to the fact that the point has a lot of fat and connective tissue, which distorts the reading.
What Temperature Should I Cook My Brisket to?
The temperature you want your brisket to reach is based on how well cooked you prefer your meat to be.
Here are the recommended temperature ranges for each level of cooking.
- Rare: 120 to 125 ℉
- Medium rare: 130 to 135 ℉
- Medium: 140 to 145 ℉
- Medium well: 150 to 155 ℉
- Well done: 180 to 205 ℉
The exact temperature you should let your brisket reach is based on your personal preference from past experience.