1st attempt @ smoking a brisket = EPIC fail
Even though I haven't been BBQ'ing very long, I have gotten very comfortable with my grill and the product that I have been able to turn out. Other than a couple of early mistakes, my pork ribs have become consistent & I have been pretty spot on with my pork butts. I have even waded my way into smoking fatties and double smoking hams for the holidays.
So needless to say, I have been consistent and gotten pretty confident. (Well that was until yesterday)
I found a small (2 lb) brisket flat that appeared to be a good piece of meat. I have wanted to smoke a brisket for a while and decided to buy this one and give it a go. I have read and reread about some of the difficulties that some people have had, so I wasn't extremely excited about spending some decent money on a cut of meat that I was completely unfamiliar with.
Things seemed to start out ok. Got my smoker to temp and stabilized (225), made a homemade rub. Made sure to stay light on the sugar. (Had read somewhere about not using as much sugar as with pork. Tends to dry out the meat??) Dry rub was applied a couple of hours before placing meat on the grill. The first few hours went off without a hitch. I use a Weber OTP, so other than adding charcoal every hour, adding water to my pan, and spraying with apple juice all seemed to go well.
Then things took a turn for the worse.
My plan was to wrap with foil @ 160 then take up to 190-195 before checking for doneness. In the middle of the stall, I got lazy and only checked my grill. I saw that there was plenty of water and charcoal, so I left things alone. (Problem #1) A short time later I looked at my maverick and realized that grill had dropped to 185. (Alarm limits don't work worth a darn if you don't turn on the alarm) (Problem #2) By the time that I opened the grill and added in some charcoal, the temp took for ever to recover. Hind sight I should have added in some lit charcoal. During that time I noticed that not only was the brisket not increasing in temp, but it had actually dropped 3 degrees. Smoker came back up to temp, but after an hour I still had not even gained back the 3 degrees that I had lost.
I decided to foil and just finish it in the oven as I was frustrated. Meat got to 190 and I checked to see if it was tender. Didn't feel close. Again @ 195. Still not done. I finally ended up pulling it @ 207. Even then it felt nothing like my pork butts have when they are done. Definitely not like buttah.
Let it sit in the oven with the oven off and cool to 160. Cut it against the grain and I felt ill. (Imagine the scene when Eddie cuts the turkey on Christmas Vacation) Made myself take a bite and had more the consistency of beef jerky than the yummy meat I was hoping for.
Oh well, live and learn I guess. For now I will crawl back into my comfort zone and turn out some good pork to redeem myself.