Originally Posted by Andrew
im getting alot of mixed info, i was told by a person that makes great brisket (i have eaten it alot of times) to pull it at 165, i rendered a ton of the fat, i really dont see how it would soften up with more heat and longer. :(
You will often get what seem like mixed messages if you study the methods practiced by various board members here. That's because there is not always one way to smoke any particular meat. You have to examine the various methods and try them out to see what you prefer. The results are generally successful but not identical.
In this case it seems that the results were not fully successful. I hope you enjoyed the brisket nevertheless.
As to how more time/higher temp will produce more tender meat, one of the reactions that takes place during cooking is that connective tissue in the meat fibers softens and dissolves at a certain temperature. You are correct that if you try to get to that temperature too fast, you risk drying the meat. However if you do not reach the threshold temperature to dissolve the connective tissue, the meat will remain, uh... firm.
As far as moisture goes, there is a lot locked up in the muscle fibers. Beef brisket contains about 71% water
so you have a surprising amount to work with. If you don't do anything too extreme, you will not drive enough off to make the meat dry. At the point where you removed the brisket, there was still plenty there locked in the fibers that would be released as the meat continues to cook.
You have tried one strategy and found it not to produce results that please you so I'm happy to see that you are ready to try something different.