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Unread 02-09-2009, 08:35 AM   #1
bigthirsty
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Default Dry Brisket

I'm now 1-1 in brisket.. both briskets were just the flats.. both being about 6 lbs each

My first brisket was as follows:

Took internal up to about 165.. then wrapped it with some sauce and brought it up to 195.. then kept it wrapped and put it in a cooler for 2-3 hours.. it was fantastic. Temperature on the smoker was between 225 or 250 at all times.

Work has been stressful lately and I haven't had an occassion to cook a brisket (only 2 of us plus a 3 yr old).. so I told my wife "I want to cook some meat".

So I pick up a brisket and felt like experimenting..

1. I used a mix of lump and briquettes this time (first time I used all briquettes)
2. I tried to not foil this time but 7 hours in on a 6.11 lb brisket and I was still at 173 degrees on the thick part of the flat. I got nervous so I foiled...
3. Took it off when it hit 192 (total of about 8.5 hrs). left it foiled and put it in a cooler for about 45 minutes
4. by then it was getting late so I took it out and let it rest on the counter (still wrappped) for about 15 minutes.
5. Sliced in and it had a great smoke ring but the consistency of the meat was not good... very very dry.
6. The taste was great. Used a "Salt Lick" rub. I was very happy with the taste but I just couldn't overcome the dryness..
7. Also it seems like it never fully broke down the fibers..

What did I do wrong on the second one? I think one thing is I took the temperature in the wrong end. I had my probe in the thickest part of the flat and I'm guessing that the more narrow part was done much earlier..

Help? Man this was a shot to the pride this weekend...
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Unread 02-09-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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I prefer flats, did this one yesterday.




On the egg, they take 10-12 hours at 230ish grid temp. at 8.5 hours, I think your set up may be to direct, more grilling than low and slow. I only use choice grade flats. t
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Unread 02-09-2009, 08:52 AM   #3
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I have found that telling when a brisket is done is not a temperature thing. Use temperatures as a guide only, but they are done when they feel like they are done. The old 'when a probe goes in like into butter" test.

Also, every brisket has a different time to be done -- it all depends on the structure of the fat and collagen of each brisket.

You might have had a brisket that was just too lean also.

Flats are one of the hardest things to consistently smoke successfully.

There are a lot of people with a lot more knowledge than I who will chime in, but thought I would add my 2 cents worth anyway.
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Unread 02-09-2009, 08:54 AM   #4
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Undercooked.
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Unread 02-09-2009, 08:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
Undercooked.
So the dryness wasn't from being over done.. I just didn't break down the collagen etc?
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjv View Post
I prefer flats, did this one yesterday.




On the egg, they take 10-12 hours at 230ish grid temp. at 8.5 hours, I think your set up may be to direct, more grilling than low and slow. I only use choice grade flats. t
how many lbs was it?
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:02 AM   #7
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Ask BigMista, he can help you he is an expert on dry brisket.
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:05 AM   #8
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Depending on the smoker, the brisket may benefit from being foiled. I have had several test briskets in the past year. Non have turned out the way I wanted them to.

One thing I have consistently noticed is that I hate the texture of a foiled brisket bark but love the texture, bite and tenderness of a foiled brisket.

I don't know of one brisket that I have cooked unfoiled that was probe tender at 195. They all have been above 200. More like 205-215 if you get down to it.

A 2-3 hour rest does lots of good. I wouldn't skip it.
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:06 AM   #9
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This probably doesn't help much but this is what I was working with..

The pictures of the brisket on the grill are about 3 hours into the cook.

I'll post post cutting later as I haven't downloaded those yet..
















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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H. View Post
Depending on the smoker, the brisket may benefit from being foiled. I have had several test briskets in the past year. Non have turned out the way I wanted them to.

One thing I have consistently noticed is that I hate the texture of a foiled brisket bark but love the texture, bite and tenderness of a foiled brisket.

I don't know of one brisket that I have cooked unfoiled that was probe tender at 195. They all have been above 200. More like 205-215 if you get down to it.

A 2-3 hour rest does lots of good. I wouldn't skip it.
And see thats what I was going for.. an unfoiled brisket with a nice bark.. I think I just blew my champagne cork a little too early on this one..

darn me and my impatience!!!!
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:11 AM   #11
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So instead of temp.. what tests do you guys use to check for doneness?

Is the probe "in like butter" the best test?
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:17 AM   #12
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I had one a few weeks ago. It was taking forever. Had to feed the family. The temp was up in the 190's but it still wasn't tender. I pulled it and let it rest for about 40 minutes before cutting it. It was dry and chewy. I only sliced what we needed for dinner. The next afternoon, I wrapped it in foil and stuck it in the oven for for about 3 hours at 275. It came out juicy and tender.

Another thing I have noticed is lower the cooking temp, the lower the done temp. The higher the cooking temp, the higher the done temp.
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
how many lbs was it?
it was in the neighborhood of 6.5 pound flat, choice grade from Sams Club.
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:35 AM   #14
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It was undercooked. Undercooked brisket is dry. Overcooked brisket falls apart but is still juicy, unless you keep cooking it into charred jerky of course.

You said you pulled your first one at 195, and the second at 192. Might start there.
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Unread 02-09-2009, 09:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigthirsty View Post
So instead of temp.. what tests do you guys use to check for doneness?

Is the probe "in like butter" the best test?
This is the most reliable test IMO.

Some folks pull at 195-200 and rest for 3-4 hours with the anticipation that the temps will rise and continue to cook the brisket "beyond done and into tender". ( Someone smarter than I said that ).
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