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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-20-2013, 09:25 AM   #1
Mahoney86
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Default Yet another brisket question... SORRY

Ive cooked 6-7 briskets now and the only one that ever came out good was in my buddys propane smoker and that was cooked low and slow. I always cook Choice full packers from restaurant depot in the 15-18lb range. All my previous briskets I have always injected with strong beef stock and beef bouillon powder. The remainder of the injection I pour into a pan and use it as a marinade over night. I trim fat to 1/4" and really dig a lot of the hard fat out from between the point and the flat. Cook 325-350 on my Lang until 165 and then I put in an aluminum pan and cover. Once at 195 in the flat I will start probing from tender all over. Always seems that the first 1/4 or so of the brisket probes great but then when I hit the middle its got a lot of resistance. Ill pick the brisket up and it always feels tight. When I pick the brisket out in the store I bend them and pick out the one that I can get the point to touch the flat. Ive cooked to 212-215 and still don't probe tender.

Yesterday I decided to go back to basics. No injection, no marinade just a basic salt pepper rub with some EVOO. Same cooking technique as always. The point finally probed tender at 203* but the flat did not probe tender. I let it rest and for 1.5hours on the counter. Brought it to the tailgate party and started slicing... Great smoke ring, but gray and dry meat. Very little of the fat rendered. Slices would not pull apart and even though they were pencil thin, the slices seemed to way A LOT.

Should I start probing earlier? I cooked beef ribs yesterday with the brisket and they were prepared the same way and they were killer. Awesome beef flavor.. Brisket had no taste other than the fat cap.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 09:52 AM   #2
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IMO you are cooking too hot and fast to get all the things you are looking for. I'd dial her back to 250-275 or 300. It'll make the smoke take longer due to the lower temps but it will also give your meat a longer time in the smokey goodness of your lang. Whether you wanna wrap at 165 and crank to 350 after that is up to you. I like to go 275-300 all the way to the end with no pan or wrap unless I wrap with butcher paper. Then after it probes tender through the paper I take her off to rest in an empty cooler or an hour or two.

But I think the big problem is with the combo of higher temp plus panning is powering through the cook so fast that the meat never gets a chance to render nor does the collagen get a chance to turn to yummy juicy goodness.


In short I think your finishing temps are fine....I just think you need to take a longer time to get to those temps or it won't be probe tender no matter what the thermometer says......well...unless you start adding pressure and steam but that won't be smokey for nuthin.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 09:59 AM   #3
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The only place I stick a brisket is the thickest part of the Flat when it probes like a hot dull knife cutting room temp butter its done. The point will lie to ya like an x used car salesman turned politician.
The last spot to give it up is the thickest are of the flat the temp don't matter,( remember the x used car salesman feller) forget about it unless your cooking poultry or your trying to stay in the rare/med stuff
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Unread 07-20-2013, 07:38 PM   #4
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For what it is worth, the only wrong way to cook brisket is to not cook brisket at all....

Yours sounds undercooked to me.

When you are cooking hot and fast, you have to raise the internal finish temperature of the meat to get to tender.
So while 203 will give you tender meat if you are cooking at 250, it will not be enough when you are cooking at greater than 300. At the temperature you were cooking, you probably needed to go another 5 or 10 degrees internal. The true test once you go past 200 internal temp is the fork test - whether it is tender to the fork. (Altitude matters too, high altitude lowers the finish temp).
I also recommend that you probe only the flat for doneness; the point will take care of itself if you just get the flat right.

Your worst case with a brisket: if you overcook it will fall apart and you will have to eat chopped meat. So better to overcook a little than to undercook until you find that perfect combination.

I agree with other posters that you are probably cooking too hot for a brisket. The only thing I smoke in excess of 300 is chicken. I just do not believe that you should cook brisket at more than 300 degrees. Anything from 180 to 300 is subject to the great debate of what is correct; in reality it is just a number that you are comfortable with and slightly changes your finishing time. I personally like 225 to 250; but I am not afraid to bump the temperature to accelerate the finish time if necessary. But above 300 you have to be really careful because you may start to burn the sugar in your rub, and give a bitter taste to the meat.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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here's the secret to brisket, i think.

cook it hot and fast or lo n slo, don't matter. BUT, and this is a big BUT, give it ALOT of time either way in the collagen and fat rendering temp( @ 180*ish).

so either cook low for a looooong time, or start low and ramp up temp and end low or start high and let it ride low for alot of time.

also, many, if not all, will disagree, but the best most tender and juicy briskets I'VE cooked finished way below 200*.
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