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Old 04-18-2006, 06:30 AM   #1
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Default Help! Brisket Internal Temperature

What internal temp is the best for a brisket? Mine usually come out tender and very tasty, but I think they could be a bit juicier and of better texture. Here is a pic of one I did that came out great, but you can see that it looks a litlle dry. It was not dry but it definitely could have been moister. Also, It does not have the texture I would like to see. I cooked this to 190 degrees internal I think.

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Old 04-18-2006, 07:16 AM   #2
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Before I get to temp - let me explain my process. I cook open until 165, then wrap in "Foodservice Film" aka saran wrap on steroids. That plastic wrap will hold up to 265 degrees ( I cook at 225). I put the brisket back on.... let it cook to 190, then throw in a cooler to rest for a couple hours. typically after 45 min or so, the internal temp of the meat is 195. It continues to cook then will hold that temp for quite a while. After about 3 hours in the cooler ( you'll still need heat gloves to grab it) I set the large package in a pan, cut through the saran wrap to capture all the juices and then let the brisket rest for slicing. From my experience, that makes even boot leather tender, juicy and flavorful. We have salvaged some tough briskets by doing that to them after they are cooked.

Ok - so having said all that - 195 is the temp I shoot for. I usually get to that temp an 30-45 min after I have pulled it off the smoker.... Take that advice and 50 cents, and you can get a good cup of coffee
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:18 AM   #3
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I like 190 to take brisket off, too, unless is Kobe (Wagyu)... then I take it off in the low 180's.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:40 AM   #4
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190 to 200 is the common range from what I see.

And remember-the probes we use may not be all that accurate anyway.
A few degrees "off" is common, so don't hang your hat on them as the final answer.
Also, the internal temp varies within the meat as you probe it. I have seen 10 to 15 degrees in different places. Hotter to the outside, cooler to the middle (common sense). It really does not equalize till the resting process is complete.

Confirm the temp reading with the feel of the probe and you will find the combo that works best for you.
Not a "science" thing at all--a little bit of "art" mixed in.

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Old 04-18-2006, 10:17 AM   #5
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To me, temps are irrelevant after 180. I start checking tenderness by sticking a probe into the flat(which happens to be an instant read). I take the brisket off when that probe goes in with very little resistance, regardless of temp. And if its not allready foiled, I foil tightly and put it in the cooler. Usually dont foil any sooner than 170 unless pressed for time and I ALWAYS take it off at as low a temp as possible. I hate having it go over 190. Sometimes, even if it still fells a litle firm i will remove at 190 and just give it longer cooler time.
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