MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:41 PM   #1
Capn_Jackson
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Default Brisket collagen

Hello fellow cooks!
Got a question about the ever-challenging brisket. The last couple of times I've smoked one, they've come out great! I'm just cooking about 4-5 pounders, 250-300 degrees. Pulling off smoke after 4 hours, wrapping and cooking until probe reads 200-210 degrees.
Last time the brisket got up to 210 or so, and took a real long time to get there. I had to keep it warm so I wrapped in towels and put in a cooler for about 3 hours. Temp dropped down to 160 degrees, and it was delicious and had an excellent texture.
This most recent one, I pulled when the probe said 200. Rested it half an hour before unwrapping. Came out chewy, but moist. The chewiness was because the connective tissue had not melted, or rendered. It didn't pull apart, shred, or slice at all. Luckily this wasn't for a party or anything, just wanted to have some tasty brisket for the weekend.
Why didn't the tissue/collagen render? Is 200 not a good finished temp? Should it have gone all the way to 210?
Or is it because I didn't wrap in towels and cooler it? I usually do with pork butts and brisket. Does the tissue not render at all without this step?

All constructive advice is much appreciated!
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:50 PM   #2
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Don't cook it to temp.. Cook for tenderness. Take your probe and stab the thickest part of the flat. When it pokes through like warm butter it's done. Cooking briskets at hotter temps usually makes the finish IT higher. A hot and fast brisket will finish anywhere from 208-218 or higher. A low and slow will finish around 200. Every one is different temp wise, but every one will be probe tender when done
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:50 PM   #3
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The connective tissue begins to render below 200°F, but, the amount of tissue will vary from animal to animal. There is no single temperature that will guarantee tender brisket. Each one will vary a bit. This is why most of us cook by feel.

However, if you had wrapped and rested that one brisket, it may have gotten better. The rest is not a good method for most folks to use to get a good product. I recommend using a probe test for most folks, once you feel the brisket is close, you probe it with a metal skewer or ice pick. If the probe slides in easily, then, pull, wrap and rest.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:51 PM   #4
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any connective tissue would have rendered by that temp. I don't have much luck with the smaller flats anyway. Can be very hit and miss. Was this a select flat? I have the hardest time with those. I stopped even buying them as I could do all the exact same things and each one came out different.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:52 PM   #5
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Brisket gets cooked until you can slide the probe in the meat very easily (like putting it in a muffin) around here. The temp really doesn't matter as some give up being tight harder than others. I have had some briskest be ready at 195 and some up to 211.

Go by feel not temp. Most Primes I cook are gtg around 203ish.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:08 PM   #6
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all of the above is true but i always like the rest period and i think you hit it right on the head by letting it come all the way down to 160*. this rest time really allows the connective tissue to break down and i think be reabsorbed into the meat. i usually vent it for ten minutes right out of the smoker to stop the cooking process, then rewrap and cooler.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
any connective tissue would have rendered by that temp. I don't have much luck with the smaller flats anyway. Can be very hit and miss. Was this a select flat? I have the hardest time with those. I stopped even buying them as I could do all the exact same things and each one came out different.
In my opinion, stop buying flats, not all the collagen will have broken down-
buy the whole brisket.

Pick up the whole packer - it should be floppy - if its stiff raw,
it'll be stiff cooked.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchar69 View Post

Pick up the whole packer - it should be floppy - if its stiff raw,
it'll be stiff cooked.
I just added this little bit of wisdom to my notebook. Thank you!
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:34 PM   #9
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mchar69 View Post
In my opinion, stop buying flats, not all the collagen will have broken down-
buy the whole brisket.

Pick up the whole packer - it should be floppy - if its stiff raw,
it'll be stiff cooked.
Quote:
Originally Posted by effinUker View Post
I just added this little bit of wisdom to my notebook. Thank you!

Agreed....if it can do a fan dance on the kitchen counter, it seems to come out better....

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Old 04-20-2015, 07:54 PM   #11
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Once a brisket is probe tender in the thickest spot on the Flat leave it wrapped and sit it on the counter in your kitchen stick a thermo in it and once it drops into the 150's it's ready to scarf.all that wrappin in blankest and empty cooler nonsense will over cook it
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:55 PM   #12
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Yup to Buckie.
Blu, I've followed your hnf and it worked great.
The holding and resting for hours is not in my playbook.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
all that wrappin in blankest and empty cooler nonsense will over cook it
Not if you do it right.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:58 PM   #14
Capn_Jackson
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Actually, and I forgot to specify this, I was smoking a point. I have given up on smoking just flats. I smoke the point half.
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:02 PM   #15
Capn_Jackson
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Thanks all for the advice. I will be camping next month and doing another brisket for some friends. I'm going to stop looking for temp, go for feel. Seems to be the most prevalent comment of advice, so I will trust myself more there.

Thanks again!
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