Brisket Bummer

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by medic911, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Hello all! Newbie here, and in fact, today is our first day using our first-ever smoker! (40" MES). We had an awesome prime rib turn out today, and a juicy pork tenderloin. However, our beef brisket was a bit of a bummer. It tasted ok, but was fairly chewy, and much more done (brown) than I would have expected for the temp.

    It is only a 3-pounder, so I know that is a bit small. We had it at 225 for a total of 4 hours. When it stalled at 159, we wrapped it in foil and put it back in for an hour. After we unwrapped it, the temp probe said it was 178 degrees. I had planned on it needing to go in again after the wrap, but being at 178 already, we took it out & let it rest for 15 minutes. The temp rose to 180 while resting.

    It was very juicy and had good flavor, but I expected much more pink. Is my goal temp just off? I don't get it. :-(

    Tagging my hubby...... (the guy I blame when stuff doesn't turn out any other day of the week). Haha. :)
  2. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member


    Another post similar to yours that you may be able to find some good advise from:


    In summary, your chunk of meat was probably too small to get very good, but also as a critique of your method, you almost always want to get brisket up to 195-205 or until a toothpick goes in like warm butter.

    That brisket appears to be cooked more like a roast with a sort of pink color, but if you check out most good briskets they have a rich dark brown color inside, this is because the meat has been cooked beyond "done" (getting rid of any pink hue) to the point where the fats render down leaving only tender voids where they once were (sounds counterintuitive, but in the lesser cuts of beef and pork, it is actually the way the fat is connective that is making them less tender). This is also why the resting period is so important for Brisket, because it gives the melted away juices ample time to redistribute into the meat.

    Brisket is often considered one of the hardest BBQ meats to master, so just keep trying until you get it right! Also We would love to see how the other stuff turned out if you had a chance to take pictures before scarfing it down.

    Here is another good post about how to get a good brisket mastered:
  3. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    It does't look bad to me, Medic. Brisket isn't supposed to be pink like a roast, just really tender. Frankly I'd rather do a chuckie. Like Travisty said, it's a hard cut to master. Sounds like your other stuff worked out ok!
    Welcome to the addiction. Oops! I mean hobby... :yahoo:

  4. PRIME RIB!! Time got away from me a bit, so it was about 5-7 more degrees than my goal (thought I ruined it!!), but it was still phenomenal. We seasoned it with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and some Famous Dave's Steak Burger seasoning.

    Pork tenderloin. Photo makes it appear a bit more pink than it really was. This one had some apple juice infusion & a 6-pepper and BBQ rub.

    A few Country Style Ribs. These were our cheaper way of trying a bunch of different rubs & seasonings. A bit dry (no juice infusions or baths), but still pretty good. And a great way to try the spice variety.
  5. First of all, thanks. I guess I had incorrect ideas on what it should have looked like. I think tenderness would certainly trump color here, so I have no problem shooting for that goal next time.

    Second, is a chuckie just a beef chuck roast? Whats the temp goal for that? Can it be sliced? Or do you pull it?

    Thanks again.... and thanks to everyone who replied. We are so thankful for your knowledge and willingness to share your secrets!! :)
    smokeymose likes this.
  6. Cuts of meat like brisket and chuck are tough with lots of connective tissue and require cooking long enough and to a high enough temp for the tough stuff to break down. Same with a pork butt.

     I'm sure your next one will be much better. Probe it for tenderness to be sure.

  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    3 out of 4 ain't bad for your first time with a new smoker.

    Now that you know the target temp for brisket, chuck, & pork butt, I'm sure you will do great next time!

  8. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Yes a "chuckie" is a chuck roast. You can do them to slice or pull. To slice, just cook them to whatever temp you're comfortable with over 145. You may want to sear. Your choice. 155 to 165 works for me. To pull, treat them like you would a pork butt for pulling, that is, foil wrapping at about 155 and then taking it to about 200. I then wrap in towels (still in the foil!) and let it rest in a cooler for about an hour. Don't take my word for it, though! Searching this forum will show you lot's of options.

    Looks like you're off to a good start. That prime rib looks delicious! Maybe I'll splurge Saturday...



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