Burning the bottom of my briskets

Discussion in 'Beef' started by backyardsmokin, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. I have been doing 2 to 3 briskets a year, but lately I have been having an issue I can't seem to nail down what my problem is.  For some reason my briskets are getting burned on the bottom to the point that it is rock hard.

    I use briskets from C&C, trim the "corn" section of the fat off the bottom and bring down the fat cap down to 1/4" in the thicker areas.  This is covered in a basic S&P rub.

    I am running a GMG pellet smoker with temp set to 250.  I am monitoring the pit in different areas and though the far end of the pit is a bit warmer, I put the thicker on on that side and fat cap up.  I pull it off at about 200-205.

    Any thoughts on why I am burning the bottom?

    Thanks All.
  2. Hello.  No idea why it would suddenly started happening if you are following your standard method.  I actually turn my brisket about every 1-1/2 hrs. or so, NEVER using a fork.  That should solve the problem.  Keep Smokin!

  3. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    The only possible answer is your cooker is getting too hot.  Check your smoker temp.  Don't ever trust the temp settings that come with the smoker.

    I have a Traeger and have never had this problem.  But, I monitor my smoker temp (and meat temp) with a calibrated digital device.  The temp setting on the smoker itself is not always correct - I ignore what the smoker is telling me and rely purely on the digital thermometer.  Hope this helps.
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like your brisket is getting direct heat as opposed to indirect.  Without getting into the physics of it, just picture the difference between the air in an oven that's 212 degrees and a pot of boiling water that is also 212 degrees.  If you stick your hand in the water, you will scald yourself immediately.   If you stick your hand in the oven, you could probably hold it there for 10 seconds without a problem even though it's the same temp as the water.    

    Here's a good article on the subject:


    See if you can move the brisket to a different location or do something to block out the direct heat. 
  5. Thanks All.  

    I did a corned beef over the weekend and prior to the smoke, I tested my probes with the ice/boiling water test and validated that they were all +/- 1 degree of each other.  I followed this up with setting my smoker at 250 and then taking a front/middle/back readings at 2 inch intervals across the grate.  There is a 15 degree temp swing from left to right and the center of the smoker being at 250.  

    During my smoke I had still watch pit temps and they remained with in a few degrees of what my test showed.  This time instead of smoking to temp, I did the toothpick test.  At 180 I tested it and there was a small tug against the toothpick.  I retested at 185 and the toothpick went right through.  I pulled it out and got a perfect brisket for slicing.

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