burning the brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by texas roy, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. texas roy

    texas roy Newbie

    Well it's been a couple of years since I've actually had the chance to sit and properly smoke a brisket (3 little rugrats at home!) So my last attempt was so bad I threw it. I figured 90 minutes per pound at around 230. So a 3 pounder smoked for 4 1/2 hrs at 225-230. Waaaaaaaay to long. Knife barely cut through it. What gives? HELP!
  2. Hate to hear that you had to throw it away. The best thing to do is get a good thermometer. The maverick 733 works great. Dual probe with a remote receiver. Use one probe in the meat so you can cook to internal temp and the other to monitor smoker temp.
    It's always best to cook to IT as no two pieces of meat will cook the same. It is not uncommon for two identical pieces of meat to reach the finish IT an hour or more apart.

    Smoke it up
  3. one eyed jack

    one eyed jack Master of the Pit

    William has it right,  "don't try to cook by time alone".  Also add "probe testing" to your progeress checks for "done-ness".

    When a toothpick or similar slender probe will go into the meat with very little to no resistance, your golden.  (Think about the feel of pushing your probe into pretty warm butter).

    Was your chunk of brisket the flat or the point?  (It's easier to find small pieces of flat than point), and the flat is less forgiving as far as dryness goes, than the point).

    Best luck with your next try.
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cook time for brisket flat is determined by thickness of the meat, not by weight.   It will sound strange, but I'll wager that your brisket was very undercooked. 
  5. Internal Temp is the only way to go.  Once you start using a thermometer and you see how well the finish product is you will be pleased. 
  6. rbosco3

    rbosco3 Newbie

    I just tried to smoke my first beef brisket yesterday.  It was 3 1/2 pounds and according to Jeff's book should have taken 5 hours at 225 degrees with an finished internal temperature of 190 degrees.  I used a dual probe digital thermometer which has been check for accuracy.  After 5 hours, the internal temperature was only 175 degrees.  It took another 2 hours to reach 190 degrees.  When I took it out, the brisket was very overdone.  Any thoughts on what went wrong?
  7. smokingearl

    smokingearl Meat Mopper

    If it was overdone it wouldn't slice, it'd shred. Sometimes brisket will go to 215 before its done. At 195, start probing as mentioned above for tenderness. It was probably not over cooked, but undercooked.
  8. rbosco3

    rbosco3 Newbie

    It was difficult to slice and very dry inside.  Isn't that an indication of being over done?
  9. timleo

    timleo Smoke Blower

    When you say 'overdone', what exactly does that mean?

    Was it dried out?  Do you use a water bath?  Did you wrap it when you hit an IT of 170?

    Was it black on the outside?  Is that just the 'bark' and 'smoke ring' that you're looking at?

    How thick was that cut of meat before you started?  If it was a point cut, you might not have enough thickness to leave it un-attended.
  10. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Cows don't tell time and a brisket gets done when it wants to.  Temps are only a guideline and as such I use it to know when to either wrap for the crutch or start testing for doneness. Doneness is determined mostly by feel, as others have mentioned, probe should go into the meat with little effort at all. i.e knife through warm butter. Other thought: have you verified your grate temps using a calibrated thermometer? Built-in thermometers can easily be off.  When doing low & slow you need to make sure you are actually low so the cook is slow.  Example, my MAK 2 Star says it's 225° but it's really 250°, ergo if I want to smoke at 225°, I set the controller for 200°.  JMTC :D

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  11. rbosco3

    rbosco3 Newbie

    It was very dry.  I had a water pan at the bottom of the smoker.  I did not wrap it at all.

    It was black on the outside.

    I used at flat cut of brisket rather than a packer cut.  It was about 1 1/2 inches at the think part an 1 inch at the thin part. Do you think that may have been the problem?
  12. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    That flat was pretty thin.  I've never smoked such a small brisket.  I've over cooked brisket before and like others have said, it shreds and falls apart when trying to slice.  It was never dry, just fall apart tender.  My goal is pull apart 1/4 slices that hold up to their own weight.  If the slices are tough to pull apart, it is under done.


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