First Beef brisket fail - what went wrong?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by alphadawg, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. alphadawg

    alphadawg Newbie

    I bought a very nice 5.5 pound brisket flat from a local butcher. I put some mustard on the meat to get the rub to stick better. The rub was mostly paprika but included onion and garlic powder and salt. I used my new Masterbuilt propane smoker but did not have a good thermometer. The door thermometer read about 10 degrees colder than the boiling water. I kept the smoker between 225 and 250 for about 4 hours until the internal temp was 180-185.

    It had no bark. The rub was mushy. I could taste the mustard and it was not a good taste. Very disappointing as the meat was expensive and I had guests.

    What should I try next that might be easier and what should I do next time for better results?
  2. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    From my limited successful brisket experience: 4 hours for 5.5lb at
  3. alphadawg

    alphadawg Newbie

    Forgot to add that the recipe called for me to keep the brisket in an aluminum pan throughout the smoke.

    I pulled it at 185 because I thought that was the right temperature. If that was wrong maybe that was my mistake. Taste was still not very good. Yes, there was a water pan in the smoker
  4. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    Below is some info from my first full packer smoke a while back, hope it helps.

    Got a 12lber and based on past experiences with just doing flats, I know longer use a regular rub Just salt and pepper 50/50.  That bark becomes this nice salty bit of awesomeness, by itself it is salty but when that flat is sliced it is just awesome.

    Based on lots of questions asked I smoked it until about 165 and separated the point and the flat which was really easy at that point.  I put the flat back in the smoker after adding some more S&P in the area the point was connected and took her to 195.  I rested it in a cooler for two hours then sliced her into the best sandwiches I ever had and my father in-law ruined by putting ketchup on it.   

    When the point was removed from the flat I chopped into one inch cubes, sauced it, sprinkled with rub and put it back in the smoker for another almost two hours with occasional stirring and adding of rub.  

    I will always do it the same  way from now on because I can't ask for anything better in my opinion.  My guests were WOWed by the burnt ends and loved the brisket sammies also.

    Total smoke time was about 21 hours at 235-245 in my MES using the AMZNPS with a fully tray of Pitmasters choice.
  5. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I smoke almost everything directly on the grate. I only "pan" meats after long smoke time, to push thru the stall and/or avoid drying. Many finish butts and brisket with no pan/foil and still get moist meats.

    The moist environment (water pan) will affect the bark.

    To see if the birsket is done poke the meat with a toothpick. You should feel very little resistance (I learned this here). The brisket I did 1-2 weeks ago had reached over 200F before I was satisfied with the toothpick test results.

    My advice: don't smoke in a pan. If you want you could "pan" it at 160F - but it will soften the bark. Also: make sure you give it enough rest after you pulled it out. Wrapped, in a cooler.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brisket needs to be cooked to about 195 ish for slicing and 205 ish for pulling.....

    Because there was no bark, and you experienced some mushiness in the rub, I am going to guess you had water in the smoker for the full smoke and/or you did not have the exhaust wide open to let the moisture escape....

    Next time, season with dry spices/herbs..... use plenty and rub into the meat very well..... I prefer a neutral flavored oil to hold the spices... Lard is a good one. or mayonaise... Place a small water dish in the smoker for the first few hours smoking at 225 ish to keep the meat moist.... when the IT gets to about 160 or so, remove the water and turn the smoker up to 250-300.... no smoke necessary, to form the bark, seal the meat and keep moisture in.... remove and rest tented or wrapped for longer wait times for slicing or pull while warm and wrap and store until meal time...

    Check forluvofsmoke's tutorial, on this particular method that I may have screwed up, but that's the theory behind a great brisket.....

    Eric....... I can't find your recipe.......
  7. knifebld

    knifebld Smoking Fanatic

    Hey Alphadawg,

    Smoked my last brisket til it hit an IT of 165F then foiled til it hit 195F (did a toothpick test and I knew it was done).

    Hope you have better luck on your next one, just don't give up!
    Ouch, can't imagine spending 21 hours on a smoke and then having a guest smother it with Ketchup! I feel for you! LOL
  8. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    It did not bother me much because that is the way he is and I was too busy enjoying the fruits of my labor, The brisket was awesome but the burnt ends were to die for.  I can't honestly tell you what is taking me so long to do another.  Done a tone of flats lately but not a packer.
  9. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yeah, definitely pulled too early.  Maybe used too much mustard.  Try a thin layer of olive oil and don't be afraid to use a good amount of course ground salt and course pepper.  If you want to use a bit of onion and garlic powder, too?  rock on.

    Put that thing directly on the grate and on a vertical smoker keep the fat cap on the down side.  Protects the meat and allows the seasoning on top get into the meat.  Go to minimum 195 and check for doneness, but usually around 200 will get you to a great brisket. have to rest it.  Wrap in 2 layers of foil with a little liquid, wrap that in a towel, and drop in a cooler for a minimum hour....two is better.  Thats when the magic happens.  One last thing, if you have the availability, get a packer.  You are probably spending more per lb on the flat when they've taken the best part of the brisket from you.....the point.
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have taken to just wetting the outside of the brisket with Worcestershire sauce then applying my rub, I like my rub to not be too thick, but still stick evenly.

    The rest have you covered on pulling it to soon, main thing to remember with brisket it you can not rush it.... it will be done when it decides to be done and each one is different. I have had some finish up as early as 10 hrs. and others that took 18 hours. (the 10 hr. one was a bit of a

    Treat brisket right and you got an awesome tasty meal that will have people singing praises.... rush it and you get tasty shoe leather. [​IMG]

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