First brisket question

Discussion in 'Beef' started by falconer, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. falconer

    falconer Newbie

    Hi all. I've been smoking pork and fish for a few years now and those usually turn out pretty darned good. A pork butt will usually be fall-apart tender when I'm done. I decided this past weekend to do a brisket for the first time.

    Got a whole brisket (select grade; all that's available here) with about a 1/4" fat cap on it. Put a basic rub on it; nothing extreme. Smoked it over a mixture of hickory chunks and oak chips (can't get oak chunks here that I know of; still working on that).

    Using a redi-chek dual probe, smoker temps stayed between 200 and 240, leaning towards the low side most of the time. TBS mostly, never going to thick white smoke.

    After the first 4 hours, I started mopping it with a mop sauce, hoping to keep it from getting too dried out. ( I usually spary my pork butts with apple juice but didn't think the apple juice flavor would mix well with the beef.)

    Smoked it until internal temp got to 170ºF. Pulled it from the smoker, wrapped it in foil, added some more mop sauce and pan drippings, and put it in a 230ºF oven till it got to 195ºF. Let it rest and when I opened it, was I surprised! It was hard and dry. Nice flavor, good bark, good smoke penetration, but dry. Hard to cut, but when cut into small pieces it was pretty tasty. Too dry for me, though. I've cut it into pieces and slow cooked it in some sauce and it's becoming more palatable, but I don't believe I should have to do that to enjoy it.

    Any thoughts on what I might have done wrong?

    Constructive critique welcome!


    Northern AZ
  2. at 200 deg it won't get tender. it will cook. it will also dry out. At 225+ it will cook/smoke 230 to 240 is great. If you are not using a sugar based rub you can go higher in temp. Let the meat tell you when it is done. The best ingredient is patients

    Check your gages. if they are off. so is the whole smoke.

    Happy smoken.

  3. I think David got ya covered.  The low temp probably killed ya.  And those therms need checkin.  We have all had brisket that didn't turn out quite right.  Trial and error.  Take notes to avoid those errors.  Also seems like every one of those dern things are a little different.  It's done when it's done.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  4. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I smoke mine  225* to 250* until the IT is around 190 for slicing and 205 to pull it.. I do wrap mine and put it in a cooler for awhile..never had one go tough on me...
  5. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    I have to agree with my brethren, too low of pit temp, make sure of the accuracy of the therms your using by doing the boil test. 

    As far as mopping, not a big fan of it (but thats not what caused your problem), but if you like it do it.  I prefer the same method that you use on your butts, just a quick spritz of some apple juice with brown sugar dissolved in it.  Helps build a really nice bark. 

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