First Time Brisket Smoke - The Jury Is Out

Discussion in 'Beef' started by tomc486, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. tomc486

    tomc486 Newbie

    I attempted my first brisket this weekend and although it tasted good, I was a bit disappointed in the final results.

    Purchased a 12b packer and trimmed the fat down.

    Applied a rub that I got from the Masterbuilt website, covered and placed the brisket in the refrigerator for approximately 15+ hours.

    Fired up the Masterbuilt at 225, pulled the brisket about an 1/2 hour prior to placing it in the smoker and started the process.

    Used various fruit wood chips during the smoke and repeated the process for say six hours.

    Pulled the brisket at 190 after approximately 20 hours of smoke time, double foiled it, wrapped it in a towel, and placed it in a cooler for approximately 2 hours.

    The final product was tasty and tender but on the dry side.  I was expecting it to be juicer.

    I am wondering if I left it in the smoker too long and should have pulled it at 180 or 185?

    Any suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks.
  2. westby

    westby Smoking Fanatic

    Something doesn't add up to me.  a 12 lb packer trimmed a bit (guessing 10 lbs remaining) shouldn't take 20 hours at 225.  I'm wondering if it was overcooked and you have a thermometer issue.  Was your temp reading taken in the flat or the point?  If your point was at 190, your flat was likely much more done than that.
  3. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    Ditto.  Temps are off somewhere in there.  Sounds overdone.  
  4. tomc486

    tomc486 Newbie

    Thanks for your replies.  The thermo (internal unit that is part of the smoker) was place in the point (thickest part of the brisket) and the flat was dry and most likely overdone.
  5. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The Masterbuilt probes aren't always the most accurate.  Also, the flat is usually the best place for the probe for temp since it's much leaner than the point and will dry out when overcooked.

    Try it again and see how it goes.
  6. tomc486

    tomc486 Newbie

    So what do you recommend the temperature of the flat to be so that the point is cooked properly and will be moist and tender?
  7. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Most of the time I go by feel, but 195-205 is generally when it's done, again, it depends on the meat...  The point will be fine with the flat at that temp, it's loaded with fat which keeps it moist.
  8. mfreel

    mfreel Smoking Fanatic

    You'll feel almost no resistance when you probe the brisket at around 200.  
  9. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic

    I also think your brisket was over cooked.

    Over Thanksgiving I did two separate briskts, both were about 12.5lbs before trimming, so probably 10.5lbs after trimming. Total smoke time was right at 10.5 hours for each. And I wrapped in foil after about 6 hours.

    A 12lb brisket, unwrapped for 20 hours, even at 220 degrees would be severely overlooked and dried out.
  10. smokinal

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

    Next time you may want to foil the brisket at 165, with some liquid. Then take it to 205, or when a toothpick goes in with little or no resistance, in several spots. Good luck on the next one.

  11. link

    link Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I did a 15lb Brisket last weekend (haven't had a chance to post yet). I set my MES 30 at 250° (I know this will give me about 225°/228° on my unit). 

    I started at 7pm and this was done at about 5:00 am at 190°. So roughly 10 hours. This came out tasty and was not dry.

    I am in no way a brisket expert (I have done about 7) but I agree 20 hours seems long to me.

    I like to save the juice that comes out and put this on the meat as well so it helps with it being moist.

  12. rogerwilco

    rogerwilco Meat Mopper

     We did our first brisket over the New Years holiday, a 17.5 lb. packer. A temperature probe was inserted into the middle of the flat and when the temp showed around 190°F, I started checking to see if the probe could be easily inserted deeper into the meat: it couldn't. As the temp slowly continued to rise, the probe finally met no resistance when the flat was around 202°F. At this time, I grabbed a toothpick-sized Thermapen probe and checked in several more locations on the flat, all with the same result, so the point was then probed and found to be just as easy to penetrate, and with a temperature of 205°F. The brisket was then pulled and handled and rested much as you described yours. When sliced, it was juicy and tender.

      Total cook time was a bit over 14 hours, with the first three at a temp of around 180°F and then the temp was increased to 245°F for the duration. I fully expected to find a tender brisket when it reached 190°F, but decided to leave it until it either got tender of the Fire Dept. showed up. So, I ended up kind of cooking "by feel" and it worked out well.

      Good luck on your next one!!!
  13. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Only way to know if the built in thermometer is off is to cook another one (or something else) and compare it to a separate thermometer.  Either put a 2nd probe in it, or check occasionally with a stick thermometer. 
  14. sawinredneck

    sawinredneck Meat Mopper

    I did a 10lber yesterday, took 9hrs holding temps around 250. I actually had to up it to 325 the last hour to push it through the stall as I needed to have it done. I also don't even look at a brisket until it's hit 205, and most times run them up to 208.

    I've done a 17lber and it was a 17hr smoke at 225-250, so I agree, it was in far too long and I'd really suspect a problem with a temp probe. Find a kitchen supply and pick up some cheap thermometers if money is tight, they can be had for $8-10 and a couple of them will give you a better idea of what's really going on.

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