How to get super tender brisket?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by smokinfam, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. smokinfam

    smokinfam Smoke Blower

    I have smoked one brisket last summer. It had good flavor, but it wasn't too tender and I could slice it with a knife which isn't what I was looking for. What I really want is for the meat to be really tender so much so that I could pull it apart with my fingers. I am going to try it again this Saturday, so I was wondering if I could get some feedback on how to make it "fall apart" tender. I realize this may mean a long smoke and that is fine. I was thinking an 8 or 9 pound brisket.

    thanks for any advice!
  2. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You have to go low and slow. The brisket is naturally a tough piece of meat. Sounds like you pulled your a little too early. Most on this site will tell you to pull your brisket @ 190 degrees to slice 200 to 210 for pulled apart. Don't rush a brisket it is done when its done.
  3. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Also, if you foil it at 165 degrees with a splash of juice before taking it to 200, then wrap in old towels and cooler it for a couple of hours. You won't believe how tender and juicy it is. Good luck and keep us posted.
  4. rstr hunter

    rstr hunter Smoking Fanatic

    I usually put mine in a pan and fill half way up the meat with beer. Throughout the smoke the beer cooks off, but the meat stays really moist. As the beer cooks down the smoke and flavor follows with it. I'm sure there are some here who wouldn't favor this method, but it's how I do it and was taught from a guy who learned that from living several years in Texas. Figured if it's done in Texas on brisket can't be too far off the mark. Just my 2 cents.
  5. ismoke

    ismoke Meat Mopper

    All the advice here so far is spot on (though I've never tried the beer pan, but it makes some sense), but the juiciest brisket I've ever made I injected. I didn't want to go crazy (it was for a SB party, and having never tried it I wanted to make sure it turned out), so I just did beef broth, worchestershire, garlic, and a small amount of cayenne, and it was phenomenal.
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Can you tell us the process you have used in the past (temps, length of time, injections, foiling and if so at what temps and when did you pull it, resting time??) so we can give you ideas on what to modify.
  7. sosanm

    sosanm Newbie

    I just tried a brisket last weekend! I marinated the brisket with bottle of some pale ale and 1/2 cp of apple cider vinegar. I marinated the beef brisket for only 8 hours since letting it sit in acid can toughen the meat. I wipe all the marinate off and applied a chili paste rub a let it sit over night! During the smoking period I was sprayed apple juice to keep the meat moist. Smoked low and slow of course! It was a hit! It was my first time, and I was pretty happy with the results :)
  8. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have soaked briskets in buttermilk for a day (evening to evening ) then rinsed very well with water, rubbed with salt n pepper and smoked... The buttermilk does wonders for meat tenderization. It's an enzyme thing that I understand but can't explain..
  9. smokinfam

    smokinfam Smoke Blower

    As I recall from the first brisket I smoked, I pulled it around 200F and foiled it. Don't get me wrong, my family thought it was great, but I think it could have been more tender than it was.

    I picked up a 4.5 pound brisket this evening. A couple questions I have are:
    1. Should I flip the brisket during smoking? If so, how often?
    2. In Jeff's "All night Brisket smoke", he mentioned scoring the fat on the bottom of the brisket to allow the marinade to get into the meat. Anybody else do this?

    I think I will try soaking it in buttermilk overnight as someone suggested.

    I plan on starting tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!
  10. disbe81

    disbe81 Smoke Blower

    Smoke Temp should be about 225-250. Take it to 165, foil it, take it to 205, pull it, let is rest in a cooler with towels for 30 min to an hour and thats about it. If you do all that, you will have the perfect brisket. Theres no shame it putting it in the oven once you foil it either.
  11. pike

    pike Meat Mopper

    Having a good coat of rub on it and smoking it to the 200-210 range will give you a nice tender brisket.
  12. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now I have done mine the same way almost all the time and it comes out tender and fall apart goodness. I just smoke it to 165° and then foil with some spirtz in with the meat. After that I take it to about 200-205° and then let it rest in the cooler for a couple of hours and then you are eating some really good brisky.
  13. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  14. what style of beer do you use?
  15. mcquinn

    mcquinn Newbie

    Don't worry about internal temp at the end of the cook.  Use a probe: toothpick, temperature probe or wooden skewer and when it goes in the point with very little resistance then it's done
  16. Pulled mine at 205 and added a cup of beef stock came out amazing each cut of brisket will come out differently, the weight fat ect.
  17. scooby

    scooby Fire Starter

    Smoke at 225 until an internal temp of 203. You can inject beef broth prior to the smoke if you want to but I have found no difference in tenderness in doing that. I use an AMNPS tray filled with hickory pellets so I also don't use a water tray or any type of liquid addition to the smoker itself as the extra humidity can jack with the AMNPS working correctly. If you get in a time crunch towards the end (depends on how long your stall lasts), you CAN foil it with a little liquid in the foil (Texas crutch method) BUT I have found that sometimes lends a "pot roasty" taste to the final product as this tends to braise the meat. Once it hits 203, I pull it and wrap it in two layers of peach paper (2 layers of paper laid side by side with the second layer being placed on top of the first) and then wrap it in a blanket and put it in a cooler to finish for 1-3 hours. The longer the better. Don't slice it until you're ready to eat it because this cut of meat dries out very quickly once cut. Slice about pencil thick and enjoy!

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