My First Brisket

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by llbaker2, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Made my first attempt at smoking a brisket yesterday. Did a 5 lb brisket (flat I think). Didn't come out all that great.

    I recently completed a WSM Mini following directions given in this link: I chose to include two racks. Measured down 1 1/2 inches and 5 inches from top of pot for rack placement. Went with a Maverick ET-732 thermometer rather than the Tel Tru model. I also made a charcoal ring same diameter as the grate and 3 1/2 inches tall from expanded metal.

    Used 4 oz. of hickory chips to start fallowed by a couple small hickory chucks and Kingsford blue charcoal. Smoked at between 200 and 250, mostly around 225 for 9 hrs. Hit the stall at 140 degrees. Stayed there for 6-7 hrs. Got impatient after 8 hrs and bumped up the temp to 350 degrees or so for another hour. IT went from 140 to about 155 and seemed to stall again. Got worried that it had been going for 9 hrs and still had not reached the 190-200 degree range. Decided to pull it off. Let it rest for about 30 min and then cut into it. Was disappointed in how chewy it was. Guess I pulled it to soon. Based on what I've read I thought a 5 lb brisket should have cooked in 6 hrs or so but even after 9 hrs I just couldn't seem to get the IT up to 190 degrees. Should I have let it ride. Do you think it would have eventually reached an IT of 190 degrees if I would have left it alone? How much longer should I have let it ride? Should I have wrapped it in foil? I did remove smoking chamber from grill base to add coals and wood chunks once and took the top off the smoking chamber a couple times to baste but that's about it. Is there anything I can do after the fact to make brisket more tinder? Can stick it in the oven to finish ot off or something or is it to late. I should mention that I placed the brisket on the top rack and a 9 x 9 inch pan of bbq beans on the bottom rack. Cooker temp probe was next to beans on bottom rack about 4 inches below brisket (on top rack). Meat probe was inserted from the widest side to depth of about 4 inches.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  3. Thanks for the reply Jesse T. Im not familiar with the ice water test but will look into it. My Maverick is new and untested. It could be off I suppose. I did a chicken a couple days ago which turned out well. The Maverick seemed to work well on it but that's pretty much the extent of my use/experience with the Maverick. I'll keep the "tooth pick test" in mind next time. After the fact I sliced off a 1 1/2 - 2 lb portion of the brisket and stuck in in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. Made a big difference. I didn't wrap it as you suggested and consequently it dried it out a little but it was much more tender. Went from very chewy to being able to cut it with a fork. It took a little effort to do so but non the less I was able to cut it with a fork. Think maybe I just need to be patient and trust the Maverick.
  4. Did the ice water and boil tests on my Maveriick ET-732. Did pretty well on both test. Food probe was +4 degrees at 216 and Bbq probe was +1 degree at 213. Didn't do quite as well on ice water test. Food probe was +2 degrees 34 degrees and Bbq probe was off a little at +7 degrees or 39 degrees. Seemed to meet expectations in the important area or 200+ range. 7 degrees off on the Bbq probe ice water test seems to be a little much but within reason for a $50 meter. Would you agree?
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  5. That sounds like a reasonable margin to me. On things like pork butt and brisket, you're way beyond safe temperatures and just looking for tenderness so even if you're a few degrees off, it's a good indicator to start monitoring tenderness. On your bbq temperature that margin won't matter either.  I get a little more careful on things like pork loin and poultry where the line between safe internal temperature and too dry is close.  For that I use a thermapen probe that I trust more for exact temperature.  On your next brisket, I suggest doing it with no deadline and lots of patience.  
  6. Part of the issue may have been the cut of meat. I got it from Walmart. Not a lot of fat on top (none is places). I live in a small town. Not a lot of choices when it comes to places to shop. Also have a Kroger. May try it next time. Need to look around for a nice butcher shop. Not sure if there's one in town or not. So far I've done a chicken, slab of St Louis style pork ribs, salmon fillets, and a brisket. Everything except the brisket came out great. Salmon was my favorite. Plan to do a pork roast next and then maybe give brisket another go. Having fun. Guess that's the main thing. Thanks again Jesse T for your comments.
  7. You had best bring a lot of patience on stand by when you go for that butt... depending on size, fat content, foil or no foil, smoker temp,..ect.

     i have had butts take upwards of 20 hours and as few as 8 hours. chunks of meat that size pretty much have a mind of their own.

    I also agree, that w/ brisket the "tenderness probe test" is very important...  As far as WAL-MART meat i refuse to buy it i like Kroger, Ingles, and local butchers and small time shops is where i get my meat 
  8. Thanks Jcollins for the heads up on smoking a butt. Good to know it can be a looonnng process. Guess I leaned a lesson from doing the brisket. No more Walmart meat.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015

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