Smoked my second brisket yesterday

Discussion in 'Beef' started by smokedoff, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. Hey guys, looking for a little (or a lot) of help with my brisket endeavors. I cooked one, maybe last year, total fail, threw in the trash. So this one was much improved.....edible, but wouldn't want to serve to guests. I am not a highly experienced smoker operator, but have cooked enough ribs, butts, sausage, and chicken to be comfortable to feed friends and family.

    So....I went to the local meat market and bought a 5.8lb flat. Trimmed it up slightly and got the fat cap to about 1/4-3/8 inch. Put a sugar based rub on it that I love on Boston butt (but learned I don't prefer on brisket). So it went on the smoker at 225*, in 3 hrs it has up to about 143*. I had a prode in the smoker and one in the brisket. So it sat at 143, and sat there, and sat there, and sat there. I've ever had a stall like that, ever. Around 4 hrs later, 7 total, still at 143ish I wrap in foil and turn the smoker to 300*. 5 hrs later, 12 total, on a 5.8lb brisket, it gets to 195*. I take it off, wrap in a towel and let rest for a couple hours.

    So I slice it, against the grain, and try it's ok. Slightly tough. The rub didn't really penetrate deeply but that's not really what I'm concerned about. I notice that when I pull a sliced piece, it seems there's still fat trying to hold it together. I'll attach a photo. It's doesn't pull apart with the lightest of pressure. The texture is more of a slightly over cooked filet (for explanation purposes), not hard and tough, but not where it needs to be either. Definitely more on the tender side than too tough though.

    So, tell me how everything I did wrong!!!!


  2. This was on a master built gas smoker with pecan chips.
  3. Connective tissue not broke down enough, needed more time. Use temp as a guideline only, probe test is the stand by! Keep trying you'll get there.[​IMG]
  4. Agree with Brandon... Once you get to 195, start probing. Once it slides in like butter, it's ready for its nap.
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm in the minority, but I smoke brisket in a pan sitting in it's own juices. I take the trimmed off fat & put it on a rack above the brisket so as it renders it drips on the brisket. I think 200-205 is a better temp to take it to. But as others have said start the toothpick test around 195.

  6. What's your preferred smoking temp? And do you leave temp the same change after wrapping?
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I smoke it at 225 the whole time.

  8. You have a couple things working against you in my view.  A ~5lb brisket is A LOT tougher to get right than a 10+lb.  There is so much less fat and that to keep it moist, and they, against all sense, seem to take longer than the big guys for some reason.  It doesn't mean you can't be successful with a smaller flat, but I have done about half my briskets from flats I bought at a store/butcher, and the other half from full packers I bought from GFS and then trimmed (the packer actually being cheaper per lb by a lot, maybe because you have to do some work), and never had a failure with the packer brisket.

    Also, the temp.  I have never taken a brisket off before 200.  It doesn't seem like much, but the temp and the time spent at that temp makes all the difference.  Letting it rest once it hits about 205 in a cooler wrapped in towels/blankets makes a big difference as well.  It will stay in the 190-200 range for a couple hours if wrapped well which breaks things down even more.

    I think you are so close, just need to get to that magic number and have time for it to rest.

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