Sometimes the brisket is just tough.

Discussion in 'Beef' started by alblancher, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I rubbed a brisket on Wednesday, put it on the smoker Friday at 8:00 am, separated the point from the flat at 170.  Cubed the point and placed in a pan with a bit of BBQ sauce, returned the cubed point and flat to the smoker.  Smoked it till 5:00 pm when the flat  reached 180 pulled and placed the flat in an aluminum pan with liquid and covered.   Smoked for another 3 hours.  Removed the meat from the smoker, re-wrapped everything up and placed in the oven at 300 for about 3 hours till the flat reached 210.   Placed in an ice chest with towels the rest of the evening and removed the still warm brisket from the ice chest at noon on Saturday.

    It was the most beautiful brisket with the best smoke ring and taste I can ever remember having.  But it was tough and stringy.  I sliced against the grain and the meat would fall apart but burnt ends and flat where still tough and stringy.

    This morning I placed the leftovers in a cast iron pot, covered with thinned out BBQ sauce and placed on a low fire for over 5 hours, just had some more of the best tasting, stringiest, toughest brisket I have ever eaten.  It got better but is still disappointing.

    Can anyone point out anything I missed or did I just get a Tough Brisket?  When I picked it out I used Dutch's trick of lifting it from the middle and seeing if it was flexible.  I trimmed the fat cap to about 1/4 inch.

    Thanks for any insight

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like you did everything right Al. I think that brisket must of come from some Bad Ass Cow, that was lean & mean!
  3. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think it was anything you did or didn't do.

    I have had some briskets that never would get tender no matter what you do to it.

    And iv'e had some that would fall apart at 189º internal

    There all different.
  4. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Was that one of those albertsons briskets???

     If so UH OH !
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    It was a $ 1.90 a lb Sams brisket.  I got screwed on both the price and the quality that time,    At least now I'm comfortable with the fact that I did it the right way.  The point and flat pulled right away from each other, the smoke ring was beautiful.  I have had it cooking in the cast iron since this morning, it is falling apart but still stringy and tough.  Oh well, I guess you just get one like that every once in a while.  I do remember that the grain was very obvious when I unwrapped it before trimming, maybe a sign of a tough piece of meat

    Thanks for the help

  6. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've never had a tough one yet.  Sounds like you just got a bad one.  I don't do the bend test or any other test for that matter.  I just look for the largest one I can find and smoke it to about 195°.  Sorry about the tough meat.  That just sucks to spend that kind of time and money on a bad chunk of meat.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You may have rushed the ending on it. Having it go for 3 hrs. in the oven at 300° is really high on the heat for a brisket. I try to never take the smoker or oven temp over 240° when I do brisket. Other than that it sounds like you got it all right Al. If you ever run into that problem again you can save it by cutting it in half and putting the halves into a crockpot on low with some beef broth for another 6 hrs. or so.
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    I did that, putting it on low heat the next morning for about 8 hours,  fell apart but still tough and stringy.  The strings separated just fine.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Everything YOU did seemed great to me!

    I think that cow used to hang out with the Governator!

    Came from Mexico, after losing his 867th Bullfight????

    The next one will be just right!


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