What Happened to my Brisket? Good taste, but DRY!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by call the hogs, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Ok folks. I need some advise what I may have done wrong with the brisket that I smoked Sat Night. It was a little over 7 pounds. I smoked it in The Backwoods party with my new BBQ Guru. Set pit temp at 235. Smoked it with Peach wood. Not allot though, only used 2 chunks for the whole smoke. had a thin Blue smoke most of the cook. The pit stayed at about 237, except one spike at the 

    2 1/2 hour  mark which it spiked to about 254. I adjusted the damper on the Guru and it came back down. Then one time at the 8 1/2 mark where it dropped as low as 209 till i figured out it need more Charcoal. But after refueling I took the Brisket out at about 187-190 (used two thermometers) at the 10 1/2 hour mark. Wrapped in foil and towels and put in cooler for about 2 hours. (had to leave) Returned and sliced. The Brisket had a wonderful taste, but was way too dry for me. Was not happy. Now I put Jeff's rub on it and injected with a beef broth and worstie sauce injection about 2 hours before I put in the smoker. Should I have taken off at 180 for slicing? I have a chart that says 180, but I read on other threads that 190 is good for slicing. How about the injection? or the 2 temp spikes? Maybe just the cut of meat? Everything I thought was good, So I'm confused. Any help or Ideas and suggestions would be appreciated..

    Thanks to all..
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  2. berninga87

    berninga87 Smoking Fanatic

    Not really sure what to tell you. Did you trim all the fat off, the fat cap will keep the brisket moist cooking and you can just trim it afterward? or keep any dripping from the brisket while cooking? They can be skimmed for fat and added after for moisture. I wouldn't think the temp fluctuation would have that drastic effect on it and its not a huge fluctuation, I always have mine between 215 and 245. Could just be the cut I suppose. Glad it tasted good anyway!

    Off subject a little, but how do you like your BBQ Guru? I've got a custom smoker that I'm seriously considering adding one too, It holds temp great already and I can leave it for a couple hours no worries, but this would be the next step to just load it up and get the food when it's done. 

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  3. smokinal

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

    Sounds to me like you just got a bad piece of meat. When I pick out a brisket I get the most flexible one that they have. The more they bend when raw the more tender & juicy they will be when cooked. It sounds to me like you did everything right. Some guys don't trim anything, some trim some of the fat.  I trim all the fat & silver skin off my brisket, and it still is tender & juicy. I just don't see why you would put rub & smoke on all that fat, then just throw it away with all the flavor in it.
  4. I only trimmed the silver skin off. The Brisket had the 1/4 cap on top. This is the first one I've done in this Backwoods, but Ive done a few in the electric and they were all allot more juicy. This one was tender but just too dry for me. Thank goodness for the BBQ sauce! [​IMG]

    This also is the first time Ive injected, and I thought mabeyI injected too much. I will say that the new Smoker holds the temp so much better than my old electric. All 3 cooks I have done have been done at projected times. Makes everyone happy when there all waiting for the grub!

    Oh one more thing I didn't do. Thru the whole cook, I only mopped it once. thought that may have contributed to the dryness also. Ive read allot of threads where people foil at around 160 with some kind of juice or drippings. I may try that on the next one.

    @ Al.. I remember seeing that bend test somewhere. I thought I got a pretty good bender, but they didn't have many when I bought this one, so probably didn't have enough to compare too.

    @ berning.. This was my very first time using the Guru, I had just got it last week. I think it will be the cats meow for getting some sleep for sure. Gonna use it again this weekend for some Pork Butt I have to smoke for a Bday party on Saturday, and I think I got about 2 more hours of Burn time on the Charcoal. Just have to tweak it a tad with the damper on the Guru also.. But I like it!!!
  5. This could become a stronger discussion than wet wood/dry wood.  The fat is certainly a great moisture and basting source for the brisket.  Any rub on top would be only for show and possibly produce a bit more bark, but it would be bark attached to flavored fat.

    I still lean toward the Freddy Kruger method with my brisket and pork butts.  I will slice the fat cap \\\\\\ this way and slice ////// that way, down to the meat.  So as to achieve an overall 1 inch cubed #### effect in the fat cap but still allowing rub to be rubbed in so it filters down to the meat.

    Lordy, Guess I'm going to need to do a Q-View.   Maybe next weekend.  Freddie Kruger Brisket., Qviews every step of the way. 
  6. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well I always foil at 160F and add broth or juice apple to the package and let it continue to cook to final temp.  The braising which is what you are doing once foiled makes them very tender even if the cut is not at its best.  Never had a tough one that way and I cook lots of briskets. 
  7. Did you have a water bath (aka drip pan with water or other liquid in it) to humidify the smokey air within the cooker?  I find that the wet smoke method produces a nice moist brisket.  Of course meat selection, fat content, etc as indictated by those before all contribute.  I like to wrap the meat at mid 150(s) to 160* and spritz with a bourbon/apple juice mixtue until it hits 185* or so.
  8. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     I was thinking the same thing. Not foiling at 160 to 165 and adding beef broth or apple juice. My last one was done that way and was the best I've done so far.
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Maybe just a coincidense but this is the third or so thread I saw where someone Injected Worcestershire Sauce, for the first time, and had a DRY piece of Beef...Every other time their stuff is great...I don't want to Hijack the thread but I am curious if guys get good results with Injecting Worcestershire? I rarely use the stuff in anything...JJ
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I think JJ is teasing you here?

    Is it possible that the acid and the salt in the injection of Worsty might have pulled some liquid out of the meat?

    Having said that, briskies can be a bit tricky until you get to know them.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Actually, I really am curious...Sprky just made a Rib Roast that was dry, only difference, injected Worcestershire. I saw some others awhile ago...JJ
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  12. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JJ might be on to something here, just not sure what or why. 

    Let me throw this into the mix.

    Worcestershire's main ingredient is vinegar (an acid) so I guess it could be breaking down the fats and proteins and causing it to releasing the natural juices. [​IMG]

    Or, it's lowering the meat Ph and maybe effecting it somehow.

    OK i need a cup of coffee.
  13. berninga87

    berninga87 Smoking Fanatic

    Im intrigued, personally I've always avoided marinating or injecting worcestershire because of the vinegar content(I was told it can do funny things to meat a long time ago and just never took a chance with it). If I'm going to use it I always add it right before cooking, bc I do love the flavor, but still I use it mainly for grilling not smoking. I may have to do an experiment, cut a roast in half and inject/marinade with worstie and just rub the other. That way it will be the same piece of meat, and see what, if any, differences occur. I love experiments!
  14. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That would be awesome if ya did, I love a good experiment myself!
  15. berninga87

    berninga87 Smoking Fanatic

    I'll see what I can pull off this weekend. We're supposed to go out of town, and I took an extra day off so I could smoke us some snackage for the trip(and just bc I can). I'll see if I can squeeze that in as well. The ol' lady is 35 weeks along and a little uhhh....[​IMG]  at this point...but I love her anyway. Otherwise it will be in one of the two weekends after, and definitely Qview with results. I'm really curious about this one. It's really something so simple but It seems like it's never been put to the test. And like I said, I love experiments...acetylene balloons...forced induction minivans...beef roasts all the same right? haha
  16. Hmmm, Interesting on the Worstie concept, because I injected quite a bit in my opinion. Like I said Ive never done it before and they all (3) LOL! turned out good. Also read that if slicing, that you should only slice off what you are about to eat. Is that true? Supposedly that can dry out the slices if they just sit all lonesome!! [​IMG]   Well got me thinking because this weekend I'm doing a Butt or 2 and I was gonna inject with some Diet Cherry Dr Pepper, but now I'm not sure. Well dont want to hijack my own thread. I will ask in the Pork department!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  17. I'm just breezing through the posts and I think your thought is a good one.  Worchestershire Sauce has a good load of salt and stong flavor content.  A couple of shakes on a charred steak and it's more than enough.  Add half a bottle to a roast by injection and it might not give you what you're looking for.   Just saying.  I don't know.  Never have tried injections.

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