Botched Brisket! Brine vs Dr Pepper Bath? Please help!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by austexrod, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. austexrod

    austexrod Fire Starter

    Howdy folks,

    Smoked a 10 lb Brisket today and it tasted fine but the texture was less than delicious!

    Facts: Grilled with FPDS at 250F for 15hrs

               Unlit lump/lit hardwood charcoal/Mesquite chunks

               Mollases/salt/water brine 24hrs

               No salt Rub

               Fat Cap side up for 2 hrs

               Fat Cap side down 7 hrs

               Flip then mop 3 hrs

               wrap in foil for 3 hrs

               final internal temp was around 205F

               wrapped in towel placed in cooler 2 hours


    Now here is a pic of my last Brisket several hours after smoke. I was very pleased with the my first brisket.


    Facts: Same size, temp, charcoal box setup and time

               Dr Pepper marinade for 24 hours

               dry salt rub

               No turning

               Fat Cap side up

               mopping sauce used

               post internal temp was around 180F

               the last 4 hours I wrapped in clear plastic and foil


    The molasses brine is primarily the X-factor. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!

    In addition the MoBrine worked very well for my pulled pork and pork spareribs.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  2. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    With brisket the best thing is a simple dry rub the night before. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayanne, onion powder, and paprika. Get it rubbed, wrapped, and into the fridge for a minimum of 8 hrs.

    Cook it with your smoker running at 200°-220°, when the internal temp hits 160°-165° put it in a big foil pan with either a can of low sodium beef broth or a good beer (I like a nice hoppy beer). Cover it tightly with foil and let it get up to 190° on the internal temp...... then (and this is a trick I discovered) take it out of the pan and put it back on the racks. The internal temp will drop back to about 180-185, but just let it ride till you get up to somewhere between 195 and 205. Pull it, wrap it in heavy foil, and pop it into a towel lined cooler to rest for 1-2 hrs.

    Also when you pull it out of the foil pan take all the liquids in the pan and put them in a plastic container and pop it into the freezer for 30 min. All the fat will set up on top, then toss the fat and re-heat the liquid gold to serve it drizzled over the brisket.
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The biggest factors I see here which had the most impact on the differences are:

    Finished temps (205* is a high temp range for pulled meats, while 180* is a good baseline temp for sliced brisket);

    Turning the meat over while smoking (it's generally a bad practivce to flip more than once, and I rarely if ever flip meats I'm cooking low & slow).

    I don't see where anything else you changed would have had much of an effect on texture. Texture can be altered somewhat by brining or marinating ( I never brine beef, only pork and poultry), and brining can cause a slightly mushy texture, but I think temps were the main culprit to the first one, if you wanted a decent sliced brisket (that looked flakey/dry). Then, flipping the meat over can drive the meat juices crazy, in a matter of speaking. You can flip meat once when grilling, but a second or third time is asking for dried out meat, IMHO. I can't think of a reason for flipping while smoking, and to mop/baste a brisket is something I've neevr had an inkling to do. Simpler methods during the cooking of meats generally yield the best results.

    Anyway, that's what I see in your prep and cooking methods. Try a simple dry rub, or just salt/pepper/garlic. Rest in open air at room temp for 20-30 minutes to allow rub to adhere and meat to temper, then, do a simple no-flip, no-mop, fat cap up smoke, 225* chamber temp...brisket benefits enormously from low & slow. Take the point to 200* or so for an easy pulled beef, and 180-185* in the flat for a nice slice brisket. Seperate when temps are reached in one or the other, foil/towel wrap and 3-4 hours resting after finished temps are reached. Simple, easy, some pulled and some sliced for your dining pleasures, without all the fuss. That's the perfect brisket for me. Of course, we do like our burnt ends from the point as well. Take the point to 160* then seperate and cube to 1-1/2" or a bit smaller, re-season/sauce and double-smoke until slightly crisp on the outside...about 2.5 hours @ 225*. Finish up the flat as usual.

    Keep tryin'! Brisket is the king of smoked beef around my house!

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't brine beef. 12 hrs min on rub, mop or spritz when ever I open cook chamber and seperate point and flat when fat layer breaks down.

    There are just as many ways to do it right as there are ways to do it wrong.
  5. smokinal

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

    Al hit the nail on the head. There are so many ways to smoke a brisket, you just have to keep trying until you find the best way for your taste & your smoker.
  6. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All the above [​IMG]

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