Brisket... what would you do?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by okjsmoker, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Need some advice.

    I have never really been too fond of Brisket, It always comes out too dry for me. Other people say they love mine, but Im not feeling it. My brisket makes others happy, but not me.

    On my last attempt I even tried injecting (apple juice and a store bought marinade) to see if it would help, and its still too dry for my liking.

    My method...

    Trimmed the large fat clod down, left the fat cap alone.

    Smoked to 165 (fat cap down) 8-10 hours.

    Removed the point and chopped into chunks for Burnt ends.

    Foiled the Flat and put it in the oven (fat cap up) at 220 for another 6 to 8 hours or so till it reached 185-190 internal.

    So at this point... what would you do to make it juicier?

    My thoughts... raise the oven temp to 300 to bring it up to temp quicker, and maybe pull it out at 180-185? Another thought is to maybe inject it again after I remove the point. Anybody tried using a fat based injection like butter, or maybe bacon grease?

    Keep in mind I want to slice it, not have it fall apart. On my last attempt it sliced ok, but I could tell it was slightly overdone because parts of it were falling apart.

    Thanks for the help!!
  2. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    Well OKJsmoker...
    I have felt the same way. The good thing about briskett is it is beef... so you don't have to cook it all the way. I have served it med rare... If you slice it real thin then it wont be tough. I season it like I would a rib roast. Dejon mustard, salt, pepper...roasmary..etc.
    I smoked it at about 250 for an hour or so .. get a couple and cut into them at different times... that is how I found the right temp.

    Hope that helps!
  3. athabaskar

    athabaskar Smoking Fanatic

    I never slice my brisket for the same reason. It always seems dry to me.

    Still, if you must have it sliced the only suggestion I have is adding a liquid when you put it in the oven. It would be more like braising at that point. Even though it is in foil, the oven is usually drier than going the whole way in the smoker, assuming you have a water pan in the smoker. Otherwise, your method seems good to me.
  4. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I always gook mine fat side up the whole smoke and I mop every hour or two after the first 4 hours. I find that this helps with the moisture. Remember briskets almost never come out with juice bursting out with every bite but they should not be dry i find the best part of a long brisket smoke is when the meat melts in your mouth it is so tender.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Now I have smoked a many a brisket but I don't have the problem that you folks are geeting wiht the brisket dring out. One thing that I have doneis I don't trim it well maybe the hard part of the fat cap. Then I smoke it to 165° and foil it then I go back into the smoker with it and let it go till about 200°. Then I let it rest and this is very important to do. Maybe this is where you are going wrong I didn't read where anyone let the meat rest. Now from then you could slice it or pull it but it is alway juicy for me. So maybe let your meat rest or spend sometime in the cooler Atleast an Hour.
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am no expert with brisket I have only done one flat and it turned out awesome in my opinion. It was so juicy. Mine was a flat with little to no fat on it. I smoked mine until it reached 170 then foiled until it hit 205. I injected it the night before and rubbed it the day of. But I also injected it again when I foiled it so I don't know if that adds a lot of juice or not it was the first time I have tried it that way. I was worried that when I injected it the second time that all the juice would come out when I start putting the probe in again but it seemed to be fine in the end.
  7. To clarify a couple of points...

    What I consider dry, Take a piece as Im slicing it and if its hard to swallow... its too dry for me. This is without any kind of sauce or added juice.

    I also add apple juice to the foiling part.

    And yes I do rest it in a cooler with beach towels.

    This is the first time I did mine fat cap down in the smoker, my thinking was it would help hold the injection in, but I dont think it really helped.

    One other thing I do to combat the dryness... I save the juices from after taking it out of the foil and put it in a container in the fridge, then skim off the fat solids and then add the juice back to the sliced brisket, which seems to help quite a bit.

    Im really curious about the Butter injection, or even bacon grease... I know the Cholestrol cops would probably lock me up and throw away the key, but Im thinking since the flat really doesnt have a bunch of internal fat, any added fat can do nothing but help? Especially with the dryness.

    I guess Im looking for the "sweet spot" wherer its nice an tender, yet still juicy enough to eat a piece and not have that hard to swallow feel.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys, good stuff!!
  8. northern greenhorn

    northern greenhorn Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Can you really ever go wrong w/ bacon fat?
  9. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Injecting butter/grease/fat won't work, impossible to replace natural fats/moisture. You may be trimming too much,and check all your thermo.'s
    OR it could just simply be the meat you are useing, is it enhanced?, don't see many briskets enhaced anymore, but they are out there. try a differnt supplier.
  10. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I read somewhere that some restaurants take the trimmed fat and plug them into the middle of the brisket to help with dryness. Never tried it but it may be worth a go.
  11. Its just regular garden variety grocery store packer briskets, never tried "choice" Im sure that would make a big difference, but the brisket Im doing was supplied to me for a family event so I had no choice.

    I left the fat cap alone, just trimmed the big clod of fat, but didnt take it entirely out.

    Smoker temps, this time it was definetly low and slow, When I put the meat on the smoker it was pretty nice out, then a cold front came thru with a little rain and strong north winds, I know I was having trouble keeping the smoker up to temp, so if anything it was a little on the cool side maybe 180-200 instead of the usual 220.

    Ive got three more to smoke tomorrow, I think Im gonna try using a bacon grease/butter injection just to see what happens. Northern Greenhorn I like the way you think!

    Any thoughts on running the oven temp hotter?

    My thinking is that maybe im running it too low, meaning it very slowly comes up to finish temp, and if I go with the hotter oven temp... it should reach finish temp sooner, so it shouldnt spend as much time close to the final temp.

    I dunno, all I can do is give it a go and see what happens!
  12. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smoke it at 250°. Maybe the extended time at the lower temp is drying it out.

  13. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Although I have never done it there is a school of thought on the hot and fast briskets. Most folks I have seen shoot for 275 degrees. In fact, I believe that's how Myron was doing his on BBQ Pitmasters.
    I typically trim mine up some, leaving about 1/4 inch of fat. Throw it on the Egg at about 230ish and let it ride till it reached 200, then into some foil, towels, and the cooler for a couple of hours.
    Good luck on your next one - let us know how it goes.
  14. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I agree with Dave -- I smoke mine at 250* for 3 hours then foil it and put it back in until it reaches temp, usu around 2 hours then keep it in foil and let it rest. It produces a great bark and it isn't dry at all -- juices seep out while slicing. This way you can use a stronger wood, too, like mesquite since it's only taking in smoke for 3 hours.

    I marinate mine sometimes, too, but I don't think that has much affect on juiciness -- mostly flavor. Here's the marinade i use:

    1 1/2 cups red wine
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 tablespoon wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon paprika
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    2 teaspoons black pepper
  15. Sounds like a plan!

    I will get them trimmed, injected and rubbed tonight and give it a shot tomorrow, and report back.
  16. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Good luck! This might be late but I have only done two briskets. (I know, a lot of experience talking, right?) Both times, I started on the smoker & finished on the smoker. I spritzed them a couple of times but I think the real key was taking them off at around 195 & letting them rest, foiled & in the cooler for a couple of hours. My personal thought is that the oven may be drying them out. Maybe you might want to omit that step & just let them rest in the cooler. My $0.02. Again, good luck.
  17. Caveman, I do the oven thing because it helps to save fuel for the smoker. Once its foiled I dont think it matters because Im just looking to reach my finish temp and not add more smoke.

    I think what DID matter is that I was running it too low and too slow, so im gonna try 275 this time to speed things up.

    Should find out later today... stay tuned
  18. Ok so far so good, after 5 to 6 hours they were ready to come off, I sliced the point off and foiled the flats to go in the oven. I can already tell the changes helped, OMG it was sopping wet inside!

    On the smoker they go...

    3 hours in....

    and almost ready to come off...

    Ive got the points cubed and back on the smoker in foil pans, along with a head of cabbage, and my first attempt at a chuckie... good eats tonight, more pics to come!
  19. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks good! I have always been a big critic of my brisket when others are gobbling it up saying how good it is. I am watching!

    I have done the high & low heat thing. I found that the higher is winning so far.
  20. Well... it was definetly better, but IMO still to dry for my liking. I went for a finished temp of 185, and it still fell apart... mostly at the edges.

    Next time I will make more changes.

    Leave the point on till its "done" instead of slicing it off before I foil and put it in the oven.

    Go with the hotter 270 degree smoke temp, but leave it in the smoker till its "done" which shouldnt take too much longer than the 5-6 hours It was already in the smoker. and forget about using the oven.

    Oh by the way... the chuckie turned out awesome!!!

Share This Page