First try at Brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by louxwe, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. So I tried my hand a my first whole brisket this 4th of July.  I did not use the Texas Crutch and I basically kind of want to subscribe to the purist theories on this forum that you shouldn't need to Crutch it and if you have the right temp, low and slow, with plenty of moisture and pressure in the smoker it should still be moist, plus I really wanted to have a nice crispy crust and that seems pretty hard to do when you wrap it up.  I had some success with this but need some help.

    Started smoking the 11+lb brisket at 6:30 PM or so basically smoking it at 210-215 for 17-18 hours with a couple of hours wrapped in foil and blankets resting in the cooler.  Overall it come out great on flavor but the flat side of the brisket was not as tender as I would have liked it.  The difference in the flat and point thickness was big and I had the temp probe stuck into the middle of the thicker point side and pulled it out of the smoker at 190 deg.  The point side meat came out amazingly perfect, that was used for the sandwich below.  The flat side was cut into strips and was not really juicy enough or tender enough for me.  So any idea on how to improve this.  My theory is that the flat side was too thin and probably hit 190 deg much earlier and was therefore overcooked and dryed out.  But I would have thought that if it was over cooked it would have been mushier since I have heard if you like more tender brisket you need to cook it up to 200-210.  So did I just over cook it??  I guess  you could cut the flat and point up separate and then have separate temp probes, but....

    Any other thoughts/tricks on doing brisket without the texas crutch... btw I used my new Masterbuilt 30 inch and a combination of hickory and mesquite wood.

    Any thoughts?


  2. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    In my experience, (and I only cooler my briskets if I am at a comp) the point will show 205 long before the flat.  Now this doesn't mean that the point is ready.  The fat content in the point is so high, that it sends some mixed signals as far as actual IT.  Due to the fat content, most of us make either burnt ends (which require 2 more hours on the smoker to break down the fat in the point cubes) or we chop as you did.  I always probe dead center, halfway back of the flat portion of a brisket.  This tends to lend itself to the most accurate IT on the hunk of meat.  I probe just for reference and I'm a numbers guy, so I like to track the temps as they move up, my actual test for doneness is the toothpick test.  When you can easily slide a toothpick into the flat, it's done.  As far as not using foil, or being a purist, or trying to protect the bark, I foil every brisket at 165-170 IT and have no issues with moisture.  Once it is done (toothpick test, typically somewhere above 200 IT), I then remove it from the pan, place it back on the pit for 30 minutes or so (or in a preheated oven to 275-300, and this will allow the bark to somewhat set.  I also don't slice it until it has been sitting out on a cutting board for 30 minutes or so after pulling it from the oven or pit.  This will help with the bark setting as well.  I also smoke them a bit hotter at 250, it really knocks down the overall cook time and I have yet to dry out a brisket.  Good luck with your future smokes and enjoy your stay here at SMF. 

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