Previous briskets good but last one ???

Discussion in 'Beef' started by schlotz, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Cannot figure out what I did wrong yesterday. Followed what had previously been pretty much a repeatable process that turned out good results with a decent ring & color etc... but not this time.  Meat was certainly good to eat by everyone's account at the table but I knew it wasn't the way it should have been. Note grate temps (which I monitor) are usually +20° over controller setting. Of course this had to happen on a Wagyu 13# smoke.

    Here are my notes: 

    - used mixture of cherry & pecan 50:50
    - used smoker tube with pecan positioned at back (smoking on a MAK 2 Star)
    - brisket on at 7:10am, fat cap up

    - 170º for 1 hour then set to 235º (monitored grate temp 240-261º = avg 250º) 
    - @11:10am 4hrs in, the color looks really good. Tube basically done. Hoping it will stay for 1 more hour before wrapping.
    - @12:05pm ~5hrs, wrapped in butcher paper. IT was 151º lowered set temp to 230º (grate hovered around 245)
    - @1:30pm IT 180º lowered set temp to 225º (grate still hovered around 245 - warmer part of the afternoon)
    - @3:00pm IT ~200º, probed very easy, pulled & into cooler. Total smoke time of 8 hours.
    - Rested for 3 hrs

    Results: disappointing low smoke level, somewhat of a pot-roast flavor. Internal meat was dark colored and couldn’t see a definitive smoke ring. Thinly cut flat pieces did not pull apart as easy as expected. Suspect it needed more time and that I may have cooked it too fast.

    Obviously I messed up somewhere... 
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  2. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I'm not familiar with your smoker, never cooked on MAK.
    Wagyu brisket I'm not sure how they cook."fast/slow"
    But 8 hours for a 13lb packer at some lower temps seems a little fast.

    Myself I just like to keep it simple, if I put a brisket on @275 that's what I smoke it to till it's done.
    When it gets desired bark I wrap in butcher paper til finished.

    Don't stop...the more brisket you cook the better you will get. And take notes and compare!!
  3. smokinal

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

    Wow that has to be heartbreaking to spend the money for Wagyu, and not have it turn out good.

    I agree with the above 8 hours for a brisket that size seems awful fast, but I have never smoked a Wagyu before, so maybe they go quick.

    From the way you describe it, it sounds undercooked.

    I think I would put it in a pan with some broth & cover it with foil & put it in a 275 degree oven for a few hours to see if it will get the desired tenderness you are looking for.

  4. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Not familiar with MAK2, is this a pellet smoker?  If so I don't think they produce as much smoke as some type of smokers, can you add extra pellets or a chunk of wood in the bottom?  You said you have previously had good luck with this procedure, were the past briskets Wagyu also?
  5. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Well, the 13# packer dressed out closer to 11.5# after the trim.  MAK is a pellet smoker and from my notes regarding the lack of smoke intensity in the previous briskets I added the Amaz-N-Tube with pecan pellets which ran for approx 4 hours. This was the first time for wagyu. 

    Best I can come up with is that poking the probe through the butcher paper misled me into thinking I had very little resistance i.e. it took a slight poke to initialize which I thought was the last piece of paper but now believe it was actually the entrance to the meat, ego it wasn't done.  Still doesn't explain the color of the meat, lack of definitive smoke ring or solid smoked flavor plus a pot-roast taste.

    Notes for 'next time' include forgetting the butcher paper, re-loading the smoker tube, starting on low (170°) for the first 2 hours to maximize the smoke then set to 235-240° for the duration. Oh, and forget the wagyu for awhile & stick with choice/prime.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  6. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds like a plan.  I use cheap briskets, for some reason I've seen to have better results with the select than the couple of choice I've used.  May be similar, the choice cooked fast and reached 203 degrees much quicker, they seemed tender, probed fine, but after resting were just tougher.  On my smoker the choice reach 200+ degrees in 5 hrs or so, while the select took 8-10 hrs for a standard size brisket.
  7. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Yeah, it's always a trade off. I've had good results smoking fast @250° with moist, pull apart results but the slow side for me tends to flirt with drying out.  Still hunting for the happy medium.  Oh well, good excuse to keep smoking 😀

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