what happened

Discussion in 'Beef' started by efrain, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. efrain

    efrain Fire Starter

    I dont know what went wrong with my brisket, i rubbed it with mustard then applied rub hoping to get a crust but crust was soggy, i cooked nine ours at 225-250, no flare ups, smoked for three of those nine hours and no smoke ring, i dont get it i added plenty of wood chips, more so then usual, i think it could be one of two things, either because i put it fat side down, or because i used kingsford wood chips.Also when i checked the temp about 7 hours in it was 175, two hours later 160, this always happens when i smoke briskets,tri tips, and shoulders, luckily i am getting used to it now and pulled it when it was nice and succulent,(the only thing i liked)also no smoke flavor!!!

    i know it is not my thermometer as i have used different ones almost regularly.
  2. bbrock

    bbrock Meat Mopper

    Sorry to hear about your brisket I wish I could be some help but I have never smoked one myself. One good thing is there are alot of good people here that will be able to help you out...
  3. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    Lets see if I've got this straight. "i cooked nine ours at 225-250" "7 hours in it was 175, two hours later 160" Hmm something wrong with this picture. I see 6 hrs at 225-250. How much did the brisket weigh & what kind of smoker are you using? The use of different thermometers does not assure their accuracy. I would think that you checked them with boiling water & an ice slushy[​IMG] Sounds like not enough heat & not enough time.
  4. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Skip the mustard next time and I think you will get a better bark. Spritz with apple juice or something surag based like that to carmelize the bark. I used mustard one time and did not like the results of the bark either. Try afgain! Don't give up!
  5. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    did you foil the brisket?
  6. scmelik

    scmelik Smoke Blower

    Briskets can be a tough bugger to get right. I don't have a whole lot of advice other than double check your therms and give it another shot
  7. indyadmin1974

    indyadmin1974 Smoking Fanatic

    Mikey's got a good point. When the smoker gets that low for that long, it's not going to firm things up. Also the thermometers have to be calibrated even if you're using different ones and they are showing the same thing.

    I did this last night with my cheap Ikea digitals and found that they're all about 4* off at boiling and nearly 10* off in ice water. I have each one marked with the difference, but I'm sure that I'll need to test them more frequently...one of these days I'll get some good ones.

    At the end of the day we chalk it up to a lousy smoke and get back on the horse. I highly suggest that you start taking notes on your smokes so that you can repeat the successes. I've started doing that and it's really helped.
  8. harrylips

    harrylips Smoke Blower

    Maybe using chips is the problem for the smoke ring. Chips tend to flare up and burn away rather quickly. If you use chunks, they tend to burn a heck of a lot longer. I usually replenish my chunks every couple of hours during a long smoke.

    As far as the temp...I agree that you might want to check to make sure that the gauge is calibrated.
  9. If the brisket never got hotter than 175, you didn't cook it long enough. take that bugger to 190 to slice and 205 to pull. Also at 225 to 250, a ten pound brisket could easily take 12 to 14 hours.

    Maybe a little more patience at these low cooking temps.
  10. efrain

    efrain Fire Starter

    sorry what i meant was the brisket was 175 7 hours in and 160 two hours later, i did a tri tip yesterday to test my thermometers and same thing, supposibly lower than what it actually was but got them medium rare 137.
  11. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like a bad therm. You need some more accurate therms to be able to put out a good product.
  12. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Put those therms to a boil test to make sure they are running right. If your therm is off then you don't know where you are.
  13. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    Efrain, 137 degrees internal is not medium rare. Here's a link for safe minimum temps.
    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/IsItDoneYet_Magnet.pdf I would still like to know what kind of smoker you're using. I suspect that your therms are not accurate and I would test them to make sure that they are. Also, there still appears to be a heat issue with your smoker. Keep us posted.
  14. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What type of wood did you use? Maybe go with something stronger like mesquite next time. I always use chips and never have a problem with the smoke flavour. I did ruin the bark once by slathering it with extra mustard , far more than usual. Thinking I would get a thicker bark, instead I got a mushy bark that I fixed by putting It over a really hot grill for about 3-5 minutes per side. I lost a tiny bit of tenderness but the bark was fixed and yummy.
  15. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Help us out here a bit Efrain:
    1. What are you using when smoking?
    2. Did you foil your brisket at all?
    3. Did you spritz or spray anything on it?

    As I read and understand you were cooking between 225 and 250. Were you going by a stock thermometer in the lid or another temp gage? Did you put a probe at grate level to verify your temps were actually that hot?

    Once your collagens start breaking down and the brisket starts to become tender your temp will either maintain a steady temp or even drop some as the liquids from the fats and collagens release.

    No smoke ring or smoke flavor could be due to using the chips. Do you soak your chips before you smoke with them? It's a long running debate, but my point of view is not to soak them if you must use them.

    Feed us some info so help can be better obtained for you.
  16. efrain

    efrain Fire Starter

    i have a ecb(college student) and always turn out descent q, (although i do a mean pork shoulder) and have after a year of use, finally gotten the hang of keeping the temps at 225-250(although not always) How do i test my therms?
    i am using hickory(kingsford) first time using this brand usually use hickory, just thought this one was a little weak right away.ALso used kingsford charcoal changed it every 2 and a half hours,only one flare up to 300 for about 10 minutes.
    Did not foil because i thought i could get a bark, when i foil my meats they usually have no crust.maybe i do it wrong wrap the whole thing up and pour some juice over it.(last shoulder i wrapped but not all the way up and put juice on bottom nice crust to)no sprits, thought it might wash away rub.
    the brisket it self was very tender just no crust,or smoke flavor.i have done only about 4 briskets so still learning.

    i bought a new thermometer for my smoker and it is at grid level(did all the ecb upgrades when i got it about a year ago.)I let the chips smoke for a hour before use and they remained soaked till i was done with them.
    does not soaking them produce more smoke?
    Thanks for everyones help so far, very appreciated.[​IMG]
  17. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You can test your therms by putting the probe in boiling water, it should read 212°.
  18. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    I read online somewhere a few weeks ago: "Don't bother soaking the wood you smoke with...there is a reason boats are made of wood, they don't absorb much water." [​IMG]

    Now, in all fairness - if you are using chips, it MAY help slow the burn a tiny bit if you soak them, but take the other's advice and use chunks. They last longer, produce more smoke - and that means less opening of the door to add more chips! Plus, you already said your brisket didn't have enough smoke flavor, so using chunks will get you there.

    Also, do the boiling water test with your therms, like others have suggested.

    Finally, more good advice from someone else here I read earlier - at 165° internal, wrap twice in foil w/ a little (1/2 - 3/4 cup) liquid inside...but wrap the foil AROUND the probe and push it all tight against probe sides...don't push the probe into the foil AFTER wraping. Keep on smokin till it hits around 195 internal temp...no less! Then, pop it in the empty cooler - still covered in the foil - with an old towel or two in there to hold the heat and humidity and so your cooler doesn't warp from the heat. After about an hour and a half, unwrap it and it will pull like butter.

    Don't let it get you down though, we all have had these types of briskets.

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