Originally Posted by viper
Well, my goal is pulled brisket, not sliced which seems more popular here. It seems you have to push the temps higher to get pulled performance. I am just not sure how much force you should have to use to "pull" it. My pork comes apart pretty easy but maybe that is not a fair comparison, or is it? I am also wanting to find out why a cured point might be tougher? that does not make sense to me. My brisket was not really dry, it was just obvious the connective tissues did not fulle break down because you could literally seem them holding on when trying to pull apart. I want to do a full brisket next round but want my errors to be known so I can nail the next one. I would plan to inject, rub, and mop, as well as sear.
I would also like to look at my rub a bit. My main component in my rub is brown sugar which imparts a pretty sweat, dense bark on the meat. Some people like sweet, some do not. I think I should pull back on the sweetness to make more people happy. Curious what I could put up front as a prime component? Obviously red/black pepper go a long ways. I prefer something that will create bark on the sear.
I am not sure if you will get brisket to pull like pork does, the muscle strands are a bit differant. That being said one thing to remembe with brisket is you want gentle low heat, if you heat brisket to fast the muscle fibers conract like springs and tighten up creating a denser less tender result. If you can run your smoker between 210-220° you should be able to get a fork tender brisket provided you don't rush it.
I usually keep the brisket rub simple (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika), and you really don't want much (if any) sugar in a rub that is going to be on the smoker for 12-18 hrs. because you stand a good chance of the sugars burning and ruining the flavor.
My basice set up is to rub my brisket 6-12 hrs. ahead of smoke time, set up my smoker to run between 200° and 220°. Place the brisket (full packer) on my upper rack with a foil turkey pan below it that has about 3 or 4 cups of liquid (usually beer). Then I leave it alone for at lest 6 hrs., after 6 hrs. I check the internal temp - once the internal temp hits 165° I take the brisket and put it in the foil pan with the drippings and cover the pan tightly with more foil. The I leave it alone till it hits 200° (internal temp) - at 200° I take a butter knife and try poking it into the brisket, if it slides in easily I pull it off to rest for 1-2 hrs., if not I let it go to 205° and try again. I have gone as high as 215° to get that tenderness.
Once I pull the brisket out of the smoker I double wrap it in heavy duty foil and place it in a dry towel lined cooler to rest. While it is resting I take all the liquid in the turkey pan and put it in a plastic container and pop it into the freezer for about 30 minutes. All the fat will set up on the top and can easily be removed. Re-heat the liquids in a small sauce pot and dump it over the sliced brisket.