So I am knew to the whole smoking scene but I have really started to get into and have had some mixed results. I own a Masterbuilt 30 in. Vertical Two-Door Propane Gas Smoker (as seen below) which uses wood chips which are heated up from the bottom of the unit and it also has a water pan to keep things moist. The first thing I ever smoked was a nice boston butt which turned out great, but recently I tried my first brisket with mixed results.
I picked up an 8lb flat from a local butcher and when I brought it home I noticed it had a small piece of the point still on it (is this normal?). Anyways, I proceeded to trim up the fat cap side a little, leaving about 1/4" of fat (in some spots maybe less) on top, and then scored the fat to allow some rub penetration I then liberally applied my own BBQ rub that I make to both sides of the brisket and let it come completely to room temperature.
I then loaded my smoker with a mix of hickory and apple chips and got it up to 225deg, I then loaded the brisket onto the middle rack (it has three) and began smoking it, I monitored the temperatures with a Maverick et-733 with one probe in the cooking chamber and the other in the thickest part of the flat. So I smoked this brisket for about 11 hrs total and during that time about every hour I had to go change out my wood chips bundles for new ones and at the same time I would spray my brisket with a combination of beef stock, apple juice, brown sugar, and some Worcestershire. Now each time I did this my temperature would drop between 210-190 but quickly come back up.
Now I thought about foiling it at 160-165 but decided to just keep basting and bring it up to finish temps. I used an instant read thermometer and when I got about 195-200 on the brisket I pulled it, foiled it, wrapped in a towel and let it site for about an hour before slicing. When I sliced it (across the grain) I got firm slices with good smoke ring but poor tenderness and dry texture. :( I'll say I was able to improve it quite a bit by taking the remaining un-sliced brisket, foiling it again with the remaining basting liquid, and putting it in a 200deg oven for about 4 hours. At that point the brisket passed the pull test but was still a little dry.
Ok so here are my theories and then I'd like to see what the experts think: 1.) I think my brisket I selected was on the lean side for it had a good fat cap but not any marbling to speak of in the flat itself. 2.) I may have trimmed to much fat off, 3.) I smoked in the entire time fat cap up and I didn't foil it until pulling it after final temp 4.) I didn't really listen to the probe and whether it felt "buttery" going in but instead worried more about the temperature 5.) Being a little tough and dry and seeing an improvement after the oven session tells me it was undercooked (even after 11 hours!?) for more cooking time I appeared to break down more connective tissue.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of it this time but next time I will for sure.
Thanks in advance,