Problems no bark.. Probably too light on the rub right? Decent tenderness but not super tender.
Without a thermometer how long should an 8lber take? Would thought 11hours enough? Thanks for comments?
Was this too much meat for a smoking it?
Without a thermometer your best bet is to do a toothpick test - when it slides in effortlessly in several places it is done & ready to wrap & rest. I always estimate 1 1/2 - 2 hours per lb for brisket when I'm planning to do one... Are you going by the factory thermometer for smoker temp? Most of them are off from the get go.
Not a huge bark fan myself, but as JckDanls07 already pointed out, foiling pretty much kills the bark. What you might try is something similar to the 3-2-1 rib method. Smoke it for about 4 hours, foil it for 3, then put it back on the rack in the smoke until it probes tender and you get the bark you're after. A second coating of a sugary rub in the last phase will help with the bark as well. Good luck and let us know how the next one turns out!
Sorry to hear about your bad luck Gator. Are you sure about the accuracy of your grill thermometer? It seems as though 11 hours should have been plenty of time for an 8 lb. piece of beef to not be still raw. Should take about 1 - 1 1/2 hr per lb. The final internal meat temp for brisket needs to be upward of 195 deg for tenderness.
Like JckDnls said "Good thermometers are your best friend"
I also did my first brisket this weekend on my 25 year old Coleman, It was only 6 lb but I was pretty satisfied with how it turned out. Next time I will use a little less rub and use the mop more often I think. Mine took about 7.5 hours. Cooked it with the meat side up. I lost control of the smoker heat in the beginning and it got up to 300 deg. for about 45 min. The meat reached an internal temp of 148 deg in about 2.5 hours so I didn't get the nice smoke ring I was looking for. Put foil on it at about 5.5 hr w/175 deg internal temp and left it for another 2hr. When we pulled it off the grill the internal temp was 206 deg. Let it rest in the foil and wrapped up in a towel to keep some heat for about 2 hours cause it got done earlier than expected.
I'll try to remember to keep a better eye on the grill next time!!
Just bought a cheap one ($15) at Wallmart yesterday when my Maverick took a dump on me while I had 3 tri tips in the smoker. It's even a remote thermo. Don't know how long it will last, but it saved my A$$ yesterday!