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My 1st Full Packer... Eh. Thoughts?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This was my 4th attempt at brisket but my first whole packer. I decided to change things up a little as my results have been inconsistent previously. My first brisket was great, second was just good, third was a huge waste of time and money.
I had been reading up on the Franklin method and decided to go that route, kind of. I got some post oak, makeshift butcher paper (paper grocery store bags), and I 13lb packer from restaurant depot. My rub was a simple SPOG. Ratio was 1/4C salt, 1/3C pepper, 1/8C onion and 1/8C garlic. I much preferred the flavor profile from this rub over the Best Odds brisket rub recipe I found on about.com.
I trimmed the fat down to 1/4" which left just enough fat on the finished product. I think I may have gotten a little too crazy trimming that hard white fat between the point and flat. It seemed to me like it wouldn't render down very well, so I kept going at it until I had almost completely separated the point and flat. This may have been my first mistake...
I took the brisket out of the fridge at 4:30. Heated up the smoker, which is a masterbuilt dual fuel, just running on propane though. Filled up the water pan and wood, went back in to apply the rub, injected with an 80/20 mix beef broth/worcestershire, and had her smoking at 5am on the dot.
Smoker temp was 225-250 the whole time. I had my probe in the thickest part of the point. I hit a stall around 145 but waited till 155 to wrap in paper. I put the probe into the flat after wrapping and it was only 145 which surprised me quite a bit. After wrapping I took the smoker up to 300 degrees, and hit 195 by about 5. I let it rest for 20,separated the point for burnt ends, and wrapped the flat in towels and put it in the cooler. It rested for a good hour and a half before slicing. The flavor was great, nice smoke ring, acceptable bark, but it was so stinkin' dry! It wasn't even very tough, just dry.
I noticed that the ends, which were pretty thin, were much better than the center. In order to get the brisket to fit in my smoker I had to put a can under it to lift it up. Could this have caused the center to be dry? I don't know where else I could have gone wrong, what do you guys think?
The burnt ends were pretty darn good, but after spending $50 and 14 hours I was really hoping to hit it out of the park with this one. Also my dad is visiting from Ohio next week and I've been dying to show off my bbq to him, but at the rate I'm going with brisket I might just stick to pork.
Any help is greatly appreciated
post #2 of 4

  Welcome dc. A few things you might try next time. Don't worry about the fat between the flat and point. Some will render out, some won't. Now for some controversy! I smoke to about 160 in the flat and then foil the whole thing and add beef broth. Smoke till about 190 and start the toothpick test. for doneness. When it is done, separate it from point and wrap to hold. Prepare burnt ends from the point. Enjoy! Don't hesitate to ask more questions as we are all here to help.



post #3 of 4

 I'd wager that it was undercooked.  Did it have a little pull/tug to it ?  I see that it hit 195, but I don't see you mention how you determined that it was done.   Is it safe to presume that you decided that it was finished just based on the temp ?  Of so, that's the culprit.   You should only use internal temp as a guide to tell you when to start doing the probe test that So MS Smoker mentioned.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I was using a maverick et73 to monitor the smoker and meat temp. I used a toothpick to probe around a bit and it felt pretty tender. I didn't want it to be too soft because I wanted to slice it without it pulling apart.
So MS, how does your bark turn out with adding the beef broth? The reason I wanted to try paper this time was mainly to help maintain the bark. The last couple times I foiled and my bark turned to mush. I think maybe I was applying too much rub though.
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