Originally Posted by Smokey Gus
So you're sayin' I should have cooked this brisket longer? That seems counter-intuitive because steaks get tougher the more well-done they get. Thanks for the tip on probing. I have a boat-load of sheesh kabob skewers, I am sure those will work just fine.
Yeah, it is counter-intuitive. It has to do with the difference in muscle fibers, fat/marbling and the connective tissue within the meat. Brisket is kind of like a pot roast in that it's best when taken far past traditional "well done". You have to get the internal temp up for some time in order to break down the connective tissues. This releases the juices trapped within and makes for a tender and juicy brisket.
Here's a pic of a brisket that was a tad bit undercooked as it's juicy, but was still tough and chewy.
Click on it to magnify. See the lines at the tips of the arrows ? That's the connective tissue. You can see that it's still intact, which is why the brisket wasn't tender. If this brisket had cooked longer and/or been taken to a higher temp, those tissues would have broken down and rendered into more juices.
Compare the brisket slice above to the ones in this pic:
Notice how their aren't any opaque lines of connective tissue in these slices ? You can see how the pieces would just pull apart with the slightest tug ?
Edited by Demosthenes9 - 7/6/14 at 8:07pm