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Second Smoke -Beef Brisket

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
After a very successful first smoke (pork loin), tried a 4 pound beef brisket for my second smoke. It was a little chewy, and the rub was too hot for my wife's taste.

I solved the mystery of the heat, I used Calfornia Chili Powder in my rub along with Cayenne. Both were too much.

I think the toughness came from two mistakes: 1) I didn't inject the meat. 2) I used the time recommendation instead of the temperature recommendation for doneness, which means I ended pulling the meat at 185 degrees based on time/weight recommendation, instead of 165-170 that is probably optimal.

Even though chewy, I like the result (cause I like spicy food), and I can't wait to try this cut again to see if I can improve my skill-set.

Here's the result:

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey Gus View Post

After a very successful first smoke (pork loin), tried a 4 pound beef brisket for my second smoke. It was a little chewy, and the rub was too hot for my wife's taste.

I solved the mystery of the heat, I used Calfornia Chili Powder in my rub along with Cayenne. Both were too much.

I think the toughness came from two mistakes: 1) I didn't inject the meat. 2) I used the time recommendation instead of the temperature recommendation for doneness, which means I ended pulling the meat at 185 degrees based on time/weight recommendation, instead of 165-170 that is probably optimal.

Even though chewy, I like the result (cause I like spicy food), and I can't wait to try this cut again to see if I can improve my skill-set.

Here's the result:

 

 

 

 

Brisket shouldn't be cooked to either time or temp as neither are a reliable indicator of when a brisket is ready.   It's done when it's done, and that's when you can slide a toothpick or probe through the thickest part and it will feel like a knife going through room temp butter.  Generally speaking, that will happen somewhere between 185 and 210.   Take it to 185 then start probing.

 

Good luck with the next one. 

post #3 of 11
doing this one as we speak will also start probing around 185. Using a master built electric, I don't have an injector yet so I spray with apple juice every couple hours! Plenty of rubs recipes on this site to use good luck
post #4 of 11
I really recommend Billbo's rub from this site awesome on everything
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I will definitely try that on the next one.
post #6 of 11

Adding some beef broth when you go to wrap does wonders also.

post #7 of 11

Welcome to the group Smokey Gus. Brisket is one of my favorite things to smoke. I mostly do whole briskets point and flat together they normally cook 10 to 12 hour at @225. I like to bring them to @140 to 150 then place in a foil pan and add a can of beef broth, cover with foil and back in it goes til @ 195 to 200. You can also just wrap the whole thing in foil (double) and not use the pan. Either way will make for tender and juice brisket. Also make sure it is sliced across the grain in thin @1/4 or less slices. Good luck and keep smoking you'll find the way you like it and what works good for you.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demosthenes9 View Post


Brisket shouldn't be cooked to either time or temp as neither are a reliable indicator of when a brisket is ready.   It's done when it's done, and that's when you can slide a toothpick or probe through the thickest part and it will feel like a knife going through room temp butter.  Generally speaking, that will happen somewhere between 185 and 210.   Take it to 185 then start probing.

Good luck with the next one. 

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.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey Gus View Post


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
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demosthenes9 View Post


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 ?

Thanks. Learning is more fun by way of understanding than by way of imitation or rote memorization.
post #11 of 11

Hello and welcome, you are off to a good start, good advice      Brisket is a big tough piece of meat that needs  a long time, low and slow on the smoker. Not at all like a good steak.  But when done correctly every bit as good (well almost). Smoked Prime Rib !!!!! WoW 

 

Gary S

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