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brisket question..

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all .. i'm an newbie and this weekend will be my first brisket attempt..  i've been reading up and researching and need some opinions..i'm planing and just the flat ..as it's only going to be 5 of us and not a whole packer cut ...i know the flat is lean so my question is should i plan on foil wrapping @ 160 so it doesn't dry out??? i'm using a WSM 22"  also should i put it on the top or bottom rack?? i also plan on doing some ribs which i was going to use the top rack... 

 

 

TIA 

 

Jerry 

post #2 of 7

Jerry , hello and welcome to the Smoking Meats Forums . e need you to go over to our Roll Call and post  about yourself and any thing you want us to know :biggrin:  The Members will give you a Rousing :welcome1: .

 

Now , your question , though I forgot ,huh . As or your Flat , yes as a Beginner you should wrap (and add a bit of liquid for flavor and moisture  , your choice) ,

 

 the160*F or so will be good  (most go to 165*F) an track your temp. with a good thermometer , to a point where a toothpick will go in with ease.(like a knife

 

through butter) , this will around 180F to 195*F and remove it  , wrap tinfoil and all in a couple of towels and place them in an empty ice cooler with a few more

 

towels or some thing to keep it warm and soak up the drippings .

 

Now I don't do that , but I do a lot of things different , just me.

 

I hope this helps  , if not , someone else will be by shortly to correct me.:ROTF

 

I truly hope you enjoy your adventure and as always . . . 

post #3 of 7

Jerry, most importantly, don't rush the brisket, you must have lots of patience with this cut of meat.  Most just can't wait to pull it, slice it and enjoy it, then moments later after they just couldn't wait any longer, they slice into a tough piece of meat only to be disappointed.  As oldschool mentions, yes, wrap it around 160 to 165 degrees IT, then continue to monitor until the IT is in the 185 range, at this time begin to check for tenderness with a toothpick.  Continue to do this until the toothpick slides in easily, like a knife into butter, or with little to no resistance.  The finishing IT will be anywhere between 185 and possibly 210 degrees, it really depends on the brisket itself and your cooking temperature.  If cooking hot and fast, 275 and up, you will finish at a higher IT say 205 and up, if you are cooking slower and lower 225 and below, then you could finish in the 185 to 195 range.  

Add 1 cup or so of beef broth or your favorite dark beer to the foil when you wrap, I prefer to use foil pans also over the alum sheets, much less chance you will lose those precious juices from the cook.  These juices can be poured back over the sliced and chopped meat to turn a dry brisket into a good one and a good brisket into a spectacular one.  

Also, if you find yourself in a time crunch, once you wrap the brisket, you can always throw it in a 300 degree oven to finish.  You will have no side effects from this method, plus you will have it ready on time more than likely.  Don't forget the all important rest period, this is probably the second most important part of a brisket cook for a couple reasons.  First of all it gives the meat a chance to relax from the hours of stress you put on it during the cooking phase, possibly reabsorbing some of the juices, but you also need the meat to have dropped to at least 170 degrees IT during the rest or you'll end up with a juicy cutting board not a juicy brisket.  As the meat relaxes, the juices will redistribute to the center away from the outer edge where it is forced to during the cook.

Most of all have fun and patience!  Good luck! 

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok so here's my update .... so i smoked a 6lb flat brisket on Sunday..had a couple of hiccups and not sure what i did wrong... so everything was going well and wrapped it about the 163 mark and about the 7 -1/2 mark it was reading 203 so i unwrapped it as the outside just didn't have that nice bark.. put it back on the rack uncovered.. temp dropped to about 190 after 1 hour ..and let it rest re-foiled with some of the leftover juices for 1 hour... when i cut it up and severed...found it to be on the dry side....some advice would be greatly appreciated..

post #5 of 7

Well first of all when wrapping with foil, you will not get the bark that everyone raves about so much, because the steaming and braising inside of the foil will mush the bark up.  For those that wrap but still want a bark, just simply open the foil once you have reached your desired tenderness and allow the steam to escape, this will typically allow the bark to reset.  You can also do as you did and open the foil up towards the end of the cook, but this will lengthen your cook time as removing or opening the foil stops the steaming process.  This is what caused your temperature drop after opening the foil, you had built up an environment of steam and heat inside the foil, once you opened that up, you lost all of that.  Basically the meat had to go back to where it would have been without the Texas Crutch (foiling).  

The lack of moisture comes from either it being a select flat only brisket with little to no internal marbling or the fact that the meat never finished fully cooking so the internal fat and collagen had not fully broken down yet to give added moisture to the meat. 

How was your tenderness?  Did it pass the probe test before you put it to rest?

How did your ribs come out?

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruno994 View Post
 

Well first of all when wrapping with foil, you will not get the bark that everyone raves about so much, because the steaming and braising inside of the foil will mush the bark up.  For those that wrap but still want a bark, just simply open the foil once you have reached your desired tenderness and allow the steam to escape, this will typically allow the bark to reset.  You can also do as you did and open the foil up towards the end of the cook, but this will lengthen your cook time as removing or opening the foil stops the steaming process.  This is what caused your temperature drop after opening the foil, you had built up an environment of steam and heat inside the foil, once you opened that up, you lost all of that.  Basically the meat had to go back to where it would have been without the Texas Crutch (foiling).  

The lack of moisture comes from either it being a select flat only brisket with little to no internal marbling or the fact that the meat never finished fully cooking so the internal fat and collagen had not fully broken down yet to give added moisture to the meat. 

How was your tenderness?  Did it pass the probe test before you put it to rest?

How did your ribs come out?

i assumed that wrapping will not have that nice bark...but was rather surprised that i was done internally a 7-1/2 hours.. i was tryin to get that nice bark that was the reason i took it out of the foil and put in back uncovered ..

so if i would have let it get back to 200 it wouldn't have been so dry??im thinking that i should have let it get back to 203...

it was tender and great smoke.. just felt it was on the dry side.. 

As for the ribs ..they came out great .. did the 3-2-1 method ...and sauced them for like 10-15 minutes.. were fall off the bone...got great raves from those...

post #7 of 7

Yep, 3-2-1 ribs will get that reaction.  Now you have a starting point and can adjust from there as far as timing.  

If your brisket was nice and tender, then it has to come down to the quality of meat.  The higher the grade, the better chance you have of an end result being nice and juicy.  You wrapped, so you have the au jus from the cook, just pour that liquid gold over your slices or chopped meat and it will save a dry brisket.   

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