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Brisket on UDS not as tender as I wouldve liked

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I just did my first ever brisket. I built an upright drum smoker, and have had great success with ribs and pork shoulder.

 

The brisket was good, but not as transcendentally tender and juicy as i wanted it to be, especially in the flat. I cooked it until the internal temp in the deepest part of the point was 203. I know this is my first one, and no one is perfect their first time out, but let me try to blame my tools for a moment:

 

Is is possible that the UDS is a bad way to cook brisket because the head comes evenly from underneath? You hear people who use offset smokers say that you should put the fatty point towards the firebox because it can withstand more heat, so maybe the even, more direct heat from the UDS is less ideal.

 

Also, after combing the forums and listening to all the arguments, I decided to cook the brisket fat side up. However, many of the arguments I read on this forum suggested that it should largely depend upon your smoker. Since my smoker is providing rising heat from directly underneath the meat, does anyone think that I should have put the brisket fat side down in this case in order to protect the meat?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 8
I don't think I've ever met anyone who ever had a first 'successful' brisket smoke. Just takes time through trial and error. Your smoker should be fine. In my offset smoker my heat comes through the side and bottom. Because I put a couple of heat deflectors in the bottom of the pit for more even heat dispersal. I always do fat side up. I don't understand folks that do fat side down. Gravity dictates that the melting fat will self baste the brisket. That's why I always leave a 1/4 fat.

Did you wrap your brisket at any point? To me wrapping is the only way to go. Whether it's butcher paper or foil. And even after it hits around 205 210 in point. I put it in a towel lined cooler for at least 3 hrs. That gives it time to get really tender and break down and redistribute juices.

And most importantly. Use a high quality piece of beef. I will only smoke a PRIME grade brisket which I can often find for $2.89 at Costco.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesoh79 View Post

I don't think I've ever met anyone who ever had a first 'successful' brisket smoke. Just takes time through trial and error. Your smoker should be fine. In my offset smoker my heat comes through the side and bottom. Because I put a couple of heat deflectors in the bottom of the pit for more even heat dispersal. I always do fat side up. I don't understand folks that do fat side down. Gravity dictates that the melting fat will self baste the brisket. That's why I always leave a 1/4 fat.

Did you wrap your brisket at any point? To me wrapping is the only way to go. Whether it's butcher paper or foil. And even after it hits around 205 210 in point. I put it in a towel lined cooler for at least 3 hrs. That gives it time to get really tender and break down and redistribute juices.

And most importantly. Use a high quality piece of beef. I will only smoke a PRIME grade brisket which I can often find for $2.89 at Costco.

There are those who call "self-basting" a myth, and say that the primary contribution of the fat cap is protecting the brisket during cooking. I am not advocating for that belief, just saying that it is out there. And yeah, I go to Costo... I think it was $2.99 this time around.

 

I left on about 1/4" of fat. I smoked at about 230-250 the entire day. 8 hours in, I wrapped in foil once I got through The Stall (which made me late for an appointment). The internal temp sat between 164 and 167 for an eternity! After it got to 203 (11.5 hours in), it was put in a cooler (just wrapped in foil, no towels) for 1 hour (it was getting late).

 

It sounds like you wouldve put it in the cooler longer?

post #4 of 8

Hello.  The link below should tell all you need to know.  The contributors use UDS, off sets, gas and electric.  The point of my thread was can we identify why some folks are having trouble with briskets.  The answer I have in conclusion is no.  Similar cooking methods on different smokers produce the same good results.  I do tend to babysit my briskets.  I turn them over and rotate them 90 to 180 degrees every hour or so.  Unless I am basting I make it a "military operation".  The wife lifts the lid, I do my thing and the lid is back on.  VERY little heat loss.  Just my way.Wish you luck.  Keep Smokin!

Danny

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/181613/lets-talk-brisket

post #5 of 8
Was the brisket probe tender in the thickest part of the brisket? That is what you want to be checking. The temp just lets you know it's time to start checking for probe tender.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Rylander View Post

There are those who call "self-basting" a myth, and say that the primary contribution of the fat cap is protecting the brisket during cooking. I am not advocating for that belief, just saying that it is out there. And yeah, I go to Costo... I think it was $2.99 this time around.

I left on about 1/4" of fat. I smoked at about 230-250 the entire day. 8 hours in, I wrapped in foil once I got through The Stall (which made me late for an appointment). The internal temp sat between 164 and 167 for an eternity! After it got to 203 (11.5 hours in), it was put in a cooler (just wrapped in foil, no towels) for 1 hour (it was getting late).

It sounds like you wouldve put it in the cooler longer?

Sounds like you should have had better results. I normally smoke a brisket basically the same way. I generally smoke at a higher temp. Like 250ish. Except I wait until the point gets to about 170 to 180ish. Triple wrap in foil. No liquid added. Put in preheated oven at 250 on baking sheet. Pull out exactly 3 hrs later. This brings the point to around 210.

To me. I get the best results when the point gets to 210. Then let it rest in a towel lined cooler. Bet you get much better results next time. Had to do about 3 or 4 briskest before they became edible. Lol
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

It sounds like perhaps my only problem is my target internal temp. I was shooting for 203 in the smoker/oven, when i shouldve been shooting for 210?

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC5TPY View Post
 

Hello.  The link below should tell all you need to know.  The contributors use UDS, off sets, gas and electric.  The point of my thread was can we identify why some folks are having trouble with briskets.  The answer I have in conclusion is no.  Similar cooking methods on different smokers produce the same good results.  I do tend to babysit my briskets.  I turn them over and rotate them 90 to 180 degrees every hour or so.  Unless I am basting I make it a "military operation".  The wife lifts the lid, I do my thing and the lid is back on.  VERY little heat loss.  Just my way.Wish you luck.  Keep Smokin!

Danny

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/181613/lets-talk-brisket

alright, I'll definitely be taking a deep dive into this forum ASAP. Thanks!

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