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So I just smoked my 1st brisket...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Total rookie here so I'd love some advice. I've been a huge barbecue fan since I lived in TX a few years back. I ended up getting a free electric smoker (Little Chief) and picked up a brisket to give it a try. Spent most of Saturday cooking, reheated it on Sunday and consumed. The taste was great but it was definitely too tough and overcooked. Here are a few reasons why I believe it may have turned out that way:

1. I didn't brine the meat.

2. It was a small cut...only about 4 lbs. that I picked up from Costco.

3. Took it out of the oven (smoked it for 5 hours but the temp never rose much...I'm thinking the heating coil on the smoker might be damaged) when the thermometer read 160. Too high?

I did use a mop every 45 minutes or so and had a great dry rub on it. i would definitely like to try it again but any feedback, suggestions, advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help.
post #2 of 8
First of all, you should introduce yourself in 'Roll Call', so everyone can welcome you proper!

I take it your smoker was the 160º ? ... if that was the internal temp. of your brisket, then it just wasn't ready yet! You probably opened your smoker too much, rule of thumb ' add 15 minutes cooking time every time you open it.
Anyhow, if you could be a bit more specific as to the temp. you are talking about, we can go from there.

Hope that helps some.

BTW ...welcome to SMF!
post #3 of 8
First, welcome from another newbie.

I'll tell you the conclusion I came to after doing almost the same thing you did.

I tried my first brisket with my Big Chief. I had to insulate the sides and the top VERY well and could get the internal temp up to 225*. But, part way through the smoke, the plastic plug end from the cord burned and the burner turned off. I really don't think these units are made for more than about 150-170*.

Since then I bought a GOSM and have been very pleased, but wish I would have got the wide model.

Good luck.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick replies. Yes, the meat was at 160 after coming out of the oven. I was worried about overcooking but maybe I just undercooked. Seemed a little overdone, though.

I do think I'll step it up to a GOSM as suggested. I got the fever from just one brisket and I think my Little Chief is past it's prime.

Any other info would be great...and I will get over to the Roll Call soon.

Thanks again.
post #5 of 8
Briskets should be cooked to 190F internal for slicing or about 200-205 if you want to pull it. I think you will like the GOSM.

Hope this helps!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #6 of 8
Welcome, as Meowy said 190-195* for slice'n. I presume at 4# you had a flat, and they tend to be tuff and dry by them selves, you may try spry'n a bit with fruit juice while it cooks. Brineing is not nessasary, just rub with vinegar or yellow mustard and apply your dry rub, let it soak in for about 15-30 min before putting it on the cooker.
post #7 of 8
Welcome to SMF, if I don't catch your roll call post. You need to get your self a digital therm. to check the internal cooking temp of your smoker and to also check the temp of your meat so you don't have to open your lids as much. I would wrap the brisket at around 160 and add some of your mop/spitz to the foil wrap. Then take it to 190 to slice and 205 to pull. Don't forget about the plateau and remember cook to temp not time. Every piece of meat is different and will take more or less time to cook.
post #8 of 8
i second the temp not time for smoking your meat. also, you don't need to brine brisket. i never have; i just smoke mine to 200° internal, fatcap down, spraying every hour (after 2 hours to let the rub set) with an applejuice/EVOO mixture- sometimes i add some kind of alcoholic liquid to it.

do not use vinegar on beef, as fla jeff (SoFlaQuer) says it will dry it out- and i really respect his opinion. i rub mine with plain ol' yellow mustard and cover with my rub. the mustard cooks off, and makes a good "glue" to hold the rub on the meat.
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