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Grrrr! Previously frozen brisket

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Stay away from Sam's club briskets, some of them have been previously frozen.icon_evil.gif

I bought a smaller brisket (5.7 pounds) from Sams club last Friday because I wanted to have some Texas styled BBQ and I have a pretty good recipe for smoked brisket. So Saturday afternoon/evening I slather it with some good old fashioned brown mustard and apply my rub so it can sit overnight. I dug thru all their briskets just to find a small one with a nice fat cap on it.

Sunday morning comes around,

I figured 6 hours should do the trick, so I stick the brisket in the smoker around 11:00 apply smoke, keep the temp at 250 yada yada yada,,,

I take it out at 5 on the dot and its looking good (sorry no q-view, I was busy storm prepping for a possible Tropical Storm). The internal temp is at 160 and when I pulled out the thermometer the juice is just gushing out.

So I let it rest for like 1/2 hour and slice it up against the grain. I serve it and its just wonderful, except for one thing, it was tough, not dry but rather firm.

Now, I've cooked several briskets and they've never turned out tough. The only thing I could come up by looking at the color of the sliced brisket is that the meat was frozen sometime prior to me buying it.

With that said, the only place Ill be buying a brisket from now on will be from a butcher shop.
post #2 of 15
Only cooking it to 160 was the problem. IMO And being that small of a brisket didn't help the cuase either.

I buy briskets from Sams all the time and have not had an issue..........at least not any that I could blame on Sams. PDT_Armataz_01_04.gif

Sometimes you just get a tough piece of meat no matter where you buy it.

Best of luck going forward......no matter where you decide to buy your brisket. biggrin.gif
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
The last one I bought from them was really good, But it was a whole brisket. Ill have to keep that in mind in a few weeks when I make another one for some family friends that are coming down for a visit.

What internal temp should I have cooked it to?
post #4 of 15
Most folk go to 180-ish for slicing... and yep...sometimes ya DO just get a toughie. PDT_Armataz_01_27.gif
post #5 of 15
I wrap mine in foil at 160 and take it to 180 then unwrap (saving the juice) and take it to 200.
Last one I did you could cut with a fork.

Now I want to do another brisket this weekend :)
post #6 of 15
I start checking them at 185 or so......I would say on the average I probably take them to 195, but I tried to go by feel mostly. When you can push the probe in with minimal resistance, you are good to go......if it fights back much, let it go longer.
post #7 of 15
Excellent answer!! cool.gif
post #8 of 15
Is that for pulling or slicing? (or both)
post #9 of 15
I'll say slicing, since that is all I do with a brisket, personally.

If I was pulling, I would probably not start checking till 200, but I am a dedicated slicer.
post #10 of 15
I think that the brisket definitely needed more time. I know that it is important to cook to temp and not time, but generally you can count on 1.5 hours per pound give or take. With almost 6 pounds of brisket cooking for only 6 hours and then removing at 160 (around plateau temp)... Definitely need more time. My last brisket was about the same size and I took it off after 8 hours (about 170), foiled it for an hour. I had no choice or else I would have waited. It was still good, I got a lot of praise, but not as good as if I would have waited until it was 185 - 190.

Guess you'll just have to try again... Shucks, more brisket!wink.gif
post #11 of 15
I too get most of my meat for smoking from Sam's and have never had a problem. Like everyone else said I think you took the brisket off too soon. After you hit 170, try wrapping it in foil with your favorite mop and then let it cook longer. This will cause the brisket to get a lot more moist.

As for refrozen meat, if your smoking the meat then refrozen meat shouldnt matter. This is because you are using a "Low and Slow" cooking process. This allows the meat to break down and become a lot more tender. That is why brisket is such a good BBQ meat. If it is cooked any other way it is not that great of a cut of meat. Brisket is naturally tough, smoking turns it into what some may call "heaven". PDT_Armataz_01_18.gif
post #12 of 15
Not that I can be much help in experience, since I've only made two briskets (one oven, and one on the UDS), The UDS was from Sam's Club, and I took it out at 175, never needed to foil it (cooked fat cap down the whole smoke), and it sat in the cooler for 1.5 hours... juicy, but still tough, except in the fattier end, which was almost fork tender. (I'm gonna foil it at 180 next time, and take it to 200)

The sliced leftovers were used in another 3 meals, each time I used a different way of warming them back up, so I could see what works, Boiling it for an hour, made it tender (used the slices to make sandwiches with carmelized onions), cutting the slices into smaller pieces and sauteing(sp?) made them really nice and tender (put some BBQ sauce on them and spooned it over garlic smashed potatoes).

I ground up the last few slices in the food processor warmed them up in the saucepan and use them in a queso dip... really couldn't tell it was tough anymore, but it gave the dip a nice smokey flavor.
post #13 of 15
I've never had a problem with sam's meat. My briskets are always good. Like everyone says, 160 is not what you are looking for. The brisket is the toughest cut on the cow and needs time to break down. Go to 165 and foil to 195 sliced 205 for pulled. Mine are always fork tender.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
It made a really good chopped brisket BBQ for sandwiches the next day. So it wasnt a total bust cause everyone that ate it gave me high compliments PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #15 of 15
If life hands ya lemons...

Sounds like ya done good with a poor product. Good work.Sometimes cooks don't go as planned and your ability to adapt can avert disaster and a wasted brisket PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
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