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Brisket finished temps

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I try to get my briskets to about 190 to 195 degrees to break down the collagen and make them juicy and tender. My question is, how long to keep it at the temp to make sure it's going to be tender?
post #2 of 8
Personally, I foil mine @ 165* then take it to 200-205* and let it rest in the foil in a cooler stuffed with old towels or newspaper for at least 2 hours before serving. It will remain VERY HOT for at least a couple hours.
post #3 of 8
I would agree that getting them to at LEAST 195 will help...I usually aim for 200.

One other trick that I found a few weekends back - in order to ensure tenderness...

Once I get past the "stall" around 145 - 155° depending on the size and type of meat, I also will foil at 165°...However, what I do next, is once the internal meat temp hits 180° I back the smoker temps down just a little. I typically smoke at 240°, but I'll back it down to 220 - 225 and hold it there until the meat temp hits 200.

The theory here is this - just getting the internal temp up doesn't always ENSURE that you end up with tender meat and melted fat and connective tissue. That "meat magic" starts to happen around 180°, I think...
IMO - the secret is holding that 180° internal temp for 20 - 30 minutes, and then everything breaks down nicely. If I'm cooking too hot - the meat will be "done" before it's tender...backing the smoker temp down just a little bit once the IT hits 180...always helps me get tender meat. Of course, it might add another 30-45 min. on cook time, but for a brisket you worked all day on, it's worth it!
post #4 of 8
The last one I did as an experiment. I injected it with beef broth, mustard and then my rub. I didn't foil it at all. I used fat side up of course and pulled it 187. I then foiled it and put it in the cooler for about 2 hours.

When I sliced it, it was juicy and tender. I thought I should have taken it a little hotter, but my wife said it was the best one I had ever done. Next time I will do two so I can see if there is a difference. I'll take one to 187 and one to 200 and see what happens.
post #5 of 8
I'm in agreement that taking it to 200-205 is needed for a real tender brisket. We all have different interpretations of tender and I know some like their meat a little more firm. I like it falling apart but juicy.
post #6 of 8
OH I forgot to include in my reply that I also use a mop, and make sure I mop before foiling, and at temps of 200-205 I am pulling or shredding the brisket.
post #7 of 8


I belive in Time/temp. - I time @1.5hrs./lb.(this for Brisky and Butt) @ 200*f to 225*F. This gives me a GOOD indication of how long to LEAVE THE SMOKER SHUT! No Peeking.Then when I judge for doneness I touch/feel/gently squeese the meat(or pull the bone for Butt) and MAYBE,poke it with a toothpick. If it goes in like "BUTTA", I pull,wrap and set to rest in a cooler for an hour or so. (It's good to have your long cook stuff done ahead a little, saves on STRESSpoints.gif You'll hear several ways to do it, but "practice" is the major factor in knowing donenessicon_exclaim.gif IMHO!
post #8 of 8
We cook to 205 internal and slice pencil width for comps and at home.Another factor is briskets can be very different in texture-which will effect tenderness -cooking time.We cook two at time on same cooker for comps and they are never same.
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