When I started doing corned beef I would take it to about 160, foil it and take it on up to 180 for slicing. I would slice it paper thin and then do the steam thing to heat it up for sandwiches. Now I take them to 190 to 200 and let them cool in the fridge before I slice them and they are always off the chart. The brisket is a very tough piece of meat. It actually started off a throw away meat that went to the hired help because nobody else wanted it. Necessity is the Mother of invention.... folks learned that by slow cooking this piece of meat to a higher temp that it turned to mouth watering goodness. The science behind this is that the meat should hit 180 and cook at 180 for at least a half hour to break down the connective tissue that makes it so tough. I don't think your hurting yourself taking a brisket to higher temps. I prefer it. Lots of good suggestions here. I would say to increase your smoking temp making sure you are at least above 225. Ribs are the only thing I see in my experience... as limited as it is... that benefits from lower temps than 225. In my opinion when you open the smoker every hour to spritz your releasing moisture not adding moisture and increasing cook time... lowering your smoker temp to recover... etc. I honesty enjoy the cured brisket so much that I haven't done a packer in quite a while. The best way to retain moisture is to foil at 160 with some added moisture and finish the brisket braising to desired finish temp.... then let rest. I have to say though... I've seen and tasted some mighty juicy brisket that has been smoked without foiling. Sounds to me like your gonna have to do it over and over and over and over again until you get it right.
post #21 of 22
10/2/09 at 11:10am