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3rd Time Is Not The Charm

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Smoked my 3rd brisket yesterday very discouraged. I used all the right methods and it still came out dry and tough. Cooked it in my MES at 225 degrees. Filled the water pan up. There was steam pouring out of the vent for the entire smoke. Brought it up to 160 and foiled it. Pulled it at 190. Let it sit for 2 hours. I had even injected it with more than a cup of apple juice. It was a choice graded angus flat with a nice fat cap on it. When I opened the foil up there were all the liquids. How do I keep the liquids in the meat so it is "melt in your mouth tender"? I sliced it thin and across the grain and then poured the liqiuds on top of it. The taste was there but not the texture. Any thoughts on what I am doing wrong? I know brisket is a tough dish to cook but I am not a rookie any more. I used apple chips and rubbed it with Jeff's rub letting it sit overnight in the fridge. The meet was 52 degrees when I started the smoke. I think it took about 7 hours in the smoker. It stalled for about an hour and 1/2. Everything went well. I thought this would be the one but it was only a little better than the others. Thanks in advance for the help.
post #2 of 14
Don't give up. Brisket has always been a challenge for me. They get better and better but I still am not satisfied. I finish my brisket off in a pan with some apple juice and beef broth for the last few hours. It is also important to let the beast sit in the foil for 45 min or so when it comes off the smoker. This will let the meat draw in the juices. icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 14
Like Dave said, wrap up tight and let set in a cooler. I prefer two hours or more to let the brisket re-absorb some of the juice back into the meat. Never had a dry on doing it this way. Don't give up.
post #4 of 14
Can you give us some more info like the weight and some pics would help out. 7 hours on a brisket is not much time, even for a small one. Don't give up on them.
post #5 of 14
I agree. 7 hrs seems pretty short. When I do mine, I don't inject it, but make sure some of the fat cap remains on top to drip into the meat. Then I rub it all and let it sit over night in the fridge. I then put it in a disposable aluminum pan and pour a beer into the pan so it's about half submerged and cook it that way. The beer will boil off, however it's nice and juicy inside as the fat on top dripped down into the meat and the beer kept it moist at the bottom. Good Luck.
post #6 of 14
What others have said. Let it rest for atleast 45 minutes in a dry cooler wrapped in cloth towels to help hold heat.
post #7 of 14
I like alittle more time in the cooler also and I wrapped the meat too and then stuff the cooler full too. I keep my meat in the cooler aleast 2 hours and up till 5 at times. Now for your brisket don't give up their not an easy hunk of meat.
post #8 of 14
I like to take my brisket to 200-205. I find this is the temp that gives me the tender texture I want. All of the collagen and connective tissue has broken down at this temp. I don't find it difficult to slice but it does have to cool a bit for handling and so it won't fall apart.
post #9 of 14
I usually don't pull until 200 or so, then wrap and throw it in a cooler for a few hours.
Don't give up!!!!!
post #10 of 14
Don't feel bad. My last one did exactly the same thing. All the juices were in the foil pan. Plus I didn't take it high enough. About 190 like you did. I will shoot for 200-205 in foil next time and just park it in the fridge overnight before I fool with it.

Something similar with a chuck tonight. Foiled at about 150 finished in the oven at 300 to 205. I didn't let it set as long as I should have, so there was much liquid in the foil when I opened. Pulled/chopped it anyway and then added liquids back to the meat which were absorbed. Good flavor and not as moist as I would like, but better than the first one I did.
post #11 of 14
They are a tough smoke but I'm suspicious of a heat issue. As other stated it seemed to cook fast. I'm not sure how your setup but I and others use a $38 dual probe digital wireless thermometer. I have the Maverick. One heat probe goes in the thick of the meat and the other clips onto the rack near the meat. Your thermometer on the hood may read one thing and the area around your product could be hotter or in some cases cooler for that matter.

My products started coming out much better after I invested in a dual probe thermometer. Just a thought as you seem to be doing everything correctly. May want to check the aging of the meat as well. I have found I get better results if I by a brisket and let it sit wrapped in the frige a few days. Steaks too...

Don't give up as one day maybe next time you will put down your fork grinning ear to ear. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #12 of 14
I agree with Wingman. I would be curious as to what your grill temp was. The MES can be off of what the temp probe says by quite a bit. Also the right side of the MES tends to be much hotter than the left. I always put my meat on the left side. with you saying that you were done in 7 hours makes me highly suspicious of temps. Are you cooking packers, or small flats? When I cook brisket in the MES, I buy full packers, and seperate the point from the flat, and cook them on seperate grates. I start mine at about 9PM, and spritz a couple times before I hit the sack. When I do hit the rack I drop the temp to 195 till I get up in the morning, then I bump back up to 225 again. spritz every hour till she is done. 195 to 200 depending on the cut of meat. I usually go by the prob test. should go in like butter. with this method it typically takes 17 hours plus the resting time. I typically do not foil unless I am running out of time for a dinner. Dont give up! once you get it, you will love it.
post #13 of 14
I agree with what the others are saying. Don't trust the thermometer, try another. And 7 hours does seem like a short time unless it was a really small brisket. About the shortest cook time I've experienced is about 11 hours. I usually cook at 225F.

Brisket is great, but it it is a challenge. (PATIENCE)

post #14 of 14
cooking temperature too low. finished temperature too high.

try cooking it at around 250 and taking it off the heat at 185 MAX. foiling during cooking is not necessary, but it can't hurt. it would be good to foil it while it rests for half an hour or so after cooking.
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