I pulled it at about 196-198, but I was going more for the feel of a probe in the meat than an exact temp. In addition, there was no large clumps of fat remaining on my brisket, and it appears there was no stall. And also, mine were panned the entire cook, and foiled over at 3 hrs. If I had a stoker, I could probably chart the temps out
All i do to mine is inject it with beef broth 24 hrs before it goes on the smoker, and put my rub on it, kinda heavy on the rub, seems to help hold in the mositure, i also trim all the fat off, put it on the smoker @ 225 till it reaches 195 degrees, and the only time i foil it is when it has hit it's temp, then i will let it rest in the warmer on my smoker at 140 for about a hour wrapped in foil, unwrap and slicec or chop, and it's moist everytime.
to me, brisket is the hardest thing I have ever tried to cook. I cooked brisket for years, sometimes it was good sometimes it sucked, and once in a great while it was great. Maybe I missed it in these post but here goes. The first and maybe the most important thing about a brisket is to pick a good one to begin with. You should be able to take a brisket and fold it in half with liitle or no resistance. If you cant fold it in half, it aint gonna be good. I usually try to keep my temps between 240 and 250. Be prepared to spend the day at the smoker. Most of my briskets cook for 12 to 17 hours. There is no rushing it. its done when its done. Then in cooler for anouther 3 to 4 hours minimum.
dforbes, I agree with your selection process. I usually do the bend test if Im buying them individually.
But this last go round, I didnt have a choice. I bought an 80# case of brisket at Sams since the meat case only had 3 packers. I guess I could've had them open the case and pick and choose, but I dont think the meat guy was in the mood for that. He was having a bad day or something.
I look at it this way, after about 2-3 hours, the brisket is cooked. That is to say, the meat has reached a temperature at which it is reliably safe to eat. The fact it is tougher than a shoe doesn't change the fact that it is cooked.
Everything after that is for tenderness, flavor, color and taste. If it takes you 2 or 20 more hours to reach this goal, the end result is the same. After lots of reading and some good instruction, I finally learned it doesn't have to take that long.
I used to spend 12-24 hours cooking brisket, but have recently changed, and the last couple have been the best I've ever done. They were both done in 6 hrs or less, and I'd put them against anyone cooking at home. I'm doing another one this weekend, I'll run a how-to thread if I remember to keep snapping pictures! LOL
I have done brisket in a foil pan on the MES and it cut my cooking time almost in half. Downside is that since it is actually roasting in it's own juices there was little if any bark .
Juciest brisket i've ever eaten.
I agree - a whole 14 lb. packer most likely won't hit 140 in 3 hours. But that's not how I'm cooking it. I separate the point and flat and heavily trim the fat. Point and flat are cooked in separate pans, as they reach optimal 'done-ness' at different times, and, I'm cooking a lot hotter than 250.
The effect is similar to finishing a brisket foiled - you won't have a lot of bark. Not an issue for me, I'm more about the meat than the bark. If you want the bark, you can always flip the brisket and then place it uncovered on a rack in the pan to firm up the bark.
one thing that I have noticed since I started smoking is that I end up being overly critical of my own food. We spend so much time prepping and babysitting that we expect to have perfection at the end and if one thing is slightly off we know it. I always thought my food was less than stellar even though people that ate it said it was awesome, that was until one day someone that has some experience and knows what good smoked food should taste like had my food and told me it was really good. At that point I realized that the reason I thought it wasn't right was because I was expecting the meat to mysteriously turn into gold in the smoker and when that didn't happen I wasn't happy with it and couldn't appreciate it for what it was.
Maybe you need to have an experienced smoker that you trust will tell you the truth, and knows what they are talking about try your brisket and have them tell you what they think