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Keeping a brisket moist?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I purchased a small brisket (3 lbs) with a decent amount of fat. I was wondering what can be done to ensure that the meat stays moist. Since this will be my first brisket I don't want to impart any other flavor into it other than the smoke and the rub. I'd like to taste a mostly unadulterated piece of meat.


Can you guys give me some guidelines as to smoker temperature, internal temperature up until foil and the finished temperature?


Thank you for the advice.

post #2 of 9

Personally, if you don't want anything BUT the unadulterated flavor of the meat, S&P only, that's it. Hit it with heat and take it to 160, foil and then take it to 200. Leave in foil, set in cooler wrapped in towels for 1-2 hours depending on when you're going to eat (be prepared for excess fluid to be exuded).


The best way to find out how meat is suppose to taste when it's cooked right, is don't add anything to it. I say salt and pepper only because all that's really going to do is bring out the flavor of the meat, not hide it.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Yeah, salt and pepper is probably the way to go.


Another question......When I put it in the foil is there any need to add liquid?

post #4 of 9

I like doing mine in a foil pan it it will fit.  The smoke still penetrates and I've even gotten decent smoke rings.


Lots of folks inject their brisket and hopefully they'll stop by and tell you what they use.


Really the best way to keep it moist is to go low and slow.  Between 220-230 and not much higher and go to temp.  If you cook it much higher, it has the tendency to dry out without injections/marinades.

post #5 of 9

I am relatively new to briskets 3 so far but I have made a dry one an ok one and an out of the park one last ,


The only diffrence between them is.

#1 was cooked like a pork butt on the rack to finish at about 180

#2 Was cooked to 160 placed in a pan with some water than foiled on top and finished to 200.

#3 was cooked to 168 Foiled tight with about 3 wraps and placed back in to 200.


#3 only problem was edges wanted to fall off insted of slice. I just took a quick trim around the main briskiet of about 1/2 inch and that issue was solved.


As for Rub I agree simple is better. I used Montana steak seasoning and I think that is about as crazy as I am gonna get.

post #6 of 9

If you want to slice, stay well below the 200* I/T mark (185-190* will suffice). I don't feel that the higher temp is really all that beneficial, and can actually be destructive. Time is an issue, once the meat has been taken up to near finish temps. I have held the chamber temps @ 170-180* for many hours with briskets and pork butts (once foiled), then rest prior to pulling, with a fall apart texture all the way through.


Anyway, for sliced, definitely back off the finished temps, and for pulled increase the temps or hold it for a few hours. Always rest foiled to redistribute the natural juices.


For a really great eating product, I like to use a pan under the meat just for drippings. For all natural flavors, just add water, no juices or liquors of any kind. Keep just enough water in this pan to keep it from getting dry. On a long smoke, I start with it about 1" deep, and add a bit more if it will dry out before I foil the meat. Put these drippings into your fridge and degrease when chilled well. Do the same with your foil liquids. You can add some ice cubes to quick chill the foil liquids, then, lift out the fat with a slotted spoon after it hardens up a bit. Add this to the meat after slicing or pulling to kick it over the top with natural flavors. It will already be seasoned from whatever you used for a dry rub, so just add and enjoy. Easy and delicious!


Good eats, brother!



post #7 of 9

For a brisket that small, low and slow will dry it out. I would bump up the heat to about 275 to 300 and get it done in around 3 hours or so.


Foil or place in a pan at 160, covered with a little bit of beef broth (1/4 cup) in the pan. Bring it to upper 170s/low 180s, keep in in the pan, wrap it with towels and let rest for about 20-30 mins.


Salt and pepper are a must........you can kick it up with some cayenne, chili and garlic powders if you want.

post #8 of 9

I would maybe inject your baby brisket and that might help you with your brisket. But I would just smoke it as you normally would with your rub the night before and then smoke it to. 165° and then foil it with some spritzing liquid and then take it to 195° to slice or 200-205° to pull it. Some folks here like to put the brisket into a foil pan but this guy here doesn't like that but then it not my brisket you are planning to ea either.

post #9 of 9
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