Brisket Disaster

Discussion in 'Beef' started by mama's smoke, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Yesterday's brisket was a disaster. Smoked it at 235-240. Plateaued around 160, so I patiently waited. It finally began rising again, and at 175 I foiled it with a little beef broth and some of the drippings. It looked a little tough, but I thought the juices would help. I pulled it, hoping for the best. I double foiled it with juices, wrapped it in towels, and put it in the cooler. I took it out two hours later. It looks inedible. I re-wrapped it in foil, put it in a plastic container, and stuck it in the refrigerator. It looks completely inedible. Burial will be tomorrow after the rain stops. [​IMG]

    This will not stop me from trying again. First, I think I trimmed off too much fat. Second, I will wrap in foil sooner. Third?????? Any suggestions.
  2. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    how do you mean it looks inedible?
  3. You did everything great. Just needed to "cook" more. After it hit 175*, wrap it like you did with the a little of the juices & then put back in smoker till the brisket is 190*.
    Try putting the wrapped brisket w/juice in oven around 250-275* & bake it till its 190*.
    I had to do that with one because my instant-read temp gauge was 25-30* off.
  4. denver dave

    denver dave Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Did you smoke a full packer or just the flat or point?[​IMG]
  5. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you cut it to see if it was tough? I'm not sure what you mean by it looked inedible. What temp did you take it to when you pulled it from the smoker? Pics? What did it look like? Sounds like you did everything right... didn't tell us the pull temp. That makes a difference. Sounds like you foiled it at 175 and put it back in the smoker. Need some more info.
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You need to slice that baby open and see what it looks like. I thought mine looked dry as heck when I sliced mine until I bit into it and it was full of juices. Don't just throw it out you have to slice it a bit. If anything you should have tryied to make burnt ends. You probably still could.
  7. denver dave

    denver dave Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Brisket is cooked more for tenderness than time. The end temp will be around 200. I smoke to 165-170 then foil in a pan with some juice. Cook there until you get the tenderness you desire.
    Don't be discouraged.Brisket can be a challenge. I have had more than one come out less than tender over the years. Practice, Practice, Practice.[​IMG]
  8. tulsajeff

    tulsajeff Master of the Pit Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member

    Lately, I have been placing all of my briskets in a foil pan from the git go. I like the bark when I place it directly on the grate but the juiciness and tenderness that I get with the pan, I don't even miss the bark.

    I flip the brisket every 2 hours until it reaches 140° then I just leave it until it reads an internal temperature of 190-200°F

    You might think the juices would boil but they don't.. it just sits in it's own juices while the top and sides take in the smoke.

    I like to use a fairly large pan so the juice is never more than 1/8 deep or so but it produces a brisket that is extremely good.

    You could technically foil across the top if you wanted to once it reaches 140-165°F.

    I recommend trying different methods until you find one that you like. I don't always do things the same way.. just depends on what mood I'm in and what I want the result to be in the end.

    To fix this one..

    All good answers above.. I gotta feeling it don't taste half bad. If it is tough, I would throw it back on the smoker or even in the oven wrapped in foil at 275 until it gets tender (190-200° internal). Double cooked brisket??

    If it's dry, mix in some beef broth after you pull/chop it.
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It sounds to me like you pulled the meat at 175° and didn't foil it and put it back into the smoker. Thats why it tough for you didn't finish smoing it. I would not throw it out or bury it yet I would put it back onto the smoker and then take it took about 200-205° and you'll be eating som really good brisket then.
  10. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    At 175 it looked dry inside and was tough on the outside. I didn't take it to 190 or 200, because it already looked dry and felt almost hard. I took it out at 185, doubled the foil, wrapped in towels, and put it in the cooler. Thermometer would barely go in. It is now in the slow cooker with broth, onions, a bottle of Guinness, and a can of French onion soup. I'm thinking I should have smoked it at a higher temp. and for less time. Oh, and it was a full packer and cryovaced, but I had to cut it into pieces to fit in my smoker. I really did cut off a lot of fat, possibly too much.

    Oh well, there are plenty of briskets out there....all ready for a second attempt. Thanks for all the advice and tips.
  11. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Is you MES a 30 inch or 40 inch if it is the 40 you can fit it in without cutting it up. Now I am new here but have cooked a lot of briskets I would say about 8 a year and I think raising the temp is not the way to go. Keep it @ 235-240 and only trim the real hard fat off the brisket. I cut 1 inch squares into the remainder of the fat cap to give the fat more surface area to absorb heat thus rendering it sooner keeping your brisket moist. Also I have always cooked fat side up but I think that is more of a personal preference. I mop but I have not mopped as well and think that mopping may be overrated I just do it out of habit. Remember the important think about brisket or any is that you and your family enjoy it and that you enjoy cooking it.
  12. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    It's actually looking pretty good in the slow cooker. Maybe it wasn't overdone after all. I have a 30". Unless kids and friends come over, it's just the hubs and me, so I don't need anything big. Once I get more experience with how things are supposed to look and taste, I'll probably get an offset or WSM.
  13. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When I did my first brisket it was very hard to put my probes into it when it was around 175 but I just kept it in the foil and on the smoker until it hit 200+ then put in the cooler for several hours. It came out very juicy. Next time I am going to see what the probe feels like going into it once it is done that way I can judge a bit by feel as well as temp in the future. Many guys say they go by temp but they also go by feel even more. You probably would have been fine if you just took up to a higher temp. I bet it will taste awesome in the slow cooker. No harm no foul if anything you learned from the experience and thats half the battle.
  14. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You're right. It takes mistakes to appreciate perfection. The hubs thought it hilarious that I was so proud when the meat hit the plateau. I think I was on the right track; I just stopped too soon. After beautiful 70+ weather all week, we suddenly dropped to a high in the 40s, thunderstorms last night, and 25 mph wind gusts. It's a perfect day for the slow cooker. Tomorrow will be nicer, in the 60's and sunny, and I have a corned beef soaking for pastrami. It's all good.
  15. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Slow cooked, what I though was a disaster, for 5 hours on low with beef broth, onions, and French onion soup. It was perfect. Served on hoagie rolls with Swiss cheese (melted on rolls in the oven) and served with AuJus. Perfect and delicious. But next time I'll smoke to 190 or higher.
  16. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All right good for you! Its awesome when you can turn something you though was a disaster into something that is a success. Any Qview?????
  17. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice save. Almost anything can be salvaged one way or another. I read somewhere that the conncective tissues start doing the major breaking down at 180 so you were just getting started on a really tough piece of meat. I smoke mine at around 250 and have success with great brisket and also in speeding up the cook time without any problems with tender and juicy.
  18. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good call - those sandwiches sound good.
    You got some good advice for your next go at a brisket. Take it nice and slow, let it go to 200ish and pull it when your probe goes in like a hot knife through butter, then wrap and cooler for a few hours - let ua know how that turns out.
    Have fun with the corned beef.
  19. brud

    brud Meat Mopper

    Glad to hear the end product came out good for you.
    Did you have a water pan in smoker? Did you spritz with juice?
    The fat should be left on for sure. I trim fat before serving.
    Could your thermometer be giving a false reading?
    Any of the above will cause a less than perfect end result.
    At any point in my briskit cook, the briskit is not glistening with moister, I will make adjustments.
  20. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I had a water pan with apple juice and water. And I spritzed with apple juice.
    I definitely may have removed too much fat.
    My thermometer may definitely be a problem. It is a Maverick ET-73 and is giving me problems today. Read 190 after only a couple of hours in smoking a corned beef. Thermapin and cheap Redicheck showed 88 and 84. I'll use those today, until I check the Mav. in ice water and boiling water.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

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