First Brisket... A bit dry & tough... What'd I do wrong?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by danuary, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. danuary

    danuary Newbie

    First brisket... Flat cut 4.75lb, using a MES 30. Assumed 2 hrs per pound at 235* - I live at ~ 7,000 ft elevation, water boils at 198 so smoking lower than that doesn't do so well. It was in an aluminum pan.   Put a nice rub on it, didn't mop it. 

    After 9 hours it was at 184* IT, I raised the temp to 275 (done that before to great success). Took it out after about 10 hrs in total - IT 188*, we had company and folks were hungry.

    It was good-not-great. I should have taken some pictures (funny how when there is a cooked piece of meat ready to be devoured, that seems to slip my mind. ;-) ). A couple observations... One end was pullable, maybe about the first third of the brisket, and the rest was sliceable, definitely passable, it didn't form too much of a bark, and it was more than a little tough and dry. There was an enormous amount of liquid in the pan - maybe four cups's worth. It was edible and tasty but kind of a letdown. 

    I did a pork shoulder at the same time which was also tough and dry. Wondering if I just need to live with 225* and taking forever...

    What should I think about doing differently next time?
     
  2. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Pulled it too early. Need to get to around 200 IT. Also have to double wrap in foil and them in a towel or blanket for an hour (2 even better) with a little liquid. Thats when the real magic happens. I also never let it sit in a pan.
     
  3. backwoods bbq

    backwoods bbq Meat Mopper

    Buy an actual brisket. Full packer, don't buy the flats until you hey good with regular. Flats have a tendency to dry out.
     
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I agree with this... the flats are trimmed of most of the fat... without the fat they do tend to dry out....
     
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  6. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    I third this opinion! Unless you can find a flat with some decent thickness and a good layer of fat, it's going to be tricky.

    With flats, I also wrap in foil with some liquid when it gets to about 160 degrees to help with moistness/tenderness.
     
  7. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  8. backwoods bbq

    backwoods bbq Meat Mopper

    Exactly right. Except its not my "opinion" it's a well known BBQ fact. The flat is basically a rip off. The supermarkets speed ate the flat and the point then trim most all the fat off the flat and put a sticker that says "best part of the brisket" yea it was! The sticker should say "formerly the best part if the brisket" not to mention the fact that they raise the price a "market trimmed" brisket here in my part of Texas is 3.49 to 3.99 per pound. It's as much as a full packer! So like I said buy a full packer, deprecate the flat and point leave as much fat as possible smoke to 160 the. Do as suie says foil with liquid. Not only will you get a better flat section, you get experience with trimming brisket and you get to keep IMHO the bet part...the point!!! Our packers are at 2.29 per lb right now come on July 4th specials!!!! I'm waiting in the .99 per lb price again. Plus, you can grind your own hamburger meat/sausage and save $$$$!!!
     
  9. backwoods bbq

    backwoods bbq Meat Mopper

    Separate...damn auto correct
     
  10. yup just a case of the too earlies...lol. as for the 225*....yeh them days are over...the same thing can be achieved at a higher temp, MY low and slow now is 250-265* everything else is hot and fast for me 300*+.
     
  11. backwoods bbq

    backwoods bbq Meat Mopper

    Yes sir!!! 250-300 that's where it's at even 325-350 for turkey
     
  12. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Agreed with above, 250 to 275 is a great range smoking temp.  Not really slow and low, not hot and fast either.  Middle of the road.  Lean cuts of meat such as small flat, seem to react better to higher temps anyway, less internal fat that needs to be slow cooked out.  The end that pulled well, was probably the end that would have been closer to the point prior to separating the 2.  IT was a bit early to take off the pit. 

    Backwoods, you get some briskys at .99 a pound, you'll be shipping me a few!  HEB had them at $1.47 a pound a few weeks back and Wal-Mart has them for $1.77, but I don't know about .99.  Hopefully!
     
  13. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Agreed with above, 250 to 275 is a great range smoking temp.  Not really slow and low, not hot and fast either.  Middle of the road.  Lean cuts of meat such as small flat, seem to react better to higher temps anyway, less internal fat that needs to be slow cooked out.  The end that pulled well, was probably the end that would have been closer to the point prior to separating the 2.  IT was a bit early to take off the pit. 

    Backwoods, you get some briskys at .99 a pound, you'll be shipping me a few!  HEB had them at $1.47 a pound a few weeks back and Wal-Mart has them for $1.77, but I don't know about .99.  Hopefully!
     
  14. backwoods bbq

    backwoods bbq Meat Mopper

    Bruno, just be glad you have an HEB I miss HEB so much, I was in Fort Worth a few weeks back before leaving vacation for Vegas drove by one of Herman E. Butts 10 million home there! All we have in west Texas is united supermarkets..they have good specials but lack in areas of meat knowledge, variety, and Selection of sauces, produce, etc that and y'all are driving distance to Beaumont for that good seafood! I used to work in kirbyville
     
  15. beaumont!! thats where i be when i goes home..
     
  16. backwoods bbq

    backwoods bbq Meat Mopper

    Haha. Hellz yea!
     
  17. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dan

    Save the flats for boiling to make corned beef.  You need a packer cut full brisket.  Rub it the night before you put it on the smoker.  Set the MES at 225 and expect that baby to be in there for 1.5 hours per pound.  USE the probe that can with your smoker or use another to check the internal temp.  When that meet hits 180 to 185 internal temp pull it out of the MES. Wrap it in foil with about a cup of apple juice splashed in and toss it in an old ice chest for about 2 hours. Wrap it in an old towel when you do that.

    After 2 hours slice it up and ring the dinner bell.

    Brian  
     
  18. I agree, wet it, wrap it, and stick in the cooler for at least an hour...you pulled it and sliced it too soon is all.
     
  19. kryinggame

    kryinggame Smoking Fanatic

    I thought the Texas style was ooking itnto 200* IT. In my opinion, the beef will still be tough at thd 180 mark. Using the toothpick method, it doesnt seem to slid in and out easily at 180 -185*
     
  20. Hi, that's why i take mine to 190 - 195 then pull and wrap....tender!
     

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