First Brisket!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by psax88, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. psax88

    psax88 Fire Starter

    Hi Everyone! So this really isn't my FIRST Brisket technically. My first Brisket, however, was like my second smoke ever and that thing came out dryer than the sahara desert so I'm not counting that. Hoping this one comes out better. Since it's only the wifey and me eating this I went with a 3# flat, so it's not going to be as exciting as these 10-12 pounders you guys are used to seeing. Hoping it will still come out delicious, however. I'm using and MES 30 with an AMNPS using Apple and Oak for my pellets (Ran out of Hickory).

    Now, For my rub I went with the Dinosaur BBQ Cajun foreplay rub, and mixed it with about a half cup of brown sugar. I put this stuff on everything...chicken, pork, beef, fish, shrimp, Mac & Cheese. It's good on literally EVERYTHING.


    I just put the brisket into the smoker now, but here's some preliminary pics. I'll post more of the process as we go today!

    Hot off the presses!! (Okay, more like cold off the butcher's block but you get the point)

    Spiced, wrapped, and into the fridge overnight

    Ready to go in the smoker!!

  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Paul , hello ! I believe that is a flat ? Being so , I would ,after ( about 180*F on the probe therm.) , start doing a tender test with a toothpick ,:biggrin:

    you seem to be overcooking and , thus drying them out !

    IMHO , I would buy a full packer and cook with S/P /O/G . NO trimming , and into the (225* smoker ) until the therm. sbows 190*F to 210*F . Then pull and seperate the Point for BE's and the Flat for slicing / shfedding . :biggrin:

    Have fun and . .
    psax88 likes this.
  3. psax88

    psax88 Fire Starter

    You are correct sir, that is a flat. Problem is, up in the Northeast it's pretty hard to find Brisket, let alone a full packer. Should have probably gone with a slightly bigger one though, but we'll see.

    I do have a couple of questions for you though...first, 2.5 hours in the temp is 147 and when i inserted the probe the meet felt very tough. It's still pretty far below target temp, but do you think that's a bad sign that it's already so tough?

    Also, Do you think I should foil this thing, and if so at what temp would you recommend doing that. Finally, What temp should I pull it at, and would resting it in a towel-lined cooler for a bit help make it more tender?

    Thanks for the help...also, here's a pic of the Brisket as it is now!

  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's doing fine.    It should feel tough at 147.    Don't cook to a specified temp, rather, cook it until a probe goes in and out like a knife through warm butter at it's thickest point.    Wrapping with foil/butcher paper is a personal choice and depends on a couple of factors.  Basically, there are two reasons why people wrap;  One is that they like the way the bark is and they don't want it to develop anymore.  So, wrap with butcher paper and continue to cook.   Second reason would be to help power through the stall and get done quicker.   For this, wrap with foil around 150 or so when you notice the brisket stalling.

    You have to be careful with foiling though. It softens the bark and it can also make your brisket taste like roast beef.   To prevent this, once the temp starts climbing again (brisket is out of the stall), unwrap it and put it back in the smoker until it's done.
    psax88 likes this.
  5. psax88

    psax88 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the help guys! Sorry for the delay in posting the final results, but it's done and it came out fantastic! I foiled at like 154 when it stalled since I needed it to be done for lunch and it pulled it at 185. I let it rest for a half hour and then sliced it. Very delicious, powerful flavor! It wasn't super moist and tender, but it was way better than my other attempt. Here are some picks of the finished product!
    bdskelly likes this.
  6. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Id say for a first time you done good! Briskets are one of the most difficult smokes.  Cant rush em.  They tell YOU when its dinner time. Keep at it.  Next time use a packer cut that Old School wrote about.  The extra fat will keep that meat moist while your waiting on it to get tender. 


    psax88 likes this.
  7. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You're getting there.  Couple of observations for your next one; the lack of tenderness and moisture was because the brisket was undercooked.  Second, it looks to me like you sliced the brisket with the grain instead of across it.
    psax88 likes this.
  8. aggie94

    aggie94 Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like your first (second) brisket came out great. It took me years of trying brisket before it was good enough to serve to others.  The next one will be even better!  
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  9. grillnsmoke

    grillnsmoke Fire Starter

    How does that Cajun foreplay fare against slap-ya-mama?
  10. psax88

    psax88 Fire Starter

    WHOA!! You just blew my mind [​IMG]  I always thought you were supposed to slice with the grain! That probably part of why it seemed less tender. In regards to the undercooking...should I have cooked it to a higher temp than 185? I though 190 was the ideal temp but I didn't think 5 degrees would make much of a difference. I'm going to look hard for a full packer next's so hard to find real Brisket up in Boston though.
    I've never had the slap-ya-mama seasoning before. The cajun foreplay gives the meat a very bold flavor and has a very spicy finish. I find it amplifies the smoke flavor as well. The heat sneaks up on you with it, but it was delicious with the brisket.
  11. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nope/yep, slice against the grain for tenderness.  As to temp, the only thing I use temp for is to tell me that it's time to start checking my brisket for tenderness, and that's at about 180 degrees.    I've had some briskets finish at 180, others were 210 or more when they were done.   Depends on a number of factors.  The absolute most consistent way to determine that your brisket is done is to give it the poke/probe test.  Stick a probe into the thickest part of the flat and when it goes in and out like a knife through warm butter, the brisket is ready. 
  12. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Psax , sorry to be so slow inresponse , however , Demo , said almost to the "t" , what I would have said ! :biggrin:

    Now as for the 'Packer' take a shot of all the cuts of meat (you know , the Cow with all the lines on it ) to a Butcher Shop (not a grocer ) and show him what you want . Chances are he gets theses in fron his supplier .! Then take a plate of your Brisket to him and thank him for the trouble !
    You'll have no problem from tben on ! (unless he sells out or passes on ,then you're in for teachi g another Butcher ! ! !:ROTF

    Have fun and as always . . .
  13. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Words of wisdom
  14. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I would say Demosthenes9 is pretty much spot on. Most of my briskets I'm pulling usually between 200 - 210
    Smaller flats are harder to cook than packers because there is more of a chance they could dry out. Also I wrap my brisket with butcher paper.
    Good point about cutting cross grain. And only slice what you are planning to eat. That way the rest of the unused brisket has less of a chance drying out.
    Overall not a bad first couple brisket cooks. Thumbs Up
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015

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