Newbie Brisket Question

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bryce, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    I'm going to smoke my second ever brisket on Saturday. The only other one I ever did turned out BOTH dry and tough (yeah, doubly whammy.) Anyhow, I have two main questions.

    First, can I overcook a brisket? I mean I'm sure I can but is it similar to a pork shoulder where you have some latitude?

    Second, what is the most important tip you could give me in an effort to keep it moist?

    Here's my plan (I will post pictures as I go):

    - Using a WSM

    - Cook at 240

    - Cherry and hickory wood (50/50)

    - Will inject with some kind of beef broth (this will be the first time I've ever injected anything I smoked)

    - Rub will be salt, pepper and garlic

    - Will foil at 170 IT

    - Will pull around 205 IT

    Thank you,

  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If your brisket was dry and tough, then it was undercooked.   Most important tip I could give you would be to cook a brisket until it is done, which is when it passes the probe test.  Take a probe and stick it into various points in the thickest part of the flat.  When the probe goes in and out with no resistance, like a knife through room temp butter, the brisket is ready.

    This might be at 190, 195, 204, 207, or even 210 or more. 

    Also, as long as the color is good, I'd foil earlier (around 150ish).
  3. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Excellent, thank you. This is very good information. That definitely answers my question and I'm even now more excited to give this another shot.

    I will probe around and wrap sooner.
  4. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Ok, I purchased the brisket. I went small - a 4.5lb flat. The meat shop cut it for me. Hopefully I selected a decent piece. I forgot to ask what grade it was - oh well.

    Here's my thought on the rub. I will try to document how this thing goes with pictures. Going to begin smoking tomorrow AM.

    1 table spoon each of SPOG all equal parts (question being whether or not the equal parts make sense.)

  5. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Ok, here's my brisket I'm smoking tomorrow

    Fat cap of flat

    Hoping it's a good piece of meat

    Top of flat - non fat side

    Rubbed and ready for tomorrow (SPOG and light at that)

    Wrapped and into the fridge til the AM

    Going to inject in the morning just before smoking. Never injected anything at all but hoping this will ensure it's moist.

  6. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good luck on your flatty. Follow Demo's tips and it will turn out good.

    Don't forget to update us through your cook! [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  7. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Duke. I'm treating this thing like a 4th child so it better turn out good. hahaha.

    Here it is injected with beef broth and ready for the smoker

    Fire ready to go

    On the smoker fat side up - ready for the long cook (praying for better than average patience. Shouldn't be a problem though as I'm not under any time constraints today)

  8. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    2.5 hrs in and decided to install the meat probe. I'm at 156 IT so she's cooking pretty fast. Unfortunately I've been between 250 and 260 smoker temp instead of the 240 I wanted (not sure how to get this smoker down low even with all bottom vents closed when full of charcoal.)

    Anyhow, decided to flip it so fat cap down now.

    Still smoking with hickory and cherry. Will probably wrap around 170 IT since it hasn't had much smoke on it yet due to the quick IT increase.

    PS, should I wrap fat cap up or down?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  9. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    250-260 won't hurt anything. It will just be finished sooner.

    Not sure if fat cap up/down matters, but if you're worried about a dry brisket, add some broth into the foil when you wrap. And don't forget to save those foil juices for a gravy or au jus!


    Also, if you haven't hit the stall yet, it could be another 2 or 3 hours or more to get to your 170 IT, so don't panic!
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  10. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looking good, If you keep the bottom vents closed, the temp should start dropping.  Once that lid is lifted, those coals will really start burning, it will take time to shut them down. 240-260 won't be a problem, and you still might hit a stall as mentioned, be patient.

  11. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks guys. Patience for sure. I'm not going to rush this one.

    Thanks Duke, I will wrap with beef broth.

    Mike perhaps I've lifted the lid too often. I could see that being a problem.
  12. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Try to keep that lid shut. When you're lookin', you ain't cookin'! [​IMG]
  13. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Call off the cops! :)

    I peeked, but only to add a snack. got to get some chicken on there. I'm very happy with the TBS as the first couple of times using this smoker I had too much white smoke for too long. I have the smoke thing figured out now and feeling good about it.

    Broth starting to cook out from the top.

    Looks like I hit the stall at 165 IT. Going to hold off on wrapping for a while still.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
    gary s likes this.
  14. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looking good! Nice bark forming there.. [​IMG]  

    What's your IT?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  15. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Stalled out at 165. I'm going to hold off on wrapping though. Feel like I need more smoke, color and bark.

    Good thing there's not much on the agenda today.
  16. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Up to 176 IT now. Does it really matter when I wrap?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  17. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you're going to wrap, I would do it now.
  18. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    OK I made the right decision then. Just foiled and back in she goes.
  19. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Snack is ready to be eaten.

    Brisket IT at 192 but still really firm when I pushed a tooth pick in there. Just going to let it do it's thing.

  20. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Ok I have a problem. IT is 203 (and climbing) and it's still tough to get a tooth pick in there. Should I just choke down the smoker and let it sit in there longer?

    Been in the smoker for 7 hours now. Foiled for only 1.5. Yikes
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015

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