Brisket - 1st attempt - Need Advice

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Nov 22, 2016
Southern California
So Here is my first attempt at brisket.  4lb flat.  Smoked at 250 (maybe 235 don't remember).  With 2/3 apple and 1/3 hickory.  

Rubbed down brisket and sealed overnight.  Next day added some extra rub.  Rub consisted of paprika, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, sugar oregano, cumin.  Didn't like flavor but wife and family did.  What kind or area of rub is this from?  I want to switch to something like "steak" (sorry I am a newbie).  This was sweet and hot and I want MEATY.   

Had the IT to 163 when it plateaued for 20 mins.  Thought I had to do something so I foiled and put back in until IT was 200  then pulled and put in cooler with towels for 2 hours.  Pulled then let sit for 30 mins before opening.  Had zero bark (WHY???).  Rub actually came off with touch.  

As you can see the slices were slices and not broken down enough.  Should I have left in until it past the plateau?  Should I have cooked past 200 IT?  Should I have left in cooler longer?  

As always thanks for the replies.  

Last edited:
I did a flat only, once.  I took it off at around 200 IT.  Try the toothpick test next time to ensure it's done.  My opnion, which may not be worth much, take it a little further on the IT.  Worst case, it'll pull apart.  I thought I remember 205 being a good temp to try.
As far as checking for your brisket being done I would suggest that probing will yield better results. In the thickest part of the brisket. Brisket can be done anywhere from 195 - 210 degrees
Also foiling will soften the bark on a brisket.
Your close with your brisket cook, not bad for your first attempt. Thumbs Up
Cook it to probe tender, it could be 190-210 like hardcookin says.  Don't foil it till ya take it off the smoker, or not at all.  Let it rest at least an hour before slicing.  From the pics, your brisket needed some more cookin to render that fat.  It still looks white and firm.  

Sounds like the guys have you covered!

I think you did real good for your first try.

You could try either SPOG or Montreal steak seasoning on your next brisket.

You will get a more beefy flavor that way.

Thanks everyone.  I have read about the toothpick test but left the last couple hours of cooking and cooler insert to my wife.  Didn't want to overwhelm her with too much info.  HA HA
I have to agree, your pictures look like mine when I used to pull them off way too early.before finding this site.  I thought I was overcooking and drying them out.  Wrong.

In addition to the remote constant read, I bought a $20 Lowe's Hardware instant read.  Gives me a backup check of temps in different places while I am feeling the poker for doneness.   I do not foil till I put it in the towel wrapped cooler.

Good luck to you, keep practicing.. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.