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brisket advice sought

Discussion in 'Beef' started by masssmoke, Sep 8, 2018.

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  1. masssmoke

    masssmoke Fire Starter

    Hi all
    I bought a small (4.5lb) brisket flat that I plan to smoke tomorrow.

    I don't do brisket near as much as I do ribs and pulled pork and it has been awhile since one that I did came out the way I was hoping. The last two or three times I have tried a flat, it comes out decent but each time it was a bit tougher and less juicy than I wanted.

    I usually do a 4-6 pound flat on my electric smoker which runs between 225-250. I use just a basic rub, SPOG mostly. My method is to smoke it until it reaches about 160, then foil. I toothpick test at around 195 to check for tenderness. The issue for the last few tries is that while the meat gets to temp, 195 then beyond up until 203 and maybe a bit beyond, but the toothpick is not moving into the meat "like butter". So, I end up taking it off and letting it rest in a cooler hoping that the end result will be tender and juicy.

    I am wondering if the foiling spikes the temp from 160 to 195 plus two quickly for the tenderness to develop fully? I was thinking of just trying it w/o any foil to see if that would be better. It will take longer, but with such a small flat, I don't thing that will be too much of an issue.

    Any advice on foil, no foil or other prep suggestions is welcomed.

    thanks
     
  2. mike243

    mike243 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Maybe not enuf moisture left in the brisket with out adding some to help steam it the rest of the way? ,add a little apple juice when foiling the next time or some beef broth but watch the salt content,hate to over salt,can add when eating but cant undo if over done
     
  3. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Have not done brisket yet BUT have researched alot. IMO good results with brisket have less to do with technique and more about the grade of brisket. My books on smoking say get the best you can buy and this is also readily apparent with posts here. The guys posting prime brisket have good results and the guys who don't post the grade (and don't know to get good stuff) say fail. At this point I'm not sure if CAB will even cut it. No amount of butch paper/beef broth/magic is gonna change that.
     
  4. masssmoke

    masssmoke Fire Starter

    Brisket is hard to come by in MA (except as Corned Beef), so I am pretty limited to choice flats.
    The thing is the first one I ever did a few years ago was awesome (beginner's luck) and I have not been able to replicate it since...
     
  5. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brisket is rare here too but I can find it. Not sure if MA has Costco but they are well known for prime packers. GFS has CAB packers for $3.50ish. Stores are usually select and they want like $6/lb for it. I think these are the briskets most smokers pickup and fail AND pay top dollar for it. Besides the beef grade I think most guys fail and wimp out worried it will "dry out" and pull too soon. You want butter when probing. Pulling brisket too soon is as bad as overcooking. If brisket is your thing you simply must own Franklin's book. It's a treatise on brisket. The cliff notes: prime packer, salt and pepper 50/50 rub, post oak, 275F, butcher paper after the stall (185F), and cut against the grain = best brisket in the world by many accounts.
     
  6. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You have to be patient with brisket. Probe tender in the thickest part of the flat is what you want.
    Pull it, and let it sit in the air for 10 mins...wrap and then rest.
     
  7. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I somewhat disagree...A good pit master can make a lower grade brisket come out good.
    I agree with what your saying buy the best brisket you can afford.
    You just have to have patience with brisket. That is the difference between a good brisket and not so good product.
     
    zwiller likes this.
  8. kelbro

    kelbro Meat Mopper

    I've eaten many, many really good 'cheap' briskets.
     
    zwiller likes this.
  9. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

  10. masssmoke

    masssmoke Fire Starter

    hey gmc thanks for that I will do it the SmokinAl way, he is the man
     
  11. masssmoke

    masssmoke Fire Starter

    and thanks to all for the input, I will post tomorrow win or lose!
     
  12. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    No problem. enjoy your brisket.

    Chris
     
  13. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    GMC beat me to it.. Al's way is the best method I've seen for this!
     
  14. masssmoke

    masssmoke Fire Starter

    I bought the soup and the injector, pretty much following Al's step by step as close as I can. Will post the results later.
    Been on the smoke for just over an hour now.
     
  15. masssmoke

    masssmoke Fire Starter

    kind of frustrated at this point, put it on at 10, it is 6 and it is barely out of the stall. WTF
     
  16. masssmoke

    masssmoke Fire Starter

    and, it sucked. Wife pissed because we ended up grilling chicken for dinner. I can't understand how a 4.5 pound brisket after 8 hours on the smoker and an hour in the oven still is tough, with connective tissue and not moist. Tastes like an over dry pot roast. kind of sucks
     
  17. smokin peachey

    smokin peachey Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Did you wrap it? If not I would wrap it with some juice and bump the temp.
     
  18. TomKnollRFV

    TomKnollRFV Master of the Pit Group Lead

    If it's still tough, it means it needs more time. I long ago stopped expecting things to be done when desired. I expect any thing to be a 20+ hour smoke that isn't pork ribs or a chicken. Brisket isn't to me a difficult thing..just really bloody long to get done!
     
    zwiller likes this.
  19. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Did you probe the meat(all over) with a toothpick for tenderness? Usually tough brisket isn't quite finished yet. If it were overdone then it would most likely be on the crumbly side when slicing.

    Chris
     
  20. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brisket is done when it done...every cow is a little different.
    I smoke my brisket at around 280....that is where my pit likes to run.

    One time I was smoking 2 identical briskets weigh wise. One was done in 7hours the other 10.5 hours. So you never know.