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Brisket Flat Collagen?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by JohnnySunnn, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Hi guys! I am somewhat new to smoking in California. I recently bought a Weber Kettle (GREEN IS SICK) with a Slow n Sear. I have done brisket twice now and I feel like I have done all the right things. Trimmed it nice, smoked about 13 hours at around 230, and brought it to an IT temp of about 196 (cause the first one i did to 195 and flat was a little tough still). I wrapped it 2x and placed it in an ice box to rest for about 1 hour. I took it out and the point was nice and juicy and the fat was tender the lean parts were pretty good there too. However, the flat alone which I would have thought to cook faster and had it temp of around 197 would not pull apart easily. The bend test on my finger turned out very well dropping about vertically on my finger. I could still see some white (im assuming collagen) when i try to pull the meat apart holding it together. I am not completely sure why. Thoughts? Thank you!
  2. Just some pics for reference. The flat i sliced didn't have the accordion effect and was a little tough (not that easy to pull) but the fat in the point was rendered (IT WAS A MEAT WATERFALL)

    Attached Files:

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Brisket is done when you can insert a toothpick or other similar pointy object into the meat and there is name resistance. I’ve had this happen anywhere from 185-205. It sounds as if you needed a bit more time for this particular hunk of meat.
    JohnnySunnn likes this.
  4. I agree. Thanks for the tip! I will take it to a higher temp next time but the probe I had slid in and out really easily already :( Maybe I should poke around a little more around the flat area! Thank you!
  5. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Take it up to 203 to 205 if you want very tender, nearly fall apart, but not quite. If you want very fall apart, like pulled pork fall apart, then take it above 205 to 208 to 210.

    I know it doesn't sound like much, but those last few degrees getting from 195 to 203 make all the difference in the world. Also, it's okay to cook hotter also. 250 and even 275 is not a bad temp and you will cook faster. The brisket I cooked today took about 8 1/2 hour to get up to 203 and I had my smoker running between 260 to 275 most of the day.
  6. bregent

    bregent Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't worry about the meat temp - cook till it's tender. If the probe slid in easy in the flat but it was still tough, then it didn't slide in easy enough. It takes a few times before you get the feel. You mention that the meat laid almost vertical with the finger bend test. Almost vertical means it still had connective tissue that wasn't broken down enough. When really tender, it will lay straight down and be very limp.
  7. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Sounds like you got it figured out, be looking forward to seeing the next one

  8. bregent

    bregent Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Oh yeah, I meant to ask how the Slow N' Sear worked out on the long cook? I've used mine to do a bunch of searing, and have done a few 3 hour cooks, but nothing as long as 13 hours. How many times did you need to reload the charcoal and did you use any specific starting technique, or just light a whole chimney? Thanks
  9. The Slow N' Sear is FANTASTIC! I hear a lot about the troubles of smoking without one in a Weber grill with the 2-zone technique. I personally never went through it because I bought mine with the Weber due to its high reviews and because I knew I was going to be smoking. It works so well at having those high smoking temps and keeping it consistent. A lot of times one whole lit chimney is too much for around 225 smoking temperature so what I have learned is to maybe just light around a quarter of the chimney (they recommend around 10-15 briquettes). I would put that in first on one side and then fill the rest with charcoal briquettes. I would also but around 3 wood chunks in there at a time. If done right, you will only have to refill the Slow N' Sear once and it could just be with coals not using the chimney starter. Also remember to fill your water reservoir every couple of hours (around 5-6)!
  10. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It sounds like guys are giving great info on probing for tenderness and the higher IT.

    I have been rolling with briskets UNWRAPPED and using 3 probes... yeah 3 probes in one brisket.

    What I have learned is that using 3 probes I get way different IT's throughout the smoke. The probe with the highest temp at the beginning and halfway through the smoke often turns out to be the lowest at the end. It is seriously wild like that so I use 3 probes lol.

    I have found that going to 203-205 where that is the lowest reading of the 3 probes is getting about right but the probing for tenderness is the key as again this is the reading of the LOWEST probe. The others could be reading higher.

    Wrapped briskets may get tender more quickly but I have gone away from wrapped brisket because rolling unwrapped seems to produce a flavor I like ALOT more.

    Anyhow, feel free to keep this info in mind and report back on what you discover works for your setup and approach. Best of luck! :)