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Brisket in my MES

Discussion in 'Beef' started by conchrepublican, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Hi guys!

    Longtime lurker here . . . I love my MES, it fits my lifestyle well and I have a lot of recipes down cold and get much praise for my ribs and fatty. That said, I can't seem to make brisket work - it's seems too dry.

    But, like a Kenny Rogers song, my wife believes in me . . . and gifted me with a 10.7 lb. brisket to make Easter weekend.

    So, any recommendations?!? How long, what temp, what tricks do you seasoned professionals have to share?

    Any and all are appreciated!!!
  2. When i did brisket in my mes, i would always worry too much about bark and not how juicy the final product would be... if it was me I'd smoke it til 150... bring it inside, into a foil pan with drippings/ both to finish off in the oven... just my 0.02

    *edit... reasoning is i never could get a brisket down in my mes either so its better to have juicy meat not finished in a smoker than potentially dry meat finished in smoker... also comes down to grade of meat, i'm too cheap to buy prime
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  3. 1)trim fat to 1/4” thickness or less
    2)Rub as desired
    3)inject liberally with beef broth
    4)smoke at 250 to internal temp of 145
    5)double wrap in heavy duty tinfoil
    6)continue to cook until probe tender (usually somewhere around 195)
    7)remove to a cooler or hot box, ideally further insulated with a moving blanket or towels.
    8)let rest for at least an hour, but 3-5 is ideal.
    9)open foil over a container to preserve juices
    10)remove point from flat with an electric knife
    11) cut into slices about 1/4” thick, perpendicular to grain. (if very tender, make thicker, so they hold together)
    12) serve with defatted juices and sauce on the side, if desired.
    2008RN and smokinq13 like this.
  4. Just to clear up things both for me and original poster...when you take the temperature, do you take it in the thickest part or when the thinnest part reaches 145 you wrap? I think i need to start pulling it to wrap sooner than i do to help with drying out
  5. Thickest, but be careful you don’t backwall the tinfoil and have all of the juice run out.
    It’s also important not to wait too long to wrap because around 155, the fat begins to render and all of the juice runs out. If you wait too long, you’re going to have a dry piece of meat.
    10.5# is kinda small, so be really careful about temps, because it will change quickly.
  6. Sweet thanks! Also I'd like to add that depending on what mes you got, i have the 30in... a full packer brisket will not fit in the smoker at once but rather you have to separate it before smoking... i dunno if the 40in or newer models are bigger/different in size
  7. You’d be surprised what you can get in there.
    I’m pretty sure the width of the racks is the same across the board (like 20.5” wall to wall and 19” usable rack width.
    I routinely go 15-20# pre trim, and I have never had to do one in pieces.
  8. I’ve always rubbed with molasses and used Jeff’s Texas style rub. cut 1 to 2” off of the flat and put in my 30” mes. Set at 250 and smoke with mesquite or mesquite/oak till probe tender. Always turns out great! I have only wrapped once when I was in a pinch.
  9. Wonder why i never could get one in my mes30??? I tried it diagonally and every which way and can't get a packer to fit... i remember seeing someone posting that if they can't get it to fit they ball up foil and stick it underneath so it arches the meat
  10. I don’t know.
    Every iteration of MES (I’m on numbers 4 and 5) that I have owned has racks that are 19x13 more or less. I have had the front of the flat touch the sidewall, but it seems like they shrink a little, and I’ve never had trouble having the foiled brisket fit back in.
  11. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hi there and welcome!

    Is this a whole packer brisket or just a brisket flat?

    Whole packer (top and bottom view of a whole packer):

    Brisket Flat only:

    The best approach for cooking your brisket may likely be different based on what you have. (I didn't mention the brisket Point cut as that is rarer to see alone than the Flat).

    In your areas of the US I believe you often just get the Brisket Flat. The flat is the more problematic muscle of the brisket because it is leaner than the Point and when the Flat is removed from the whole Packer you don't have that point to help you out with keeping the Flat from drying out.

    Maybe the main rule of cooking Brisket is that it is done when it is tender!!!
    A dry tuff brisket = under cooked.
    A dry fall apart brisket = over cooked.
    A dry crusty hockey puck texture to your brisket = waaaay over cooked BUT this can happen on thin spots of the brisket (end of the flat or back end of the point) where while the rest of the brisket is fine... confusing, yes :emoji_dizzy_face::emoji_confounded:

    I live in Texas and we mainly get whole packer briskets not just the flat or point alone so I have never just smoked a flat alone BUT I do know that it is the piece that will be less juicy and most problematic.

    I would personally treat a lone Flat like it was a Chuck Roast.

    Cooking a Brisket Flat:
    I would smoke the Flat to about 160-170F Internal Temp (IT) and then I would wrap it in double foil with any captured drippings and a little liquid added (I usually add a few splashes of old white wine or a little beer or hell even plain water if I have nothing more flavorful).
    I would smoke to an IT of about 200F and then start checking every degree or so for tenderness. I personally check using wooden bamboo kabob skewers.
    When the Skewer goes into the meat, all over, with no resistance then it is tender and ready to be pulled!

    Cooking a Whole Packer Brisket:
    Now if it is a whole packer I would trim off any thin parts of the flat so what is left behind of the flat is all about the same uniform thickness. The thin part of the flat will just burn up into crusty hockey puck texture so I save the thin trimmed off meat to do other things with it:

    I prefer to smoke my whole packers uncovered and untouched until they hit about 200F IT then I check for tenderness and pull when the tenderness tests tell me the brisket is ready. The flavor cannot be beat, the bark is great, and the brisket is always tender and juicy!

    I double foil. I then wrap with 3 bath towels and rest it on the counter for 4 hours or so until it is time to eat. At that time I unwrap, slice, serve, and eat an amazing brisket!!!!
    I plan my smokes to end about 4-5 hours before time to eat so there is no risk of being late and the wrap and rest technique I mention keeps a brisket piping hot for 4-6 hours with no problem!

    Last but not least, I smoke my brisket and my chuck roasts at 275F smoker temp. At that temp a brisket cooks around or just over 1hour per pound.

    I hope this info helps out! :emoji_smile:
  12. Thank you everyone for your responses!

    It is indeed a brisket flat. I have heard varying ranges of cooking times, I'm looking to have this ready for Saturday afternoon around 6:00 PM, my thought before posting this question was to put it in Friday night and let it run about 8 hours overnight and then check it, does that sound right?
  13. Also, how important is it to inject? I never have before ....
  14. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Injecting is a matter of personal choice. Sometimes I do, sometime I don't. Tallbm has some good info listed in his post. With flats I smoke them on the grate until I hit the stall. Then I'll put a small rack into a foil pan, add some beef broth, put the flat on the rack in the pan cover and put it back on the smoker. When the temps start climbing again and reach 195*. I'll pull the flat out of the pan and put it back on the smoker to finish. You'll know it's done when your skewer goes into multiple parts of the flat easily.

    Dry = under cooked
    juicy = perfect
    crumbly = overcooked.