Brisket - round 2 - similar results - good, but not great

Discussion in 'Beef' started by cparrow, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. cparrow

    cparrow Newbie

    30 inch MES with Hickory and Cherry chips providing plenty of smoke.

    Cooked at 225 (as I did with the other one I did.  These are my frist two briskets ev-errrrr).

    Water bath had water and two bottles of beer.  Very tasty homemade rub.

    This one was just over 11 lbs.  Cooked it for just under 10 hours, pulled when internal temp was 187, foiled and into a cooler for about another 2 hours.  Plenty hot when I got at the slicing.  The thinner end (point, flat?) was dried out by comparison, again, and the thicker end although much juicier was also very much on the done side.

    Just cooking it too long?  I read all these stroies and opinions how you need to cook brisket for sooo long, and I didn't think 10 hours was long at 225.

    Not a train wreck, just not as moist as I would have hoped.  Flavor certainly was there.  But if I can't perfect it or at least improve upon those results (the first one was 9 pounds, 2 pounds smaller and cooked for about 11 hours so I did notch this one back a bit) do I throw in the towel?  Why not just get a beef roast of some cut and throw that in for 4 hours and I KNOW it will come out as desired.

    Slightly discouraged.

    Been doing ribs/chicken/boston butts/ham and having excellent results. 
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    cparrow, morning.........Sounds like the meat was too hot when you sliced it ????????

    The meat should cool down to say ? 150-160 ? so the juices can redistribute throughout the tissues.......

    Leave it wrapped while cooling down......just remove from the cooler 30 minutes before slicing.....

    Also the thinner portions of meat will cook faster than thicker portions....

    Pull each piece of meat at the proper temp and wrap as normal......

    Some folks here wrap at 150-160, then keep cooking to 190-205, depending on application (pull-slice), then rest.....then pull or slice........

    Everyone has a slightly different process........
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think brisket should be cooked at a lower temp. I set my smoker to 210 for brisket.

    Also I put any trimmed fat on a rack above the brisket so it can drip on the brisket & self baste.  

    Finally I would take it to 200-205, then rest it.
  4. cparrow

    cparrow Newbie

    Smokin Al, I feel honored.  Been reading your threads for a while now....  I saw your other note about the gent that was cooking at 265-275.  By comparison at 225 mine's not so bad - ha ha.  I certainly can try 210.  Ya know, for about 2 hours of that process I did have it down to 215 but likely didn't make enough of a difference.  I did have some hefty strips of fat that I tossed and could have used on an upper rack.  I use an electric knife for nice slices (if electric smokers rub purists the wrong way imagine what an electric knife does.... :)   ) and yesterday learned that an electric knife also does wonders to trim fat prior to cooking!  I have sharp cutlery but that $10 hardware store electric knife works wonders.

    Thanks for the tip Al, appreciated.

  5. cparrow

    cparrow Newbie

    Will try unfoiling and let rest at room temp before carving.  Also, for the point/flat separation, do that after cooking or prior to, and then stack them back up to cook "together"?  Never considered breaking into two distinct pieces.  I have a finite choice geographically as to where I get my meat.  The place I get most of it from (boston butts and brisket anyway) sells the brisket what I would consider "whole", point and flat still attached and together.  forgive my mangling of proper butcher terminology.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    cparrow........I would leave it foiled while it cools down so the moisture re-adsorbs into the meat fibers.

  7. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi cparrow i also smoke with a MES 30 and i Had the same problem got to IT of 190 Very fast 10 hours or less  .i fond out that the build in thermometer is out by 15% so 225 was 260-265

    firs i add a extra thermometer  and now i smoke it at 190-195 on the build in one and it is 220-225 on the external one

    hope it will help you.
  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    X2 on African meat.  I would be sure I had a handle on temp controls for sure.  As Al said, I like lower temps on briskets.

    Hang in there cparrow, briskets and chuckies can be tricky, but you will get it figured out.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  9. cparrow

    cparrow Newbie

    Thanks Venture and AfricanMeat. 

    Come to think of it, ribs and chicken were done very quickly, but were great, so few complaints (none).  Boston butts are quite simple, haven't gone wrong there.  I think I will try another thermometer, guage the two and take it from there.  I usually smoke everything (chicken, various beef cuts, pork cuts, ham) around 225.  Maybe I've been scorching everything and not knowing it. 

    HA!  I have renewed enthusiasm to try brisket yet again.  When I cut into it yesterday I was pretty PO'd but the company I had were all fired up to get some on their plate. 

    Thanks again!

  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah.... an accurate temp is THE most important thing to get while smoking, especially a long smoke like brisket.

    You can seperate the flat from the point before hand and that does help with being able to pull the flat when it hits 195'ish, but the point may still have a little way to go. Other than that do your usual 2 hr. rest.
  11. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  12. cparrow

    cparrow Newbie

    Meateater, I agree, pics do help.  I'm learning the ways of this forum still.  I updated my profile pic with the brisket in question.  Still trying to figure out how to post pics right in the posts.

    And alas, I just figured it out. Ok, here goes...


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