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Brisket temps?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jcoop09, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. jcoop09

    jcoop09 Newbie

    New guy here, wondering why it is recommended to take a brisket to 190 degrees?  I just purchased my first smoker and am trying to figure out how best to use it, seems odd that any beef that I have grilled would be like a hockey puck at that temp.  Any reason for this?
  2. warthog

    warthog Smoking Fanatic

    I inject my brisket with KosmosQ and beef stock the day before my intended smoke. I smoke my brisket at 225 deg.  When the temp hits 175 deg I wrap in foil.  At 203 deg I remove from smoker then wrap in a towel and place in a cooler for a few hours. They always seem to come out tender and tasty.
  3. walle

    walle Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Coop - reason is, you generally can't eat it until it has smoked long enough to break it down a little.  I've smoked a few to 170/180, then thin sliced across the grain for sammies and it worked fine.  Brisket is just one of those tough cuts that needs it if you want to shred or chop it. 
  4. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic


    Brisket isn't that expensive of a cut.  So, pick up a couple and cook them both.  Keep a knife near by and after a couple of hours on the smoker start to cut on one of them.  This way you can see how time will effect the way the meat cooks.  After a few tries you will figure out how you like it.  Let some friends taste it and they will also tell you.  Since Brisket is a cut of beef it can be eaten at a lower temp so you don't have to worry about bringing to a specific temp like pork.

    I usually cook it at 220 for 6 to 8  hours or so and then wrap it in foil for a couple more.  Like I said before, it just takes practice and practice is a good excuse to fire up that cooker!  I have never had anyone complain to me when I tell them I am going to practice this weekend.
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Brisket is a piece of meat that benefits from the low and slow method of cooking. By cooking it a low temps between 200 & 225 degrees for 12+ hrs you are breaking down all the tough muscle strands and connective tissues. When you grill at high heat the meat tightens up and can actually get tougher than when you started  aka "shoe leather", but by letting the low heat break down and relax the strands it comes out very tender and moist. That is why you never want to rush a brisket, you pull it off to soon, or cook it at to high of a temp. and you stand a good chance of creating shoe leather. Usually I take mine to 180-190 for slicing or 200-205 for shredding.
  6. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I second what JIRodriguez says, for slicing I go 190° for pulling 200° +/- but it has to be done at a low temp and for a long period of time. Thats why you get a hockey puck when you do them at grill temps!
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  7. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Sorry jcoop09, I was replying to Diesel
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  8. jcoop09

    jcoop09 Newbie

    I have seen on this site, people refer to the danger zone, what does this mean?
  9. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Jcoop, The danger zone is that you take it from 38* to 140* within 4 hours so all the bacteria in the meat is killed off. They also say do not stick a temp probe in the meat before it gets out of the danger zone, cause of bacteria. Well I would not be afraid of sticking the probe in from the get go, cause most of us has done that more than once. 

    The more you learn about the FDA guidelines the more it is scary, I have learned about the scary stuff from here (Eman).