Brisket: what am I doing wrong?

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Original poster
Nov 20, 2006
Smoked my second brisket in the last six weeks this weekend, and it took much longer than I had anticipated. It was a 7-8 pound flat that I smoked between 200-225 degrees (closer to 200) in my GOSM. I was figuring on 12 or so hours, but it wasn't until 23 hours later that I pulled it off at 190 degrees.

The meat was pretty tender in the thicker part of the meat, and a little (but not too bad) dry in the thin part. Main problem was that it was too smoky. I used hickory for about 5-6 hours, trying to maintain that thin blue smoke that you all talk about.

My questions for you all are: 1) Should I bump my heat up a bit to try and keep it at 225-235, or should I suck it up and let the meat do its thing and if it takes a week to cook, then so be it, and 2) on super long smokes, how long do you want to smoke things? Obviously 5-6 hours was too much for this particular brisket. I usually have been making ribs and chicken and those just aren't in the smoker long enough for me to over-smoke.

Welcome to the forum by the way. Saw your roll-call post but did not answer because I am not a GOSMite :)

Yes bump the temps to 230*-240*
Stop adding smoke when internal of meat reaches 140*
Wrap in foil @ 160*-165* (spray it with apple juice if your like)
finish temp can then go to where you want it while wrapped
wrap in towels and place in cooler for 1-2 hours after cooking
Try diluting the hickory with 1/2 apple or some other fruit wood it is not as pungent

Good Luck!

Thanks for your reply. With exception for the temperatures, I did almost everything exactly as you outined. I had a problem with hitting what appeared to be two plateaus, one at 140* and another at 160*.

I will try and mix the hickory with apple the next time and see if it can't tone down the smoke a bit. It seems that I can only make things too smoky, or not smoky enough. Oh well, practice makes perfect.
Each piece of meat is different. Some will plateau as you experienced. I spray mine with a 3 to 1 mix of applejuice(3) and bourbon(1) to enhance the bark. I also foil as already suggested to you. I also usually stop the smoke at 140F internal temp. I too will smoke brisket at 225-240F. It's fairly easy to control the temp on a GOSM. That's why I love mine.

Please check out the Basic Brisket Smoke that is a sticky at the top of this forum. Lots of good info there.

Good luck with the next one.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


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