Brisket with dry and tender flat.

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dianap

Newbie
Original poster
May 1, 2020
4
0
Woodside, CA
Dear Smoking Meat Gods and Demi Gods..
After lurking around reading all the wonderful information posted by the community. I finally decided buy a smoker and ran into problems with my first time smoking meat.
What did I do incorrectly? What are some things I can do to improve my brisket?

Question: The flat was dry and tender. Did I over cook or undercook? I kept smoking it wrapped until almost probe tender. Almost meaning there was still some resistance like going through jello instead of room temp butter.

The What and How:
•1 brisket packer around 14-16 lbs from Creek Stone Farms.
•Trimmed and seasoned it with salt, pepper and espresso grinds.
•Preheated Rec Tec 700 Pellet Smoker at 250°f. Outside temp was around 68°f when I started at 1pm and around 51°f when I took it out.
•Threw the brisket in fat side up and inserted the probe that came with the grill. Point was facing the smoker hole.
•Started to spray with apple cider vinegar after 4 hours. Added a Mojo Brick Competition Blend Oak Medium Cube which would not stay smoking so I gave up on it.
•Took 6 hours to get a dark mahogany bark. Internal temp was reading was 177°f.
•Wrapped brisket in peach butcher paper, placed in the same position as it was earlier. Stuck probe back in.
•When temp reached 203°f, I started to check to see if it was probe tender. The point was tender but the flat was not.
•Stopped using internal thermometer.
•I would check to see if it was probe tender every so often. I would take the brisket out of the smoker, close the lid, unwrap, poke with a probe, rewrap and place back into the smoker.
•Took 9 more hours until almost all parts of the flat was probe tender. Parts of the flat still had some resistance and when I held the brisket, it wasn't floppy in the flat area.
Total time was around 15 hours of smoking. Not accounting for 7 times I unwrapped the flat to check it.
• The brisket was wrapped in two more layers of paper, a bath towel and placed in a cooler to rest for 7.5 hours. It was warm to the touch when I started to cut into it. There wasn't any juice leaking out as you can see by the pictures posted below

Result:
The point was moist and tender :emoji_blush:
The flat was dry and tender. :emoji_disappointed:
The crust overall was tasty, rendered and caramelized. :emoji_blush:

Wants:
Tender and juicy flat
More rendered fat and connective tissues.
Get better at butchering
 

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Last edited:

bregent

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Mar 1, 2014
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It's hard to tell from pictures, but if you say it probed like jello it was probably undercooked. One of the best indications until you are sure of what probe tender feels like is the pull test and bend test. If a 1/8" slice pulls apart with little stretch, it's good.

15 hours is well within normal range - but when you open and close the lid and wrap and unwrap a lot, you are lower the temp and adding more time. Try messing with it as little as possible next time (I know it's hard). Pellet grills have a lot of airflow that can dry out lean cuts like flats.
 
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kruizer

Master of the Pit
Sep 7, 2015
2,694
1,385
Central Minnesota
The flat usually has a lot less fat than the point and can get dried a bit. It will always depend on the particular piece of meat that you get. Next time, check to see that the flat has good fat content. The other option is to inject liquids into the meat before cooking.
 

dianap

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
May 1, 2020
4
0
Woodside, CA
It's hard to tell from pictures, but if you say it probed like jello it was probably undercooked. One of the best indications until you are sure of what probe tender feels like is the pull test and bend test. If a 1/8" slice pulls apart with little stretch, it's good.

15 hours is well within normal range - but when you open and close the lid and wrap and unwrap a lot, you are lower the temp and adding more time. Try messing with it as little as possible next time (I know it's hard). Pellet grills have a lot of airflow that can dry out lean cuts like flats.
The flat was cut at the thickness of a pencil and when pulled it breaks off where I am holding the meat. I will give it longer next time.
 

dianap

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
May 1, 2020
4
0
Woodside, CA
The flat usually has a lot less fat than the point and can get dried a bit. It will always depend on the particular piece of meat that you get. Next time, check to see that the flat has good fat content. The other option is to inject liquids into the meat before cooking.
Thank you. I will try injecting liquid next time.
 

jcam222

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jun 13, 2017
8,170
8,986
Northeast Ohio
I’ve had this problem a lot with choice and select. My solution usually has been to inject with Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket blend or Minors beef broth. The Butcher blend has phosphates. I will say last brisket I did I bought a prime brisket at Sams. It’s was only about $0.50 a pound more than the choice. I didn’t inject or do anything special and the flat was tender and juicy.
 

chrisf60526

Newbie
May 4, 2020
1
0
Dear Smoking Meat Gods and Demi Gods..
After lurking around reading all the wonderful information posted by the community. I finally decided buy a smoker and ran into problems with my first time smoking meat.
What did I do incorrectly? What are some things I can do to improve my brisket?

Question: The flat was dry and tender. Did I over cook or undercook? I kept smoking it wrapped until almost probe tender. Almost meaning there was still some resistance like going through jello instead of room temp butter.

The What and How:
•1 brisket packer around 14-16 lbs from Creek Stone Farms.
•Trimmed and seasoned it with salt, pepper and espresso grinds.
•Preheated Rec Tec 700 Pellet Smoker at 250°f. Outside temp was around 68°f when I started at 1pm and around 51°f when I took it out.
•Threw the brisket in fat side up and inserted the probe that came with the grill. Point was facing the smoker hole.
•Started to spray with apple cider vinegar after 4 hours. Added a Mojo Brick Competition Blend Oak Medium Cube which would not stay smoking so I gave up on it.
•Took 6 hours to get a dark mahogany bark. Internal temp was reading was 177°f.
•Wrapped brisket in peach butcher paper, placed in the same position as it was earlier. Stuck probe back in.
•When temp reached 203°f, I started to check to see if it was probe tender. The point was tender but the flat was not.
•Stopped using internal thermometer.
•I would check to see if it was probe tender every so often. I would take the brisket out of the smoker, close the lid, unwrap, poke with a probe, rewrap and place back into the smoker.
•Took 9 more hours until almost all parts of the flat was probe tender. Parts of the flat still had some resistance and when I held the brisket, it wasn't floppy in the flat area.
Total time was around 15 hours of smoking. Not accounting for 7 times I unwrapped the flat to check it.
• The brisket was wrapped in two more layers of paper, a bath towel and placed in a cooler to rest for 7.5 hours. It was warm to the touch when I started to cut into it. There wasn't any juice leaking out as you can see by the pictures posted below

Result:
The point was moist and tender :emoji_blush:
The flat was dry and tender. :emoji_disappointed:
The crust overall was tasty, rendered and caramelized. :emoji_blush:

Wants:
Tender and juicy flat
More rendered fat and connective tissues.
Get better at butchering

dianap dianap This is almost exactly what I experienced as well. I tried just cooking the last on my RECTEC with salt and pepper only over oak fat side down. The only difference was I was cooking just a flat.

Cooked @ 250, to 165, wrapped in butcher paper to 205 and a bunch of probing. I never really got the 'peanut butter' feel but it was tender. Wrapped in towel and into a cooler to rest for a few hours.

The flat was decent. Good tenderness (not great) and good flavor. I did not inject and the flat did not have a ton of fat on top. I wasn't overly pleased as I felt the flat was still a bit dry.

So, is it necessary to inject? Are flats just hard to do due to lack of fat? I tried to go with an Aaron Franklin technique.
 

bregent

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Mar 1, 2014
1,939
1,036
Cooked @ 250, to 165, wrapped in butcher paper to 205 and a bunch of probing. I never really got the 'peanut butter' feel but it was tender.

Learning what it feels like takes some experience. One thing you can do after slicing is the pull test.


If it pulls like that, then it was cooked to the tenderness that most folks prefer. If over cooked, it will be dry and fall apart. If undercooked, it will also be dry but hard to pull apart.

So, is it necessary to inject? Are flats just hard to do due to lack of fat?

Injecting is not necessary, but can add flavor if that's what you want. Because there is very little fat and moisture, briskets get there succulence from melted collagen. I think most folks get into trouble because they either under cook because they are worried it's taking too long, or over cook because they are looking for a specific internal temp. Forget the internal temp and learn to feel for probe tenderness.
 

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