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Choice Brisket - Dry

danthebeard

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I found a good deal on briskets at Kroger ($1.99/lb), so I bought several. However, they are "Choice". I tried to pick the best ones I could find hoping they would be close to "Prime."

I've cooked a couple of them and both have turned out a little dry...

The first one I cooked to approx. 165 and then wrapped in butcher paper. Pulled it at 203 and let it rest - wrapped in towels in cooler - for approx. 4 hours.

The second one I cooked to approx. 168 and then wrapped in aluminum foil. I added 16oz of beef broth inside the aluminum foil. Pulled it at 203 and let it rest on the counter (still wrapped) until it cooled to around 170 and then put it in the oven at 170. Total rest time was approx. 6 hours.

Both were cooked at 225 on a Z Grills pellet smoker using B&B post oak pellets. I've been using Salt & Pepper for rub. First one I rubbed pretty heavy, and second one lighter.

Any tips on how to keep it from being so dry?

Thanks!
 
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jcam222

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I found a good deal on briskets at Kroger ($1.99/lb), so I bought several. However, they are "Choice". I tried to pick the best ones I could find hoping they would be close to "Prime."

I've cooked a couple of them and both have turned out a little dry...

The first one I cooked to approx. 165 and then wrapped in butcher paper. Pulled it at 203 and let it rest - wrapped in towels in cooler - for approx. 4 hours.

The second one I cooked to approx. 168 and then wrapped in aluminum foil. I added 16oz of beef broth inside the aluminum foil. Pulled it at 203 and let it rest on the counter (still wrapped) until it cooled to around 170 and then put it in the oven at 170. Total rest time was approx. 6 hours.

Both were cooked at 225 on a Z Grills pellet smoker using B&B post oak pellets. I've been using Salt & Pepper for rub. First one I rubbed pretty heavy, and second one lighter.

Any tips on how to keep it from being so dry?

Thanks!
I would consider injecting. You can inject with just a strong beef broth or get a commercial injection that contains other goodies including phosphates. Makes a big difference. I like Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket injection. It’s a little pricey but a container lasts a long time. In the grand scheme of juicier brisket it’s worth it to me. Another thing I’ve tried recently is to inject with liquefied beef tallow. I did that in a prime from Sam’s but my buddy did it in a sale prices choice with good results too.
 

thirdeye

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Pardon the pun..... but don't get too wrapped up with early internal temps. Wrap when it has some good color, and this might be as low as 150°.

I mirror jcam222 jcam222 on the injection advice, but what elevation are you at? Because the boiling point of water is lower at higher elevations.... foil can be more effective on brisket.
 

danthebeard

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I would consider injecting. You can inject with just a strong beef broth or get a commercial injection that contains other goodies including phosphates. Makes a big difference. I like Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket injection. It’s a little pricey but a container lasts a long time. In the grand scheme of juicier brisket it’s worth it to me. Another thing I’ve tried recently is to inject with liquefied beef tallow. I did that in a prime from Sam’s but my buddy did it in a sale prices choice with good results too.
Injecting with tallow is a good idea. I would think that would help make up for the lack of marbling in the meat.
 

danthebeard

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Pardon the pun..... but don't get too wrapped up with early internal temps. Wrap when it has some good color, and this might be as low as 150°.

I mirror jcam222 jcam222 on the injection advice, but what elevation are you at? Because the boiling point of water is lower at higher elevations.... foil can be more effective on brisket.
Interesting... I'm in North Alabama, so no crazy high elevation where I am.
 

bigfurmn

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I always go 205+ with my SAMs Club choice brisket. I don't wrap or inject but I smoke mine in a foil pan to keep juices moisturizing the meat. I have ZERO professional experience and everything I've learned was from here. I use a Pit Boss pellet pooper with either hickory or mesquite pellets.
 

1MoreFord

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Don't cook to temp. Brisket has to probe tender before it's done. Take something like a kitchen thermometer and probe into the thickest part of the flat. When it feels like it's going into peanut butter it's done.
 

bregent

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Yeah, listen to the advice about not cooking to temp - there is no magic number. Just cook till probe tender . I often don't even put a thermometer in my briskets these days. Some of the best briskets I've ever made were select grade.
 

3montes

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I usually pan around 165 or 170 or at the first sound of juices sizzling on the tuning plates. I like to put 12 ounces of dark beer in the pan with the brisket. I DO NOT cover the brisket in the pan I leave it exposed as it will continue to form bark this way. Covering or wrapping with foil and adding moisture is braising and can result in that beef roast taste and cross over from tender to a mushy feel in your mouth.

Once close to probe tender, this usually means I'm still getting a slight amount of resistance I take them off. Cover them with foil and put in the food keeper for a couple hours. The carry over cooking will get it to perfectly tender. The tricky part here is not to pull them too soon or to leave them on too long. I always schedule in a minimum of 2 hours resting time and the brisket will still be rising in temp for most of those two hours. I feel brisket more than any other piece of meat benefits the most from resting. I have gone as long as six hours. If need be I will add more beer or beef broth to the pan during cooking if needed. You don't want the pan to run dry. I've never had a dry brisket using this method.

I do pretty much the same with pork butts.
 

chopsaw

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I found a good deal on briskets at Kroger ($1.99/lb), so I bought several. However, they are "Choice".
The grading system has a range to it . Choice can be just better than select , not quite Prime or somewhere in between .

get a commercial injection that contains other goodies including phosphates.
Good advice . Tony C's injection are available in most grocery stores . I've used the roasted garlic on brisket with really good results . The phosphates make a huge difference .
 

PulledPorkSandwich

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I'm no expert and there's lots of good advice here.

I've struggled with brisket on my electric smoker. I buy prime whenever can get it from Sam's . Even with prime, though, I've gotten several dry briskets when aiming for 225 box temp and pulling at 203 IT. I found a 12 pound brisket usually took upwards of 24 hours to reach the target IT and by that time, I didn't probe it for tenderness, I just pulled it and served it.

My most recent result was much better. This time, I reasoned that 24+ hours in the smoker was just too long and that caused the dryness, so I aimed for a 250 box temperature instead, everything else remaining the same. The brisket reached 200 degrees in about 14 hours and was probe tender in the thickest portion of the flat then, so I pulled it.

I'll try the same approach for my next brisket and see if it turns out as good.
 

schlotz

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Have you verified your grate temps with a calibrated therm or are you using the built in therm as a guide? I wrap after it has been in the stall for a while (usually an hour or so), ergo the need for a reporting therm so you can monitor the IT progress. Every brisket can have a different stall temp range, same issue for the temp range to become tender. I've had them get tender anywhere from 196-210º. Once pulled when tender let it rest open on the counter until the IT starts to drop indicating the cooking has stopped, but collagen continues to breakdown above approx 180º so I look for a 5º drop, then wrap tight and into the cooler with towels for a couple of hours.
 
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SmokinEdge

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I'm no expert and there's lots of good advice here.

I've struggled with brisket on my electric smoker. I buy prime whenever can get it from Sam's . Even with prime, though, I've gotten several dry briskets when aiming for 225 box temp and pulling at 203 IT. I found a 12 pound brisket usually took upwards of 24 hours to reach the target IT and by that time, I didn't probe it for tenderness, I just pulled it and served it.

My most recent result was much better. This time, I reasoned that 24+ hours in the smoker was just too long and that caused the dryness, so I aimed for a 250 box temperature instead, everything else remaining the same. The brisket reached 200 degrees in about 14 hours and was probe tender in the thickest portion of the flat then, so I pulled it.

I'll try the same approach for my next brisket and see if it turns out as good.
I agree with 250 CC temp being a much better choice than 225* that said when cooking at 225* for long periods of time, a pan of water in the CC can go a long ways In an electric cooker. Wood smoke contains some moisture so stick burners don’t struggle as much with moisture. I keep my welding rod in an old refrigerator with a regular light bulb burning all the time. This keeps moisture at bay, electric cookers are the same concept, closed box with a dry heat source.
 

PulledPorkSandwich

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Have you verified your grate temps with a calibrated therm or are you using the built in therm as a guide? I wrap after it has been in the stall for a while (usually an hour or so), ergo the need for a reporting therm so you can monitor the IT progress. Every brisket can have a different stall temp range, same issue for the temp range to become tender. I've had them get tender anywhere from 196-210º. Once pulled when tender let it rest open on the counter until the IT starts to drop indicating the cooking has stopped, but collagen continues to breakdown above approx 180º so I look for a 5º drop, then wrap tight and into the cooler with towels for a couple of hours.
Yes I have. I use a Maverick thermometer and checked it at 212 and 32 degrees and it was spot on.

I have a Smokin-It smoker, and the folks over there swear you don't need to wrap, nor to you need to use a pan of water, so I'm trying to avoid both of those techniques; when you open the smoker you lose heat and smoke, etc. On the other hand, this last time, my brisket was "done" about 8 hours before it was time to eat it, so I wrapped it up in foil and towels and put it in a cooler. Eight hours later, it was still hot and it tasted great, although next time I'll try to time things so it doesn't sit so long.

The only real issue I had last time is one most here are quite familiar with: The thickest part of the flat was probe tender and was just right, but the thin part of the flat was overcooked -- a bit dry and tough -- and the point a bit undercooked -- moist but a bit tough. When someone figures out how all three parts get done perfectly at the same time, I'll be very happy! :emoji_sunglasses:
 

Displaced Texan

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I can't speak for everyone here, but I doubt most of us feel we have it mastered. I sure don't. I love these discussions. Always trying to improve.
 

PulledPorkSandwich

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I can't speak for everyone here, but I doubt most of us feel we have it mastered. I sure don't. I love these discussions. Always trying to improve.
I understand, and I had my tongue firmly planted in my cheek when I suggested that someone would figure out how to get the point, thick flat, and thin flat cooked perfectly all at once. Part of the fun is, indeed, changing up things each time to compensate for previous errors. My son-in-law always wants me to go further than I do in "correcting" things, and my wife hates it when I do anything different, lest it the cook time gets less predictable or the flavor isn't as good, etc.
Interesting discussion. I guess this may be partly why Franklin says maintain 275° in his old PBS videos.
I re-watched several of Franklin's videos before this last cook. I had already determined that I was going to go for a different box temperature, but one "new" thing I took away was his choice of rub: equal parts salt and pepper. I have tinkered with all kinds of complicated rubs for my briskets and I've never been really satisfied with the results. This time, I thought the salt and pepper rub was just perfect. I'm pretty sure I won't deviate far from that in the future!

I live in Ft. Worth, so I'm not that far from Franklin's restaurant. Things just haven't fallen into place for me to visit there. Last time I was in the Austin area, my son-in-law wanted to try Black's, and so we did. I had a beef rib and a couple sides and my wife had some sausage. We both had iced tea to drink. The bill for lunch was just under $100!
 

Displaced Texan

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Sorry, yes, I figured you were being a bit sarcastic.

Hell, I grew up in Fort Worth. My inspiration for great barbecue has always been Angelo's.

🍻
 

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