Dry, stiff meat

Discussion in 'Beef' started by waterski, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. waterski

    waterski Newbie

    First off, sorry, no pics on this one.

    Smoked a 9.5# packer brisket yesterday and not real satisfied with the results. Here is how it was done....

    Rubbed with 2 commercial bought rubs (one sweet/one spicy), fridge for 2 hours (wrapped) then left out for 1 hour while smoker warmed up. Temp at time of meeting smoke was 57 degrees. Offset firebox CG, placed brisket fat up with 2 fatty's and wicked beans on once temp reached steady 220 (also had water pan under baffle). Didn't open for 2 hours, then basted w/ apple juice. Sprayed with juice several other times and flipped brisket at 3 hours, back over 2 hours later. Smoker temp remained 213-225 throughout. Meat hit plateau 3 1/4 hours in at 155 degrees then dropped back down to 149. I put in the normal amount of new lump coal and some fresh hickory (mixed with a little apple). 50 minutes later found smoker had risen to 281 and brisket to 161 then 165. The large hickory chunk had caught fire right where the offset box and smoke chamber meet and really heated it up. Opened smoker and got temp back down to 225-217. Once brisket hit 167 (7 hours) foiled and finished in oven (210-220). Total time was only 10 hours 20 minutes.

    The brisket came out somewhat dry and tough. My question is, do you think it was due to the temp spike during the critical "plateau" period? The meat was only in the 150ish range for about 2 hours.

    Thanks for any advice offered.
  2. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Temp spikes are never a good thing, but I suspect it did not hurt it all that much.

    I would not worry about the time in the plateau, some go fast, some go slow.

    To me, you need to up your cooking temps anyhow........if you are convinced that you need to stay around 225, I would recommend staying on the hot side of and not the low side.

    What was the final temp of the brisket when you pulled it from the oven? Did you allow it to rest or get right after it?

    Just my 2 cents.
  3. jaynik

    jaynik Smoking Fanatic

    seems like it should have evened out when you foiled and finished. What was your oven temp? I think many only cook the briskets to 200 vs. 210+. Let that sucker sit for a bit after it's done to make sure everything redistributes. In some ways though, you hit the jackpot. A dried up brisket would make some great chili or stew or sheperd's pie!
  4. kew_el_steve

    kew_el_steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Smoky Okie style gets around this in a couple ways. First, it's SEARED, holds in the moisture and gets done quicker. Second, it's smoked in an open aluminum pan. I do mine two hours on one side, flip and another two on the other side, but that's just me and my particular GOSM. Pull it after it gets thru the plateau. Cover it and put it in the oven at 230 or so until the meat gets to slicing (195) or pulling (205) temp. It's like budda either way. The juice is to die for too.
  5. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Sorry you had a dry brisket Waterski. Unless the spike lasted a real long time I don't thin that was the problem. Sometime the plateu lasts way to long and it helps to wrap it early so it doesn't dry out.
  6. waterski

    waterski Newbie

    Thanks for all the replies. Hopefully, the next one turns out a little better. I am going to try SmokyOkie's someday, perhaps the next one, it sounds great. I need to get some pulled pork the next time the smoker gets fired up, but after that I'll make a reservation for SmokyOkie style brisket.

    I will try to elevate the smoker temps a bit next time to be above 225. Thanks. Also, the final temp out of the oven was 190. The oven temp started at 220 then turned down to 210 to alleviate the high oven spikes, didn't know they spiked so high, thought it was a much more even temp, maybe mine is just a piece....

    I have never used the oven to finish before, but I had such a hard time finding the right brisket, it didn't go on until almost 4pm and I wasn't staying up all night for this one. Original plans were to throw it on around 3 am and have it for dinner that night, instead it went on about 12 hours late.

    I let the brisket rest for 4 hours in a cooler wrapped in towels prior to slicing.

    In the end, it wasn't all that bad, just not what I would like. It made for some good sandwiches tonight.

    Thanks again, you are all great for passing some words of advice.
  7. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I think that you took it too high. Should have stayed in the 185 range and then rested. I cook by feel and color, not by temp so I really am not qualified to instruct you, however, that is my thought. I would also up the cooking temp to 250.
  8. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Searing doesn't hold in moisture........kitchen myth.......searing helps with flavor, but not the moisture. If it did you would not need the pan or have juices to catch because they would be sealed in. But I agree, Smokie Okies method turns out a good tasting brisket.

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