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Internal temperature question

Discussion in 'Beef' started by ramkilr, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Seems like everybody here goes by the internal temperature to know when a brisket is done - but I'm confused about the numbers. The common wisdom is to take it up to 165 degrees, then foil it and take it up to 195 degrees. But every meat thermometer I've sen says that 165 is when the meat is done to a "medium well" - medium rare is 145 degrees. Taking the brisket up to 165 and then foiling it for another 20 degrees or more seems to result in a pretty dry meat. Am I misinterpreting something, or is it okay to use the 145 degree measurement to start the foil portion of the cook?
  2. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can eat it once it gets to 165˚. Actually I guess since it's Beef, you can eat it once it gets to 140˚, but you better have razor blades for teeth, if you're eating brisket.

    The name of the game is Low & slow for tenderness. I foil mine at 165˚. Then remove at 195˚ for slicing, and 205˚ for pulling. If you have the time, towel wrap it & put it in a cooler for an hour or two. It won't be rare--It will be very tender.

  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For a normal piece of steak/burger the 145-165 would we "normal". Brisket is in it's own special category because you are not only cooking it, but you have to get it tender as well. If you cook a brisket to anything less than 190° you will end up with tastey shoe leather. The trick to not drying it out has to do with two things: 1) keep your smoke chamber temps between 200-220°, low and slow, this keeps you from driving all the moisture out with high temps. 2) when the brisket hits an internal temp. of 165° you foil/foil pan it with some liquid then take it to 190-210° depending on weather you are slicing, pulling, prefered texture, ect. The liquids in the pan/foil helps to keep it nice and moist.

    I have taken to letting my briskets get up to about 190° or so, then every 5° I go out and poke it with a butter knife or meat probe untill it slides in like melted butter. That is your que (pun intended [​IMG]) that it is nice and tender, pull it out of the heat, let it rest for an hour or so, and dig in!
  4. Thanks guys - I guess it's hard for me to rationalize cooking beef to 200 degrees. but as you say - it needs to get tender. I'm new at this smoking stuff and still learning!
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No problem. The whole idea of BBQ'ing is to take pieces of meat that would normally be inedible or very tough and treating them to low and slow cooking to tenderize them and add that wonderfull flavor. Back in the day things like ribs, brisket, and butts were considered throw away pieces of meat, because they were to tough, stringy, fatty, and gristly - now with a little low and slow they become wonderfull great piece of meat.

    Once you get your first couple of low and slow cooks under your belt you will never want to do it any other way..... lol.
  6. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bear has it going on... great reply.
  7. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

             WHAT He Said!!!!!!![​IMG]
  8. Yeah I had always wondered about the temp too, this answer so many questions, thanks yall!