Keeping Brisket moist

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Original poster
Aug 15, 2016
So I really can't stop thinking about brisket, it's like I'm obsessed with perfecting it. I really just need to keep it very moist and it will be perfect, I have tenderness down but moistness is a little off. I've been taking every brisket off at 200 degrees, is that what is should be doing? I have even heard that if it's dry I haven't cooked it long enough which doesn't make sense to me. Can someone please help me out here I'm going crazy!!!


Smoking Fanatic
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Dec 10, 2013
East of Tulsa, OK
IMO briskets that are not cooked enough tastes tough and dry as others here, so that is why you see that comment.  That was how I was cooking them before looking through this forum extensively for answers. 

My current method for maximum tenderness and moistness is to set my smoker at 225 and add smoke to about 140-150 IT.  I then wrap in foil to about 195 and start poking till it feels like butter.  Depending on the individual piece of meat sometimes that may be up to 205.  Then remove and place in an insulated cooler with towels for a couple hours or more to rest and re-absorb juices.  I had an unexpected situation where I had to leave one almost 5 hours one time and it was still steaming when I opened it up to slice.  It was very tender and moist.

It will still be quite hot when you take it our and might need to cool a little before slicing.  I save the juice and pour some back over it after slicing to let it soak in before serving or packaging for storage.

I do pork buts about the same but add a finishing sauce and re-smoke about 15 min after pulling.

Good Luck to you, just keep practicing.  Even with little mistakes, they are usually not far enough off that you have to give the whole thing to the dogs. 


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Feb 7, 2015
New Orleans LA
Keeping it simple Chris...I cook brisket to tenderness as 801driver does.  If your slices are pull apart tender, you are golden.  The slices will have lines in them where the collagen has reduced to provide the moisture in the brisket.  If your slices don't pull apart easily, they are under cooked.  If they fall apart when slicing, they are over cooked.  any questions?



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jun 22, 2009
Central Florida (Sebring)
If your talking about just smoking a flat, then my suggestion is to smoke it in a pan sitting in it's own juices.

That's the way I do them, and I've never had a dry one yet.

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