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Smoked Brisket: Perfect fatty side, Tough lean side.


Joined May 18, 2019
So I smoked a 13lb brisket for 16 hours yesterday in my new smoker. After pulling it and resting it for about 3 hours I began to cut it up. The entire fatty side from top to bottom was perfectly tender, fat rendered perfectly, flavor was best I've ever done, HOWEVER, the lean side was tough; needless to say i was saddened as my wife loves the lean cuts. here are the facts:

Prime Brisket
the flat was 1/3 of the thickness to the fatty side
cook temp between 200-250
pulled at internal temp of 195 degrees (i know a bit early but had to take baby girl to her tap recital)
cook time 16hrs labor of love

Im no expert in smoking, but i am not a novice and this is the first time half of the brisket is perfect and the other not even close. here is the question: the lean has been in fridge, should I put it back in the smoker and monitor it hoping that it will fix itself or should i call it stew meat and make a chili or braise. I would like to hope that it is salvageable but i need your collective minds to steer me in the right direction. Helpful notes to avoid this from happening in the future is also welcomed.

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined May 12, 2011
You got Lucky with the Point, fatty side as the Flat was underdone. 195 is a good temp to start Probe Testing, for tender, but the Brisket is rarely perfection at that IT. You can cook it some more, in the smoker or oven, until tender. OR... Make Burnt Ends for a Save with a twist...JJ


Joined Jan 27, 2018
Was your IT probe on the flat side or point side? I assume the flat. I have read that the point will get to 195 before the flat.
I’m getting close on mine right now and was just looking for a post about the finish temp. I’ve read anywhere from 195-205. I think I’m gonna just tooth pick it about 200* and see.

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