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Smoking Brisket Help

oevets20

Newbie
2
0
Joined Jul 29, 2020
Hello,

I'm new to smoking briskets and i'm sure this question has been posted and answered, but dont have to time to comb through everything. Anyways, i've smoked two brisket flats from costco so far ranging from 5-6.5 lbs, they have the bark, and the smoke ring, but both have come out dry. I use a weber smokey mountain and use a salt and pepper rub with no injection.

1st brisket.
-once smoker hit about 225 i threw on the brisket fat side down.
-once internal temp of brisket hit 160, i spritzed it with apple juice or apple cider vinegar (i forget), and wrapped it in butcher paper. only spritzed it that one time cause i didnt want to keep opening the lid, unwrap the brisket, spritz, and rewrap.
-it stalled around 170
-issue was it kept stalling for hours and hours. this brisket was about 5ish lbs i think so if i followed the 1hr -1hr 15 minute/lb, it should be around a 5-6.25 hr smoke.
-it basically wouldnt get past 175-178 i want to say and i was trying to be patient to hit that 195-203 degree internal temp that i read about, but it was going on for close to 10 hrs i want to say and just decided to pull it. i did notice it wasnt the most tightly wrapped brisket when i took it out, there was a corner where there was an opening.
-i let it rest for about 1 hour. i dont remember if i let it rest in the butcher paper or not. anyone have thoughts on that?
-it had a good bark and smoke ring but it was just very dry. I figured it was just being in the smoker too long.

2nd brisket
-basically the same steps as the first, but this brisket was around 6.5 lbs. with this brisket, i decided to go based off of time and not leave it in there for too long. so this should be about a 6-7 hr smoke.
-once internal temp hit 160, i made sure to wrap it real tight.
-there was an issue where the smoker temperature fell to 175 degree because it rained during my smoke. rain happened for about an hr during the last hr of my smoke. after rain stopped i got it back to about 250 degree and left it there for 30 min longer to compensate for the lower temperature for that hr (not scientific, just did a guess).
-once time was up, i took it out and i want to say the temp was around 180. so shorter time than my last smoke and got the internal temp to be higher
-again i dont remember if i let it rest in the butcher paper or not, but open to recommendations.
-brisket came out with good bark and smoke ring, but dry again, and def not as dry as the first brisket.

So i have a bunch of questions because i dont want to keep throwing money at briskets to experiment and get it right, its too costly for that lol.

-did 2nd brisket turn out better cause of the shorter smoke time or cause it reached a higher internal temp?
-ive read that the the higher internal temp helps break down the collagen, so should i really wait till it hits that internal temp? i cant see leaving my brisket in the smoker longer will make it juicier.
-do i do a shorter smoke time since i have a leaner cut since im just doing the flat? but then i def wont be reaching that internal temp recommendation if i do a shorter smoke time.
-should i be spritzing more? but that will cause my smoker temps to fluctuate every time i open the lid
-should i let it rest in the butcher paper? i can see it being juicier that way.
-ive read that to just go on feel of the brisket and ignore the internal temp mark. like if brisket is tender at 160ish, then take it off (skeptical on that blog i read).
-also how does it work with full 10-14 lb packer cuts? if my flat is drying out in 6-10 hrs and packer cuts take longer, wouldnt my flat be more dry?

sorry for the novel, but wanted to list my steps and have my questions laid out. any help is appreciated.
 

Chasdev

Smoking Fanatic
697
500
Joined Jan 18, 2020
I can offer that you should switch to "hot and fast" brisket cooking, go up to 350, wrap in foil at 175 and pull at 205.
I spray with apple juice/apple cider vinegar (50/50) at least once an hour, but as quickly as possible to reduce heat loss in the cook chamber.
I prefer foil over paper and have done both, plus placing digital temp probes before cooking keeps you from poking multiple holes in the meat as each time you probe lots of juice comes out of the hole.
Rest for an hour still wrapped before slicing but if you do pull at 205 don't place in a cooler or wrap with towels as the carry over cooking will result in overdone meat.
You can pull at 198/200 and leave it wrapped in towels inside a cooler for three or four hours and it will finish cooking while retaining more juices. (just an example, not temp advice).
As to cooking multiple briskets that don't come out perfect, welcome to the club brother, that's how the game is played.
I for one an not a fan of Costco primes, they have tons of fat but I like choice briskets from a regular store like Walmart or HEB.
 

oevets20

Newbie
2
0
Joined Jul 29, 2020
I can offer that you should switch to "hot and fast" brisket cooking, go up to 350, wrap in foil at 175 and pull at 205.
I spray with apple juice/apple cider vinegar (50/50) at least once an hour, but as quickly as possible to reduce heat loss in the cook chamber.
I prefer foil over paper and have done both, plus placing digital temp probes before cooking keeps you from poking multiple holes in the meat as each time you probe lots of juice comes out of the hole.
Rest for an hour still wrapped before slicing but if you do pull at 205 don't place in a cooler or wrap with towels as the carry over cooking will result in overdone meat.
You can pull at 198/200 and leave it wrapped in towels inside a cooler for three or four hours and it will finish cooking while retaining more juices. (just an example, not temp advice).
As to cooking multiple briskets that don't come out perfect, welcome to the club brother, that's how the game is played.
I for one an not a fan of Costco primes, they have tons of fat but I like choice briskets from a regular store like Walmart or HEB.
ok cool thanks, i'll try that. i dont know if it matters, but i get the choice briskets from costco. trying to save the prime grade when im actually good at smoking briskets.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
48,790
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Joined Jun 22, 2009
ok cool thanks, i'll try that. i dont know if it matters, but i get the choice briskets from costco. trying to save the prime grade when im actually good at smoking briskets.
You might find the Primes are easier to cook. With the extra marbling they are much more forgiving. They don’t dry out like the Choice & Select’s do.
Al
 

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