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Two Briskets, new thermometer...

texaspro

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Joined May 17, 2019
This post is a carry over from here (post # 29) – https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t...-guideline-and-what-to-consider.270191/page-2

One brisket turned out overly tender (crumbles), but was still very good. The other was way too hard and is now stew meat. We had plenty of other food so the damage was negligible with a little shot to my pride. Needless to say, something went wrong.

As previously mentioned, I’ve done several briskets on the Bog Green Egg (BGE), but hadn’t done one in about a year. So when my wife bought me a WiFi thermometer (Tappecue) and we had the party coming up, I figured I would cook the meat. Unfortunately, I let the temp run the show and is how I believe I screwed up.

After setting the temp on the BGE to 225 and throwing one brisket on (trimmed, rubbed, etc.), I sprayed it with apple cider vinegar, as I usually do, put the thermo probe in and let it go. The Tappecue probes can do IT and chamber temp, with alerts so I set the alerts and my alarm for 4 hours, went to sleep. Woke up 4 hours later and the IT was at 165. Looking good. I bumped the smoker temp to 235 and went back to sleep. The Tappecue alarm goes off an hour later and the IT is 200 (5 hours into the cook). It’s now 5 am and from what I can find, brisket is done at 200 IT. I was tired and not sure what to do from here since it only took half the time it usually takes when I go off time and NOT of IT. This was my mistake, I believe. I should have left it on for at least an hour/lbs.

Anyways, dog tired and confused, I put it in the oven at 225 and went back to sleep. My wife was just getting up so I had her grab another brisket. Once the first brisket had been under heat for a total of 10 hours, I pulled it out, let it rest, etc. It was decent, but still not all the way right. I decided to deal with it later and left it in the cooler. Started the new brisket and slowly brought the IT up, but it too hit 200 IT early. I pulled it, rested it, and cut into. It was not tender at all…So once it was rested I put both briskets in the fridge. The next day I cooked them both a little more at 225. Right up to party time.

Everywhere I look, people say once the IT hits 200 – 205, it’s done. I’m calling BS on this. Or, at minimum, there’s more to it. What am I missing?
 

texaspro

Newbie
9
2
Joined May 17, 2019
Just wanted to say thanks to all the members on here that helped me save these briskets. Such a great resource from a collection of courteous pitmasters!
 

bregent

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Everywhere I look, people say once the IT hits 200 – 205, it’s done. I’m calling BS on this. Or, at minimum, there’s more to it. What am I missing?
I agree with your BS assessment. Brisket is done when it's done. If you cook at a lower temp, then the IT reached when it is done will be lower than the IT if it had been cooked hotter. The IT might be 205 or more, or it might be 195 or even less. Go by feel, not IT. When it probes tender, it's done. This might take a little experience to get the feel, but it's a much better way than temp.
 

Bearcarver

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Could be the word "Usually" is being missed:

Kinda like a Brisket is "Usually" done in the area of 200°-205°, but not always. (Often 195° for slicing)
Same thing with a Butt for Pulled Pork.

Bear
 

JckDanls 07

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Did not read anywhere where you tested the therms for accuracy ... First thing I would do is test the therms in boiling water... just to eliminate that possibility ... sounds like they may be off...
 

tallbm

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This post is a carry over from here (post # 29) – https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t...-guideline-and-what-to-consider.270191/page-2

One brisket turned out overly tender (crumbles), but was still very good. The other was way too hard and is now stew meat. We had plenty of other food so the damage was negligible with a little shot to my pride. Needless to say, something went wrong.

As previously mentioned, I’ve done several briskets on the Bog Green Egg (BGE), but hadn’t done one in about a year. So when my wife bought me a WiFi thermometer (Tappecue) and we had the party coming up, I figured I would cook the meat. Unfortunately, I let the temp run the show and is how I believe I screwed up.

After setting the temp on the BGE to 225 and throwing one brisket on (trimmed, rubbed, etc.), I sprayed it with apple cider vinegar, as I usually do, put the thermo probe in and let it go. The Tappecue probes can do IT and chamber temp, with alerts so I set the alerts and my alarm for 4 hours, went to sleep. Woke up 4 hours later and the IT was at 165. Looking good. I bumped the smoker temp to 235 and went back to sleep. The Tappecue alarm goes off an hour later and the IT is 200 (5 hours into the cook). It’s now 5 am and from what I can find, brisket is done at 200 IT. I was tired and not sure what to do from here since it only took half the time it usually takes when I go off time and NOT of IT. This was my mistake, I believe. I should have left it on for at least an hour/lbs.

Anyways, dog tired and confused, I put it in the oven at 225 and went back to sleep. My wife was just getting up so I had her grab another brisket. Once the first brisket had been under heat for a total of 10 hours, I pulled it out, let it rest, etc. It was decent, but still not all the way right. I decided to deal with it later and left it in the cooler. Started the new brisket and slowly brought the IT up, but it too hit 200 IT early. I pulled it, rested it, and cut into. It was not tender at all…So once it was rested I put both briskets in the fridge. The next day I cooked them both a little more at 225. Right up to party time.

Everywhere I look, people say once the IT hits 200 – 205, it’s done. I’m calling BS on this. Or, at minimum, there’s more to it. What am I missing?
One of the key things about brisket is that it is done when it is tender.
You only use the Internal Temp (IT) to let you know when to check for tenderness.
You check for tenderness by stabbing all over with a tooth pic or something like a kabob skewer. When it goes in with no resistence or very very little resistance all over then your brisket is done.

Second important thing to know is that temp probing a brisket is faaaaaaaaaar from simple to get it done accurately. To me this is why there is such a discrepancy in what people report the IT of their brisket being tender at.

Putting the probe in the thickest yet center most portion of the flat is the best spot. If you probe the point you are wasting time as it will hit temp and tenderness waaaaay before the rest of the brisket flat will.
I use 3 probes in my brisket flat and sure enough I only ever get 1 of them placed properly. This is why I personally do 3 hahaha. Also be sure to check and see that your temp probes are regestering 212F in boiling water. They may be a little off, way off, or actually right on but you don't know until you check.

Putting it all together looks like this.
  • Know how accurate or how off your temp probes are
  • Put the temp probe into the thickest yet center most portion of the Flat and ensure you are not putting it in the fat layer between the flat and the point where they come together
  • At an IT of 195F (I usually wait to 198F) go and perform the tenderness test on the brisket. Be sure to stab right through the middle of the whole thing and not just around the ends or sides. No or very very little resistance and/or grab from the meat means a passing tenderness test.
  • If tenderness test passed then pull the brisket, if NOT passed then wait a couple of degrees and test again
  • IF you get the probe in the brisket kind of accurately AND you do the tenderness test, you will likely find that your brisket is tender between an IT of 200F-205F

Give this a try and I think you will fix your problems. This same thing applies to things like a pork butt, pork ribs, and a chuck roast. They are all done when they pass a tenderness test. Ribs are a tenderness preference so those that want fall off the bone go until no resistance and those that want more pull of the bone want a little resistance, but you get the idea.

I hope this info helps! :)
 

SecondHandSmoker

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As you found out, cooking to a suggested IT is just a guideline. As tallbm says above, probing for tenderness, will yield perfection.

And do check the accuracy of your meat probes.
 

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