They key to cooking good brisket is you can't base it on cook time. You have to cook the brisket to the correct internal temperature. So, you'll need a meat thermometer. Here's what I do for fantastic brisket, both taste and texture. Apply whatever rub/seasoning you like. This is personal preference, they're all good! Heat smoker to 225 Put brisket on smoker and cook to an internal temp (measured in the middle of the meat away from veins of fat) to 165. Wrap brisket in foil (after the meat reaches 165 degrees it quits absorbing smoke anyway). Cooked brisked wrapped in foil to internal temp of 195 degrees. (internal temp will continue to rise to about 200-205 while resting) Remove from smoker, wrap in towels, blankets, sleepingbags or whatever you have, place in a clean dry ice chest and allow meat to rest for AT LEAST 1 hour. (I rest mine 2-3 hrs if I can) Slice and serve. I promise this will be the best melt in your mouht brisket you've ever made. It will be moiste and tender with a good smoke ring.
Any time the meat is wrapped in foil and the heat is on and above boiling temp you are steaming or boiling the meat. I think that a moist brisket can be acheived wither by keeping the smoker below about 200 F or wrapping in something porous. Any meat will become tender after being steamed for an hour.
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With brisket, as with london broil, you have to slice it against the grain of the meat. You said that it was juicy and you seemed to cook it long enough so I have to figure that you may have sliced it wrong. Slicing wrong can make the best cut of meat seem tough. Next time slice a corner off first and see which way the grain is going, find the gain and keep slicing in that direction. The grain can change anywhere so you have to keep an eye out. Also, the thinner, the better. Here's a video.
So over the weekend we did a little BBQ, some ribs, pulled pork, and a brisket that my roommate was doing. The pulled pork and ribs I was extremely happy with, but the brisket's texture just wan't quite right. This is what we did:
9-10lb brisket, dry rub
Cooked @225F for 7-8 hours
Smoked with hickory
Rested for 30 mins before slicing
Wrapped with foil @ 5 hours in
The flavor was fine and the meat juicy, but the texture was pretty similar to a flank steak. Waayy too tough for my liking. I've only been smoking for about a year now, but my gut thought is to cook longer to get a more tender cut. Any tips that you guys could offer would be great!
We're gonna be smoking 2 briskets tomorrow. Planning on starting early 5/6 am and smoking it for about 12 hours. Gonna be monitoring the temp closely also. Last time we smoked one it was only in the smoker for maybe 8 hrs and was a little chewy. Had good flavor though. Also gonna be smoking some pork at the same time. Smoking about 30 lbs of meat total tomorrow. Will be sealing most of that and freezing it for later. We like being able to pull a bag out of the freezer every so often and using it in chili, stew, or for tacos. The two briskets are seasoned a little different, pork will all be seasoned the way we normally do it.
I took and cut through the fat side like a checker board barely penetrating the meat. I read about someone doing that online, figured I'd try it. Then rubbed a little olive oil into the skinny side, then seasoned it and rubbed it down with mustard. Still learning about smoking brisket but we have the pork down to where everyone who eats it raves about it. I'll post back tomorrow night and let you all know how it turns out.
Decided to flip and baste them. Made up some pretty good tasting sauce, used Chris and pits BBQ sauce, apple cider, a cube of melted butter, and some brown sugar. Don't want to take any chance of these drying out.
That looks fantastic. I can't wait to smoke next weekend! We are doing 2 racks of ribs on my brother's smoker and a pork butt or two on mine. It has been a long time since I've smoked something! I'll definitely post pics in my build thread.
The way I look at it, if I'm gonna devote an entire day and spend money to smoke I may as well fill the smoker all the way up with meat. We take the meat after it rests and shred some, cube some, slice some, and after it cools we put so much in individual bags, heat shrink the bags and freeze it for later. This way anytime we want smoked pork tacos, stew, or chili with smoked flavoring it's readily available.
When we reheat the pork for tacos we just put a little olive oil and water for steam in the pan and heat it up. When it comes to making Chili, or stew all it takes in a small amount of the smoked meat in the crock pot to give it the smoked flavor we're looking for. We also add leftover tri tip to the stew and chili. Good stuff.
The main thing with a brisket is time and temperature. I've cooked.....I don't know, probably hundreds of briskets starting from knowing literally nothing about it to where I am now where I have become the designated pitmaster at just about any family event we have. I don't do competition brisket...I do low and slow, 12-14 hours for a 10-15 lb whole packer brisket and I don't put anything but a dry rub on it and smoke it with post oak and pecan (Pecan is fairly readily available here) but you can also use just about any fruit wood that smokes with a nice sweet smelling smoke.
I've wrapped mine a few times but wrapping it IMO takes away from that outside crust I love so much. When my brisket is done and after it rests and I cut into it I've got a nice thick 1/4" smoke ring around it and a nice black sweet flavorful crust around the exterior. In thin slices (like brisket is supposed to be cut) the bark is perfect for the taste of the meat. And the meat itself is to die for.....I have yet in my life to go to a BBQ joint who's brisket compares to mine except maybe Snow's in Lexington TX. And I live in Central TX and I've been to all the popular BBQ joints around here (Franklins, Everywhere in Lockhart, Luling City Market, and everywhere in Elgin) BTW, if you ever go to any of these cntrl TX bbq joints Snow's and Franklin's are by far the best. But they're both only open certain days and are done when they are sold out of meat which doesn't take long. If you go to Franklin's, expect to get there early if you want to get some meat and you'll still be waiting 2 hours at least. Snow's is a little less known, but their brisket is 'effing amazing.
But the only thing I do REALLY well is brisket and maybe chicken. My ribs are good, but usually a little TOO done, the bone just falls right out of them and that's not what you want so I get all my other meats from bbq joints. The best ribs I've had to this day are from City market in Luling and they've got an amazing bbq sauce and I'm not a big sauce fan at all. But luling's sauce is good enough to where I bought a 1/2 gallon of it to have here at the house. Luling's brisket is also better than average but isn't cooked in a pit that allows it to get a really good smoke ring so it's not as smoky as I'd like it.
Sorry....I got off onto a tangent on BBQ joints. My bad. BOT: The main thing with a brisket is season it how you like it then cook it at a low temp and for a long time (And IMO as a whole packer brisket) and you ought to be plenty proud of your results.