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Brisket Question

RustyEggRustyEgg Posts: 25
edited 8:25AM in EggHead Forum
Cooking my second brisket this afternoon but need some advise to avoid my past mistakes. My first brisket was good but it seemed over cooked and just short of a hockey puck. I cooked it indirect with a dome temp around 275. Reading some of the instructions in the recipe section I settled on setting my temp gauge for a target of 195. The brisket weighed in at 4 lbs and after 7 hours I pulled even though the internal temp didn't make it to 195 (stuck at about 185). I am curious as to the different target temps the recipes call for. There seems to be two preferences lower targets set at around 165 and higher targets set around 195. Can anyone explain this? We prefer our meats cooked to medium; should I set the target to the lower temps to achieve this?

Any advice is greatly appriciated.



  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    If this one turns out good, and you need a second opinion.....Call me! :whistle:
  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    I'm far from a brisket expert, but here goes. No such thing as "medium" for brisket. It's a tough cut of meat, and it needs to be cooked well done, and then some to get it tender. 165 is not done enough to soften it up. It needs to go to 195 to break down the connective tissue. Then, it needs to rest in foil, wrapped in towels and put into a cooler for a few hours. I think 275 Dome is a bit high and would suggest 230-250. Some put the flat into foil at the 160 mark, add some liquid, and continue to cook until 195 or so. I do whole briskets at 230 till 195. Not always the same. Sometimes tougher, sometimes more tender, depends on the cow I guess. Hope this helps.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,867
    drop the dome temp down to 250, cook to 190 and then keep cooking until its fork tender, get a bigger brisket as small ones dont cook right. i cant explain why anyone would cook a brisket to 165 unless they are cooking a corned beef brisket for thin sliced pastrami. brisket needs to be cooked to higher temps to get it to break down, medium is not the way to go with these as it will be extremely tough. mark the direction of the grain before cooking so you know which way to cut it when its finished as you want to cut against the grain, not with it. wrap in foil before slicing once its tender and place it in a cooler for a couple hours and it will be more tender.
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,716
    Howdy Rusty, brisket is not your typical beef cut. Can't think in terms of rare, medium or well done. Brisket is cooked to super well done, 195-200 internal meat temperature to create tender beef.

    The 165 you mentioned is typically a target if you want to foil the brisket during the back end of the cook. Foil at 165 and continue to cook until the internal temp reaches the 195-200 target. Sometimes foiling can add to tenderness and juiciness.

    If your brisket, brisket flat actually, is under five pounds, I suggest foiling at 165 till 195ish. Under five pounds is a small flat for brisket which impacts tenderness and juiciness.

    There is more to a brisket cook, but hopefully this answers your question. t ACGP, Inc.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    There are certainly more brisket Eggsperts out there than me and I demonstrated that fact many times before I was ready to give up. Then I stopped following most advice and started creating my own recipe and method. Every brisket since then has gotten better to the point where it is now "fantastic."

    Someone mentioned a few years back that meat contains water and water boils at 212°. So if you cook anything at 212° or higher you are essentially boiling the water out. Realizing that grid temperature and dome temperature are different by as much as 30/40° I try to keep the grid temperature at around 215/220°, maybe a little closer to 225°, but certainly not more than that. It seems to make a difference in moisture retention.

    I also took Dr. BBQ's advice and started cooking with the fat side down. I used to think being upside added juices to the meat.

    I also stopped opening the Egg to see if I needed to do something. Waste of time and probably does more harm than anything else I could do. It became easier for me to leave it closed when I got my BBQ Guru.

    After some noticeably better results I figured I could do even better by wrapping the brisket in foil at some point after it reached plateau. I did it for an hour and then two hours, removing the foil afterward for the finish to 195° internal target. The results were that it helped to tenderize the brisket more but it was still a bit dry and needed BBQ sauce to make it more palatable. I don't particularly like to mask the flavor of the meat with a sauce but I do enjoy enhancing the meat's natural flavor with seasonings. So back to the drawing board.

    Then I started injecting the brisket, sometimes overnight and sometimes just before putting on the Egg. I use just about anything that I think would enhance but not mask the flavor. Off the top of my head I seem to recall desolving some kosher salt into warm water, then adding some maple syrup, cane syrup, cane vinegar, balsamic vinegar, Hershey syrup, honey, white grape juice, Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade, Soy sauce, and anything else my active little pea-brain can conjur up. About a tablespoon of each except for the salt (2tbsp), water (1/2 cup) and white grape juice (1/2 to 3/4 cup).

    Then I do a liberal rub down with Dizzy Pig Raising The Steaks and some Tex-Joy Steak Seasoning. Either one of these would be good by themself. I suppose I could use other rubs but the combination seems to do a really great job.

    Egg setup is simple: indirect with a 2" high drip pan about 3/4 full of water, five or six chunks of hickory or pecan or mesquite or a combination of anything that smokes, and plenty of lump. I don't see much difference in wet vs dry smoking wood so I stay with dry and put about half of it directly on the fire with the other half further out.

    I plug in my Polder and Guru, set it and forget it.

    When it reaches plateau around 160°, or sometime thereafter, I open the Egg, wrap the brisket in foil and replace it on the grid as quickly as possible. I re-insert the temperature probes, close the lid and go do something else for a couple of hours.

    I then open the foil and leave it that way until it reaches 195° internal. There will be lots of juices in the foil that would have been lost.

    When it reaches target, I take it off being very careful not to smill the juices, close up the foil and wrap in another layer of foil, then a heavy towel and place it gently inside my brisket box for at least two hours. I've kept it in the box up to six hours and it was still so hot I could hardly touch it.

    Slice and eat without sauce, then grin like there's no tomorrow. Another, "I Did Good."

    Hope this helps.

    Spring "Simple Recipe Made Longer By Technology" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Funny thing. I have a 11 pounder on right now. Put it on at 11 last night. Covered with white sugar Monday, let it sit overnight. Last night while egg was stabilizing I rubbed with a light coat of mustard, then hit it with turb sugar, garlic powder, Cowlick, and Hungarian paprika.

    I cooked it at 228 dome according to Mr. DigiQ. I noticed it hit 161, then dropped to 157, then stayed there for close to 5 hours. Once it broke out and hit 165 I then injected it with beef broth and Cowlick - as much as I could get it to hold. This dropped the internal temps a bit. When it came back up to 175 I foiled it. I usually don't foil, but this time I figured why not give it a rip?

    It has been in foil about 90 minutes. I am going to open it in a few to finish to 195-200 then in the cooler.

    Very similar to your method, except I am trying the injection post plateau this time. Oh, and I'm using cherry and pecan chunks (2 of each).

    Of course pictures and a review will come tonight.
  • I also stopped opening the Egg to see if I needed to do something. Waste of time and probably does more harm than anything else I could do.


  • I also stopped opening the Egg to see if I needed to do something. Waste of time and probably does more harm than anything else I could do.


  • I also stopped opening the Egg to see if I needed to do something. Waste of time and probably does more harm than anything else I could do.


  • I also stopped opening the Egg to see if I needed to do something. Waste of time and probably does more harm than anything else I could do.


  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,716
    you must be baptist, we catholics only require one Amen......LOL. ACGP, Inc.
  • I thought maybe he just had a studder and was going to be polite and not call attention to it.
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