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taterheadtaterhead Posts: 19
edited 4:56PM in EggHead Forum
I've smoked several briskets but I never seem to get them just right to where they are tender. I either cook them to long or I take them off to early. I've held my temp to 220 to 250 degrees. I've tried wrapping in foil, I've tried taking them off at a certain temp (185 degrees). Any help please on smoking a perfect brisket from start to finish, when to know at what time to take off the smoker.


  • Some thoughts:

    1. Are you using whole packer briskets, brisket flats or those little pieces of brisket you sometimes see in the grocery store? If it's the latter, those are poor candidates for smoking. Flats and especially packers work fine.

    2. There needs to be an almost entirely solid 'fat cap' over one side of the brisket. You can trim this down to 1/8 to 1/4 inch, but it helps to keep the brisket moist. Groceries sometimes trim this off.

    3. How are you measuring temperature? The best way for long cooks, IMHO, is to use a probe thermometer with a cable that you can run out of the cooker to a digital display. And where in the brisket are you measuring temperature? You need to check the temp deep inside the flat.

    4. Are you fooling with your BBQ too often? Once you get the temp of your cooker stabilized with the meat on, you don't need to look at a thing for many hours. Opening up the cooker causes temperature swings and those are not your friend.

    5. Maybe you're just getting bad pieces of meat. Look for briskets with significant marbeling -- little streaks of fat interspersed throughout the meat -- to help with tenderness.

    6. Quit worrying so much. Worrying makes the meat tougher.
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