Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Dry, tough brisket on large Egg (4th attempt)

RoadKillBBQRoadKillBBQ Posts: 23
edited 6:14AM in EggHead Forum
Alright, I'm crying uncle and asking for help.

I've attempted brisket 4 times on a large Egg, and all of them turned out dry and chewy.

I've tried separating the flat from the point, I've tried leaving the brisket whole (with and without the fat cap), etc, etc.

For every attempt, I've used a drip tray filled with a liquid (mop sauce, water, beer, etc) and indirect heat to help provide a damp heat environment.

I use two polder thermometers, one for monitoring the air temp near the meat, and another buried in the thickest part of the meat up. The probe is embedded up to where the metal probe begins to curve.

Cooking temps range from 225 - 250F on the polder thermometers. I cook until the polder monitoring the meat reads 185F, then I wrap the meat in foil and towels and place in an ice chest for a hour or so. Cook times vary based on the size and weight of the meat (6 - 8 hours).

Invariably, the meat is dry and chewy.

I grew up eating killer Texas BBQ brisket cooked by my grandfather in an old oil drum type smoker, but he passed away before I got old enough to be interested in picking up the torch and carrying on the tradition.

Please help a Texan recover a piece of his heritage.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
«1

Comments

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    What temperature do you pull the meat at? Before pulling off the egg, how do you test the meat to see if it is tender?

    This is an interesting read which you should find useful.
    Playing With Fire and Smoke - Brisket

    GG
  • RoadKillBBQRoadKillBBQ Posts: 23
    I usually pull the meat off when the polder that is monitoring the meat reads 185F. When the meat is resting in the ice chest, it reaches about 195F before I pull it out and slice it.

    I've tried the fork test, but the meat is never tender and seems dry by the time the thermometer reads 185F.

    I'll try reading the reference you provided, thanks.

    - Steven
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    I have never pulled a brisket at that low of a temperature. I usually begin probing for the meat to be tender at 195°.

    There are 3 or 4 members that have posted pictures of brisket that just looks unbelievably moist. I have not been able to get to that level of moisture. When I cook the brisket it has been moist when eaten.

    This was 250° and pulled about 197° but my pull test was done with a Probe.

    packer6.jpg

    packer8_flat.jpg

    This had a great texture and was moist when eaten.
    packer8_flat_closeup.jpg

    GG
  • Rafter RRafter R Posts: 120
    RoadKill:

    I have not cooked to temp, just long and until I liked it. But an expert friend of mine says wait until your meat hits 205 to pull it off the fire. He wraps in foil when meat hits 150 range and then finishes. I leave it on unwrapped until I am done. I cook at 225F

    My second brisket on the egg (an 11 pound packer trim)...I pulled it at 12 hours. let it rest and started to slice. It was not tough but more firm than I wanted. I put it back on for another 4 hours and then it was real juicy and so tender it was difficult to slice.

    Also make sure you start with a limber brisket. I have always been told if it is stiff raw it will be stiff no matter how long you cook it.
  • RoadKillBBQRoadKillBBQ Posts: 23
    Boy, those brisket pictures look good.

    Mine never look that tender. Given how dry the meat is already when I pull it off, I can't see how leaving it on longer will make it more tender/moist. What am I missing ? The meat is always a bit chewy and dry. The chewiness seems to indicate that some of the connective tissue hasn't broken down.

    Those pictures remind me of something else. I can't seem to get a good crust on the meat either.
  • RoadKillBBQRoadKillBBQ Posts: 23
    Maybe I should describe the meat as firm when I take it off. When placed in the mouth, it ends up "chewy".

    So the answer from Dogfish's comments is to leave in the smoker longer until the internal temp is 200 - 205F ??

    That seems counterintuitive, but what I'm doing now isn't working so what the heck. The worst that happens is that I get some beef jerky out of the effort :blink:
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    RoadKillBBQ wrote:
    ...The meat is always a bit chewy and dry. The chewiness seems to indicate that some of the connective tissue hasn't broken down.

    Those pictures remind me of something else. I can't seem to get a good crust on the meat either.

    I am not all that knowledgeable with brisket cooking and I rely on more experienced eggr's for guidance.

    Guessing here... I keep thinking you are pulling the meat too soon.

    The "crust" (bark) has a lot to do with the rub. I do put rub on heavy.

    Make sure you cut your flat against the grain for more tender feeling texture.

    If the brisket comes out more like it would pull (very tender) then cut the pieces thicker. If the brisket comes out a bit tough/dry then cut the pieces thinner. The way you cut the end product can enhance the eat.

    GG

    GG
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
     
    Interesting... I have cooked a roast to 225° and held there for about 45 minutes and that comes out fork tender.

    I 'tent' with foil if the bark seems to be overdeveloping.

    The best advice I have ever gotten from the forum is cook the food till it's done (temperature wise) and don't worry about cooking to time.

    Thanks for the post.

    GG
  • BasscatBasscat Posts: 778
    They weren't done. I usually pull mine after 190, sometimes 200, when it passes the fork test. And that usually takes well over 10 hours in the 225-250 range, I think I remember going 14 once. I'm no expert, but that's what works for me.
  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    hmmmmm....225 max, fat side down, cook untill tender, the hell with time or temp. wrap in foil and let it rest. You may get one that looks like this...

    P1290002-1.jpg

    DSC00664-1.jpg

    http://bubbatim.com/Bubba_s_Brisket.php

    Welcome to the journey....
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 http://www.sunshinestateeggfest.com You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit www.bubbatim.com for BRISKET HELP
  • RoadKillBBQRoadKillBBQ Posts: 23
    Sounds like I'm getting paranoid and pulling the meat too soon. Next time, I'll cook it until the polder reads at least 200F and hope for the best.

    So to get a good bark I need a good rub. That leads to the next question: can you recommend a good rub for a Texas style brisket ?

    Thanks
  • RoadKillBBQRoadKillBBQ Posts: 23
    Wait ... the last response said 225F ? What temp did you run the smoker at (air temp at the meat) ?

    So ... do I pull the meat at 200F? Or 225F? or ignore the temp and pull the meat when it's tender ?
  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    TENDER!
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 http://www.sunshinestateeggfest.com You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit www.bubbatim.com for BRISKET HELP
  • RoadKillBBQRoadKillBBQ Posts: 23
    Got it. Leave it on the smoker until it's tender, don't worry about time or specific temperatures.

    Do you foil your briskets for the later stages of the cook ?

    Can you recommend a good rub for a Texas style brisket ?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    dry and fall apart is overcooked.
    dry and tough is undercooked
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Rafter RRafter R Posts: 120
    I set my egg at 225F on dome thermometer, cooked until tender which happened to be about 14 - 15 hours for my 11 pound brisket. I like fat side up, but find what you like and stick with that. If you like it, then it is not wrong.

    I used a simple rub I found via internet search, it claimed Texas Rub: this was good for about 5-6 lb brisket
    2 TBS fresh ground black pepper
    1 TBS kosher/sea salt
    1 TBS chilli powder
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp dried parsley
    1 tsp oregano
    1 tsp sugar

    www.the-greatest-barbecue-recipes.com/dry-rub-recipes-3.html
  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    fffffffoil? I never foil during any cook. Sorry, I am old school. I only foil when I rest the meat. I like John Henry's Pecan Rub, but Carnivor and Dizzy make great rubs also. If you are looking for a "Texas Meteorite" birsket, paint your beast with yellow mustard. Makes the bark and does not impart any flavor.
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 http://www.sunshinestateeggfest.com You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit www.bubbatim.com for BRISKET HELP
  • I got a recipe from a friend who is from TX. He convinced me to do the brisket direct on a raised grate. I was very hesitant and skeptical but it was awesome. Very tender and juicy. What is your email address? Its easier to email the recipe rather than retype. I've yet to figure put how to copy and paste from a PDF to this forum so I'd rather email the PDF to you I'd your interested. This recipe will take 6-9 hrs and it's great.
    Large & MiniMax in Lexington, KY
  • I love the smoke ring, very nice and I'm sure very tasty
    Large & MiniMax in Lexington, KY
  • BasscatBasscat Posts: 778
    My Egg ( a Medium) seems real happy around 250, so I don't argue, that's the temp we cook at. I start checking the brisket when it hits around 190, and pull it when it's tender, and rest it for at least a half hour in foil and towels, preferably an hour or more.
  • BasscatBasscat Posts: 778
    True 'dat ;-) Well said...
  • RoadKillBBQRoadKillBBQ Posts: 23
    Hi Michael,

    My email address is steven_bartling@yahoo.com. Thanks !
  • davehempdavehemp Posts: 109
    I'd like to have that recipe also, if it's not too much trouble...I like cooking raised direct - kind of gives a "spit roasted" flavor I love...
  • LImp BrisketLImp Brisket Posts: 115
    If you are using "select" grade briskets from HEB that's part of the problem. Try using Certified Angus Brand, or USDA certified "choice" grade. You may also want to try injecting with FAB, or Butchers Beef injections. Don't poke several different holes to see if it's tender. A great Texas rub is Texas BBQ Rub's
    Grand Champion BBQ Rub.
  • tbk420tbk420 Posts: 70
    RoadKillBBQ wrote:
    Maybe I should describe the meat as firm when I take it off. When placed in the mouth, it ends up "chewy".

    So the answer from Dogfish's comments is to leave in the smoker longer until the internal temp is 200 - 205F ??

    That seems counterintuitive, but what I'm doing now isn't working so what the heck. The worst that happens is that I get some beef jerky out of the effort :blink:

    I used to think this, too.

    However, the longer it cooks, the better opportunity for the tough connective tissues to break down into collagen. Collagen lubricates the interior of the meat (and our mouth), which is what tells our brains it is "moist".
  • srq2625srq2625 Posts: 262
    I'd love to have it as well (s.r.quier@cox.net).

    In fact, if you send to me and if you like, I'll re-type it and post it back here. How's that for a deal?
  • nuynainuynai Posts: 101
    Am going to try one this summer for first time. Question I have is, is a drip tray under the brisket recommended or necessary. Thanks in advance.
  • My suggestion is somewhat in line with KentuckyWildcat. I suggest you stay with a full brisket if you can get it, otherwise the biggest flat you can get. Cook at 275 indirect and don't pull it til fork tender, which for me is usually 195-205. I think the shortened cook time that 275 brings is a big help. I use lots of mesquite too!! I don't mop. Scott
  • Egg JujuEgg Juju Posts: 658
    I will probably echo what a few others have said. I cook at 225 with the fat side up. I foil somewhere in the 170ish range as well. It maybe a crutch, but it works. Then when it reaches 195 I wiggle the probe to see if there is any resistance. If it feels like the probe is in anything but butter let it go longer. I have had briskets go another 2 hours from 195 up to the 205 - 210 range. Each one is different. I have mopped and not mopped with the only difference being the flavor. I have been fortunate and had good success.

    8.JPG

    6.JPG

    6.JPG

    5.JPG
    Large and Small BGE * www.quelfood.com
  • CrimsongatorCrimsongator Posts: 5,791
    Where do you live? Are you still in Texas.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.