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Unsatisfied with my Brisket

Thunder1Thunder1 Posts: 1
edited 11:07PM in EggHead Forum
Looking for some good Brisket advice, please....I've smoked Brisket on an upright closet style smoker(a very thin gauge of steel, a $200.00 smoker)and a nice barrel smoker with an off set fire box, 1/4" thick general, my briskets have been very good using these smokers...generally, they've taken about 1.5 hours per lb. to smoke...
I have had much less luck with my XL Green short, the 3 briskets I've done to date are too dry, too tough and seem finished after about 1 hour per lb...
They have been about 6-8 lbs. in size...I used my usual mustard slather, a Texas style rub and a mop...used water pans with apple cider and onion...Well, I have figured out that I only need to start one fire in order to keep my temp. at about 230-250 dome heat( about 210-225 grill heat)....ran into issue of brisket getting to 155-160 degrees internal heat, but then drops temp(also learned this can be expected)...but, after about only 6 or 8 hours(about 1 hour per pound),my briskets seemed done..I haven't cooked them to a higher internal heat then 160...but, mustard slather hasn't burned off and brisket is dry and tough...
What do you folks think I'm doing wrong???..I'm using a mixture of lump charcoal and oak...think I should 1)wrap in aluminum foil after a few hours to perserve moisture, and 2)just wait out the internal temperature until it gets to 190-205??..please help...I'm wasting too much $(and daylight) the way I'm going....thanx, Chuck


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 13,736
    New to BGE but had lots of time with the above mentioned closet water smoker. First up-water smoker acts more like a steam room and egg like a sauna. So cooking times in general are longer on the egg. I have cooked several brisket flats weighing from 5-8 Lbs and every one averaged about 2.1-2.2 hours/lb to the 195-200*F range and twisted fork tender. This was with about 250*F calibrated dome temp. Did foil for at least an hour after getting to the finish temp and results were great.
    here are a couple of good links: and
    Hang in there as this too shall pass-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 5,428
    Chuck, even though your briskets are "dry and tough", you aren't cooking them enough! Pulling them at 160 degrees is way too early, you need to go for 195 to 205 F.
    Barbequed meats are soft when they're raw, but the collagen tightens up as they're heated and that squeezes out the water moisture, and toughens the meat. This is what happens when you grill a steak beyond 125 or so...
    As you continue to raise the temperature, however, the collagen itself melts, and THAT'S what lubricates good barbeque, not water moisture. Steaks don't have a lot of collagen, which is why they don't tenderize with more heat.
    If you don't have one, get a good meat thermometer and take your briskets to at least 195; you'll be very pleasantly surprised. I think you're doing everything else right!
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    It would be nice to see some pictures. Sounds like you are cooking the flat only.

    No foil needed, no water pan needed and it needs to cook until tender +/- 195°.

    Cook until the meat is tender. This cook was a whole brisket (flat + point).


    Your rub/slather all sounds OK as does your oak and lump mix.

    Several of the forum members have some great information about cooking brisket (and many other cooks). Here is one link that is pretty detailed.

    [url][/url] scroll down to the green writing, 1st item under beef.

  • Don't know if this helps you or not but I did my first brisket this past Saturday. Here are the results of my cook.

    Just wanted to say thanks for the tips and comments about my first brisket cook yesterday. The temp dropped from 169 down to 159. I asked for help from the forum and I chose to follow everyone's advise to do nothing but wait and after about 3 hours it started to climb through the plateau. I never touch the daisy wheel because it stayed pegged at 250 all day. It was a 6.5 pound flat and it cooked in 9.5 hours. I never peaked until the et-732 said the meat was 190 degrees. It looked totally black and looked like it was very dried out! I was freaked a little but I pulled it at 190. I poured 1 cup of apple cider over the "Texas Meteorite" I read that somewhere yesterday it's supposed to look totally black and it sure was! I then wrapped it in double foil and a beach towel for 2.5 hours. Note to self... I should have poured at least 2 cups of warm apple cider over the meat. It combined with the juices that came out of the meat while it rested and made a great tasting au jus (sp).

    The meat sliced very easy it did look a little dry not much though. The au jus was perfect, poured it over the sliced meat and everyone raved about the flavor. By the way I used 3 chunks of pecan wood and 1 hickory chunk. I guess what I am trying to say is follow the advise of the many people willing to help on this forum. I came about 5 minutes away, when the temp fell to 159, from increasing the temp of the cook which may have ruined the whole thing. Forgot to take pictures and meant to do that to. God I love this forum!!

    Buckeye Fan
  • jbennyjbenny Posts: 147
    I have done a good share of briskets and agree that you are pulling way way to early. I always pull at around 190-195. A lot also has to do with the brisket you are using. I like to do whole untrimmed briskets (packers cut) because if you want to do burnt ends you can. Here are my rules for choosing a brisket:

    1) Make sure there is at least 1/4 inch fat cap, if there is more that's not a big deal you can always trim.

    2) When you pick it up make sure that it bends easily

    3) Only buy left handed briskets (when you hold the point towards you it bends to the left).

    Your lump mixture sounds awesome, I wish we could find oak down here and pull at 190 - 195. Always cook to temp not time as I did 3 10lb briskets all at once and had one done at 12 hrs, another done at 14 hrs and the last done at 15 hrs.
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