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Brisket Fail - Help Needed

Last weekend, I did my first brisket and it turned out to be very tough.

  • 5.55 lb brisket with a 1/2 inch fat cap
  • Rubbed in Dizzy Dust (couldn't find Cow Lick) and mustard
  • Set in a pan of Allegro, onion, Fat Tire and some hot sauce (Travis Method)
  • Smoked with a mix of hickory and cherry chunks
  • Cooked at 255* from 11:30am until 5:45am when I woke up and it the fire went WAY down to 179*
  • Jacked the vents open and got it back up to 255* and then it shot back up to 289* for maybe 15-20 minutes, I adjusted it back down to 255*.
  • Finally hit 195* internal temp at 7:30am (total time was around 8 hours)
  • FTC for 4.5 hours
Turned out really tough while the brisket had a ton of liquid in the foil.  Some spots had a smoke ring while others didn't.  Did I cook it too long?  Anything else I can fix?  Is the liquid a reason why it was tougher lock-in a temperature?  I didn't really have issues with locking in a temperature while doing ribs and a pork butt.

Thanks!
Large BGE
GR

Comments

  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 1,784
    edited July 2013

    I doubt you cooked it too long.  I see 3 possibilities here - and it is probably a combination of issues.

    1) Maybe not a great piece of meat to start with.

    2) Maybe not cooked long enough.  Apparently, some briskets need to go to 210 before they actually get tender.  Each brisket is different.

    3) At 5.5 pounds it sounds like it is just a brisket flat.  Flats are really hard to get right.  Personally, the best I've ever done with a flat was "good flavor, but a little dry"

    I am not one of the local brisket gurus so I hope that some others chime in.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • Foghorn said:

    I doubt you cooked it too long.  I see 3 possibilities here - and it is probably a combination of issues.

    1) Maybe not a great piece of meat to start with.

    2) Maybe not cooked long enough.  Apparently, some briskets need to go to 210 before they actually get tender.  Each brisket is different.

    3) At 5.5 pounds it sounds like it is just a brisket flat.  Flats are really hard to get right.  Personally, the best I've ever done with a flat was "good flavor, but a little dry"

    I am not one of the local brisket gurus so I hope that some others chime in.

    Thanks a ton.  I appreciate it.  I was hoping the fat on top would've provided some opportunity to assist with the "dryness" but it didn't.
    Large BGE
    GR
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,344
    The best test for brisket being done is when you can probe the thickest part of the flat (applies to packers as well) and get no resistance in or out.  Temperature when this occurs is generally in the 195-205*F range-but the "feel" is the key.  Just keep at it-and enjoy the journey.  FWIW-
    Louisville
  • hondabbqhondabbq Posts: 964
    1130 am - 545 am? That's 18 hours for a 5.5 lb brisket. My 15 pounder only took 14.5 hours

    Winnipeg, Manitoba.

    Sledder, Quadder, Rock and Roller, Big Green Egg Smoker.

  • six_eggsix_egg Posts: 594
    hondabbq said:
    1130 am - 545 am? That's 18 hours for a 5.5 lb brisket. My 15 pounder only took 14.5 hours

    I think he meant 11:30 PM not AM

    XLBGE, LBGE growing accessories.

    Want: Ceramicgrillworks 2 tier large, Dutch oven, Cyber Q Wifi

    Grenada, MS

  • hondabbq said:
    1130 am - 545 am? That's 18 hours for a 5.5 lb brisket. My 15 pounder only took 14.5 hours
    Yes, PM.  My fault...
    Large BGE
    GR
  • I think it was not done yet.  When it is done, it will be tender.   Although a 5 pounder is about the smallest of briskets.  It may have gone too far and started to turn into jerky?  I'd get a bigger one with a big fat cap.
  • bobmugge said:
    I think it was not done yet.  When it is done, it will be tender.   Although a 5 pounder is about the smallest of briskets.  It may have gone too far and started to turn into jerky?  I'd get a bigger one with a big fat cap.
    Thanks a ton...it was just too fatty/tough.  
    Large BGE
    GR
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