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could not slice brisket - did i cook it too long?

pipedreampipedream Posts: 58
edited 6:14AM in EggHead Forum
I smoked a whole brisket this weekend. Marinated in a rub for five hours, then I smoked it one hour and fifteen minutes per pound (it was an 11 pounder) with dome temp of 250, fat cap down, bacon slices on top. When I took it off it had an internal temp of 202, I put the point back on and foiled and toweled the flat in an empty cooler for 2 hours.
When I tried to slice the brisket, it was too fall apart tender. What a problem, I know! So I had to just pull/chip it. It tasted great, very moist, very smokey, but I really wanted those pretty slices. I tried a serated knife and a regular knife, and I tried across the grain and with the grain, it was no use. So my question is, did I cook it too long? And by the way, I chopped the point up and made some killer baked beans!


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,750
    on the next one give it a fork test starting around 185, then every 5 degrees til it seems done. most have the habit of undercooking and getting tough meat, yours sounds better.

  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    I agree with fishlessman. Your better off cooking longer and shredding than tough. He gives good advice on fork test.[p]Mike

  • BraddogBraddog Posts: 212
    pipedream,[p]I use an electric knife and that seems to help.[p]Braddog
  • Buster Dog BBQBuster Dog BBQ Posts: 1,366
    pipedream,[p]I had this happen to me but it was after the cooler. It was very fork tender then foiled for about4 hours. Still over 140 when I took it out and hard as a rock when I tried to cut it. Lucky for me the point was still good so I had to turn that in chopped up. I used an injectible marinade so maybe it dried to fast. I dont know.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    fishlessman has it right on testing. The baisc message is that you should use the recipe as a guide, but stay in touch with your cook -- regardless what you are cooking.[p]

  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    Brisket is a hard piece of meat to nail IMHO. I've cook a fair amount and I love it for flavor. I normally can't slice once to save my life. Last one I cooked I nailed, best I've cooked to date. Injecting it seemed to make it cook faster. Try something like the beef injection recipe in Ray's first book.[p]Might want to pull it sooner and then cooler it.[p]H

  • pipedreampipedream Posts: 58
    thanks guys-
    yeah, can't complain on the taste or texture. it had an awesome flavor from the rub and smoke and it was very moist and tender. i just wanted those nice slices! one more question, do you slice it against or with the grain?

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    pipedream,[p] You slice it against the grain.[p]If you have a tough piece of meat (london broil) you slice each slice thinner. If you have a super tender chunk of meat like an over cooked brisket you make the slices thicker.[p]Brisket slices should be the thickness of a #2 lead pencil.[p]Now I am off to Upstate NY.. Ya'll behave now.
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