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Bad luck with brisket

I'm cooking flats on an XL Egg, and I cannot get the bark to form - it keeps coming out wet and soggy. If I let it go longer, it gets too hot and shreds.[p]I'm following all the advice in the posts - 225 temp, wrapping at 165 - 170, pulling at 200, resting in towel and cooler, etc.[p]Any advice? Perhaps my rub doesn't have enough sugar to form the bark?


  • CCope89,
    You are really using a low temperature. I always do mine at 300 dome (aprox 260 grate) temp and they get great. No foiling during cook time... pull at 190 , then foil and wrap and let sit in cooler for 2 to 4 hours. This is the technique that DRBBQ taught us at his class last year. The bark should form at the first phase ... few hours of the cook I think ... by the end of the cooking time, it should look like a scorched meteorite until you cut into it! [p]Also, suggest you try to get the entire brisket ..called the "packer" as I think it gets better if you have the entire thing. More fat in the point I think is what causes this. Happy Eggin. [p]

    Fred A. Bernardo , owner of Tasty Licks BBQ Supply in Shillington, Pa. 
  • CCope89,
    Dump the foil. The Egg does a fine job keeping the brisket moist by itself, the foil holds too much moiture at the surface and ruins the bark.
    The towel in the cooler trick should be reserved for holding longer than 3 or 4 hours. This also does nothing to produce a bark, and if you don't have much bark to start with, this definitely won't help, it'll just keep it soggy.[p]I use whole packers, rub and wrap overnight on ice, unwrap, slather with mustard and apply more rub to build up a nice base for the bark. Dome temp 200-225 indirect for 18-24 hours til the internal temp reaches 190, separate the flat from the point, put the flat into a pan and cover with foil while the point goes back on a 250 deg Egg til it reaches 200. Sometimes I ramp the dome temp up to 250-275 after the internal temp comes up above 170 if I need to finish it faster.[p]That flat will still be around 160 after 3 hours just sitting on the counter, no need for a cooler. In competition I slice the flat and cube the point, but at home I chop it all up and mix it in together, even the best flat doesn't thrill me by itself.[p]Cheers,

  • I also agree that 225 dome is just too low...Dome temps that range anywhere from 250 - 300 are ideal...That gives you a better grid temp and will help form the outer bark that you're looking for....225 is a "sexy" smoking temperature best used on other smokers...but entirely unnecessary when using the BGE...with the platesetter in place...That's the "magic" of the BGE...which keeps meats moist during the smoking process...Ramp it up a bit..[p]Ed McLean
    Ft. Pierce, FL

  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    As said go a little higher on the temp. Sean also made a good point in that foil is best used towards the end if you need to "cheat" and speed up the cook.

  • CCope89,
    I will also recommend what Citizen Q says about putting the rub on early. Let it melt into the brisket then wrap it and put in the fridge. Then when you ready for the egg add more rub. I have used the foil method before and that had produced a bark for me.

  • Citizen Q,[p]How do you replenish the lump for a 20 some hour smoke?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you want firmer, crispier bark, then i think the foiling/toweling/cooler part is working against you. that's a warm humid environment, and tends to soften the bark.[p]you can bump temps at the end or go direct for the last hour, to firm up the bark. rest, then slice.[p]

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • RonboRonbo Posts: 90
    XL, don't. After 20 hours I have always found plenty left over for short cooks

  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    CCope89,[p]You sort of have a two part question. Your bark has not matured enough for you by the time the brisket is up to 165°.... Are you cooking with the fat cap down? Are you basting? Is there any liquid in your drip pan? One of these things may be affecting bark formation.[p]Foiling is for tenderizing (and sometimes to hurry the cook along), the braising action will soften what bark there is. Even if you don't finish cooking (165° to 195°) in foil, resting in foil will do the same thing to the bark. [p]~thirdeye~

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    CCope89,[p]I have to concur with most of the other replies. I have cooked a lot of brisket, and I usually have very good results. I cook mine at a dome of 260, indirect, over a drip pan with nothing in it. I do not foil (with rare exception). I do not mop. I put meat on and do not open the lid until it is done. I usually take mine to at least 197, sometimes higher depending on fat content. I rest mine under a foil tent unless I have to let it rest for more than an hour, in which case I will wrap in foil and cooler.[p]I get a really good crusty bark with a tender, moist interior. Anything you to do increase moisture at the meat surface will decrease the bark.[p]This one began life as a 9 pounder. 16 hours later we have Exhibit A:[p]Doneat200.jpg[p]
  • XL,
    I fill my Eggs with lump well up into the fire ring before almost every cook. They will hold temps in the 200-225 range for over 30 hours on one load of lump.[p]Cheers,

  • JeevesJeeves Posts: 461
    CCope89,[p]I feel your pain.[p]My first couple briskets were great. My last one was DRY. I did have some great bark on it though![p]After reading another post here, I think I know the difference.[p]The last one, I used with the guru and I did it low, I mean like 205-225° pit temp![p]My first ones were dome temp 300ish, so the pit temp was around 260-270 ish...[p]I'll try another this weekend.[p]Also, don't forget the drip pan - at least put some water in it. Some put all sorts of things in there - dr. pepper, apple cider/juice, woo sauce, beef broth...[p]-Jeeves[p]
  • Thanks Jeeves and all who replied. I wish it was Friday instead of Tuesday so I can try another one right now!! Thanks again - great advice.[p]-CCope89

  • mikemike Posts: 152
    CCope89, I have had great luck with briskets. I rub them with a bbq rub from Ray lampe cook book the night before. Place on the grill at 225 close and just let it go for 12 hours. I also use a remote thermonter to keep an eye on the meet. You might think about taking it off the grill after 3 hours and wrap it in foil and replace it back on the grill for another 3 plus hours this is another way that I have done it. I by my beef briskets from cost co. I try to stay away from walmart ect. I have cooked 10 this way and have never had a bad one. Just keep an eye on the grill temp dont let it get to hot. 225 to 230 max for me. low and slow. Mike.

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