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slicing brisket

ribnrunribnrun Posts: 174
edited April 2012 in EggHead Forum
slSo last weekend I smoked a brisket. 250 to 275 dome temp. Didn't cook to time, cooked to temp. Pulled it at 195 internal and wrapped it in foil and towels in a cooler for 2hrs.
When I went to slice it I went against the grain. It would not slice. It basicially fell apart. Was super tender and actually quite tasty. However, I want to serve one next weekend that is slicable. So I am trying again today.
I am using packer cuts, 9 to 12 lbs. Just looking for suggestions.


  • GatoGato Posts: 766
    I use an electric knife. That is a good problem to have.
    Geaux Tigers!!!
  • I did my first brisket on Easter and had the same "problem." As Gato said, it's a good problem to have. I also used an electric knife and it worked pretty well.
  • ribnrunribnrun Posts: 174
    Last weekend's brisket was a practice run. It was purely for research and of course, my eating pleasure. Next weekend is my son's birthday party and I have many relatives coming over for some excellent bbq. I have impressed them before with tri tips, pulled pork, and some freaking awesome spares. I have expectations to live up to, lol. The presentation is key though. I have been eating some awesome chopped brisket sandwiches all week, but I want to do the whole sliced brisket on white bread thing. Cooking burgers and dogs day of too, that's what webers are for, right?
    So when do you brisket vets pull yer briskets so they are slicable? Should I pull it at a lower temp? Let it rest in the cooler less time? Got another one on right now. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,778
    I only have access to flats and always cook til a probe "slides into and out of the thickest part of the flat like butta".  Temp can be anywhere from 190-205*F.  That said, use a very sharp knife and you should be able to get the slices you are looking for.  Better to be tender cooked than the alternative.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • Sharpen your knife.

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  • ribnrunribnrun Posts: 174
    Seriously? A dull knife? Interesting, didn't think it was dull but I guess I'll give it a run through the lansky before I slice this one up.
  • ribnrunribnrun Posts: 174
    Coming along nicely so far, about 190 internal in the thick part. Gonna pull at 195 and let it rest for an hour. Sharpened my knife and then shaved half my arm with it, so I hope it slices well.
  • How did it go?

    A muslim, a socialist and an illegal immigrant walk into a bar 

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  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 982
    I don't think the sharpness of the knife is definitely the issue. My husband sharpens our knives on Japanese sharpening stones and they are razor sharp, yet I had the same issue with a brisket falling apart. It has happened to me only once, though, and I haven't changed anything with the cook. Must have been the meat, even though I buy from the same butcher all the time.
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,674
    Sounds like you cooked it too long and you are more approaching chopped beef. Try making the slices thicker if its falling apart, thinner if its tougher.

    Rowlett, Texas

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  • What is the length of your knife? That may be an issue, too. I use a 10" chef's knife and the (usually burnt) ends of the flat sometimes come off.

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  • ribnrunribnrun Posts: 174
    So it came out more slicable this time. Cooked to 190 internal in the flat. Rested an hour wrapped. Sharpened the hell out of my knife, a 9 inch meat knife, very old, was my father's. Could not cut it very thin, slices were a lil thick for what I was hoping for, but it will do.
    I cooked it for almost 10 hours, and it was a little over 10 lbs. I did crutch it through the stall. Temp fluctuated between 275 and 300. 300 at the end with the foil on it. Used a drip pan with water in it, only had to refill it once. Rubbed it with a mustard base, granulated garlic, and cow lick. Trimmed the fat to about a quarter of an inch. Spent a lot of time timming small pieces and silverskin off.
    The meat was pretty good, was juicy for a little while after I sliced it, but today at lunch it needed sauce. The thicker slices are actually pretty tender, not stringy at all. The point is melt in your mouth tender.
    Next weekend I do it for real, got about 30 people coming over. Ordered a brisket from the local store's meat counter (they are actually fantastic), said it will be a grass-fed choice or prime depending on what is available in the 12 pound range. Thanks for all your advice, wish me luck!
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