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Brisket Flat - Need Your Help

KMagnusKMagnus Posts: 114
edited 2:20PM in EggHead Forum
For the record, I've searched the forum as well as numerous cookbooks (Dr. BBQ - Paul Kirk - etc...) before ever attempting my first brisket. I used a slather, a rub, a mop, hickory wood for smoke, low/slow fire 220-250 and brought it to an internal of approximately 190-200. It was tender, really good taste, but the meat was overcooked and dry.

Recently I was in a store where they had greatly discounted brisket flats, so I bought 5 since I have a vacuum seal machine. Cooked the first one a couple of weeks ago - and ended with the same result. No smoke ring - overcooked - no moisture - but good taste. I realize cooking a flat is different than cooking a full packer, but still felt my approach was similar to what I had been reading.

I'm not wrapping in foil at any point - and don't know if that's my issue. Or if I'm simply letting the internal temp get past the point where I should have pulled it.

I'm thawing up another of the flats, but figured I'd better find out what others are doing to produce the awesome smoke ring and melt-in-your mouth moist meat.

Based on the detail I've provided, can someone point me to the error of my ways?



  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,911
    Hmmm..., I do mine very similar (and have always done just flats).

    The only difference I can see based on your description is that I don't mop. If fact, I usually don't open the lid AT ALL until the brisket reaches 190-195.

    I put mustard on, then the rub, get my egg to about 235 grid level (that probably 250 - 260 dome temp), then don't peek until it's nearly done! When I pull it, I wrap it in foil and put it in the cooler for 1 to 4 hrs (depending on when I want to eat it!)

    I've yet to have a bad brisket, maybe I've just been lucky, but I always do it the same way :)
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,751
    I follow pretty much your recipe except as mentioned by ChokeOnSmoke I don't even look til temp is in the 180's.
    Smoke ring is a function of smoke and time for meat to clear 140*F. Not sure how much wood you are using.
    After passing the twisted fork test, I do wrap in HDAF with some beef broth and rest in a cooler for at least an hour. Then open the foil and let the brisket rest for around 15-20 minutes (juices redistribute) before slicing.
    Been lucky so far.
    Check these sites for more info;
    All the info you will ever need.
    Good luck-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • transversaltransversal Posts: 719
    Just out of curiosity, what kind of thermometer are you using? Have you calibrated it?
  • KMagnusKMagnus Posts: 114
    Currently using a cheap Taylor digital, but yes, I make sure it and my dome themometer are calibrated between every 3-4 uses.

  • KMagnusKMagnus Posts: 114
    I actually checked all the sites you've listed prior to the first brisket. I took enough notes between sources that I thought I had a good approach.

    Anytime I do a indirect slow cook, I always have the lump almost to the top of the fire ring. For actual wood smoke, I'm using 2 chunks of hickory.

    As long as the meat turned out moist, I'd be happy with or without a smoke ring. But I seem to recall the last one taking about 5 hours to get to 140. It was shortly thereafter I started mopping every 30-45 minutes.

    I haven't used an injection - yet - but I swore the next one I did would be.

    Thanks for your feedback!
  • KMagnusKMagnus Posts: 114
    As you mentioned - seems like the mop is the main difference. Because I'm starting the mop about 5 hours in, I'm definintely lifting the lid before it reaches 190-195.

    I won't use a mop on the next one just to see if it makes a difference, but I'm still thinking of injecting it.

    Thank for your feedback!
  • BobinFlaBobinFla Posts: 363
    I don't cook brisket flats, so I have no idea if what I am thinking would work on a flat or not, but...

    I'd cook it a little hotter. 275 to 300. Works for me with trimmed packers. I also rarely even check anything 'til it's about 195, then I'll stick a fork in, and try to twist. If it twists, it's done! And juicy.

  • transversaltransversal Posts: 719
    I'm stumped.......I don't mop, don't add smoking wood, never open the Egg until my remote term says I'm at 190* internal and I always shoot to cook at 250* dome. I have been fortunate.......never had a brisket come out that wasn't killer.......and I am no genius. I've been grilling all my life, but just got my egg in early January.....that makes me an Eggin Newbee. It almost sounds like you have a meat product problem rather than a grilling technique problem. But I will defer to those far wiser than I on this site. Good luck with it. You'll get it right....I did....and if I can, it's within a gorilla's grasp.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,751
    Don't know if you have prior water/gasser smoking experience but the egg is a different animal. All of my brisket flats (5-8 lbs) take around 2.1-2.2 hours/lb to get to the promised land. May not matter but it has been consistent and a much longer smoke time than in my previous life!
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • KMagnusKMagnus Posts: 114
    I’ve had my BGE longer, but have only made the 2 attempts I mentioned at brisket. Prior to getting it, I never attempted a brisket.

    The flats I bought are really lean. I’m thinking maybe an injection and wrapping them more than half way through might help.

  • KMagnusKMagnus Posts: 114
    I'll still have several to experiment with, so I may bump up the temp on one and see how it goes.

  • transversaltransversal Posts: 719
    FWIW......I only buy flats and I always shoot for something in the range of 8 pounds, even if I have to order it. I also request that a fat cap of 1/8 to 1/4 inch be left on the brisket and I cook'em fat side up.

    There are many on this site who totally disagree with my approach and they are probably totally correct. But it has worked for me time and again, so I'm gonna stay with it. It could be that the your cuts are really lean.....maybe too lean. I am a fan of fat on just about anything that goes on the Q to be cooked lo & slo. Again......just my opinion. Good luck with'll get it right. Consider this a mere speed bump in the Q of life.
  • I did an 11 pound flat, but I need some advice. I did it fat side up at ~225 for 10 hours with a dry rub of garlic, papricka, salt and pepper.  The bottom was a little dry, but the rest of it was falling apart yummy. Maybe I left it on too long? It was at 200 when I pulled it off.
  • Big KnifeBig Knife Posts: 35
    edited June 2013
    I'm trying my first brisket tomorrow. Anyone brine their's first? Mine's only a little one (2.5lbs); I think its a trimmed point.
  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,102
    I've never brined nor do I know anyone that has, however I think it would take a week or so to have any apprecialble effect.
    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ... BGE Lg.
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