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Dry Brisket - - What Can I Do Differently Next Time?

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  • MtView
    Club Member
    • Jun 2018
    • 64

    Dry Brisket - - What Can I Do Differently Next Time?

    I just cooked a 7.5 lb mostly flat brisket fat cap down in a pellet grill. I injected it with about 2 cups of Malcom Reed's brisket injection recipe and dry brined (as much as it would after injecting) the night before. I coated it with BBBR. I cooked at 225, but my grill runs hot in the center so it was more like 255 - 260. I know lots of people cook a brisket at 275 so I don't think this is the problem.

    It was stalling around 160 and I was getting worried about dinner time so I wrapped it, put a cup of beef broth in the wrap, and started checking it at 190. It was ok at 205, not butter ok, but ok so I pulled it and let it rest for an hour.

    The brisket had a nice smoke ring, was soft enough to cut with the side of a fork, tasted great, but there was no liquid left in the meat.

    Because it wasn't tough I'm thinking that it was overcooked vs undercooked.

    I don't know why. The only think I can think of to do differently is start checking it at 180 and wait to inject and salt until I'm ready to put it on the grill.

    Even if I had a sub-optimal probe placement, wouldn't at least some of the meat still have been moist?
  • Bobmcgahan
    Club Member
    • Jul 2018
    • 85

    #2
    I think it really depends on the quality of the brisket. The first time I did a “mostly flat” brisket bought from my local grocery store, I was very disappointed for the reasons you state above. I’ve done brisket since but I spent real money to get the highest quality; in addition, I used whole packers so as to get the marbling and flavor from the “point” end. Try a prime whole packer from Costco.

    Comment

    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 13841
      • Near Richmond VA
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      #3
      Sometimes the meat just won't cooperate, and you wind up with tough, dry, or both. My suggestion is to collect the drippings and add them back to the meat as you slice it. Some will remove the fat, and some won't. It's your call.

      Comment


      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment
        I put a pan under my brisket and butts to collect liquid when using my kettles. I do start with a little water in the pan when so it doesn't just cook off.
        Last edited by HawkerXP; January 3, 2020, 11:40 AM.
    • klflowers
      Club Member
      • Sep 2015
      • 3774
      • Tennessee

      #4
      Make the Texas BBQ Juice from the free side and use it as you slice. I agree with RonB and Bobmcgahan though, sometimes it is just the brisket. I had a choice brisket from the butcher a few months ago that came out excellent, and I had a prime brisket earlier in the year from Costco that tasted great but the flat was dry as the desert.

      Comment


      • MtView
        MtView commented
        Editing a comment
        Good idea. I should have some of this on standby. I might even make a batch up now because I sliced it and saved it anyway.
    • Huskee
      Administrator
      • May 2014
      • 15541
      • central MI, USA
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      #5
      Flats will always be dry. Inject all you want. If you wrap a brisket in foil w/o having injected it at all, there's still juice in the foil at the end of the cook. Why? The muscle fibers squeeze juices out. To me, and this is simply my preference and my thinking behind it, I won't inject because it will come out anyway, and my flat will be dry. My best workaround for a delicious flat is dry brine 24-48hrs ahead, and then leave a generous fat cap (at least on the flat). I go 1/2" on the flat instead of the recommended 1/4". Then each slice has a little extra soft moist fat with each bite. If you overcook it might affect its dryness, but it will also make it crumbly. If you could slice it good and it didn't crumble too bad it may not have been overcooked, might just have been an ornery piece of meat.

      Comment


      • klflowers
        klflowers commented
        Editing a comment
        You are right about the flats. I should have said drier than usual. I'm thinking I should start separating them and just using the flats for pastrami.

      • klflowers
        klflowers commented
        Editing a comment
        You are right about the flats. I should have said drier than usual. I'm thinking I should start separating them and just using the flats for pastrami.
    • MtView
      Club Member
      • Jun 2018
      • 64

      #6
      Originally posted by Huskee View Post
      Flats will always be dry. Inject all you want. If you wrap a brisket in foil w/o having injected it at all, there's still juice in the foil at the end of the cook. Why? The muscle fibers squeeze juices out. To me, and this is simply my preference and my thinking behind it, I won't inject because it will come out anyway, and my flat will be dry. My best workaround for a delicious flat is dry brine 24-48hrs ahead, and then leave a generous fat cap (at least on the flat). I go 1/2" on the flat instead of the recommended 1/4". Then each slice has a little extra soft moist fat with each bite. If you overcook it might affect its dryness, but it will also make it crumbly. If you could slice it good and it didn't crumble too bad it may not have been overcooked, might just have been an ornery piece of meat.
      I didn't know that about flats. I'm going to try a dry brine and no injection next time.

      Comment

      • rickgregory
        Founding Member
        • Aug 2014
        • 1241
        • Seattle, WA

        #7
        MtView - try a point next time if you can. I've done flats and they're just lean... they make great corned beef and/or pastrami, but the leanness makes them annoying to smoke. If you have a Costco or similar, see if they sell a full packer brisket and then separate it and trim it up, freezing some if you need to.

        Comment

        • Troutman
          Club Member
          • Aug 2017
          • 7989
          • 1521

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          #8
          I agree with my esteemed colleague Huskee , flats are a bitch. The only exception (and I just cooked one last weekend) are wagyu briskets I've been buying from our local HEB. Those flats are full of fat and stay real moist. But even prime on down to select it's difficult. What I've found myself doing on those briskets is cutting off the front thin part of the flat, making pastrami out of it then cook the point. Why fight it, know what I mean?

          (Here's the flat I made pastrami out of that wagyu brisket. Note the marbling, that's what makes the difference)

          Click image for larger version

Name:	Wagyu Pastami 01.jpg
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          Last edited by Troutman; January 3, 2020, 02:33 PM.

          Comment


          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Come to my house wise guy, still got some in the fridge

          • jerrybell
            jerrybell commented
            Editing a comment
            He had to photoshop the marbling in a mirror image for the last slice on the left if he did.

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            He is here and no that is not photoshopped. Jerod’s just jealous cause he can’t figure out how to use his fancy new camera yet :’)

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