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Newbie Brisket Question

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    Newbie Brisket Question

    Hey Guys
    Hope everyone is good. A newbie question that'll have been asked 1000 times before about Brisket....why did it come out dry when the therm said internal temp was 88C? I'm thinking either overcooking, meat too lean or too much salt in the rub.

    I have a Monolith Classic Kamado style grill.
    I was cooking a small brisket (1KG) as a test (first time out).
    Maintained a solid 110C - 125C throughout the cook.
    Smoked with hickory chips on lumpwood.
    Smoked for 7hrs and let the Brisket rest for 30mins.

    Can provide more info if needed, just ask. How many things did I get wrong? I'm not thinskinned so feel free to be open and straight! Many thanks in advance

    What was the quality of brisket? I've made cheaper ones and some more expensive ones and the meat quality usually dictates juiciness. Also, I always find smaller cuts to be tougher to get right. Keep practicing keeping the temp steady, then pull the trigger with a larger more expensive brisket.


      Doing some conversions, you smoked the 2.2 lb brisket between 230 and 257°F on your smoker, removed it at 190°F internal, rested it for 30 minutes, and upon slicing found it dry.

      A couple of questions
      1. Pre-cook: Did you dry brine the meat for 24hrs or more before cooking? Or inject with broth?
      2. During cook: Was the meat probe-tender when you removed it from the smoker?
      3. Post-cook: Did you wrap the meat when you allowed it to rest?

      You might enjoy reading Meathead's article on smoking brisket over on the free side and follow those steps, some of which include these tips:

      For best results, brisket should usually be
      faux-cambroed for at least a couple of hours after removing from smoker
      sliced only as it is eaten, since slicing the whole piece at once causes it to dry out faster

      That said, you had a really small piece, most likely from the flat--was it only a few inches thick? Flats tend to dry out but faux cambroing them can help preserve the moisture.

      Some people chop brisket that is dry and add sauce to it for sandwiches with the leftovers.

      One thing about brisket: once you get the hang of it you'll have some really delicious eating ahead.

      Last edited by fzxdoc; May 13, 2020, 06:18 AM.


      • Schwyy
        Schwyy commented
        Editing a comment
        So many conversions!

      • smokin fool
        smokin fool commented
        Editing a comment
        10-4 but fzxdoc gets metric, I've lived with metric over 50 years now and still haven't got a clue
        Excellent points especially on the cambo 30 mins is not ear enough time, 2-3 hour would be reasonable
        Last edited by smokin fool; May 13, 2020, 06:53 AM.

      • Razor
        Razor commented
        Editing a comment
        Anything measured under a foot long (nuts and bolts) metric make sense. Anything longer than a foot, not so much.

        (See what I did there?)

      What they said, and welcome to the pit.


        Welcome from Texas! Enjoy the brisket quest. I don’t usually wrap brisket during the cook, but sometimes wrapping after you have a good bark does help with juiciness. I’m sure you’ll have lots of good advice here.


          Welcome to The Pit. I suggest that you try smoking an English roast, (called a chuck roast in the US). It is much more forgiving than a brisket when smoking, and very tasty. Smoke it 'till it's probe tender, (95C - 99C), and then pull it. If you would prefer to slice it, take it off a degree or two sooner.


            Welcome to the Pit! I agree with RonB go with a chuck or English roast. Very good and not as $$$


              Welcome from Maryland.


                Thanks all, what a friendly bunch! Some additional clarification:
                • Good quality Flat brisket but I thought it looked too lean. I don't know if that makes a difference. Schwyy
                • A few inches thick, not pre-brined nor injected nor FC'd. It looked dry when checking it after 4hrs when it was sitting at 70C. fzxdoc
                Also, it flew through the stall which made me sit up and spill a brew. Literally like 20 mins which suggested to me it was already dry at that point? I'm trying again this weekend with a Point brisket to see how that works out. I was also thinking of wrapping in butchers paper? Sorry for the metrics, over the pond we work that way :-)


                • DeusDingo
                  DeusDingo commented
                  Editing a comment
                  i've had meat fly through the stall as well and it came out dry. i figured it means that there isn't enough material to create a stall which also means there isn't enough to keep it moist. that being said, dry brining is always a good idea especially for lean cuts like a brisket flat (or white meat chicken). also i would guess taking out at 88C was a little early unless it was prime grade equivalent.

                Git yerself over to the interducin yerself page & interduce yerself! Welcome, eat good and have fun!


                  Welcome from the California Delta. Brisket can be stubborn and independent. Keep at it and you'll get the hang of it. Good advice so far.


                    Thanks again everyone. I'll let you know how the next cook goes!


                      Do keep us posted, kidbwapo , when you cook something else or another brisket.

                      When my briskets "speed" through a stall, I take it to mean that I'm cooking a bit too hot for the cut of meat. That said, you had a really small and skinny brisket flat there, so it may just be how that particular brisket chose to ride through the cook.



                        Follow up to my last post. Had another go at Brisket and this one turned out really well. Some interesting points:
                        • Meat from a different supplier. Flat brisket with much more fat that certainly helped.
                        • Simple rub of salt/pepper/garlic powder in 60/40 split with half an ounce of garlic.
                        • Hotter cook. Normally I'd cook at 250F but this time I cooked at 285 - 290F.
                        • Removed the Brisket at when internally at 163F and wrapped in butcher paper before putting back. I think this made a HUGE difference to the end result.
                        • Brisket stalled at 178F for 1 hour before it picked up again.
                        • Removed it at 196F and let it rest for an hour.
                        Final observations. Bark could've been a lot better but it was good for a second ever effort. Good smoke ring and the taste of the beef was phenomenally good. I was fighting the family off! I'll try this method again next time to see if it works again. One change I would make is reduce the pepper in the mix as it was overly peppery but that's a minor complaint.

                        Thoughts fellow smokers?
                        Attached Files


                        • Steve R.
                          Steve R. commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That does look like a heavy application of pepper (just the way I like it, though ) The only thing I would do differently is wait until the bark is fully formed before wrapping. I think this will also help your "peppery" issue, as the pepper mellows out a bit with the bark formation. You could also try using a more coarsely ground pepper.
                          Last edited by Steve R.; June 3, 2020, 07:16 AM.

                        Nice brisket cook. You sure took a quantum leap up the learning curve on that one. Kudos to you.

                        Like many, I never wrap a brisket until the bark sets, which is usually around 170-180°F. That helps preserve all that wonderful barkiness that we love on a brisket.




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