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Brisket slightly dry . . . but why?

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    Brisket slightly dry . . . but why?

    I have done about 40 briskets over the past few years, learning and tweaking. I have read everything Meathead has put out there, and generally know the do's and don'ts. Although I would consider myself an intermediate at best, so much to learn.

    I previously cooked on a Pit Barrel Cooker. Now I am "cookin' on a Lang" with my new stickburner from Lang BBQ, a 48 Patio. It is fantastic. I have maintained fire control pretty well, and have air and meat temperature equipment to measure multiple spots on the inside of the smoker as well as places in the meat.

    I recently cooked a Wagyu brisket. I dry brined for 2 days, and then injected day of with beef broth. I used dalmatian rub, and trimmed as appropriate. Temperature rose nicely, with the point towards the hotter side of the smoker and the flat/point temperature rising closely. I wrapped with butcher paper at 160 degrees. Total cook time was 10.5 hours, with 1.5 hours of cooler hold time while wrapped. The point was delectable, but the flat was generally dry. Some good points but mostly not. I measured the temp near the flat and it was on average below 225 with no spikes. Same for temp within the flat, never more than 5 degrees ahead of the point.

    My question is simple - with regards to the mild dryness inside the flat - did I overcook it or undercook it? Or something else? My best brisket ever was in foil and injected, juicy as can be. I suppose I value juiciness above all other aspects, although flavor and bark are critical too.

    Would love to hear some thoughts, thanks.

    #2
    I'm getting ready to do my first proper brisket, as soon as the heat calms down a bit here, and am anxiously awaiting the replies.

    Comment


      #3
      You seem to have a lot of experience and good gear, but I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it. Every time you cook a brisket, they always seem to be just a little better or not quite as good as the last one. At least for me. Every one is a little different. Maybe it’s the cut of beef ( not the quality, in this case ) that particular cow it came from, the weather on cooking day, how much of your injection got in that area, etc. Who knows? Same with my gumbo. I’ve probably made 50 or 60 pots of gumbo in my life, and every damn one is just a little bit “different”. They’re all good, just some are a little better than others. And from your description, most all of it was damn good and the other part just so so. Your “so so” brisket could be better than a lot of people’s best. Not to downplay your concerns, but unless it happened regularly I wouldn’t worry about. Even Aaron Franklin admits its very hard to maintain consistency. And I’m sure Meathead would agree as well.

      Comment


      • klflowers
        klflowers commented
        Editing a comment
        Can you send me some of that gumbo next time please???

      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        As soon as it gets below 95* down here. Or, the recipe?

      • klflowers
        klflowers commented
        Editing a comment
        Both!!!!!

      #4
      Forgot to ask, what was the internal temperature of the brisket when you took it off the grill? Before you actually put it in the cooler?

      Comment


        #5
        Originally posted by Panhead John View Post
        You seem to have a lot of experience and good gear, but I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it. Every time you cook a brisket, they always seem to be just a little better or not quite as good as the last one. At least for me. Every one is a little different. Maybe it’s the cut of beef ( not the quality, in this case ) that particular cow it came from, the weather on cooking day, how much of your injection got in that area, etc. Who knows? Same with my gumbo. I’ve probably made 50 or 60 pots of gumbo in my life, and every damn one is just a little bit “different”. They’re all good, just some are a little better than others. And from your description, most all of it was damn good and the other part just so so. Your “so so” brisket could be better than a lot of people’s best. Not to downplay your concerns, but unless it happened regularly I wouldn’t worry about. Even Aaron Franklin admits its very hard to maintain consistency. And I’m sure Meathead would agree as well.
        This ^
        I ain’t Meathead but I AM a meat head ,,,,

        Comment


        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          Do you agree? Not sure what you meant.

        • Greygoose
          Greygoose commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree with what you said in regards to meat being of the same cut but being subtly different.
          I Have cooked STL ribs countless times and most cook comparably time wise and quality results and some have cooked quite a bit quicker and some have taken a bit longer.
          Briskets are a tricky dog. Whole packer is a big cut and the fat content can vary quite a bit threw out the particular piece.
          I agree that THE Meathead would backup your statement wholeheartedly as would Aaron.
          Me, My own worst critic

        #6
        For wagyu I trim MUCH less than I do others. And I am always looking for the thickest flat possible. You might want to look at separating point and flat. I have done that with considerable success to eliminate the differential cooking times.

        Comment


          #7
          Great stuff guys.

          I pulled off with the point at 203 but the flat was 200. Yes the flat was lower.

          Comment


          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            That sounds just about perfect, since it continues to heat up after wrapping . fracmeister had a good suggestion about separating point and flat. It just makes sense the flat being thinner will cook quicker. But again, you could try to duplicate your “best brisket ever” and probably never will. Honestly, I’ve had people tell me how good they thought my brisket or gumbo was, and I thought it was just “pretty good”

          • tdimond
            tdimond commented
            Editing a comment
            I've seen a lot of people on these forums that have cooked Wagyu that pulled it much sooner - like 190°F - because that's where it was probe tender. Maybe taking it to 203 was a little too much.

            I've had prime briskets be done at 190-195, so I can imagine that Wagyu would be similar or cooler.

          #8
          Hey, it may of been Waygu beef, but off some tough old past his prime bull.

          Comment


            #9
            Do you pull at a particular temperature or when probe tender? I had heard that about Wagyu, being 190. I also read it needed more time for the fat to render.

            Also - when a brisket is holding and wrapped - does that cook it TOO long? Everyone says to hold but I've always been skeptical.

            Comment


              #10
              What was the weight of the brisket pre-smoke? I did not see it. Just a question, why inject a Waygu brisket? It is very well marbled. I ask because is it possible you ruptured muscle cells thus may have contributed to dryness. I may be way off base. I can’t think why the brisket would be dry, other than weight.

              Comment


                #11
                Brisket was 17.5lb untrimmed. Australian wagyu.

                Comment

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