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Tips for a juicier, less dry brisket flat?

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    Tips for a juicier, less dry brisket flat?

    I've cooked 2 whole packer briskets now, they have both been relatively small around 10 pounds before trimming.
    I followed Meathead's recipe very closely using my WSM @ 225 and wrapping tightly in foil after 4 hours with beef broth, then cook to 203 and finally rest for 1-3 hours. The last time I let it rest for the full 2.5-3 hours.

    The briskets both had great taste, and the point was excellent but the flat was dry and I couldn't even get full width slices because it fell apart when I cut it. The taste was great and it was not chewy at all, very tender. My guests enjoyed it but I feel that I have room for improvement.

    I'm not sure if the fact that I'm using smaller briskets contributes to this. I'm using grass fed if that makes any difference. Perhaps I am trimming too much fat? (I cook fat side down in my WSM)

    I was considering trying several different options on my next cook:
    Trim little to no fat from the fat cap.
    Wrap in foil earlier than 4 hours
    Cook to 190 or 195 instead of 203.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Sounds like a decent plan, where are you temping the brisket at? Which part?


      I would try to trim less fat off the flat. I would also not wrap by time. If Meat head is giving you time frames, they are merely used to help you plan your cook. ALWAYS cook by temp, not time, and a brisket is the perfect example of this. I've had packers ready for the wrap after 4 hours sometimes after 6 hrs. sometimes after 10 hrs. Every piece is different. Always use your Thermometer to tell you when to wrap not your watch. I wrap my packers at about 175 sometimes 185. Why do I wait? Becasue I love thick, black bark on my briskets. Even with the added time left unwrapped, I've yet to have one dry out on me. However, if you are worried about the flat drying out wrap it at 165 F. And wrap it tight. I would take it to 202 F that is my sweet spot. I've never had them dry out at this temp. And this is where the magic happens, everything just melts. I hope this helps.
      Good Luck and have fun.
      Keep Calm, Smoke On!!



        Unless your brisket is Wagyu, your flat is bound to be somewhat dry. There just isn't enough fat in the flat compared to the point section.
        It will be tender but dry nonetheless.
        I'm not sure if the surface fat makes any difference unless you melt it and inject the flat with fat. Has anybody tried that?


        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          I have tried that, I works but I only did it once. I really don't have the need to do it though because I always cook PRIME briskets and they have plenty of fat in the flat already.

        I've done a couple of briskets now, two on my Weber 22. The flats so far have turned out very overcooked and dry even though I've been careful to monitor the temp with a good thermometer. On the most recent try I cut the flat into two ~ 4lb chunks and made corned beef out of one of them, which turned out great. I'm about to just give up on the slow cooked brisket plan and devote this cut of meat to cold cured corned beef and pastrami. What am I missing?


          and a couple of other notes. I used prime grade beef and injected beef broth into the flat. my sense is there just wasn't enough native fat in the cut.


            I disagree with the notion that a brisket must be prime or wagyu, or you'll have dry flats no matter what. Are you dry brining the brisket well ahead of time, with around 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of trimmed meat? Salt will hold onto moisture. Also, you could try a beef broth injection as well. I prefer not to since it can lead to "pot roast" brisket, but it will give it more moisture.


              Once you inject it with broth might as well make a pot roast.
              There just isn't enough fat marbling in the flat.
              I ask a butcher to cut me a point when I want brisket.


                If you're cooking Angus, I think it always has a dry mouth feel. It can be juicy as all get out, but still chews dry. IMO!


                  "the flat was dry and I couldn't even get full width slices because it fell apart when I cut it"

                  That sounds overcooked. Assuming 1/4" or so slices and a reasonably sharp knife it should hold together. What kind of thermometer are you using and where are you probing the brisket?


                    The solution is to separate the point and flat before cooking them. For example, after 2 hours in the smoker and 3 hours wrapped in foil in the oven at 225 degrees, my brisket point was 165 degrees and the flat was 190 degrees. I increased the temperature of the point to 275 and reduced that of the flat to 210, and in 2 hours, the flat was 200 and the point was 205. Both were excellent.


                      My first step would be making sure you're using enough salt, and then you could try putting it to rest in the cambro at around 195 and let it sit in its own heat at least a couple hours. I love prime and wagyu steaks, don't get me wrong, but again I say this is inaccurate that anything short of prime or wagyu is gonna automatically be dry. I cook a ton of Walmart briskets on my stick burner. Never once had one dry, except for maybe the first inch of the flat, which will ALWAYS happen and is what we love anyways. If I'm not mistaken, from reading his posts, Jerod Broussard also cooks a ton of good ole cheap Wally World briskets with excellent results.


                        I think I will try pulling my next brisket around 195 and let it rest for 2-3 hours.
                        Hopefully cooking another brisket soon labor day weekend coming up.

                        I monitor cooking temp with a Maverick ET733 and do final/spot checks with a Thermapen, so I know my temps are accurate.



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