Smoked Brisket help

jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,298 Moderator
Hey guys, I bought a propane smoker on cyber monday and recently did a couple briskets. The taste was good, so I know my dry rub was on point. However, the texture was tough, not fork tender like at the restaurants, so I know I'm doing something wrong. I smoked em for 4 hours at around 200-ish degrees. Too long? too hot? should I wrap them in foil for the last hour to lock in some moisture?

Anyone willing to share the secret to tender smoked brisket?
Hobie Kayak angler for life!

Replies

  • 4WARD4WARD Cross Creek,FLPosts: 1,086 Officer
    Another 4 hours at least.
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  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,298 Moderator
    Yeah, I heard it was supposed to take longer but after 4 hrs it was cooked all the way through, so I guess i was not sure what to do my first time around. Does it get more tender the longer its cooked? Seems counterintuitive. 
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • hatcityhatcity Posts: 3,020 Captain
    How was temp measured? by thermo on smoker?
    sometimes, those "factory" units are off
    the additional time provides for the tissue to break down further to give soft, mmm-mm flavor
    I was not born stupid, just had lots of practice
  • WILLIEGATORWILLIEGATOR Posts: 34 Greenhorn
    you need a temp sensor and them wrap it in foil after 3-4 hours and cook till 200 degrees meat temp.  then pull and let rest for 2 hours..Temp sensor take the guessing out of it..
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,121 AG
    edited December 2018 #6
    You go by internal temp, not time. Most briskets have to hit the 195-205 internal temp to be tender and remember to slice thin ACROSS the grain or it will be tough. Doesn't hurt to add some beef broth and wrap in foil around 165-170 IT.
     They can easily take 10 to 12 hours.



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  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,298 Moderator
    Ah ha! You guys have enlightened me! I was going by the temp gauge on the smoker's door. More importantly though, I pulled it out of the smoker when it was around 160 internal temperature. Rather than call it done at that point, I should have wrapped it in foil and kept going till internal temp of 200. Thanks!

    Today I'm experimenting with chicken legs and thighs, I'm thinking somewhere around 2 hrs at 220-ish degrees, but i will aim for an internal temp of 170 degrees.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Posts: 597 Officer
    Yeah, temp needs to be much higher. BBQ tends to be a little counterintuitive since the solution to dry, tough meat is to cook it longer most of the time. You need to give the meat enough low, slow cooking to let all of the collagen in the meat get hydrated and turn into gelatin .
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,298 Moderator
    bigfinn35 said:
    Yeah, temp needs to be much higher. BBQ tends to be a little counter-intuitive since the solution to dry, tough meat is to cook it longer most of the time. You need to give the meat enough low, slow cooking to let all of the collagen in the meat get hydrated and turn into gelatin .
    Ahh makes sense. I think next time I'll get one big fatty piece instead of 3 smaller briskets.

    Also, the chicken thighs I experimented with last night needed longer than 2 hrs. I'm starting to see a pattern with my expectations: I'm so used to cooking at oven temperatures that I need to adjust my thinking and double my cooking time in the smoker for better results.

    Fascinating and delicious experiment nonetheless!
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 686 Officer
    When your fork comes out easily it's done. Usually around 185 deg internal (thickest part of the brisket). Also, you should make sure your thermometer is spot on. Test it in boiling water.
  • DevontieDevontie Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    I just made a brisket yesterday, 225 degrees, when temp hits 160 degrees in the flat, I cut the point off, then wrap separately  in foil, cook until temp is 205 degrees, let it rest for a couple of hours in cooler. I make burnt ends out of the point and slice the flat. The flat usually is done first.
  • FlashFlash Posts: 11,121 AG
    jcanracer said:
    Ah ha! You guys have enlightened me! I was going by the temp gauge on the smoker's door. More importantly though, I pulled it out of the smoker when it was around 160 internal temperature. Rather than call it done at that point, I should have wrapped it in foil and kept going till internal temp of 200. Thanks!

    Today I'm experimenting with chicken legs and thighs, I'm thinking somewhere around 2 hrs at 220-ish degrees, but i will aim for an internal temp of 170 degrees.
      Definitely the Internal temp and rest time are important. 195-205 is the target area, but see if a tooth pick slides in easily.
     Quarters are easy, we do them all the time, but at 220 smoker temp, you will get done chicken but the skin with be like rubber. At that point you can always finish them on a hot grill for 10 minutes or so to crisp them up. Otherwise, smoker temps need to be in the 300 to 325 area for crisp skin.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Never seem more learned than the people you are with. Wear your learning like a pocket watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked. --- Lord Chesterfield
  • ParkerboyParkerboy Posts: 6,899 Admiral
    When the internal temp reaches 165 it will normally stall for a long time. At 165 double wrap the brisket in aluminum foil and pour a couple of cups of beef broth on it making sure it doesn't leak. This is know as "The Texas Crutch". Continue cooking until an internal temp of 195-205 is reached making sure a temp probe inserts easily into the thickest part of the brisket. Remove, wrap in an old towel and place in a dry cooler for a couple of hours which allows the juices to redistribute. 

    When slicing be sure to slice ACROSS  the grain.
    Deo Vindice
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 3,023 Captain
    edited January 5 #14
    I usually go around 16 hours for a full size brisket at 225. Pull at 195 it
    You should have been here yesterday
  • TerribleTedTerribleTed Posts: 141 Deckhand
    edited February 19 #15
    I always soak it for a day in vinegar and seasoning before I place in the smoker or on a grill. I cant say they need that much cooking time.   I use apple cider vinegar.
     Here some info.

    I should say not as much time as the hog.  I do both generally for a big BBQ.

    Long, slow, keep moist, meat will have no choice but to turn tender.

    https://www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.com/cooking-with-vinegar.html
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,298 Moderator
    Parkerboy said:
    When the internal temp reaches 165 it will normally stall for a long time. At 165 double wrap the brisket in aluminum foil and pour a couple of cups of beef broth on it making sure it doesn't leak. This is know as "The Texas Crutch". Continue cooking until an internal temp of 195-205 is reached making sure a temp probe inserts easily into the thickest part of the brisket. Remove, wrap in an old towel and place in a dry cooler for a couple of hours which allows the juices to redistribute. 

    When slicing be sure to slice ACROSS  the grain.
    I followed your instructions this weekend and it was a huge success! Thank you very much for the tip about the broth in the foil packet.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,298 Moderator
    Flash said:
    You go by internal temp, not time. Most briskets have to hit the 195-205 internal temp to be tender and remember to slice thin ACROSS the grain or it will be tough. Doesn't hurt to add some beef broth and wrap in foil around 165-170 IT.
     They can easily take 10 to 12 hours.

    Yep, 9 hours total time for a 5lb brisket. And I did cheat and added some broth to the bottom of the foil packet; made a huge difference in the texture of the final product.
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
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