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beef brisket

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Post Sat May 15, 2004 2:34 pm

I'm having trouble cooking beef brisket. It alway's comes out dry. I've been cooking a 5 lb roast indirectly at 300 degrees for 4 to 5 hrs. I recently purchased a vertical smoker and plan to try an 8 lb brisket. does anyone have any tips ? jjb

Post Sat May 15, 2004 9:39 pm
ThrRoff well done
well done

Posts: 999
Location: Washington, DC


Welcome to the Board. With a 5 pound brisket, you may have made the same mistake I made – a couple of times. Most super markets severely trim the fat layers off of their briskets, and this is not a good thing for smoking. I noticed some in the store today with almost no fat left on them. Make friends with your local butcher and get an untrimed hunk of meat. Try smoking that. Smokey-bones offers some good suggestions for the cooking process. I would also lower the cooking temperature to around 230.

Post Sun May 16, 2004 6:01 pm

Rub it w/ your favorite seasonings, marinate it for 24 hours....get the cooker around 200-225 degrees and put it in fat side up. Be careful on smoke, in fact, use smoke sparingly, briskets tend to absorb it. Cook for about 80-90 minutes per pound. When the internal temp of the brisket is 185-188 degrees, take it off and set it aside. Slice against the grain and you are in bizness!

Post Sun May 16, 2004 6:13 pm
DarkRubiTJ medium-well

Posts: 221
Location: Livingston, TX.
It does sound like you are getting trimmed brisket. Low and slow is the trick to tender brisket. Fat side up pit no more than 250 and about 12 hours should be getting close to about done. I've never had a problem with dry brisket, Once they crust up it locks the juices in. I always buy cryovacd packer cuts with the fat left on. Occasionly you can find them at Super Wally World, and Sams almost always has them. They are usually in the 10 to 15 pound range.

Post Mon May 17, 2004 12:11 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
jjb a few general rules of thumb for brisket:

The tip end has more marbled fat and will finish before the flat end so place your thermometer in the flat to make sure it gets done (tender). The point won't dry out so focus on the flat.

Low-N-Slow is the key. I cook at 225*.

The amount of time per pound is only an estimate. Expect it to take a long time and don't try to hurry it. Check internal doneness with a thermometer. You may reach a temperature plateau around 140-150 degrees where it seems like your thermometer is stuck. I’ve had a plateau last up to 2-1/2 hours before the temps start to rise again. This is normal and you just have to ride it out. I like to cook mine to 170-180 degrees and then wrap it in foil and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 200-205 degrees.

A "flat only" brisket will be smaller that a whole brisket and takes less time to cook. It is usually trimmed more so it has less fat and may dry out if overcooked. I baste/mop a brisket every hour anyway and have never had a dry one. If wrapping with foil put about 1/4 of mop, baste or drippings in with it.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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