Destroyed my brisket

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Robr
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Destroyed my brisket

Postby Robr » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:06 pm

I've read a ton before attempting my first brisket. I'm a noob and picked up a cheap electric smoker from lowes to see if it was something I'd use a lot before investing in a quality unit.

I'm in the Boston area, reasonably priced brisket is hard to come by and only two people in my house eat meat so buying a full packer makes no sense. I'm working with a 5lb flat.

I seasoned and put it in the smoker at 225 using hickory. Using two thermometers, when it reached 160 where it seemed to stall (about 4.5 hours), I wrapped it on foil until it got to 190 (another 1:45 or so). I then let it rest wrapped in foil in a cooler for an hour.

What I got was shoe leather. The smoke flavor was great, it wasn't dried out, just tough. I though maybe I didn't give it enough time at 190 for the collagen to break down so rewrapped in foil and put it in the toaster oven at 225 bringing it back up to 190 and held it at 190 for 2 hours. My shoe leather turned into a dried out brick.

Any ideas where I went wrong?

I double checked instructions I found about only cooking the flat and I don't know where I went wrong.
Last edited by Robr on Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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limey
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Re: Destroyed by brisket

Postby limey » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:31 pm

You did not cook your brisket long enough, 200 to 210 when it passes the prob test. Happens to a lot of folks.
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Re: Destroyed by brisket

Postby flht01 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:43 pm

Agree, pulled it too soon.
If it’s too dry for chopping you might try using it in beans or chili. Brisket chili is one of my favorite’s, made quite a lot of it because of dry briskets :laughing7:
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Re: Destroyed by brisket

Postby Txdragon » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:40 pm

And another vote for early pull. I don't rely on temps because they're not entirely accurate. The meat is ready when it's ready; the probe test never fails. I also couldn't advise using an electric smoker as a basis for buying any other type of smoker. Electric smokers are good in their own way, but classed on their own. Not entirely an apples to apples comparison. I have a masterbuilt 42" digital electric and when I put a brisket on that and compare it to a brisket from my Oklahoma Joe, the results aren't even remotely similar.
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Re: Destroyed my brisket

Postby Robr » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:45 pm

Thanks, looks like I'll be cooking some chili tomorrow.
So I foiled it at the right time but just need to leave it on regardless of temp until I can easily insert a probe?

I don't expect a $250 masterbuilt to match a rectec or traegar or whatever but hoping to at least get my meat tender enough to cut with a fork. Haven't tried ribs yet. Want to try to get the brisket down since that's my favorite.
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Re: Destroyed my brisket

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:11 pm

In a pinch, we once used 'The Long Island Crutch'....a crock pot. No, it didn't have the bark of a brisket cooked right, but it saved a piece of well-smoked meat from being shoe leather.

Chili's a great alternative. But next time, I bet you won't destroy your brisket. The probe test seems to be the key.
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Re: Destroyed my brisket

Postby Papa Tom » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:35 pm

Yeah what they said especially Limey. Wrap @ 160°F then leave it go to 205°F (that seems to be the magic temp for me) and do the probe test smooth easy insertion says DONE!.

Also I had one electric smoker and it was frustrating for me in that it seemed to dry things out and temp control wasn't great it went out in a garage sale.

I currently use pellet cookers and recommend them but like any machine they too have a learning curve.
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Re: Destroyed my brisket

Postby txsmkmstr » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:31 am

Robr wrote:Haven't tried ribs yet. Want to try to get the brisket down since that's my favorite.


Well.... many feel that brisket is the biggest challenge to get right on a consistent basis. You'll find ribs a bit easier and I highly recommend you try a pork butt. Pork butt is pretty cheap and cooks similar to brisket. Still, "probe tender" is the mark you're shooting for. Good luck and keep on smokin'... :chef:
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Re: Destroyed my brisket

Postby TexMike » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:39 pm

If you want to continue with brisket, do as I do and buy a packer and cut it in half. Wrap a half and stick it in the freezer.
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Re: Destroyed my brisket

Postby BigThicketBBQ » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:36 pm

Agree with everyone above. 190 is too early. That temp doesn't allow everything to break down properly. The lowest I've ever had anything come out ok was 198. I usually shoot for 203-205.
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Re: Destroyed my brisket

Postby rexster314 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:26 pm

Thing is, was the flat a trimmed one? If it was trimmed you didn't have any fat/collagen to break down, and that's why it was so dry. Next time get the point, you'll have a better results, I'm sure.
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