Brisket tough every time

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Brisket tough every time

Postby robgunby » 31 Aug 2012, 17:05

Every time I've tried brisket, it comes out tough. I've tried it with just dry rub, I've tried it with mop sauce. I've taken it as far as 195 degrees F. I've rested it properly. When I've tried it half in the smoker half in the oven, I've wrapped it tightly in double layers of foil. I've done big pieces with a good fat cap to smaller pieces with less fat.

It's always tough. Not necessarily dry, but tough.

What am I doing wrong?

I tend to smoke with a modified ECB with briquettes, minion method. Pan contains water / seasoned water.
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby BBQFanatic » 31 Aug 2012, 20:07

What does it feel like when you probe the meat? Take butter out of the fridge (not frozen), get it to room temperature and probe it. Thats the kind of tenderness your are looking for (so dont worry too much about the temp, worry about the feel). This temp may be as high as 205-210F, it will depend on the meat. Then make sure you rest it (ideally with some of its juices) for some time. When I do hot n fast brisket, 10 mins is enough, on low n slow, 60+ minutes is what you will be looking for.

The next tip is to look at the grain of the meat, before cooking the brisket, notch the brisket in the direction of the grain. When you slice, cut perpendicular to the grain, that way, when you eat the slices it pulls apart easily.
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby robgunby » 31 Aug 2012, 20:33

Thanks for the feedback. sounds like I may be pulling it off too early. I had heard taking.it past 200 was a bad thing - not that it hurts my butts any. I did one for over 20 hours and it was still tough. looks like im in for a long !
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby RobinC » 02 Sep 2012, 09:25

Take a look at this link for a a pretty fool proof method

http://www.slapyodaddybbq.com/2012/08/s ... i-brisket/
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby robgunby » 02 Sep 2012, 11:24

Thanks Robin - this is very different to the techniques I've been taught. Given that my technique is obviously wrong, I will have to give this a go!
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby Swindon_Ed » 04 Sep 2012, 10:42

The recipie that Harry provides is execllent but has a lot of steps to follow. You might want to keep things simple to start off with.

I used a simplified version of this last weekend to cook a couple of briskets for a wedding we were asked to cater for. We trimmed and rubbed the meat with our normal brisket rub then cooked them at 250f for 8hrs, foiled with some beef stock and then put them back on the smoker and cooked them till ready. One of them was at 203f and the other i forgot was on and it went to 208f but i then vented them for 45mins before wrapping them back up in foil and loading them in a cool box for transport and they were really tender, not at all dry by the time we came to serve them.
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby robgunby » 06 Sep 2012, 05:52

I should make clear - the briskets I've made have not been dry. Far from it. Just tough as rubber.

My thinking on it is that it's a temperature thing. Beef is tender when rare, tough when cooked, tender again when cooked past the point of being tough. My inkling is that I'm not leaving them long enough, and they want to come off over 200F. I've gone as far as 195 before, though I suspect on that occasion I may have had the q too high (I used one without a thermometer).

I've had (on another forum) advice to pull a lot earlier too though, one person suggesting as low as 160F being an acceptable temperature. This goes against every instinct in my body!
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby Swindon_Ed » 06 Sep 2012, 08:24

robgunby wrote:I've had (on another forum) advice to pull a lot earlier too though, one person suggesting as low as 160F being an acceptable temperature. This goes against every instinct in my body!


Your instincts are correct!!!

I don't know who or what forum you were told this on, but that is some really bad advice :evil: :evil: :evil: 160f is the temp' for well done steak. Brisket is completly different, the conective tissue only starts to break down at 160f.
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby Jonty » 06 Sep 2012, 10:28

Rob, a mate of mine in the states just sent me his 'foolproof' guide to brisket the other day. He folils his at 150F as he thinks that this helps you force the stall/collagen plateau as it prevents cooling from evaporation. After hitting an internal temp of 200F he then wraps in towels and into a cooler for 2-3 hours to rest.

I've not tried it yet myself, but his tips & hints usually produce excellent results.
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Re: Brisket tough every time

Postby robgunby » 07 Sep 2012, 06:03

Thanks folks. I'm going to try another this weekend assuming my butcher has one, though probably not a full size as I haven't the time to pull an all nighter by the q. Perhaps just the flat.

Wish me luck! Also doing a whole leg from a wild boar / mangalitsa cross. Om nom nom!
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