Tough Brisket

Ssheridan74

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So I did a 15lb prime brisket from Costco Friday night on the Bull. I trimmed it to the best of my first time I’ve ever cooked a brisket ability. Put on at midnight at 225, expecting the stall around 6am. Woke up at 6 and it appears to have stalled at 154 on the flat a little before 5. I wrapped it in pink butcher paper and threw it back on, same temp. Let it ride expecting it to be to 200+ by 2ish, then put in a cooler for a few hours. By 2 the flat was about 193 and the point was 25 degrees less. I tested for probe tender, but having never tested that way, may have missed my window. I cranked to 275 until 3pm and pulled it. It was 203 on the flat and 176 at the point. I put in a cooler until 5 and then sliced. It was good but tough and a little dry. Had to cut it with a knife to eat it.

I welcome your feedback. Thank you in advance.
 

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Waterboy

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Typically when you have a tough, dry brisket it is because it isn’t quite done (though yours looks great). If it were overdone it might be dry but would fall apart.
It looks like you sliced it across the grain and you have a really nice smoke ring and it tasted good so you are almost there.
Did you try the bend test after you sliced? A slice should bend into an upside down U over your knife or finger. If it doesn’t flop over the knife that is also an indication that it is’t completely done (though too late to do anything about it at that point 😉).
5F8F48AC-9CEF-4599-98B5-519F92D987B5.jpeg
I think with a 15 lb. brisket you may want to start earlier or cook hotter so you don’t feel pushed to get it done before it’s time to eat. 14 hours (you mentioned wanting To pull it around 2 pm) is pretty optimistic for a 15lb. brisket at 225.
The beauty of BBQ is you always get another chance on the next cook!
 

jamorgan3777

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Agree with previous comments. I always add some fat or liquid to the paper when I wrap. Beef tallow or Bacon grease works great if you have them. You can always add a little beef broth as well. Another thing is I always unwrap to test for tenderness. I cant seem to get a feel for how tender it is through the paper (with its resistance on the sides of the probe). Probe tender should feel like you are putting a probe into the red part of a watermelon. you should barely feel any resistance. If you have to push at all it isnt done yet.

Another trick is to try and get a brisket with a thick flat and/or a thinner point. That will help with even-ness of temperature rise. Another thing to look for is that the flat might get there first but it will likely stall again while the point continues to rise. My last costco packer brisket did this (13lb). If your point was really only 176 then it was far from done.
 

Ssheridan74

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Typically when you have a tough, dry brisket it is because it isn’t quite done (though yours looks great). If it were overdone it might be dry but would fall apart.
It looks like you sliced it across the grain and you have a really nice smoke ring and it tasted good so you are almost there.
Did you try the bend test after you sliced? A slice should bend into an upside down U over your knife or finger. If it doesn’t flop over the knife that is also an indication that it is’t completely done (though too late to do anything about it at that point 😉).
View attachment 10197
I think with a 15 lb. brisket you may want to start earlier or cook hotter so you don’t feel pushed to get it done before it’s time to eat. 14 hours (you mentioned wanting To pull it around 2 pm) is pretty optimistic for a 15lb. brisket at 225.
The beauty of BBQ is you always get another chance on the next cook!
Thank you! I did try the bend test. Slight bend but nothing like that.
 

Ssheridan74

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Agree with previous comments. I always add some fat or liquid to the paper when I wrap. Beef tallow or Bacon grease works great if you have them. You can always add a little beef broth as well. Another thing is I always unwrap to test for tenderness. I cant seem to get a feel for how tender it is through the paper (with its resistance on the sides of the probe). Probe tender should feel like you are putting a probe into the red part of a watermelon. you should barely feel any resistance. If you have to push at all it isnt done yet.

Another trick is to try and get a brisket with a thick flat and/or a thinner point. That will help with even-ness of temperature rise. Another thing to look for is that the flat might get there first but it will likely stall again while the point continues to rise. My last costco packer brisket did this (13lb). If your point was really only 176 then it was far from done.
Thanks! Yeah the flat and point were within 5 degrees when it stalled around 150. After that the point got way behind.
 

ndfan6464

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Nothing much more to add other than that I would back up what the others have said.

Time is just a guide. The protein(brisket in your case) will be what tells you when it's done.

Dry briskets come from a lean brisket. I agree with adding some sort of fat. If I am stuck with a lean brisket I will add my homemade Beef tallow or bacon with Bacon grease.. I seen others pat their brisket down with mayo..i know sounds horrible but it actually comes out good.

But that all is just my 2cents. Just DONT GIVE UP!! Learn, use what you've learned, and try again and keep trying. Log everything you do so you know what works and what doesn't.

Okay, I am done, sorry went long.
 

Thor8594

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For a first brisket, it looks pretty darn good. Great job!
As for temp, you want it all to be around 195º-202º, otherwise it will be a bit tough. The fat needs to break down as much as possible. As for fat cap up or down, that is preference but I like to cook fat cap down while on the grates and then when I wrap, I put the fat cap up so all the juices go into the meat and render down which adds moisture. I see in the 2nd picture that there is a big section of fat between the point and the flat, I try to trim out a bunch of that and only leave about a half of an inch or so in between, allows it to cook more evenly. Overall, great job
 

Pops

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I cooked my first brisket this weekend and it was good, I hate you were dissapointed.

My only comment or question is, trimming the fat. I trimmed alot of fat off of mine and in particular there was a large thick hard piece between the flat and the point. I cut most of it out and would up rolling the point back under itself, and it cooked pretty evenly.
Did you leave that in there and I wonder if you did maybe that slowed down the temp?

Mine was 12 #'s to start maybe trimmed 2-3#s of fat, cooked 11 hours, rested for 4 hours. Also wrapped mine in foil as this was my first time and I was concerned about resting in paper for too long.
 

Ssheridan74

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I cooked my first brisket this weekend and it was good, I hate you were dissapointed.

My only comment or question is, trimming the fat. I trimmed alot of fat off of mine and in particular there was a large thick hard piece between the flat and the point. I cut most of it out and would up rolling the point back under itself, and it cooked pretty evenly.
Did you leave that in there and I wonder if you did maybe that slowed down the temp?

Mine was 12 #'s to start maybe trimmed 2-3#s of fat, cooked 11 hours, rested for 4 hours. Also wrapped mine in foil as this was my first time and I was concerned about resting in paper for too long.
Thanks. I did trim quite a bit, maybe 2-3lbs. It seemed that fat between the point and the flat, if I trimmed it out, would separate the two?
 

Ssheridan74

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For a first brisket, it looks pretty darn good. Great job!
As for temp, you want it all to be around 195º-202º, otherwise it will be a bit tough. The fat needs to break down as much as possible. As for fat cap up or down, that is preference but I like to cook fat cap down while on the grates and then when I wrap, I put the fat cap up so all the juices go into the meat and render down which adds moisture. I see in the 2nd picture that there is a big section of fat between the point and the flat, I try to trim out a bunch of that and only leave about a half of an inch or so in between, allows it to cook more evenly. Overall, great job
Thank you. Yes there was a lot of fat between the point and flat. Bring the first time, I was guessing how far to trim.
 

Pops

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I trimmed a lot out, but did not separate, I was concerned about that too. My first brisket, so I really don't know the answer, hoping someone will post here and let us know!
ALSO, I put the point on the right as I understood the right side cooks faster, but still in the middle of the grill. Not sure if that made a difference either.
 

hallsofmontezuma

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While it may have been dry, it was undercooked if you took it out at 176. For a brisket, tough means it hasn't cooked long enough.
Ultimately, you'll want to learn to tell when it's done by feel, not by temperature.
 

tpack

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Here is a prime brisket I trimmed and cooked a while back. I like to remove almost all of the fat off of the top of the point and leave a small amount of fat on the flat between the 2 muscles. I will leave no more than a 1/4 inch on the bottom of the brisket either. Leaving all of the fat between the 2 muscles makes the flat done before the point. This brisket cooked very evenly.
full-8162-294666-img_1989_2.jpg
 

RedWng

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From my experience a brisket always takes longer than you plan for. I suspect yours never did reach the 198-204 internal temp where it starts to get probe tender. I will start probing (feels like you are putting the probe into butter) at 195 internal temp to check and may go to 205 if necessary. Some brisket flats feel like they will not get tender while others are perfect. The points always seem to turn out well. As my chef brother states "You are cooking animals, no two are alike". On the flats that never turn out my wife makes a fantastic stew from it. Keep trying and when you reach brisket nirvana it will all be worth it.
 

DenStinett

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Try cooking it different ways until you find your "Happy Place"
Lately, I've been separating the Point from the Flat, trimming and Smoking them as two cuts
Our average Brisket Cook:
Beef Brisket
Grill Temps:
[email protected] / [email protected]
Start time 10:30pmInternal Temps:
[email protected] / [email protected]
Garlic, Pepper, Salt Blend for 24 hrs before cookingU 8 hrs+/- (Paper)W 8 hrs+/-
Rest 2+ hrs
All times are relative
Never went off of the "Stall" method
Have yet to get a bad Brisket from Costco
Brisket.jpg
 

Ssheridan74

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Messages
52
Try cooking it different ways until you find your "Happy Place"
Lately, I've been separating the Point from the Flat, trimming and Smoking them as two cuts
Our average Brisket Cook:
Beef Brisket
Grill Temps:
[email protected] / [email protected]
Start time 10:30pmInternal Temps:
[email protected] / [email protected]
Garlic, Pepper, Salt Blend for 24 hrs before cookingU 8 hrs+/- (Paper)W 8 hrs+/-
Rest 2+ hrs
All times are relative
Never went off of the "Stall" method
Have yet to get a bad Brisket from Costco
View attachment 10257
Love it, thanks! Pork butt going on later tonight!
 

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