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I tried to impress my wife with my first brisket for Mother's Day. I'll say it came out good but not great. I wanted to ask for some improvement tips. 

I had it dry rubbed for about 18 hours. That came out great. 

It hit a stall around 165 so I wrapped it in foil. I let it get to 195 and then wrapped in some towels for about 45 minutes before cutting and serving. I'd say it was a little tougher than expected. 

Did I cook too long?  Not long enough?  Other thoughts?  

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Couple of thoughts. Did you use choice or prime? The extra day from prime does make a difference. Also I've noticed that the temperature when pulled is less important than whether your temperature probe goes in like butter, which takes later in the flat than in the point.

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Give some more details please. What grade of brisket, whole or part, and where on the brisket did you get your temp?

As already stated, probe tender is key, not necessarily temp. It's likely your brisket wasn't done, which would explain toughness.


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Grade of brisket I am not sure off the top of my head.  It was a flat - a touch under 3lbs.

I had 2 thermometers (as I was taking a new wireless one out for a spin and wanted to see how it compared to my existing) and so had 2 probes at about 25% from each end.

 

So by that - you think I should have done more probe tests rather than just go on temp?  At what temp would you start probing?

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2 hours ago, therocketmanbk said:

Grade of brisket I am not sure off the top of my head.  It was a flat - a touch under 3lbs.

I had 2 thermometers (as I was taking a new wireless one out for a spin and wanted to see how it compared to my existing) and so had 2 probes at about 25% from each end.

 

So by that - you think I should have done more probe tests rather than just go on temp?  At what temp would you start probing?

Flats are much tougher than points. By nature they don't have intramuscular fat- at least not the ones I have been able to get a hold of. You can get them to be tender but never as moist as a point. Picking up a packer or points (if you can get them) is the way to go. I haven't made just a flat since my first time making brisket. 

 

Like The others say- go to probe tender- not a specific temp and prime grade brisket if you can get it. If you have a Costco nearby they typically have them, reasonably priced as well!

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save the juice from wrapping! brisket gets dried quickly after cutting. and use point instead of flat, big difference. 

i've been doing 225 in the jr. for 15~16 hrs, no wrapping. I'm not against wrapping but i found if I cut brisket into 3 parts (2 halves flat, 1 point) they don't need wrapping to power through stall. 

this is my process

 

1 half flat sous vide at 145 for 24~30 hrs, when done smoke for another 4~5 hrs to reach 200

1 half flat smoking in Akorn Jr at 225 for 15 hrs, when done put the sous vide flat on

1 point after all flats are done, 6~8 hrs at 225 to reach 200

 

that way my cooking time is minimized and I can do them all in the Akorn Jr

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Ok I have to thank anyone who gave me feedback here. 

I got a 4lb brisket from Fresh Market. It was a better grade of meat and I was quite happy with it. I started much earlier, this time 10am for dinner around 8. I also had some sweet potatoes and chicken breasts which slowed down some of the cooking since I guess heat was diverted. I was able to get it off the smoker at about 815pm at 202 degrees with a temperature probe going very smooth. 

After 30 minutes of rest for the meat it all went so smooth. The meat could be cut with a fork. Everybody was very happy and I already can't wait for next time. 

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@therocketmanbk - No heat was diverted at all.  Two briskets don't take twice as long to cook because half the heat is diverted to another brisket.  Heat has no clue whatsoever which cook it is to go to.  Heat inside you kamado is the heat seen by every cook.  Two 4# briskets in the same kamado that are separated will cook in the same time as a single brisket.  

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Maybe it just seemed that way when I put the top shelf on. The brisket went from about 172-180 in 45-60 minutes (no wrap) then went from 180-190 in about 2-3 hours. Then when I took potatoes off it went from 190-200 in under an hour. 

 

Could have just been timing. 

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+1 on CC and TKO's comments.  You hit a stall at about the same time you put the potatoes on.  I hear the stall starts at about 160 but in my experience I feel like its more in the 170-190 range.  Each piece of meat is different so its hard to give a definitive on stall range. 

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