Hi, I followed the steps in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Qm-nm4Z7wA&t=15s
and I my brisket turned out dry and dense. I'm hoping you can tell me where I went wrong:
- ~5.5 lbs (pre-trimmed) of Prime Angus grain fed brisket point from https://shalhoob.com/butcher-shop
- trimmed as much of the silver skin off as I could
- trimmed off hard fat and tried to leave 1/8" to 1/4" of fat
- seasoned 24 hours prior to cook with 50/50 coarse black pepper and kosher salt
- used Kamado Joe lump charcoal and two medium chucks of mesquite hardwood
- ambient outside temperature was low-mid 80s
- waited until grill came up to temp and smoke was mostly clear before putting meat on
- put meat on fat side down
- cooked in Classic III using sloroller, on the lower level rack
- cooked with water pan on grill
- used Thermopro two probe digital thermometer (1 probe at grill level, 1 probe in thickest part of brisket)
- grill temp ranged between 245-270, but mostly 250-260
- took ~6.5 hrs to get to 170 internal temp
- wrapped in foil at 172
- took ~1.5 hrs to get to 203
- at ~203 a wood shish kabob skewer did go through meat, but still felt a little resistance. At this point I pulled it b/c I was concerned about over cooking
- kept in foil, wrapped in towel, put in cooler for 1.5 hrs
The brisket had bark and a smoke ring. Pencil thin slice passed pull test. But it was dry and dense. The attached photos are from the day after the cook and the meat is cold.
I recently picked up 3 boxes of Forest Lumps charcoal at a KCBS event here in town and the vendor told me that this was a great Beechwood charcoal from Europe. It rated highly recommended on the Naked Wiz site. It lit very fast and seemed to burn well, but it produced a lot of smoke. This is the first charcoal that I have purchased that was not from either Walmart or HD and am not sure why or if this product is better. Has anyone tried this lump?
Yesterday I smoked my first brisket with the Joe. I've smoked briskets before in my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES henceforth) and they were phenomenal. This one turned out with great taste, but I know I could have done a lot better in terms of texture. The bark was nice and crispy which I loved, but it came out a little tough. I've identified several differences in the process I followed on the MES, but I always want to learn from the best so I welcome all input - suggestions, constructive criticism, etc.
MES vs Joe:
Flat and Fat Cap on MES vs just the Flat on the Joe (I don't think the briskets I smoked on the MES were full briskets - they weighed in from 7 to 10 lbs, and the one I smoked yesterday on the Joe was just over 5)
Drip Pan filled with water (coffee, actually) in MES vs no added moisture on Joe
Texas Crutch after 4 hours on MES vs all grill time on Joe
Brushed with Mop Sauce pretty frequently on MES vs untouched on Joe
Wood chips on MES vs wood chunks on Joe (doubt this contributed, but wanted to capture it)
Internal Temp 195 on MES vs 200 on Joe
5-6 hours on MES vs 7-8 on Joe
Those are the differences I can recall. The MES produced a much more tender brisket, but the bark wasn't crispy at all, and borderline soggy in some places. This makes sense given the drip pan, the aluminum foil and the basting. My hope is that I can somehow obtain that perfect bark and a more tender bite.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nc2f33hb5wdw45b/Photo May 13%2C 21 34 51.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ygztvqmf8fr4s4e/Photo May 15%2C 20 42 37.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/f98piayfayfiwet/Photo May 18%2C 13 28 57.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/p1hw9javhe95hzw/Photo May 18%2C 14 18 49.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/eqbr19g9eu1jtoo/Photo May 18%2C 21 31 20.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/e1wp3bqz77rhqcz/Photo May 18%2C 21 33 01.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5klzyxjqpfnnipm/Photo May 18%2C 22 23 57.jpg?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hcqylt8z02fgpcb/Photo May 18%2C 22 26 31.jpg?dl=0
Grill = Akorn. Temp control by TipTopTemp. No leaks. Probes = Thermoworks Smoke and Thermopen MK4. I've confirmed that the probes are accurate, and there was no obstructions on the pit probe.
Put on a 16lb Packer (probably a few pounds less after trimming) at midnight. According to the Smoke's graphs, the pit temp held between 215-235 all night.
The brisket hit the stall after only 3 hours of cooking, so IT of 160 by 3AM. When I woke up to make some pit adjustments (it jumped to around 250 at 6AM, probably when the sun came up and the TTT compensated for change in ambient temp) the meat was already at around 180, so I'm wrapping in butcher paper, however it's going to be finished - including resting - in under 12 hours, which just doesn't seem right.
Had I wrapped when the stall hit, that would have been at 3AM, and maybe it would have been done around 8. How is that even possible for a 16lb packer? Everything was timed so that it would be done (including rest) in around 16 hours, though obviously every piece of meat is different. I would not have expected a piece to be THIS different though.
So we were having a small get-together this year for Thanksgiving and I decided to go away from the traditional turkey since we're more partial to ham and beef, anyway. I went to Costco on Tuesday night, grabbed a 14lb prime brisket (before trim), and prepped it late Wednesday night with only salt and pepper around midnight as the smoker came to temp. Threw it on the Big Joe fat side down (to add another layer of protection from the heat below) at 1am at 225 and let it go.
I woke up around 7:30 and the temp apparently held steady, but it did so at 215 so the stall was a bit lower than I've heard elsewhere -- it stalled around 148 instead of 160-165ish. No problem, I opened the top vent and brought the temp to 285 and the internal temp started to creep up a for a few hours, but we were planning on eating around 2-3 so I needed to speed it along soon if it didn't break the stall. A couple hours later, around noon, I realized there was no way it was going to be done in time, so I wrapped in foil and threw it back on. About 2:00 it was probing tender at 208 and ready to pull. Wrapped in a couple towels, placed in a cooler, and made the short 40 minute drive to the family feast.
All in all, I should have thrown it on about an hour earlier and set the temp at 250 instead of 225. I feel like it dropped to 215 for too long so at the stall the fat didn't render as well as I was wanting, but everyone thought it was amazing, and I'm not really going to complain for my first time. It was moist and juicy, I just made a few noobie mistakes/oversights this time, but can't wait to smoke another! Pics below: