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Tips for the perfect smoked brisket?


MarkO76
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I smoked a brisket for our annual family X-mas Eve get together. It was a 17 pounder, before trimming (after the trim I'm guessing about 14-15lb) I smoked it on my KJ Classic 1 for 16 hours. After 8hrs I sprayed every 45 minutes for the duration of the cook. It turned out extremely good, and was gone in about 5 minutes after everyone started fixing plates lol. However, I have notes lol one thing I noticed was that the end of the flat was WAY to dry, and I'm not sure how to correct it next time because I can't turn it away from the fire, but I'm wondering if I put a deflector on that side maybe it would help. Also the bark never set properly, as I was cutting up the brisket I kept having the seasoning come off on my hands, any tips? ...maybe next time I won't stay it and see what happens

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Sounds like a great cook, with just the small issue of  the tip of the flat a little dry. This is what I use when I cook Brisket, and Ribs as well. It is a 17" x 13" ceramic stone made by Ceramic Grill Store in denton Texas, and  designed to prevent burnt ends on both brisket and ribs. I use mine in a BGE with an AR rack by CGS as well. CGS also makes Racks and such for KJ so they can tell you if it fits and how to hang it in your grill.  Hope this helps. Again sounds like a fine cook.

 

https://ceramicgrillstore.com/collections/ceramic-stones-multiple-sizes-bake-pizza-or-set-heat-diffuser-ceramic-kamado-grills/products/13x17-oval-ceramic-stone-large

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I've got this one as an extra already. I'm wondering if I put it on the on the bottom as a deflector, and the divide and conquer above it in the pizza formation I can channel most of the smoke to the point, as a posed to all around?

 

Char-Griller 6211 Smokin' Stone Jr, Natural Wood Color https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073GFTGFW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apan_glt_fabc_XQ5F1NV2P2C6KXQGKB37

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I have also struggled with the flat drying out. Great flavor but just dry. On my last brisket cook I injected some beef tallow into the flat and that helped tremendously. Putting some fat into the lean part of the brisket did make a big difference for me. As for the bark not setting, perhaps try not spritzing as much or at all. Each time you spritz you risk washing away some of the bark. I have found that kamados keep such a humid smoking environment that you don't need to spritz as much as you think you might. Sounds like it was a really good cook and everyone enjoyed it, so good luck on your pursuit of BBQ perfection and keep us posted on how your next brisket comes out!

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+1 on the not spritzing. spritz destroys bark

+1 on a possible shield under the flat however, a large enough drip pan also accomplishes the same thing

 

A couple of other things to consider. Causes of flats being tough or dry =

  • selecting brisket with too thin or a drastically uneven flat
  • undercooking
  • overcooking
  • not enough rest
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I think I have mine nailed down. Here's the abbreviated version:

  • don't trim too much fat
  • use your favorite rub
  • smoke at 225-250 until the meat is 165 internal
  • wrap in parchment paper and return to the grill until the meat is 200-205 internal
  • rest it

The spritzing isn't necessary, especially if you're wrapping it. For me, the key to the best brisket was wrapping. It holds in all the fat, keeping things from drying out. 165 is the point where the fat starts to render out.

 

I have never had issues with the bark coming off, so I can't speak to that.

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Last night my KJCII was dripping water from the lower vent! 

That was a new one! 

Yes, it's hot and humid as a you know what on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I shouldn't complain. 

Yes, a flood got my coasters. 

 

5653.thumb.jpeg.13ad9ad99c1c1999a7e6fb893e21dd2a.jpegNeedless to say, I have never spritzed! 

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wrapping is also an enemy of bark, even parchment. Used to do it on my first coupla briskeetos. Now, they ride naked as they day they were born...

 

On 12/31/2021 at 7:51 PM, lnarngr said:

Last night my KJCII was dripping water from the lower vent! 

That was a new one! 

Yes, it's hot and humid as a you know what on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I shouldn't complain. 

Yes, a flood got my coasters. 

 

Needless to say, I have never spritzed! 

 

Even when it's not hot I can get that moisture from the lower vent. It's a familar friend...

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You'll hear both sides of wrapping vs. not wrapping. Personally, I like the way mine comes out better wrapped at 165. Otherwise I end up with beef jerky for a flat. If you like a real crusty bark, then don't wrap it. I have found that the bark is still quite nice wrapped, and the flat stays nice & moist.

Here's mine from a couple weeks ago, wrapped in parchment at 165.

 

I flipped this one over and and it was fat cap up when I was cutting it. It cooked fat cap down.
 

PXL_20211220_003315332.jpg

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I prefer the butcher paper wrap - primarily to power through the stall. My best brisket ever included spritzing a couple of times with a 50/50 blend of apple juice and apple cider vinegar, so I’ve been spritzing ever since, although I try not to overdo it. I’m perfectly happy with the bark on my briskets.

 

As jtemple says above, you’ll get many suggestions on both sides of the topic, just like you will on the right cooking temperature. That’s what makes smoking great! I found a new technique on SmokingDad’s YouTube channel that has my interest - using both the deflector plate and SloRoller to allow for hotter, cleaner fire while protecting the brisket. I’ve not tried it, but it’s an interesting concept.

 

 

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For the record, I am not anti wrapping. I just find it unnecessary. It was a vital part of my process early on as was spritzing. And, I am pro each person finding their own process. There will always be those who swear by injecting, cooking on one side or the other, wrapping in foil, braising, finishing in the oven, etc. I just don't want anyone to confuse a moist brisket with wrapping and vice versa. I do not wrap and have zero issues with dry brisket.

 

I do think that the resolution to a dry brisket lies in the list I gave above.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 12/31/2021 at 5:51 PM, lnarngr said:

Last night my KJCII was dripping water from the lower vent! 

That was a new one! 

Yes, it's hot and humid as a you know what on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I shouldn't complain. 

Yes, a flood got my coasters. 

 

5653.thumb.jpeg.13ad9ad99c1c1999a7e6fb893e21dd2a.jpegNeedless to say, I have never spritzed! 

I am wondering about this!  I have a few weeks on my KJ and get water dripping EVERY time!  Brisket, pork shoulder, Stew in dutch oven.

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