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New AQ pulled pork has been good on second try several "whatever you did don't change a thing" comments however brisket not so hot. Doing full packers 14-15 lbs trimmed by me seasoned put in over night set at 225, about 12 hours checked temps with Thermapen, first one to 191 and was fall apart in the flat part to the point it would not slice. So second one I injected with lots of apple juice and cooked to 187 about 12 hours fat up not looking and the point is great but the flat is dry and the thin half falls apart when I try to slice it let it sit open and had no overshoot according to the thermapen. Thinking of foiling at some point and maybe take off at 180 to slice but when this one was probed at 180 it was very firm to push the probe into any help welcome. What about lower or higher temps?
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I don't trim my packers. I DO cross cut the fat into a sort of diamond pattern and get my rub down into it and take it to 190-195. I get best results at 195. Separate the flat from the tip, cube up the tip, hit it with some more rub and a little sauce and into a foil pan and back in the smoker for another 90 minutes or so.

I've never injected, I have an awesome injector I bought but never have used it. I like my brisket to taste like beef. Just me tho.
Next time try not trimming the flat at all. What model Cookshack do you have ?? Perhaps you had the brisket too close to the heating element. I have a SM150 and I like using the middle shelf (five shelves). It's just below the temperature probe and cooks pretty evenly.

So in review leave that fat on so it bastes the meat and use the middle shelf. I trim (or literally pull) the fat off my flat before I slice it - by taking the brisket to 195 that fat's ready to jump off it's so cooked. I too had great results one run, changed some little thing and was not as happy. Everyone else raved about it but secretly I was pis*ed because I Knew...

Like Smokin' and the other fellas say take good notes so you have a reference to use later. I'm pretty much in a groove now with mine, takes a while.
TD ~ A few brisket tips.

Look for packers with the thickest flat, especially towards the end. I'd rather cook a thick 12 lb packer vs a thin 15 lb'er.

I've found that 240 is the sweet spot for briskets and pork butts in the AQ.

Cooking fat side down generally works better for helps prevent the flat drying out from the lower heat element.

Injecting apple juice doesn't guarantee added moisture. Commercial brisket injections contain phosphate, which does help preserve moisture.

KEY advice, temps are guidelines. Briskets vary. Learn to rely on tenderness vs temp. I like to use a wood skewer (shish kebob type). When the center of the flat temps at 190, I'll insert the skewer, top to bottom, on the point, center of the flat and end of the flat. When I get minimal resistance, I'll pull it and FTC.

Brisket tends to involve a learning curve. Make minor adjustment as you learn the ropes and as Big Mike suggests, keep notes.
Originally posted by TD:
What about lower or higher temps?

Some cooks believe that the lower temp you cook at, the lower the finish temp will be.

A cook will have to look a long time to find the perfect brisket, so other cooks tend to cook what they find and get ahead of the learning curve.

A cook might have to think about what he can do with what he has been I worry about a 3" section that is thin or do I cook the thicker area done,and make chili with the thin part?

Even our mistakes in a CS can make for fine eating.
TD, Good advise from Max and Cal. There is only one other who may be better and I’ll bet Smokin will chime in later

I trim according to my mood. If I feel like it I do, if I don’t feel like it I don’t

I have filled the AQ to over capacity with briskets and not have a bad one

I’ve smoked them fat side up and I’ve smoked them fat side down (bottom shelf must be fat side down otherwise I don’t care anymore)

I’ve never injected only rubbed simple is better

If I have a thin point I will double it over

I’ve had one or two I’ve been disappointed in, but the people I was feeding thought it was the best

I like my brisket and have only tasted one brisket I thought was better than mine and one other brisket I thought was as good as mine. And that my friend is what it is all about. If it makes you happy it is good Q
Originally posted by TD:
On the middle shelf fat trimmed to 1/4 3/8 flat is not right will put fat down and report back maybe foil the flat half way.

I was taught as a young cook, that becoming a brisket cook would require practice and patience. I was also taught to take good notes and only change one thing at a time, best advice a young cook can get.

Lets talk about that old word that sends shivers up Smokin's spine...FOIL, the Texas crutch, yeah it can work for some things, but a brisket cook must ask himself,"what do I need it for"?

Poor brisket?... yes it can add moisture to make up for the lack of internal marbling.

Added flavor?....yes you can put an extra layer of flavor on a brisket with it.

Tenderizing?....yes you can make pot roast with it.

A GOOD brisket cook will ask," what does it cost me"?

Could be bark formation, flavor wash out of the bark, and yes a different mouth feel.

You will have to decide what you want out of a brisket, then maybe the fine cooks on the forum can help!
Like Max said.... I'd rather cook a 12lb with a good, thick flat than a 15lb tapered flat. The only fat I trim is the kernel, or if the flat was not trimmed well...I'll clean that up. Butchers has phosphate..try some of that...this may take some experimenting to find the taste you like. I cook fat down... always. I cook at 246 degrees...not sure why I settled on that...just seems to work best. No foil and in comps I take it to 200 then start probing. When tenderness I want is achieved, I wrap in foil and into the cambro it goes. Usually 4-5 hours. No crumble problems here at all.
I have an SM025, which is similar to the AQ as far as temperature range. I've spent the better part of the past year trying to improve my brisket with no luck until recently.

So far, the only thing that has helped me has been bumping up the temp to 275. I've been starting with a 13-16 pound packer brisket, and trimming as SmokinOkie describes in his 101 video. For the first 2 hours, I start at 225 to get a little more smoke on the brisket, but then bump it up to 275. I'll start probing for tenderness around 185-190, and I won't pull the brisket until the brisket probes like butter the.

Now, I've done my fair share of the 225 cooks, but all of my briskets, from 7 pound flats to 13 pound packers took 12 hours to get past the stall. I tried foiling, but the flats never seemed to come out right. I always ended up with an over-smoked taste to them. I tried my share of injecting too, but I dropped that to focus on getting the meat right. I'll worry about adding flavor later. The nice thing about 275, is that all of my briskets have sailed right on through with no stall at all! I've been able to start a brisket at 8:00 AM, and still have time to FTC it a couple of hours before dinner.

I'm nowhere near as experienced as some of the guys who've posted above, so I'm just sharing what I've learned over the past year. Hope this helps! Smiler

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