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Last week I smoked a brisket in my smokette. It was a full packer CAB brisket that weighed 11 lbs. I've checked the calibration on my probe in boiling water and ice water and the probe temps are on the money. I put the probe in the thickest part of the flat near the point. I set the smoker temp to 225 degrees and let 'er rip for 16 hours until the internal temp was 195 degrees. When I took the brisket out, it nearly seperated where the flat and point connect and the meat basically shredded when I tried to slice it. It was very moist and flavorful and had great smoke taste. 3/4 inch slices where about the smallest I could go and have the slice remain whole. Yesterday I did an 11 lb full packer choice brisket until 190 degrees internal again about 16 hours and it too, fell apart when slicing. Should I be probing the meat to check for doneness at perhaps 185 degrees? I read where Tom and Smokin' said you can probe and if the probe slides in easily in various areas the meat is ready. My question is, how much resistance to penetration by the probe is the right amount? I know each piece of meat has a mind of its' own and the better cuts should theoretically be done at a lower temp. Any advice whould be appreciated. Incidentally, I foiled and sauced with Aaron Brooks' finishing sauce, the one with honey, O.J., brown sugar and ketchup. I added some cayenne and beef broth and tastewise, they were both winners.
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From Smokin's Brisket 101:

"What if the meat is too tender? This is actually a sign of over-cooking. Really. Just remember, to cook it for slices, I cook to 190. To cook it for chopping, add about 10degrees. It it�s too tender, cut the slices thicker to hold together better."

Maybe you need to take it down 5*. As you said, each piece of meat has a mind of it's own. I'd say try it again to 185-187.

My $0.02
Oh they're quoting me. Guess someone reads my stuff Wink


Wheelze is right. Each brisket has it's own mind. I use CAB in contests and I've had them "sliceable" at 185 and some needed over 200.

The "feel" for the slices is really impossible for me to describe. This is where experience comes in. When it gets to 185. Start on the outer part of the meat with the probe and work your way into the middle. You will feel different amounts of resistence. You don't want it to feel like you're going into butter. You want to feel like when it pushes in, it has a little resistence, but not hard to push in.

Then the key to remember is how that felt and when you pull it off see if it's the tenderness you want. Remember and adjust for the next time.

Maybe if I think about it, or maybe Tom can, we can figure out the right word description.

Practice is the best thing. Once you get your flavors like you like, then this is the final hurdle. The we move on to Brisket 202.
Like Smokin' says,it is experience and still not perfect.

Depending on if you let it set one hr,or cook for several,in the cooler,will affect when you pull.

Like they said above ,probe it at 185�,and if the probe moves through it easily,pull it.

Try to pick it up with a long tined meat fork in the flat,and if the flat slides off,it is done.

If it is tough to penetrate,cook some more.

Let it set about three hrs in the cooler,and it will rise another 5�-8�

Like Smokin' says,take notes and adjust each time.

We may cook three,do them all the same,and they will be different when the team checks them for turnin.

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