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Ok Guys, what did I do wrong?

5 1/2 # brisket

Rubbed it with Cookshack Brisket Rub and let it sit for a day and a half covered in the fridge

Placed it fat cap up in the smoker and began cooking at 220 degrees.

Used 4 1/2 ozs of Hickory/Mesquite.

Pulled it after 9 1/2 hours with a 190 degree internal temp.

Let it rest in the microwave for 1/2 hour before slicing.

Conclusion: Definately edible but very dry and not what I'd call a great experience. Any comments will be appreciated.
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i guess i will take a stab at this one.
i think appling the rub a day and a half before smoking might be the culprit with the salt drawing some water our.
your temps look good
time seems to be ok
i dont know why but i find i get better results in peggy's sm150 if i cook it fat side down for the 1st 2/3rds of the cook. i have heard that it is because the heat source is at the bottom of the unit but then again it's the same in my fec which does better fat side up. thats why i am glad i keep notes.
also you didn't say which rack you used so i am assuming that it was the top one.
one thing you also might try is to pull the brisket when you hit an internal of around 180-185 and wrapping in foil to rest.
again your technique looks fine to me except for the amount of time the rub was on
hope this helps some
I'm no expert,but I'll ask a couple questions and give a couple of thoughts.

Have you had a chance to read the brisket archives and

Smokin' Okie's Brisket 101

What cooker are you using?

Was it a flat,and was it choice,or select?

Like Jack,I'm not sure you gain-or lose-much with more than a few hours in the rub.

How much rub?

If it was a flat ,use the search feature at the top of the page,and it should give you plenty of thoughts.

Those techniques will get you to a tender & moist brisket.

A flat might be the most difficult item to cook,well.

Briskets are all individual beasts.

The CS was designed to cook brisket and it is a very moist cooker.

As Jack said,the procedure was generally about right.

With a little more info,we'll try to give a little more specific answers.
WARNING...Old Smokin' Post ahead...

FOIL argh.....

Guess I have to jump in and disagree on the often recommended foil/Broth method (sorry Kathy, it's not you). I've been doing this smoke thing long enough, not to jump in sometimes and remind us of the basics first.

I really don't like going straight to the "wrap and juice" method without trying to solve the problems. That's how I learned to smoke, fix my problems first then use the old Texas Crutch if you need to.

I think too often new brisket cooks jump into Foil and Juice as the solution instead of trying to learn to cook it straight up. If you look at Brisket 101, foil is only mentioned once and that's only for holding.

Trust me, a great brisket with a really good bark that hasn't been sitting in foil and juices is a pretty good piece of beef.

You know me and the F word. If it's for holding for long periods, it's okay (yes I use foil in a comp, not because I want to but because I have to).

Foiling and broth tend to Braise the brisket, not smoke it and I do think it modifies the external bark on the brisket significantly. For me, it totally changes the texture and taste (makes it taste like braised beef not brisket -- and yes there is a different taste).

Now to m73214.

5 lbs is pretty small, to me that's a flat at best and it probably didn't have much fat to protect it. You didn't say, but if you're using a CS, they're such a humid smoker, they'll usually do fine so then we need to figure out why.

Unless the rub was REALLY salty, I can't imagine it drawing so much moisture out to dry it out. I've tried the CS BR and don't think it's too salty (but I like salt) but hey, I've been wrong before.

Some cuts of brisket will just dry out (small selects will certainly)

For small flats then you need to think about keeping them moist. Some start fat cap down (if it's really a fat cap) others will lay bacon on it to add moisture, and others will add a small container of flavor (can of broth). That's why Flats are no fun.

I'd also check the temp accuracy. 9 1/2 hours sounds almost too long for a small flat.

But hey, if you want to try the foil braising method, I'm sure it will solve the dry issue.

Hey sometimes its a ornery beefer. But 9 hours is long time, seems like my 5 lb flats according to my log are around 6-7 hours. I never had to foil in either of my smokettes nor did I have dry briskets but I have had dry briskets in my WSM if I wasnt being careful especially on the smaller size pieces.
Preston D
Thanks for all the comments. I use a CS 009 and the cut of meat was a choice flat with very little fat on the cap. Maybe that was one reason for the dryness. I put an even coat of rub on both sides pretty much covering the entire piece. Since it was such a small piece of meat, maybe I should have pulled it at 180 degrees. I have another brisket about the same size so maybe I'll try some modifications. Any other thoughts are welcomed.
I did a small 3.5lb flat that came out a little dry compared to the jucy 12lb brisket I did for Labor day. However, my rub had brown sugar in it which made a very nice bark, sort of SEALED it real good, which helped in my flats. The bark had a sweet/spicy hot taste which worked pretty well. Sliced real thin served at room temperature with a Merlot, apples, pears and an assortment of cheeses....even a flat can work out pretty well. The best brisket I ever smoked was the 12lb packer...I have never eaten a better cut of meat. I also only let my briskets/butts sit overnight in a rub, sometimes just a few for me.

Try again, maybe use a rub with some heat and sweet the next time.


I'm no expert, but think your problem was the selection of meat. A flat is the most difficult thing to cook.

Go find yourself a large (12-14 pound) packer cut Choice grade brisket. Rub the night before, then fold it over to fit in the Smokette. Cook to about 190 degrees internal.

Yum. Yum.
Well,let's try a couple more thoughts.

Like Dave says,a nice big packer would be a good thing.

If you can't find one,and are determined to cook brisket,we'll try to help.

Lowering the internal temp to 180�,probably won't work.

Some folks have had success,as Smokin' says,laying fatty bacon/pork fat/beef fat on the top and cooking.

I'm too lazy to do all that.

I like to cook a pork butt over it,though.

Now,a flat might come tender at 185�,or at 210�.

A remote probe indicates when you should open the door and check it, with something else.

Yes,you do lose about 25 mins,each time you open the door and let all the heat out.

That means you need to figure a longer cooking time.

Are you running an independent remote probe through a ball of foil,so you know what temp is going on where the flat is setting?

225� is a good easy reference point.

Like Smokin'asked,have you verified the accuracy of your probe-that will go into the meat?

Some folks like to take a warm mixture of beef broth,a little worcestershire,a little margarine,a little apple juice, and just kinda sling it on the flat,so you don't wash off the bark.

They try that every couple of hours.

When your remote reads 185�,pull it out and see if it will slide easily through the flat,topside to bottom side.

If not,you probably need to cook it longer.

Try again in 5 �increments.

When it feels done,lay out a couple sheets of heavy duty foil and place the flat in the center.

Pour about 1/3 cup of your mop-or however much doesn't run all over the place- over the flat and seal tightly.

Wrap in a big towel and let it rest about 3 hours in a dry cooler.

Next set a table for yourself,and maybe someone else.

If they would appreciate fine food.

Set out three cold Shiner Bocks-per diner,or a good German influenced beer from Wisconson.

A slice of Texas toast,some sliced pickled jalapenos,a little onion,and a bowl of potato salad.

Put on Guy Clarke's"Texas Cookin",or a little SRV.

When ready,slice across the grain.

If it is a little tough,slice thinner.

If it wants to break up ,slice a little thicker.

When you finish all that,let us know if we got lucky. Wink

Now,I'll go-'fore someone accuses me of makin' a Smokin' post. Big Grin
I meant that the broth was poured on after pulling when you wrap it in foil.I don't have all the terminology down yet! I have learned a lot in this discussion.Nothing like the voices of Experience.
I got so involved in Tom's soliloquoy, I started salivating.He sure paints a delicious picture..meat,beer,sides,music..You should write copy for the KCBS,Tom

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