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I smoked my first brisket yesterday on my new Smokette. I used an 8.5 pounder cut into the flat and the point so it would fit into the smoker. I used one piece of apple and one of hickory. It was smoked for almost 11 hours at 180 degrees. I had my best friend test taste it about 30 minutes after I took it out. He said it had a great flavor, but was a little tough.

Especially compared to my "old method" on old Brinkmann electric smoker. That involved about six hours on the Brinkmann and then removed from the smoker, wrapped in foil, and finished in the kitchen oven for another 6 - 7 hours at 225 degrees.

Did I not leave it in the Smokette long enough or did I leave it in too long? Has anyone marinated brisket before smoking? Any help appreciated.
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Originally posted by jazzspot:
I believe you should have got to an internal temp of at least 190*.

I agree. I run my brisket to 190 internal to slice. 200 internal to pull for chili or brisket sammies.

I would double foil your brisket, add a half cup of some type of broth or apple juice, seal tight and throw it back into your oven. Use a remote probe thermometer to get internal up to 190, remove and let it rest for a bit.

Should take care of your brisket just fine.

I'm no expert,but here are a couple thoughts.

6-7 hrs in foil in the oven is known as pot roast.

Still tasty,though.

The Cookshack cooks moist,so I'd learn to cook without the foil.

A marinade is only going to penetrate about 3/8 inch,so I wouldn't spend too much time with it.

If you are buying a choice packer,it probably needs around 195º in the thickest part of the flat.

You should be able to poke your temp probe through it ,easily.

If not,cook it several more degrees.

Put it in double foil with a cup of beef stock and wrap tightly.

Let rest two-three hours.

Slice across the grain,to whatever thickness makes it tender.

Now if this doesn't work,there are some other approaches.
From the details you put, I can't tell what happened for sure, other than it wasn't "done".

Weight. How big was the brisket? Weight will make an impact. If it was an 8lber it wouldn't be done in 8 hours.

180 temp. ANY brisket will take a long time at that temp. I've done briskets at that temp for many years and a 12 to 14 lb'ers would take almost 24 hours. Try 225 or 250 for a cooking temp.

The best suggestion to improving your brisket would be to determine a way to consistently tell when it's done. SMokin'g isn't a recipe. Every meat will vary on when it's done. Ribs won't "always" take 3.5 hours. If they're 2.2 lb babybacks vs 3.5 lb spare. Same with brisket.

Lots of methods for determining doneness. Best is the "poke and prod method" but before you do that, try the temp method. Look for an internal temp in the flat of around 190 to 195 for slicing. Even that temp isn't a guarantee. Poking it with a meat probe and "feeling" the resistence is the best way to determine doneness.

Finally "foil" and the oven. You don't need to use your oven anymore, use the smoker and the CS is a "moist" smoker. If you're cooking full packers, you don't need to wrap in foil, but if you're comfortable with that method, just leave it in the CS.
Thanks to all for the replies on "tough brisket". I found the 180 degree temperature on a Cookshack site. Obviously, it was wrong, as other parts of the Cookshack web site say 225 degrees for brisket!!! I thought it was a little low based upon my other smoking experience, but I thought "what the heck, it a new piece of gear".

I did salvage my first effort by wrapping in foil and cooking in my oven in HD foil (sorry, guys) for an additional 6.5 hours at 225. Just great.

And yesterday, I tried a second 8 pound brisket in my Smokette at 225 degrees for 12 hours. And I did use my Taylor temperature probe and an instant-read meat thermometer. I was very pleased with the second effort.
We do the same thing with our cooking. The Taylor is so you can monitor the meat without having to open the smoker. We use a thermapen on meats like brisket to guage the doneness of the meat, once it reaches temp, along with verifying the temp in different places.

So, depending on how David uses the two therms, it might have been just fine.
Last edited by ribdog

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