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I'm wondering what the optimal internal temp for sliced brisket is. Maybe this should be an informal little poll: What temp leaves you with the best balance of tenderness and moistness in a brisket, with it still being sliceable?

I usually cook my briskets till they reach 195* internal. My latest brisket accidentally crept up to 204* before I first checked it and pulled it off the smoker, and that brisket tasted too dry to me.

However, my briskets, although tender when pulled off the smoker at 195*, aren't as moist as a real thin-sliced -- yet tender -- brisket I recently tasted at a restaurant.

Which leads to the question: What internal temp do you take your brisket to so that it doesn't taste dried out, but is tender and sliceable?

Also, just curious: What internal temp do most people in competitions cook their briskets to?
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Briskets are like interesting women,they are all different -with a mind of their own.

Some are ready early-down around 185� and others may take a lot longer to get ready-up to 205�

An old, onery, wiry,select one may take special attention and lots of time and a young choice one may be ready before you planned it.

The amount of time you hold it wrapped and hot will affect the outcome.

A couple hrs resting may allow it to reach its peak,while holding it hot for several hrs may cause it to pass the peak.

A well cooked brisket will dry very quickly,once cut.

An undercooked one,sliced thinly across the grain,might hold moisture a little longer.

Smokin' will say "its done when its done" and the temp might vary 15 degrees.

Flats may be very different from packers.

Ungraded/select may vary greatly from choice/CAB or prime.

Just a couple of thoughts that make brisket interesting. Big Grin
I shoot for 188 but usually end up pulling around 195. Brisket is always tender but can be on to the dry side. Fortunately I was raised to eat sauce on everything, so a little dry is no problem. I have found that if I keep the brisket whole and carve as I serve the brisket maintains good moisture. I just can't slice ahead of time. When I have to slice ahead (catering jobs)I shoot for 180, let the brisket chill and then slice thinly on the slicer.

Just my .02

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