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For the first time using a cookshack elite, I smoked a brisket. The temp was staying at about 170 - 175 for a couple of hours. I had the smoker set at 225 and I raised it to 250. The meat temp increased in 2 1/2 hours to 193. I took it out of the smoker and let it rest foiled for 25 minutes.

The meat sliced well with a sharp knife. The family loved it; however, I felt it was not the fall apart tender as I have experienced with my Weber Smokey mountain and BBQ guru computerized temp control. (By the way, Cookshack cleanup and prep is heaven compared to using charcoal.)

Should one just leave the temp setting at 225 and wait it out for really tender brisket or should one raise the temp and then leave the brisket in the smoker for a longer time when the meat reaches 190 - 195? Does raising the temp decrease the slow cook action on the collagen?


Terry Sandlin
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Originally posted by Terry Sandlin:
The temp was staying at about 170 - 175 for a couple of hours.

That's the plateau, and it's impossible to tell how long it will take, too many variables, so I keep notes and go for an overall time to use for tracking, because once it gets above the plateau, it rises quickly.

For more tender, just cook it longer. Can't rush it, but the higher temp won't be the cause.

193 isn't high enough for tender, but I don't go on temp, I go on a manual check, as different briskets have different temps for tenderness.

Start with a target temp, say your 193. Stick a probe in and it should feel little or no resistence. Feel resistence, then cook it longer.
Yep,there are lots of fine cooks that feel the longer it stays in the plateau,the better it breaks down collagen,and renders fat.

If you have had fall apart tender,many folks would feel it was overcooked-but like Smokin' says,you can't tell without being there.

If you have cooked a bunch of briskets,you know that different quality of the meat,determines a bunch.

As said,try a couple more and take notes on your changes.

At low cook temps,you might want to try letting it set in the foil 2-3 hrs,to tender up,and redistribute juices,more.

Like Smokin' says,there are a few that may come temder at 193º,but not too many.

I suppose you checked the accuracy of your independent temp probe,and verified the actual cooking temp at the rack with the brisket?

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