Brisket Mistakes to Avoid

Brisket Mistakes To Avoid

    1. Cook Temperature -- if using a kamado grill target a temperature of 225 degrees Farenheit
    2. Rub - Keep it simple, salt & pepper. If using a pellet cooker which doesn't impart as much smoke on the meat you can supplement with more spices
    3. Not allowing enough time before you have to serve it. Each brisket is different. Add 2.5 hours to your cook time to be safe
    4. Not allowing enough time to rest. This helps with moisture and tenderness. Minimum is 1 hours, strive for at least 2 hours of rest
      • If cook is <8 hours can put directly in the cooler, stay hot and slowly come down in temp
      • If cook is 8-12 hours, let brisket down to 180 degrees, then to cooler
      • If cook is 12+ hours, let brisket come down to 165 degrees, then to cooler
    5. Don't change too much
      • Don't change everything from last cook you tried (temperature, rub, injection, wood, water pan). You won't know which affected the cook (good/bad) vs. the last time
    6. Five key things to look for before wrapping the meat
      • Color --> proxy for how much smoke flavor. Darker yields more smoke flavor
      • Bark build is a necessary pre-condition
      • Evaporation --> want the brisket to sweat out water, shrink about 40%. If don't allow to sweat out enough, will fill wrap with lots of moisture. Create soup that washes off the bark
      • Fat render --> fat on top turns yellow, when you poke it there is no resistance
      • Temperature --> not the end all be all, just one component. Typically check the other 4 things first. As a fail safe, generally wrap around 175-185 degrees, but could be as low as 160 and as high as 195.
    7. When spraying brisket, don't spray the fat. The point is to protect the meat. You want fat to render, so spraying is counter-productive.
    8. Over/under smoking. Know your cooker
    9. Avoid wild temperature swings
    10. Getting low quality meat
      • Don't have to get Wagyu. At a minimum get "Choice," you can't make good brisket with Select. If can get Prime, get Prime
    11. Wrapping improperly
      • Whatever using (foil or butcher paper) do it well. Make it nice and tight.
    12. Improperly trimming the brisket
      • Bad idea to try and trim off all the fat, can cause the meat to come out dry
      • Don't be reluctant to trim off parts of the brisket. Don't leave a piece on the brisket that will just dry up and burn. When trimming the flat, be merciless.