Author Topic: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results  (Read 479 times)

Offline Mayweather

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« on: June 15, 2017, 11:15:14 pm »
Hi guys,

So i smoked some brisket for the first time last weekend with some poor results in my opinion. I had the PID controlling the temp at 225F. Given i did not want to cook a whole brisket i cut the brisket in half and smoked just the point half. My assumption was that given i was only smoking half the brisket that i would be done in 6-7 hours. To my surprise it took me a full 12-13 hours to get this up to 195F temp. I believe i made many mistakes along the way and would like some feedback from experienced people. Below i have outlined the process and appreciate any feedback and advice:

1) Waited for smoker to heat up to 225F. Once up to temp i placed the brisket on the middle rack. I had one large water pan down below to diffuse the burnt pucks and provide moisture. The Pan was large enough to last the entire cook and still be full with water.
2) Temp cabin probe was at the front of the bottom rack to maintain a steady 225F using the PID.
3) I let the brisket smoke for a full 3-3.5 hours without touching it. I noticed the PID does take a long time to get the smoker up to temp once the door has been opened. After 3.5 hours i opened the door and sprayed the brisket with apple cider vinegar.
4) Continued smoking process until brisket internal temp reached 160F. Took out of smoker, wrapped in foil and poured Apple Cider Vinegar over brisket.
5) Turned smoke off, and left in Bradley smoker with just the oven on until internal temp of Brisket reached 195 degrees.
6) Took out of Bradley and left the brisket wrapped in foil on my kitchen bench top to rest for a full 1 hour
7) Took brisket out, cut in thin slices to serve.

Now i'm not saying this was a disaster, but it wasn't anything like what I've seen from people on YouTube. The brisket was a bit moist in some parts, but dry in other areas. The meat also had a bitter taste to it, that seemed like it was coming from the apple cider vinegar that i poured into the foil to let it steam until it reached temp. In my opinion this was a mistake as i think drenching the brisket in cider vinegar ruined the taste. The seasoning i used was a mix of salt, pepper, onion powder, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper. The wood pucks i used were cherry wood. I decided to try this as i had never used cherry before, but there was no smoke ring, and not much of a smokey flavour.

The Bradley Smoker also seems to go to a maximum of 9hrs an 40 minutes. Is there a way i can set the Bradley initially to go for a full 15 hours rather than having to increase the duration mid way through the cook on the unit?

I appreciate any advice on how i can improve my brisket making process and where i went wrong?

Offline gricardsimplycol

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 01:43:40 am »
Im no expert for sure but will tell you what i do.
To begin i leave meat out after rub to come to room temp. Not always reaching but go the attemp. Warmed up the cabinet to maybe 300 and when opening door have pan with hot water ready to go in with the meat. Middle rack seems goid as i put additional drip pan on bottom. Keep vent open. I only open to add water maybe around 4 hour mark .how ever long it takes your water pan should last 4 hrs. After the stall temp goes up quickly. When internal temp has been reached just pull it wrap in foil /towel and place in cooler . Ive waited 3 or 4 hrs before eating and it was still a bit hot to eat. Never had a dry one. Not being expert i dont know if that's perfect but it beats anything my wife has cooked and you cant get that good eating out. Ive got picky eaters in my family and they eat and return for more. 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk


Offline Habanero Smoker

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 14,005
  • KCBS - Master Certified Barbecue Judge
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 02:13:46 am »
I rarely can get a whole brisket, so I don't have much experience cooking the point, but I've tasted a lot of burnt ends form the point, and I have to say it is not my favorite cut. It's just to fatty for me.

Did you separate the point from the flat, or did you slice the brisket in halve at the end of the point; where it meets the flat. I know the rule of thumb is so many hours per pound; but a lot of that cooking time is due to the thickness of the cut.

I'm sure the bitter taste is from the vinegar. I've seen a lot of brisket mops with apple cider vinegar, and the amount of vinegar seems too much. Plus; for my taste vinegar does not go well with beef - pork, yes.

As for the 9:40 time limit, you can reset the timer at any time. You don't have to wait to it expires. For example; when the time gets down to 3 hours, you can reset it back to 9:40 hours.


     I
         don't
                   inhale.
  ::)

Offline TedEbear

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,373
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 04:40:15 am »
The Bradley Smoker also seems to go to a maximum of 9hrs an 40 minutes. Is there a way i can set the Bradley initially to go for a full 15 hours rather than having to increase the duration mid way through the cook on the unit?

I thought you had an Auber PID.  I know the digital Bradley has a 9:40 time limit but I didn't think the Auber had the same restriction.

Anyway, I've only smoked a few briskets but I set the chamber temp to slow cook at 210*F.  I used to go 225 but I could tell a difference in them being more tender at the lower setting.  I also leave the briskets unwrapped the entire time.  I've occasionally used 3/4 cup or so of apple juice poured in the bottom of a foil wrap (not directly on the meat) for pork butts.  I usually take everything to an IT of 195, regardless of how long it takes to get there.

Right now I have an 8 lb brisket in the fridge that's about halfway into its 30-day aging process and I will be smoking it at the end of this month.  I flex it and flip it over once each day. I usually just buy one, put some rub on it and smoke it the next day but I've heard the aging process makes them more tender.  We shall see.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 04:44:39 am by TedEbear »

Offline Salmonsmoker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 07:38:51 am »
Mayweather, search YouTube for Aaron Franklin's brisket cook. He owns Franklin Barbeque in Austin Tx. His technique is probably a little different than you'll be able to achieve in your Bradley, but good info non the less. It's not long and kind of fun to watch. You also might check out amazingribs.com. Meathead Goldwyn has a ton of info, recipes, scientific research, which brings to mind one of the things I see posted here from time to time. It's about letting the meat sit out on the counter to come up to room temperature, and the negatives of doing so.
Give a man a beer and he'll waste a day.
Teach him how to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.

Offline GusRobin

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,470
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 07:32:19 pm »
I think the vinegar is what ruined the taste. Also, how long did you smoke it for? Anything over 3-4 hrs will negatively impact taste. (in my experience-your mileage may very).
Did you take the temp at various spots to make sure you weren't in a fat pocket>

those are just some suggestions.
"It ain't worth missing someone from your past- there is a reason they didn't make it to your future."

"Life is tough, it is even tougher when you are stupid"

Don't curse the storm, learn to dance in the rain.

Offline rexster

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2017, 08:18:00 pm »
Leave off all the condiments except salt and pepper. Smoke 4-5 hours, cherry is pretty mild. If mesquite or hickory, cut down to 3-4 hours. When you foil and put the meat back on, you're steaming the meat, which really affects the smoke you've just done. Butcher paper is called for, it lets the meat "breathe" Brisket is done, when it's done. 195 may not be enough. I've seen some briskets have to go to 205 or better to get tender. You'll never get a real smoke ring using a Bradley. Smoke rings come from burning wood, not smoking wood bisquettes.
Stainless 4 rack Bradley
6 Rack DBS w/second heat element
Auber PID
7 Foot X 20" Pipe BBQ pit with offset firebox
Jenn-Air 75000 btu gas grill w/sear burner
Weber Performer charcoal grill
Portable Kitchen All Aluminum Charcoal Grill
2 MES 40" smokers
PK360 Grill
Vacmaster 320 Vacuum Chamber Sealer

Offline Mayweather

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2017, 03:26:24 pm »
Thanks for the advice all. Next time i am going to leave the Brisket to about 200-205 internal temp and see if that makes a difference, and not use ACV. Maybe just water or some normal apple juice to prevent the bitter taste from getting into the meat. I'll also use either Hickory of Mesquite for the smoking.

Regarding the PID controller, i take it i don't even need to bother turning on the Smoke Tower at the start of my cook and setting a timer on the Bradley itself given the PID seems to control all of this even with the Smoke Tower lights being off?

Thanks for all the help and suggestions so far. I guess this is all a learning experience for me :)

Offline GusRobin

  • Member Extraordinaire
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,470
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2017, 04:44:34 pm »
Don't go by temp, go by tenderness. As rexter said, some take 195 some take 205
"It ain't worth missing someone from your past- there is a reason they didn't make it to your future."

"Life is tough, it is even tougher when you are stupid"

Don't curse the storm, learn to dance in the rain.

Offline rexster

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2017, 07:57:13 am »
Thanks for the advice all. Next time i am going to leave the Brisket to about 200-205 internal temp and see if that makes a difference, and not use ACV. Maybe just water or some normal apple juice to prevent the bitter taste from getting into the meat. I'll also use either Hickory of Mesquite for the smoking.

Regarding the PID controller, i take it i don't even need to bother turning on the Smoke Tower at the start of my cook and setting a timer on the Bradley itself given the PID seems to control all of this even with the Smoke Tower lights being off?

Thanks for all the help and suggestions so far. I guess this is all a learning experience for me :)

Your apple cider vinegar is what ruined the meat, making it bitter, not the smoke. I don't know what model Bradley you have, but an Auber CAN control a original Bradley's smoker unit, but not a digital model. A digital model requires a straight power source to the smoker unit, otherwise it won't work. If your smoke unit doesn't light up, it's not getting power and won't work
Stainless 4 rack Bradley
6 Rack DBS w/second heat element
Auber PID
7 Foot X 20" Pipe BBQ pit with offset firebox
Jenn-Air 75000 btu gas grill w/sear burner
Weber Performer charcoal grill
Portable Kitchen All Aluminum Charcoal Grill
2 MES 40" smokers
PK360 Grill
Vacmaster 320 Vacuum Chamber Sealer

Offline tskeeter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,000
Re: Smoking Brisket - Poor Results
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2017, 10:41:37 am »
I've been using an Auber PID on my six rack digital for about four years.  The PID controls the heating elements (I have a dual element mod).  The Bradley electronics control the puck burner.  Since the puck burner is in the stock position, the stock patch cord connects the cabinet temp sensor to the smoke generator.  If I was using a cold smoke attachment, I'd have to use a bypass plug to replicate the temp sensor signal because the stock temp patch cord would be too short.