Author Topic: Please help me with my brisket!!  (Read 427 times)

Offline ian51279

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Please help me with my brisket!!
« on: June 23, 2017, 04:40:42 pm »
Good afternoon everyone.  I have a Bradley digital 4 rack smoker that I've had about a year now.  I've cooked about 6 briskets or so ranging anywhere from 4-7 lbs.  My problem is lack of any kind of bark.  The rub stays so moist that it's just mush.  I've gotten one good brisket where the bark was respectable.  Now I'm not expecting a bark to rival any briskets from Texas, but I'd like something better than what I'm getting.  I use the Jan's rub.  Added sugar to it, removed sugar from it.  Pan full of water, to now putting just enough water in it to extinguish the bisquettes.  Mustard or not.  Vent all the way to open mostly closed.  I've had ZERO problem with keeping the briskets moist.  I don't foil while cooking.  The only foil is on the grate to keep dripping/mess down.

Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Please help me with my brisket!!
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 06:01:25 pm »

Given the weight I assume you're smoking a flat. I don't do flats often but the rules should remain the same. This is what I do; every cook (and every brisket) are different so YMMV.

      - Trim: Leave about 1/8-1/4 inch of fat cap on with some windows.
      - Rub:  I love Jan and her rub but for my briskets it's salt & pepper only (maybe some granulated garlic but that's it).
      - Mustard base: Okay but not usually necessary.
      - Water: Keep the environment moist. I use a half pan mostly full for my bisquette tray and another (with some liquid in it) on the rack below the brisket to catch the drippings.
      - Vents: Open 'em up! I think mine are frozen in the open position.
      - Foil/paper/crutch: I don't do it (Smoke nekkid!) but lots of folks do (and their brisket is at least as good as mine and often better - like that Franklin guy for example). I do FTC with some of the drippings for an hour or so when done but that's a different issue.
      - Don't peek: Every time you open the door the smoker has to come back up to temp, moisture level, etc. The only time you should open the door before you start fork-testing is if you need more water in the drip pan (and if you use a half pan and only actually smoke for 4-5 hours, that shouldn't happen). I obviously don't mop either but the same holds true vis a vis other cooks as wrapping.

... and that's all I know. Others who are smarter and know more will be along but I thought I'd get my shot downrange before they got here.

Offline Salmonsmoker

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Re: Please help me with my brisket!!
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 08:02:15 am »
Ian51279, Take a look at this YouTube video. It should help you out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmTzdMHu5KU&list=PLJXFUkVvL7g4-ic-vMvL0VYovXzAQ3EUu
Give a man a beer and he'll waste a day.
Teach him how to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Please help me with my brisket!!
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 02:39:23 am »
Hi ian51279;

Welcome to the forum.

At a weight of 4 - 7 pounds, it looks like you are cooking just the flat. That is what I mainly can get around my area.

I have a few questions:

How much fat cap are you leaving on the brisket?

What temperature are you cooking at?

How thick are you applying the rub?

Are you foiling the entire tray? If you are that can cause a fire hazard, and possible could be partially the cause of the soft bark.


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Offline ian51279

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Re: Please help me with my brisket!!
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 10:29:53 am »
Hi ian51279;

Welcome to the forum.

At a weight of 4 - 7 pounds, it looks like you are cooking just the flat. That is what I mainly can get around my area.

I have a few questions:

How much fat cap are you leaving on the brisket?

What temperature are you cooking at?

How thick are you applying the rub?

Are you foiling the entire tray? If you are that can cause a fire hazard, and possible could be partially the cause of the soft bark.

Yep, cooking the flat.  I'll trim them to an 1/8" or 1/4", but the one's I get are pretty well trimmed up for the most part.

Usually set the thermostat on the smoker at 200.  Based upon what I've seen from my probes.

The rub I'm normally pretty liberal with.  My motto is, if a little is good then a lot must be better.  I'm starting to think this may be my problem.  Next go round I'll back off but put more than a dusting on.

I do foil the entire tray usually, only because it didn't seem to make a difference in my cooks.  I'll leave it off again and see what happens.


 
Thanks for all the help guys! :beers:

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Please help me with my brisket!!
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2017, 01:18:52 pm »
In addition to what you are going to try on the next cook, try using a higher temperature. A temperature of 225°F may provide better results.


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Offline ian51279

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Re: Please help me with my brisket!!
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 06:07:22 pm »
Thank you for all the help, gents!  It appears to have been a success.  She already looks 100x better than most all of my previous attempts.

5.7 lbs.  Pulled it at 195-ish because I got distracted, would've pulled at 190 had I been paying attention.

Gonna let her sit for a bit then slice her up.

Let's see if I can post my first picture.