How to Tell When Smoked Brisket is Done

Beef briskets are truly delectable and fascinating to the mouth. They are among the delicacies that you can never say “no” to. They have this unique texture that quickly lingers on your tongue, even after you have eaten them. Whether there is a special event or not, preparing a brisket can always put a smile on anyone’s face!

Preparing a beef brisket is usually done through smoking. Of course, this cooking method usually consumes time. So, how to tell when smoked brisket is done? For anyone who is interested in making this recipe, knowing the correct preparation of smoked brisket is essential.

Take note that the beef brisket is derived from the lower breast of the cow. It is a large cut that contains a lot of breast muscles. This particular region of the livestock has a significant contribution to its overall weight, due to the natural absence of collar bones. Therefore, it is pretty given that there is a high volume of connective tissues on beef brisket. If you cannot cook it properly, the meat will become too tough to eat.

Check out guideline I listed below to know the correct duration smoking beef brisket.

How to Tell When Smoked Brisket is Done

Step 1:

On general conditions, you should smoke a beef brisket to around 220 degrees Fahrenheit. You can increase it to 250 degrees Fahrenheit if the cut that you have is really thick. If you are going to crank your electric smoker or gas smoker at this temperature, you can expect that the beef brisket will be cooked after 90 minutes. But let me get to the specifics of that.

At these given temperature ranges, 90 minutes is already enough to smoke a one-pound beef brisket. That is the ratio that you have to keep in mind. Therefore, if you are going to smoke a three-pound beef brisket, the cooking time should consume 4 hours and 30 minutes. But of course, you still need to pay attention to the meat so that you can get a well-finished output.

Step 2:

Of course, guessing things should already be excluded on your options already. Most of the time, you need to practice science in the kitchen. But don’t worry. There are no complex equations here. What I am trying to suggest is that you need to use some special apparatus that could ease any cooking process that you do.

You can gauge if the smoked brisket is cooked by poking a meat thermometer into it. Specifically, you should nudge the thermometer in the center of the meat. This is the hardest part to cook since it is very thick and rich in fibers. When the internal temperature of the brisket already reached 180 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can safely conclude that the inside flesh is already tender.

But at the same time, over-cooking the meat is not advisable either. The safest temperature range for the internal portion of the meat is only 210 degrees Fahrenheit. Any numbers that would exceed on this can cause the meat to get mushy and undesirable. Specifically, the meat can get the optimal tenderness when its internal temperature reaches up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. In the opposite manner, if the meat has not yet reached 180 degrees Fahrenheit, it is not cooked yet.

Step 3:

Another method that can tell you if the smoked brisket is done is by checking it manually. Use a sharp kitchen knife and cut a part of the brisket (at least 1/4-inch thin). Hold the meat by both of your hands. After that, tug the meat. If the brisket tears apart quickly, the latter is already cooked. If the meat still shows some sign of resistance, then you still need to smoke it a little more. Nobody wants a to eat a tough meat.

Fortunately, there are other ways of tenderizing the meat other than smoking or boiling it. If you have a good meat tenderizer tool, you can already smoothen the meat even before the cooking process has begun.

Step 4:

If the smoked brisket is already done, you can already remove it from your smoking device. Put the meat on a clean baking pan and let it cool down for an hour.

Why is it long? Well, this resting period will enable the brisket to regulate its internal temperature gradually. In short, it is a way maximizing the remaining heat to tenderize the meat further!

Meat Size and Smoking

The size of the ingredient is quite correlational to the cooking time that it requires. Specifically, the larger the meat, the longer it takes to cook. This is due to the presence of fat and connective tissues that make raw meat sturdy.

We all know that smoking is a slow cooking method. After all, you are only relying on the heat produced by the steam or smoke. Therefore, you should already expect that smoking any food will really eat up your time. When it comes to beef briskets, the standard cooking time takes around 5 to 6 hours. This is due to the fact that a whole brisket can range from 5 to 15 pounds. If you will scale up the weight, the cooking time could take around 10 hours.

Of course, you need a lot of preparations to do this. If your smoker is operated by charcoal and wood chips, you must prepare at least a sack of lump charcoal to maintain your heat source. But despite the tedious prepping works, eating a smoked brisket is really glorifying.

What if the Smoked Brisket is Too Dry

Well, if it is a brisket, then this should not worry you. Just remember that all briskets are not the same. If the brisket that you got don’t have too much fat, then you can expect that it would not be as juicy as other smoked briskets that you have prepared. Even if you followed the rules given by the book, nothing can change the outcome.

The thing that you should focus on instead is the tenderness of the meat. As long as the smoked brisket is tender, then that delicacy is already 5-star. No one can just resist the irresistible tenderness of a smoked brisket. It is not about the recipe that you used. It will always be the cooking process that you utilized. And that alone can make the difference between a crowd pleaser and disappointment.

How long does it take to smoke a whole brisket?

The time it takes for your brisket to be smoked completely depends on how big your brisket is. Generally, brisket is smoked at around 220⁰F-250⁰F. At this temperature, your one pound of beef brisket will be cooked at around 90 minutes. If the weight of your brisket doubles, then the time it takes for it to be fully cooked will also double. To determine the cooking time, just multiply the weight of your brisket in pounds with 90 minutes.

 Another method that you can use to check if your brisket is cooked is to use a meat thermometer to check the inner temperature of the meat. The optimal inner temperature of the meat ranges from 190⁰F to 210⁰F so that your meat is cooked and tender. You can also check if your brisket is cooked manually by slicing off a thin piece of meat and tugging the ends of the meat apart. If the meat gets torn apart easily, this means that your brisket is cooked.

How do you make smoked brisket more tender?

There’s nothing more satisfactory than a juicy piece of brisket on your plate. The general rule for a tender and juicy brisket is to go low and slow. This means that you have to slowly smoke the brisket at a low temperature.. Fortunately, there are also other ways to make your meat juicy and tender.

Here are some ways to make your brisket more tender:

1. Have a good meat tenderizer tool.

You can use this tool to pound and even out the meat prior to cooking.

2. Rub some meat tenderizer powder all over your brisket

The meat tenderizer powder is an enzyme powder that helps break down the meat fibers so your meat can be tender and juicy.

3. You can also wrap your brisket with foil once its internal temperature reaches 160⁰F to make sure that the moisture and juices do not escape from the meat.

Why is my smoked brisket tough?

There are many possible reasons why your smoked brisket did not turn out to be tender and juicy. From the marbling of the meat, to choosing the wrong cut of the brisket or forgetting some steps in your recipe, a simple mistake can make your brisket tough. But the main reason why your smoked brisket is tough is because you still need more time to cook the meat. You have to make sure that your meat is cooked at around 220⁰F -250⁰F for at least 90 minutes per pound of brisket so your meat will turn out tender and juicy. You should also take note that you can’t increase the temperature of your smoker any higher than 325⁰F since higher temperatures will cause the meat to seize and toughen up.

How to reheat a smoked brisket?

There are many ways to reheat a smoked brisket.

Methods to reheat smoked brisket

1. You can choose to reheat your brisket using an oven. All you need is to wrap your brisket in foil with some broth or juices inside before popping it in an oven preheated at 350⁰F for an hour.

2. You can also pop your leftover brisket wrapped in foil in a smoker or grill preheated to 225⁰F.

For both methods, the meat will be ready for serving once the internal temperature reaches 160⁰F.

3. You can also opt to use the sous vide method where you pack your smoked brisket in a vacuum sealed bag and place it in a water bath at 150⁰F.Your meat is ready to be served once its internal temperature reaches the same temperature as the water bath.

4. If you’re pressed for time, you can also try to reheat your brisket in a microwave but reduce your microwave’s power to 20% before heating your meat in 30-second intervals. Check your meat’s temperature every  30 seconds to make sure that your meat does not dry out. This method risks drying out your meat but it will work if you’re in a rush.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I smoke a brisket for 24 hours?

Yes, you can smoke a brisket for 24 hours, assuming that your brisket weighs around 16-20 pounds. Each pound of brisket takes 90 minutes for it to be full cooked and tender. This means that you will need at least 24 hours before your 16-pounder brisket gets fully cooked and tender.

Q: Why did my brisket turn out dry?

Your brisket turned out dry due to the lack of moisture. The brisket is a large chunk of meat that experiences a plateau in temperature, or what they call a ‘stall’. This stall happens when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160⁰F. At this point, the meat will stop increasing in temperature as it starts to release moisture. The moisture that escapes from the meat is enough to cool down the meat and stop the increase in its internal temperature. To stop the moisture from escaping, you can wrap your meat with foil. Wrapping the meat in foil will make sure that the remaining moisture in your meat will be kept inside the meat.

Q: Why did my brisket turn out dry?

Your brisket turned out dry due to the lack of moisture. The brisket is a large chunk of meat that experiences a plateau in temperature, or what they call a ‘stall’. This stall happens when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160⁰F. At this point, the meat will stop increasing in temperature as it starts to release moisture. The moisture that escapes from the meat is enough to cool down the meat and stop the increase in its internal temperature. To stop the moisture from escaping, you can wrap your meat with foil. Wrapping the meat in foil will make sure that the remaining moisture in your meat will be kept inside the meat.

Q: What temperature  is smoked brisket done?

Smoked brisket is considered fully cooked and done when its internal temperature reaches 190⁰F to 210⁰F. This temperature is the optimal temperature where your meat is tender, juicy and fully cooked.

Q : Smoked brisket, how long per pound?

The time it takes for smoked brisket to be cooked depends on the weight of the meat. Each pound of meat takes at least 90 minutes for it to be fully cooked and tender.

Q: Can I freeze smoked brisket?

Yes. Brisket is an extremely large piece of meat and leftovers are not uncommon. So you can freeze your leftover smoked brisket to preserve it and eat it the next time you feel like having one again. You can safely store your smoked brisket in your freezer for up to two months.

Q: What do you normally eat along with smoked brisket / ribs?

The best side dish that you can pair with this are side dishes that can soak up its juices and absorbs the greasiness of the meat’s juices. There are a variety of side dishes that you can choose from, such as buttered vegetables, salads, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans, steamed asparagus and plenty more side dishes. Spice up your menu by pairing side dishes!

Conclusion

Learning how to tell when a smoked brisket is done is quite a necessary skill. It will allow you to get the best results out of your meat. But of course, none of these will matter if you will not pay attention to the entire smoking process. You need to input the proper smoking temperature for the meat. In this way, your meat can attain the ideal internal temperature at the most convenient time possible.

Always remember that smoking is a time-consuming cooking method. Therefore, you should not leave any room for errors here. If you are too clumsy or inattentive, you might end up ruining the brisket. And that is a waste of food and money. Now, I know that none of you wants that!

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Last update on 2021-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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