Brisket is a cut of beef that has become very popular over the last decade. Brisket is often cooked low and slow, resulting in tender meat that falls off the bone.
The problem is that cooking a whole brisket takes time and patience. If you don’t have both, you might end up with dry or tough meat.
The brisket is the largest muscle in the steer, located between the forelegs and loin. It is usually sold in 3-4 pound cuts and can weigh anywhere from 2 pounds to 12 pounds.
There are several ways to cook brisket. The most common method involves placing the brisket flat on a rack in a roasting pan.
This allows air to circulate through the meat, helping it to cook evenly. Another option is to wrap the brisket tightly in foil, then place it in a Dutch oven.
Both methods allow the meat to slowly cook at a lower temperature, resulting in tender meat.
But what about smoking or grilling? A perfectly smoked brisket is a work of art but to achieve this, there are lots to consider and factors to take into account.
Learning that the internal temp is 210F is the best place to start, and this article will dive a little deeper into how to measure this temperature and how you go about getting there during smoking.
210 F Temperature
The brisket needs to cook for about 6 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 210 degrees Fahrenheit. When cooked, the meat should be tender to eat, but should not fall apart.
A Full Packer
The brisket is made up of two parts: the flat muscle and the point muscle. You should begin by draining the liquids of the meat, then dry it with paper towels and refrigerate it.
After that, trim the fat cap down to ¼ inch, and remove all of the silver skin.
Apply a rub of salt and pepper using up to one cup of rub. Let it marinate for several days or overnight if you wish. Make sure you do not overdo it with the rub as this can overpower the taste of the meat.
Before you start cooking, remove it out of the fridge, and let it sit at room temperature for at least an hour but ideally not much longer.
Whilst you do this, start the fire and add smoking wood. We recommend using Oakwood for this. Put a pan of hot water underneath the grate and this should keep moisture in the smoker.
Next, we need to place our probe. Pop the air probe on top of the grate. It needs to be on the outer edge of the grill and brisket. Insert the cooking probe in the thick section of the brisket.
Set the cooking probe alarm at 225 and 275 degrees Fahrenheit (low and high).
If the temperature gets too high, you can rely on the probes to tell you, and this applies if it gets too low as well. Adjusting the air vents can control temperature and maintain heat.
White smoke means the wood is still wet and needs to be dried out. Thin, blue smoke indicates that the wood is burning properly. Try letting in more air if you end up with white smoke.
Set the probe alarm at 150 F if you want to remove and wrap it, but if not, set it around 5-10 degrees less than your target temperature, which is 203F in this case.
Put the brisket on the grate but keep the fat side up if the heat source comes from above or vice versa.
The probes allow you to keep track of the internal temperature without you having to open the lid every so often which can let heat escape.
If you take the brisket off at 150 F, wrap it in butcher paper or aluminum foil, and reset the probe before you reinsert.
Put the brisket in the smoker again and continue cooking right up until the internal temperature reaches 203 F.
The temperature will carry on rising to 210 F after you take it away from the grill.
Why Is 210F The Perfect Internal Temperature?
When you reach this temperature, the collagen in the meat has broken down and the meat starts to lose its texture.
It becomes soft and tender. At this stage, you can pull the brisket out and serve it immediately.
But why 210F? Briskets should be cooked at an internal temperature of 210 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the recommended temperature for cooking brisket.
You can use the poke or probe test to determine when your brisket is ready. This involves poking the brisket with a probe or something similar to a toothpick.
When there is no resistance, the brisket is ready to eat. It should slide in and out as smooth as butter. However, do not let too much heat escape as this dilutes the flavor.
Tugging the meat while holding it up also works well. If it tears, it is done. You can also twist a fork around and if it twists, the meat is done cooking.
Measuring the internal temperature is the easiest way to tell if brisket is done. You can use a meat thermometer for this.
You can cook brisket for long periods if you do not overheat it, and the internal temperature should read on the thermometer between 195 and 215 F.
It is important to make sure that your meat does not burn or dry out.
This is why it is essential to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat, as well as use other methods we have mentioned above as a backup.
If you ask a variety of experts, they will give you different answers on what the internal temperature should be, and it will always depend on the thickness, cooking heat, and size.
If you are using the low and slow methods, the temperature should remain on the lower end during the cook.
Since a lot of people believe the internal temperature should be 180 F, anything over 210 F will be overcooked and others believe it should be 212 F.
As a result, 210 F should be given as guidance for beginners as a middle ground to aim for.
Briskets should be rested for a while after being pulled from the heat. You should wrap them in foil or paper or place them in a cooler during this process.
This step is important. It evens out the temperature and makes sure it is evenly cooked throughout.
Be sure to put the thermometers in the thickest part, not the fat.
The flat parts of the meat and the point cook differently as a result of the point’s fat and connective tissue, but some people use two probes to keep track of both at once.
Smoking brisket takes time and patience. You must monitor your internal temperature closely, but this is not the only thing you need to keep an eye on.
Brisket needs to be cooked slowly over long periods. Briskets should never dry out while being smoked, and the cooking temperature needs to be between 225 F and 270 F.
This could take around 12-18 hours to cook a whole piece of meat to 210F, and you should stick to the rule of thumb of 1.5 hours per pound of meat.
Brisket is an easy meat to cook because it doesn’t always need any marinades or sauces.
You can experiment with different sizes of cuts, different cooking temperatures, different cooking times, different woods flavors, different rubs, and internal temperatures.
Once you get the desired results, you can replicate them and come out with a perfectly cooked brisket every time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Brisket?
Brisket is a cut of beef from the breast area of the cow. It has a large amount of collagen which gives it its characteristic flavor and texture.
Why Do I Need To Cook My Brisket Low And Slow?
This method allows the meat to rest and relax while retaining moisture. During this resting period, the collagen breaks down and becomes tender.
When the meat is finished cooking, the collagen has hardened again and helps to hold the meat together.
How Long Should I Smoke My Brisket For?
The best way to determine how long you should smoke your brisket is by looking at the weight of your meat.
As mentioned before, if you want the meat to be done, you should aim for about 1.5 hours per pound of meat. If you have a larger piece of meat, then you may need more time.
Should I Use An Electric Smoker Or Gas?
Both electric smokers and gas smokers work just fine. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each type.
With an electric smoker, you do not need to worry about propane tanks, chimneys, or vents.
They also tend to cost less than gas smokers. On the other hand, gas smokers are easier to maintain and clean up.
Can I Use Wood Chips Instead Of Smoking Salt?
Yes! Many people use wood chips instead of salt. Some people like the taste better and others prefer the look. Either way works well. Just make sure that your wood chips don’t contain any chemicals.
Is There Anyway I Can Make My Brisket Rub?
Yes! You can easily make your brisket rub using ingredients such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, kosher salt, and chili powder.
Mix all these spices and store them in an airtight container.
We hope that we were able to help you learn some new tips and tricks about smoking brisket.
We know that it’s not easy to master, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be amazed at how delicious your brisket will be!
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