I always mess it up. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. It never comes out tender enough for me even when I reach 190degrees internally. Should I not pay so much attention to temperature and just let it cook slowly for X amount of hours in my smoker? I have a Weber smoker. I know beef brisket is considered a more advanced cut of meat to work with but I'm tired of making shoe leather with it. Please help!
Brisket is an ornery cut of meat, no argument, and probably inspires more questions and anxiety than any other protein. You know already that the optimal temperature to bring it to is 190. But the journey is as important as the destination. One mistake many people make is to try to rush the process: The brisket's internal temperature starts plateauing around 160 degrees (this is called the "stall"), and then...often with guests on their way...the pit minder freaks out and adds more heat. Wrong move. Be patient, keep your grill temp around 250, and let it do its thing. I personally like to wrap my brisket in foil after the first 4 hours or so to retain moisture. When the internal temp reaches 190, transfer the brisket (wrapped tightly in foil, if you have not already done so) to a cooler lined with heavy towels and let it rest for an hour or so before slicing across the grain. Another tip: Season your brisket with a dry rub just before cooking; if left on for several hours, the salt inherent in most rubs will wick out precious moisture. One entire issue of my free newsletter, "Up in Smoke," was recently devoted to brisket. Find it archived on my website, www.barbecuebible.com.