Originally Posted by learning in kc
hi guys.. i am still new looking for advice.. i have a new wsm. been doing brisket for years on a cheap smoker, where i have to finish it in the oven because the ups and down in temp are too much too handle.. the wsm held the temp all night long.. pulled it off at 180 internal.. and put in a cooler for easter.. obviously the hour and a half in the cooler was too much.. just fell apart.. which i was embarrassed. my family loved it.. but the bottom sixteenth of an inch was hard as a brick.. what did i do wrong.. any suggestions would help. should i flip a brisket half way through the cook?? never done it before..
Brisket doneness is not determined by temperature, temperature is a guide, 'done' is determined by tenderness. I have had briskets completely done at 180º like yours, so I know it's possible. My point is, you need to probe the meat and determine the amount of doneness before you let it rest in a cooler for several hours. If the probe goes into the meat like a hot knife through butter, you can't let it rest in a cooler or it will fall apart as yours did. If there is a slight bit of resistance, then you're good to go by letting it rest in a cooler for a long time.
Now, "the bottom sixteenth of an inch was hard as a brick..", this means it just dried out. I'm assuming by this that you did not foil during the cook, just when you put it into the cooler? How big was this brisket and how long did you cook it? It actually sounds like the long rest possibly saved your brisket even though it fell apart!