View Full Version : Brisked won't get past 170 degrees?

01-20-2013, 12:32 PM
I was hoping for some advice.

I have the 1400 and have followed Mr. Wallace’s video instructions for brisket 3 times now. Each time I increase the cooking time.

The problem is that the meat never gets past 170 degrees. The last try was a 12.7 lb Angus whole packers cut prime beef. I put it in at room temp at 205 degrees for 14 ˝ hrs. When I took it out the remote probe said 170 degrees and another hand probe inserted at several locations confirmed that.

The brisket was still good, but you and all the sites talk about 190 degrees being the best. Why do you think I can’t get the tem there?

01-20-2013, 01:59 PM
Hello alt,

It sounds to me as if your 1400 is not operating at an average temperature as warm as it needs to be.

I like to cook brisket at an average temperature of at least 225. Many others will suggest a higher temperature in the 235-250 range.

A question please. Can you use your digital thermometer to read the inside air temperature of your smoker? I like to monitor the inside temperature of my unit simply because I like to know what is going on. I use this to help fine tune the setting of the thermostat. Please run this test - will take you about an hour or less to do this. Take notes during this test. Place the probe near the back side of the top rack. Close door and turn the unit on and note the set point. Record time and temperature. Note and record the time and temperature at 5 minute intervals. Do this for at least two complete better yet 3 complete on/off cycles of the thermostat. Add up all the temperature readings you have taken. Divide this total by the number of readings. The result will be the average temperature your unit is operating at. This little test will demonstrate how much actual deviation your unit is from the set point.

I use this average temperature as the temperature my unit is actually cooking at. Try your next brisket or pork butt at an AVERAGE temperature of 225-235f. I think you will be pleased with the result.

Best Regards,

ps: I cook to temperature rather than time if it is possible to get a probe into what ever I am cooking.

01-21-2013, 10:09 AM
My input is from limited experience (only owned my 1400 about a year), but i usually smoke my brisket at 225. Also you may be giving up before the brisket gets out of " the stall". It happens around 160-170 degrees. My last brisket I put in at around 6 AM. By 1 it hit 160 and stalled there until almost 4 then broke out and got to 195 at 6PM. Exactly twelve hours for about a ten pounder. My advice for a twelve pounder would be to try 225 on the dial and expect a stall at 160-170 for a few hours and plan on 14-16 hours total to get to 195.

01-21-2013, 10:10 AM
I agree with Applejack on the internal temp. I'm not convinced it is your smoker.

Many cook a brisket at 225. At this temp, you can plan on about 90 minutes per pound. At about 150, the brisket will start sweating, and this causes evaporative cooling. This is commonly referred to as "the stall".

The stall can last up to 5 hours.

To power through the stall, watch your internal temp and foil wrap at 150. This will help it get through this and will reduce your overall cook time. With foil, you are looking at closer to an hour per pound.

Important note: insert a digital thermometer inserted in the flat. Cook to an internal temp of 200.

Pull the brisket and allow the meat to rest at least 30 minutes.

Cut against the grain of the meat.

Pure gold.

01-21-2013, 11:04 AM
A couple of quick notes:

To add to what Ajax and Applejack stated, start earlier than you think you need to. Brisket is weird, they don't all cook at the same rate. Some faster than others. If you finish early, wrap in foil and place in a ice chest. I like to warm up my ice chest before with hot water. Pour that out. Throw in som old towels as a cushion, placing the foil-wrapped brisket on top. More towels on top of that. Close the lid. You now have a homemade cambro that will keep the meat warm and/or hot.

Doing this will also make the brisket even juicier.

Many of us use Maverick ET-732 dual probe thermometers. Monitors the smoker and your meat simultaneously, and allows you to stay indoors while remotely monitoring your temps.

Good luck! Take good notes and ask if any questions come up.

01-26-2013, 05:04 PM
Thank you all for your replies. I use the Maverick, my internal temperature does vary as it's supposed to when the element kicks on and off. I've actually spoken to Mr. Wallace about that. My first thermostat was defective. this one is not. the internal temperature is exactly what it's supposed to be. I've tried 200 and as high as 235 for 14 1/2 hours. I use good meat so I just doen't understand why it won't go to 170 in the flat. I probably have bought a dozen thermometers trying to figure this out.

The meat is good when served. I'm just wanting it to be better and get to 170. I guess my next try will be with foil>

01-26-2013, 05:59 PM
I could tell you choose quality meat. It does sound like you are a victim of the stall.

I have found that when using foil, not only does my brisket cook faster, but comes out much jucier, which is a nice bonus.

I am really looking forward to future results. Please let us know, here.

Enjoy your weekend.


05-20-2013, 08:11 AM
Just checking in, alt,

Cooked any briskets lately? How's it going?