New Smoker - Tough Meat
by Brian Barton
(Green Bay, WI)
I just got a new smoker, and so far, I have done baby back ribs and a whole brisket.
Both the ribs and the brisket were tasty but seemed firmer (tougher) than I expected.
I kept the smoker temp between 200ºF - 225ºF (using both the smoker temp gauge and a separate digital gauge).
The ribs cooked for over 7 hours but were not "pull away from the bone" tender. I initially pulled the brisket (a 10-pounder Prime beef) after 10 hours, and the meat was still pink on the inside, so I put it back in the smoker for 4 more hours. The flavor was good, but the only tender part was the flat under the point and fat cap. The point was tough and flat that was not under the point was also tough.
The meat was moist, but neither ribs nor the brisket was as tender as the BBQ I've had.
I'm new to a REAL 2-part smoker; all my past experiences with ribs & brisket have been on a Weber Kettle. So how do I get the TENDER results the experts get?