Hi fellow aussie pitmasters... long time reader (lurker), first time poster.
I have had my Traeger lil' tex now for about a month an a half, it is bog stock, with the exception of adding a gasket kit around the lid for better sealing, and less smoke escaping.
I've cooked several meats and styles at least twice a weekend since buying it and I must say, I've never been 100% happy with the briskets that I've cooked.
now, I know I'm not an 'expert' in regards to the meat cuts, I've only asked the butchers (tried 4 different butchers for 5 different briskets now) for a 'beef brisket' - what I get looks like this:https://goo.gl/photos/2TsQMQM3ChwPER7E7
I assume it's part of a 'flat' brisket...
I've tried several different methods of prep & cooking style, but despite everyone else telling me they loved it, I've never been truly happy with it...
put simply, whilst I can bend a piece over my finger without it breaking, it does require a bit of force to pull apart (unlike the ones I see on the internet which look like they could be shredded by a toddler with plastic spoon...)
I'll list the methods I've tried and perhaps you true pitmasters can hopefully educate me to my wrong doings...
Firstly, I have exclusively used the "Dalmatian" rub as a base, I have tried twice of the five using a cajun mix, or an onion/garlic/paprika mix as an additive to the Dalmatian mix.
Traeger was loaded with GMG 'Texas Blend' pellets in a shaded, pergola, with a light-mild cross breeze.
I have done two of the five as a rub and smoke method, without 'marinading' ... of those two, one was plan Dalmatian rub, the other was the Dalmation + Cajun, and the Cajun one, I injected with a beef stock mix from a packet prior to smoking. I smoked these two for 4 hours @ about 125 f on the traeger, before cooking at 250 f for about 3 hours until internal temp reached 175/180f mark, foiled then cooked for another 2 hours till internal temp hit 200 f, before resting for 2 hours, carving and serving - result was as described above... not quiet tough, not overly soft, good smoke ring, and flavor, brown-ish finish with little bark effect. - each brisket had a pre-prep weight of about 2-ish KGs
The third was a bit bigger at about 3 KGs - I lightly rubbed it with the Dalmatian rub, injected some beef stock, and let it sit in the fridge overnight in a foil pan, covered in glad wrap, pulled it out 1 hour before smoking, sat it on the bench, added a dash more rub, injected a few of the thinner spots again, and then smoked for 4 hours, cooked for 4 hours until the internal temps came up to 180 f, then wrapped in foil and cooked another 2 hours, till internal temps hit 190 F, before resting for an hour, carving and serving... this one probably came out the softest of the 5, and had the 'best' bark of the lot, starting to blacken up in places, but not consistent across the entire brisket... had a smoke ring on the non-fat side and tasted good.
the fourth and fifth briskets were cooked the same - both were 2.1 kg each, well trimmed, with a little fat on the top, rubbed thoroughly and injected the night before, sat in a foil pan, covered with foil wrap. Removed from fridge an hour before cooking... topped off the rub and put onto the smoker... smoked for 4 hours in a slightly warmer 175 f smoker (sun was shinning onto it as it was in a different position to normal), as with the extra heat, internal temp was already at 120 F when I switched smoker to cook at 250 F - cooked for about 2 hours, till internal temp was about 165 - wrapped in foil (I had to duck out, so I prematurely wrapped to save the wife needing to worry about it) once wrapped kept cooking at 250 F until internal temp hit 185 F, removed, rested on the table for 20 minutes with foil open, then re-wrapped and rested in the esky for 3 hours before serving. results were good smoke ring (about the only thing I can get consistently right) firm-ish meat but could still bend, but took about as much force as it would to break open a banana to pull apart. Bark was average, flavour was however good.
Each brisket was spritz'd hourly, while unwrapped, with various combinations of spritz recipes from the Internet, the third brisket was using an apple juice:red wine vinegar:olive oil ratio 3:1:1 spritz.
obviously, my goal is to get a brisket with a near perfect bark like in the youtube videos, and the perfect softness to pass and bend and tear test...
please oh please, can someone help me out?