Where do you probe brisket?

11 Secret BBQ Tricks From Grill Mas...
11 Secret BBQ Tricks From Grill Masters

Are you worried about running your brisket? Don't worry about it. If you place your meat thermometer in the right place for you can get a juicy result. 

As you probably know, brisket is a big cut of meat roughly 10-16 pounds, best simmered in a smoker. What we will also answer is:

  • Where do you put the thermometer in a brisket?

  • When should I start probing a Brisket?

  • How deep should you insert a meat thermometer?

  • What temperature should I cut the Brisket?

Where do you probe brisket
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Where do you put the thermometer in a brisket?

Briskets are thick cuts of meat from beef where some parts are denser and fattier than another part. To have the best results, insert the thermometer's probe to the broadest part of the meat and check the internal temperature. 

If the temperature shoots up to 190 ◦F to 200 ◦F, then the meat is done to absolute perfectness and should be removed from a smoker right away. You can also insert wireless thermometers on the meat and check your cooking process if you do not want to open your smoker after every hour.

Read also: how much meat per person.

When should I start probing a Brisket?

Probing a brisket can start right away from the cooking process by inserting the probe into the meat's thickest part. However, you can begin probing when the meat's internal temperature reaches 190 ◦F.

You can probe using a toothpick and thermometer to poke the meat to check the meat’s tenderness.  This continues after every 30 minutes until the meat's internal temperature reaches about 200 ◦F to 203 ◦F, depending on how many pounds you are cooking. 

How deep should you insert a meat thermometer?

Insert the thermometer halfway into the Brisket sideways to the middle of the meat, usually the thickest. This will give the meat's correct temperature, as you do not want your briskets overdone or half-done. Set the alarm on the thermometer and check the meat when it reaches the perfect internal temperature. 

What temperature should I cut the Brisket?

Once cooked, Brisket must rest for at least an hour or two at room temperature to get a perfect piece of meat or let it cool and reach an internal temperature of 175 to 155 before you make a slice. If you ignore this process, the meat will become soggy, less flavorful, and much drier when you cut into it. 

Read also: brisket mistakes to avoid

Do you cook a brisket fat side down or up?

This is the most debated topic whether to cook brisket fat side up or fat side down. Many believe that cooking a brisket fat side up will help the meat become juicer as the fat will render down slowly, making the meat moist all the time.

Hence, this theory is not true because oil and water from the meat will not mix. When starting to melt, the fat juice can wash away the seasonings, which affect the presentation of the meat, and there will be no crust from the outer layer of the meat.

Therefore, it is always recommended to cook the brisket fat side down. It will give a good presentation, a uniform bark formation in the meat, and excellent seasoning on top, which adds intense flavor to the meat. 

Can you overcook a Brisket?

Briskets are slow to cook at a smoker temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit between 10 to 12 hours. Perfect Brisket must reach an internal temperature of 200 ◦F to 203 ◦F, but sometimes, you can overdo the Briskets by not maintaining the right temperature. If you want tender meat that will quickly fall apart, you can shoot an internal temperature of 205◦F maximum and not beyond. 

Yes, you can go beyond 205 degrees Fahrenheit, but it would not yield the same result. The Brisket meat will become much mushier, less flavorful, and will become drier if overcooked for long. You will not get slightly pink color meat from inside, which you are supposed to get from a well-cooked brisket. The texture of the meat will not be as tender as a good brisket.  

Therefore probing the Brisket is always necessary. By doing this, you can keep a close monitor of your meat. Checking the correct temperatures and even checking the tenderness by poking the meat with a toothpick is a good idea. Well-done Brisket can poke right through and out without any afford. 

Read also: how to reheat brisket.


How to cook a perfect Brisket?

Here are some tips on how to cook a perfect Brisket.

  • Choose good quality meat: 

The meat's quality can differ because of the age, diet, marbling, breeds, etc. While choosing good quality meat, always know where your Brisket is coming from. The excellent quality meat will come from cows, 2 to 3 years old, grain feed with a good amount of fat content present in the meat. Black Angus cows Briskets are highly pricey because of their premium quality. 

  • Processing the meat:

 Trimming excess fat and tough connective tissues making it evenly balanced, will give you the best tasting results.

  • Applying the seasoning: 

Always apply the seasonings generously. A good brisket is determined by the excellent crust of seasoning outside the meat. Try using different blends on your Brisket. 

  • Poke the meat: 

The best way to know if your Brisket is cooked is by poking the meat to check the tenderness. 

  • Wrap your Brisket: 

Wrap your Brisket in butcher's paper when it is cooked halfway, to be more precise when it reached the temperature of 165◦F to 170◦F. This will lock the juice of the meat inside the Brisket. 

  • Resting: 

Once your Brisket is, cook and let it rest for at least an hour before cutting the meat to get the best results.


Briskets are costly cuts of meat, and you do not want to ruin it. You can cook briskets in different ways like boiling, roasting in the oven, smoking, etc. However, the best possible way is to slow cook in a smoker with good wood for smoking, and to maintain the correct temperature is the key to an excellent Brisket.