Well Cooked Brisket Being Cut for Serving By a Guy with Black Gloves

Why is my brisket dry and tough?

It’s not uncommon to be forced to cope with tough, dry brisket, especially if you’re new to the meat section.

Although you will hear that because brisket is a tough piece of meat, achieving the luscious softness that you desire is nearly impossible.This is due to the fact that brisket is a tough cut of meat. The movement of the animal causes the muscles in this cut to toughen over time, requiring a long cooking time to tenderize enough to eat.

However, this is not the case.

Brisket, like any other cut of meat, can be as juicy and tender as any other.

We’ll show you how to make your brisket tender again by explaining why it might become tough and dry.

Undercooked Brisket

Cooking Time Is Too Short

The meat will be chewy and rough if the brisket is undercooked. Keeping an eye on the meat’s temperature as well as the temperature of the smoker will assist ensure success. If the meat can be returned to the smoker straight away, do so, but if not, finish cooking it in 20-24 Hours.

Brisket is not a dinner you should make on the spur of the moment. For each pound of brisket, a 225-degree Fahrenheit smoker will take around an hour and fifteen minutes. Cooking a five-pound brisket might take up to six hours. After resting, it also tastes better and becomes more delicate.

Allow the brisket to come to room temperature before placing it in a casserole dish with all of the fluids and wrapping it securely in plastic to rest overnight. The next day, slice it and wrap it in foil before roasting it for an hour in a medium oven.

You cooked it too high

Increasing the temperature of the smoker because you’re short on time will ruin the party and leave you with a rubbery brisket. Slow cooking allows the strong muscle fibers in the meat to break down into collagen, which melts and gives the meat its soft, juicy feel. However, the meat must be cooked gently over low heat to avoid becoming tough.

If sliced before resting

Smoked brisket might become tough. When the meat is finished cooking, the leftover moisture is trapped near the surface. If you slice it at that point, the fluids will run out, however letting it rest allows the juices to flow back into the cut, keeping it moist and delicate.

Slicing Meat Against The Grain

It’s crucial to remember to cut the brisket across the grain. The brisket’s tough connective tissue runs lengthwise. Cutting it against the grain would result in lengthy, rough slices. Cutting against the grain results in shorter fibers, making each slice softer and easier to chew.

Not Using A Thermometer

At 190 degrees Fahrenheit, strong muscle fibers begin to break down, peaking between 200 and 210 degrees. Without a thermometer, you won’t be able to tell how hot it is. The temperature and cooking periods are strongly tied to the brisket’s perfection, thus buying one is essential.

There are numerous varieties of handheld thermometers available. The next time you make brisket, remember this. I recommend leaving the Pit Boss meat probes in the meat and using a good handheld thermometer to check the temperature.

With all the problems with dry and tough Brisket here are the process and recipes on how to achieve tender juiciness of the brisket with love!

Smoked Brisket from Traeger Grills

It is a labor of love. What could be better than melt-in-your-mouth Smoked Brisket cooked low and slow? Nothing is the answer! What I appreciate best about this dish is that it elevates even home cooks to pitmaster status. To be honest, it’s a lot of sitting about. The best way to prepare this Traeger Grills Smoked Brisket is to preheat the Traeger, insert the probe, set a temperature alarm, and then go about your day! Play games with your children, do laundry or binge-watch your favorite show. Nothing beats the Traeger since it does all the work for you!


  • 1 12-14 pound whole brisket, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • Traeger Texas Spicy BBQ Sauce


  • Preheat the Traeger Grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Season the brisket generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Close the cover and place the brisket directly on the grill grates. Smoke until the temperature inside reaches 165°F (roughly 5-7 hours).
  • A large piece of butcher paper should be rolled out (or heavy-duty foil). To form a leak-proof seal, place the brisket in the center of the paper, roll the edge up, and fold it down. Return the brisket to the smoker, seam side down, and let the brisket’s weight hold the fold closed.
  • Continue to smoke at 225 degrees Fahrenheit until the interior temperature reaches 204 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 3-5 hours).
  • Remove the brisket from the smoker and set it aside to rest for 30-60 minutes on a large cutting board.
  • The brisket should be cut against the grain. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce or on its own.

A perfectly cooked smoked brisket may be the highlight of a family gathering. Slow cooking at a low temperature is the key to a tender and juicy smoked brisket.

Your smoked brisket will be a success if you pay attention to the details, such as making sure the smoker is clean and the meat is properly trimmed.

The most important thing is to be patient and allow the smoker to perform the most of the work. You’ll be rewarded with a flavorful, mouth watering brisket that everyone will enjoy.

So, what gives with my brisket being tough and dry? 

It could be due to poor beef cut selection, bad cooking, or a variety of other factors. Whatever the reason, we trust that our instruction may be of assistance. 

You can either continue with the dry ones or breathe fresh life into them to create a new delectable dish. 
If you prefer moist, tender meat, follow our tried-and-true recommendations for keeping it juicy. Please send us a message here in Brisket Pro if you require any additional assistance. Tender and Juicy, Be a Brisket Pro!


Featured Categories

About Me

Greetings BBQ & Brisket fans!

Since BBQ is now a professional career, I designed this website to turn you into a Brisket Pro. BBQ is more than a cooking style; it’s a lifestyle and art form. 

Read about how our community of grilling pros gets the perfect bark on our brisket or what grills and accessories we use. Plus, ask questions and find answers to your burning BBQing questions.