Here in this article we will discuss how to get your brisket to fall apart after it is finished cooking. If you have noticed that your brisket isn’t falling apart, or is sometimes after cooking it, then this will cover why that is. If you have never cooked a brisket to the point that it is falling apart, then this article will be extremely helpful to you for getting it to a more precise point that you want it.
I decided to do a week experiment on brisket to see if I can get the toughest part of the brisket (the flat) to easily fall apart after cooking it. The experiment took a long time, because I had to cook the brisket again after it finished, and store it away in the freezer to see if changes would be made in the quality of the brisket once it was cooked again. I ate brisket for about an entire week to get these results.
I decided to cook this brisket as a beginner would cook it with beginner’s knowledge. In the end, the tough brisket yielded fall apart meat that was flavorful, juicy, and easy to chew.
So, as the brisket started, it started as a whole brisket that was somewhat trimmed, then fully seasoned with a simple seasoning that was picked up from the local grocery store. After it was seasoned, the brisket was placed in a large pan with the fat cap side facing down, and placed in the oven to cook at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Nothing was done to the brisket during this cooking time, except checking on it after a few hours to see its progress.
After the brisket had cooked for 6 hours, it was finally done cooking. A sample of the flat end (the thinner side of the brisket) of the brisket was taken, and a sample of the point end (the thicker side of the whole brisket). The point end wasn’t falling apart, but it was fully cooked, very flavorful, and exceptionally tender. Later, this part of the brisket was the first side that was quickly consumed. It was eaten over the course of the few days until it was gone.
After trying a sample of the flat, it was very flavorful, somewhat dry, and a little too tough. It was not falling apart by any means, and had to be cut into smaller portions against the grain to be more manageable for chewing. It was annoying to say the least, but atleast it tasted good.
So basically at this point, the goal was to get this fully cooked brisket to fall apart (easily break apart with little to no effort) by cooking it longer. No special or unusual techniques of wrapping the brisket, for example, were used. I just froze the brisket once I had my portions for the day and cooked it longer at around the same temperatures the next day.
The next day, brisket was taken out of the freezer, reheated in the oven, and cooked for more time. The brisket was left to cook for an additional 2 hours after it reheated before eating it again. Of course, I was still eating some of the point of the brisket at this point, but the flat of the brisket was my main concern, since it was tough and wasn’t falling apart. After cooking the brisket again for this amount of time, the brisket flat was still somewhat dry and it still wasn’t falling apart. There was no noticeable difference in the quality of the brisket after this cooking time.
Being determined on this day to get the brisket to a point that it was somewhat falling apart, I cooked the brisket on this day for about 4 hours. However, I had the do some things to keep the dryer parts of the brisket from drying out even more during the long cooking time. At the bottom of the pan, all of the fat that had rendered out of the brisket was still there. So, I sliced thin edible nearly cut slices out of the whole brisket, that were still connected as a whole by the fat and connective tissues at the bottom of the brisket. From here, I flipped the entire brisket upside down, with the fat cap facing up, and let it finish cooking in the juices.
After the 4 hours of cooking, the brisket flat pieces were tried again and were starting to show some slight signs of falling apart. It was more loose, even though the brisket meat itself was still somewhat tough. However, the brisket still wasn’t falling apart. I decided to attempt cooking the brisket for more time the next day that I cooked the brisket.
Day 4 of cooking the brisket happened the next day afterwards, because I was tired of eating brisket for a second. I ate something else and left the brisket in the freezer. However, the “day 4” of cooking the brisket as usual for the experiment started again the following day. The brisket was cooked for 6 hours, since it was safe to cook it for this long with the fat cap facing up and the meat of the brisket sitting in the juices. I just cooked it and let it do its things the entire time at around 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
After trying the brisket this time around, it yielded some great results, with some hope of getting the no longer “somewhat dry” (now somewhat juicy) to the point that it was kind of falling apart. It still wasn’t fully to that point of falling apart, but considering how tough it was on the previous days, it was worth the effort. The brisket still had its somewhat tough texture, but it was overall a lot more tender. It was no longer a conscious problem when chewing the meat, of it being hard to chew and tough.
After my problem of a tough and somewhat dry flat brisket was solved, I decided to go all out on this day with the rest of the brisket that was left, and cook it for 8 hours at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The fat cap was still facing up, so I flipped it over for a little while, and let it cook for a small amount of time, before flipping it back over and letting it cook for most of the time again.
After the brisket had finished cooking on this day, it was now falling apart. The entire point end of the brisket was well gone at this point, as I had eaten it all up, so only the flat end was left. Every slice of flat brisket at this point was extremely easy to chew with no resistance or toughness, even for some of the thicker thin slices that were cut were breaking apart easily. The brisket broke apart with no resistance when biting the slices. No cutting into smaller pieces was necessary for the slices.
This means that it took a total of cooking the brisket 22 hours before it finally reached the point of falling apart at its toughest and most resistant parts, while cooking it at mostly 250 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the time. The bark of the brisket was nearly black, and the fat on the surface of the brisket had become a lot softer from the long cooking time.
Was it worth the time cooking brisket for this long to get it to thr point that it was falling apart?
Yes. It was worth the time to cook the brisket this long to get the results. The difference in eating the tough, but fully cooked brisket portions from 6 to 8 hours of cooking to the 16 to 22 hours, is like night and day. If someone hates eating the brisket flat because it is hard to chew and tough, then it is definitely worth the effort, since the brisket flat is bigger than the brisket point. You can buy the brisket as a whole, eat the point side first and then cook the other half for longer to get it to break down more to the point that it is falling apart.
My last few days were spent eating the brisket flat with no complaints, and I would definitely eat it like this all over again. Every brisket is different, so make sure that you use a good food thermometer to check to see if the brisket is fully cooked before trying it.