Minimum internal temp for brisket
If you’re wondering what the minimum internal temperature should be before you pull it off the smoker, know that once the internal temperature reaches about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the collagen within the meat begins to render down making it very juicy and tender. That is specifically when you should be pulling the brisket off the smoker. Anything before 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and you risk having an undercooked brisket.
I’ve seen a lot of Pitmasters get too inpatient or have an accurate thermometer that temps out at seemingly 200 degrees Fahrenheit, but in reality or actually typing out at around 190 degrees Fahrenheit, causing them to pull up way too early.
In other words, the minimum temperature for a brisket to be pulled off the smoker should not be anywhere below 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
You don’t want another undercooked brisket because they are very chewy and have no flavor whatsoever. The internal connective tissues have not yet broken down. Once the internal temperature has reached 200 degrees Fahrenheit, you will not want to pull the brisket out to smoke or just yet.
You will also want to start proving it all around with the thermometer itself or perhaps a toothpick.
Test for any resistance in the meat. If there is no resistance, then you know that all of the connective tissues inside have effectively rendered down appropriately.
That is really how you know a brisket is done. It’s not really so much about the temperature more so than it is about the feel of brisket.
To try and pull a brisket off at the right temperature, you should never consider pulling it off before it reaches 200 degrees in Fahrenheit.
That’s just because at 200 degrees Fahrenheit, all of the collagen and what not have a chance to scientifically begin breaking down and making your beautiful brisket very juicy. Anything before 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and you risk severely under cooking it, which causes a very chewy and un-flavorful piece of barbecue.