Author Topic: Brisket  (Read 524 times)

Online ctom

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Brisket
« on: 06/13/21 10:42 UTC »
Since yesterday was going to be the coolest day in the last ten I decided that it was a day to smoke a brisket. After doing some price checking I settled on a chunk of meat just short of 15 pounds. I don't slop all sorts of junk on brisket or marinate it, just set in the grill after getting the smoke going. Yesterday the brisket was in good smoke for almost 6 hours and was fully cooked. From the grill it sat on the countertop until cool enough to cover with foil; and slide into the fridge. I was up early to slice it and bag and seal the portions. We'll do brisket sandwiches for dinner tonight. Of course the kids can smell a brisket smoking and a couple have put in their orders. Not requests, orders. lol

With this heat I have used the stove once in the past two weeks to cook up a couple hamburger steaks. Aside from that everything cooked has been done on the grill. Hard on the charcoal stash but much easier on keeping the house cool. Besides, food charcoal cooked beats anything cooked on a stove.

Offline Muskygary

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Re: Brisket
« Reply #1 on: 06/14/21 05:12 UTC »
Boy that sounds good! I've been on a diet since the first of feburary; eating mainly salads. So far I've went from 256 down to 200 now. Would like to take off 5 more pounds and then keep my self under 200. I feel great, but it's hard staying away from all the bar-b-queing.

Offline bassinfool

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Re: Brisket
« Reply #2 on: 06/14/21 09:14 UTC »
What temp were you smoking that you were able to smoke a brisket that size in 6ish hours?  There are two schools of thought when it comes to brisket: hot and fast or low and slow.  I have always been a member of the low and slow camp.  Last brisket I did that size took roughly 18-20 hours start to finish keeping my temps between 225-250.

Online ctom

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Re: Brisket
« Reply #3 on: 06/14/21 09:42 UTC »
I use my 22" Weber with a coal baffle and lay packets of chunk apple wrapped in heavy foil on the coals under it and smoke cook my brisket. This brisket sat on the grill on a sheet of heavy foil with drain holes poked in it. The large end of the brisket was on the coal end of the kettle. I start the first coals [about twenty of them] on one edge of the coal grill. When they're mostly gray I put the two smoke bombs, as I call them, on the coals, put the baffle in place and cover the grill after setting the top grill and meat on it. At about two hours the smoke dwindling will tell me when I need to take the top grill and meat off, pull the baffle back and add ten or so briquettes to the hot coals and put the next two bombs on the coal bed, then the baffle and replace the top grill/meat. About 2 1/2 hours after that exchange I repeat it. When the smoke dwindles after the third coal and bomb load I'll slip a digital fast read thermometer in the thick end of the meat. If I get a reading for medium rare, its done. Doing the meat in this fashion will render medium meat on the thin end of the brisket clear up until it starts to get into the 3 1/2" to 4" range, from there forward its pretty much medium rare. The brisket is pulled from the grill at that point, wrapped in heavy foil and allowed to rest until I can handle it with my hands and not get too warm, then I remover the foil and slide it in the fridge until fully cold, then put the foil back on until I take it out to slice it. I slice it by hand somewhere between into 1/16" and 1/8" thick slices.

I looked in my smoking journal this morning journal and this is my 37th brisket in about 22 years. No rubs, no marinades, no salt, just meat and smoke. I season it the way I feel like it when I use the meat in a meal. If I make a large package for a gathering, I put the thawed meat in a crock pot early in the morning , set the heat on high until its pretty darned warm then add two cans of Campbell's Beef Broth and set the heat down to low. This gets served on buns with all the accompaniments served on the side so people can make what they want.

My thoiughts on actually smoking a thick chunk of meat....any meat is that the slow process of heat and be a real issue in warmer weather unless a cure is used with the meat. Brisket is the only thick meat I smoke and always smoke-cook it so adequate heat is present to help avoid the bacteria that can cause issues. I've been smoking meat for 51 years and after a couple gut upsets in the early going due to bacteria I don't do an actual smoke on anything without cure being used, except the briskets.

Offline bassinfool

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Re: Brisket
« Reply #4 on: 06/14/21 13:55 UTC »
Thanks for responding so thoroughly as you always do, Tom.  I enjoy reading about other folks' process of doing things.  I grew up learning how to smoke on little barrel smokers, Weber kettle's and offset smokers and just in the past few years got myself a pellet grill- definitely different than building, controlling and maintaining a clean fire over several hours but the time it frees up for me to spend with my wife and family is reason enough for me to change.  Maybe one day when time isn't as much of a luxury I will go back to that offset smoker.

As for my briskets, I trim the point meat (thick end) pretty much free of external fat since it has so much marbling and try and shape it up to be as aerodynamic as possible so the smoke rolls over the piece cleanly.  For the flat, I trim the fat down to about 1/4" thickness and get rid of any silver skin or hard fat that isn't going to render during the cook.  I season mine simply with coarse kosher salt and coarse ground pepper and occasionally a little garlic powder but that's about it.  Put it on the smoker and don't even look at it for about 4 hours.  I start checking on things at about the 4-5 hour mark to see how the fat is rendering and to make sure no areas are burning; if things look like they're drying out I'll spritz with some apple cider vinegar and water mixture.  When the bark gets as dark as I want I wrap in butcher paper and place back on the smoker until I can probe the point and flat with an instant read thermometer and it feels like room temp butter.  After that, I set it in a cooler for a few hours to rest and let the juices redistribute throughout the meat.

Something I have just recently thought about doing after seeing some stuff on Youtube is using beef tallow during the wrapping period to impart more fat and moisture to the meat.  Haven't tried it myself but some people are alleging this is what gives the brisket at Franklin's in Austin, TX so I am looking forward to giving that a try sometime.

Online ctom

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Re: Brisket
« Reply #5 on: 06/14/21 14:47 UTC »
As you mention, everyone is different in how they do their smoking/cooking.

One of the benefits of making those smoke bombs from chunk, split hardwood, in this case apple, is that when the bombs have stopped spewing smoke, inside the package is the cleanest, nicest charcoal one can find. The next time I grill, guess what I use. Wrapped in heavy foil twice the wood cannot flame, just smoke and that smoke finds its way out of the wrapping without any trouble at all while air cannot get in. Best charcoal anywhere.

Offline bassinfool

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Re: Brisket
« Reply #6 on: 06/15/21 10:57 UTC »
I have distinct memories of watching my grandfather using an old drum set over a fire filled with hickory or oak (whatever he had cut down on his property most recently or what he would bring home after they trimmed trees along power lines at work  :P) making his own charcoal.  He always chose the hottest days to get me to help him make charcoal too!