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Let's Talk About Brisket!

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Post Wed Mar 24, 2004 1:54 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
I was at BJ's yesterday and noticed that they sell brisket flats, and thought I might try to do one low and slow on my Weber gasser to "put my money where my mouth is" (see the Grill on a Smoker? thread.) I figure if I can succeesd with the most difficult cut to get right, I can do anyting. So, I have some questions for the expert smokers out there.

- Any trimming recommended?
- Recommended rub
- Mop or not? If so, what mop?
- Fat side up or down?
- Approximate cook time per pound? (seems to me I've read 1 1/2 hours per pound?)
- Internal temperature to cook to?
- Rest how long?
- Any special slicing technique? (across grain, thin/thick, vefrtical or along the flat?)
- Anything else I need to know?
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Wed Mar 24, 2004 3:13 pm
Rick rare
rare

Posts: 47
Location: Oregon
--keep a 1/4-1/2 inch of the fat cap
--Rubs are to your taste, but I like to use paprika, granulated garlic, a little ginger powder, a little ground mustard, and salt and pepper to taste
--Yes, mop. I like to use a spray bottle with apple cider and apple cider vinegar
--Fat side definitely up which allows the fat to melt and keep the meat moist
--the cook time depends on the temp that you cook at. When you say low and slow, to me that means 180-220 degrees. So, it may take 2 hours per pound, or even more, until the internal temp is 190.
--Let it rest 15-30 minutes wrapped in foil, loosely
--Slice across the grain

Post Wed Mar 24, 2004 3:29 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Paul - I'm not going to repeat what everybody else has said but I will say this. Be careful with a brisket "flat", I made that mistake on my first ever brisket, and in hindsight should have known better. When you listen to everyone here a brisket is a big ol' lump o' meat. The "brisket" I first trie was a flat and I didn't make the connection. If this is the case, and you follow the excellent advise set forth above you'll end up with an excellent chunk of shoe leather like I did. And I was even smart enough to cut the cooking time when I noticed something was up. After that experience I realized that the "flat" cut were more akin to a london broil than a low and slow brisket. It can still be good just be prepared to modify your cooking accordingly.

Good luck, let us know how you make out.
Image

Post Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:16 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
Grand Scale wrote:
After that experience I realized that the "flat" cut were more akin to a london broil than a low and slow brisket. It can still be good just be prepared to modify your cooking accordingly


Grand - Are you saying that a flat is not suitable for low & slow? If not, how would you modify the cooking technique? If a flat is just smaller and thinner, wouldn't it work to just plan on significantly less cooking time - say like 1/2 hour per pound? Or is there some other difference in a flat, like not enough fat, which makes it unsuitable?

With only two of us, a whole brisket is out of the question.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Thu Mar 25, 2004 3:06 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
PaulP, I found the following search to be relevant: Here's the link

Hope this helps!

I smoke mine at 225-250 degrees until the internal temp is about 170, mopping every hour. Then I wrap it in foil and continue cooking until internal temps are 190-200 degrees. Pictures are on page two of my WEB page link.
Image

Post Thu Mar 25, 2004 3:39 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Paul-
Look at a few of the links that Bob posted, they're pretty good. What I was getting at is that although you can low and slow the flat, you will deffinately need to modify the times. think london broil not brisket. Since its so very thin as compared to the chunk o' meat that you think of with low and slow the outside cooks at the same quickness as a big cut but at that speed it cooks to the center by default. You loose alot of the smokey flavor because it cooked too quick. I can't give you exact time as I don't keep a journal (I know, I should, but I enjoy living dangerously) Mine also didn't have the fat I thought was necessary either.
I know you're an experience BBQer (you answered one of the first posts I ever put up), you can cook this and enjoy it, just focus on heat and time given the thickness, take lots of temps to keep it from getting away from you. But I didn't get the flavor and quality I wanted from a "brisket". It's not unsuitable, just different. Think chicken vs. turkey.

Good Luck
Let us know how you make out.
Image

Post Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:56 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5375
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Flat cut brisket is best "low and slow" but a much diiferent low and slow. Braising. Braising and almost only braising will render this into a succulent morsel to be pulled into nice two bite chunks and devoured with bland buttered potatoes in the style of your choice and and green beans cooked to death. Hey, I didn't say it was was haute' cuisine, just comfort food.

Epicurious and that www.foodtv.com thing are just rife with good braising info.

Not a bad piece of meat, just not meant for dry heat cooking.

(water bowls don't count this time guys.)

Post Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:33 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
Hmmmm...... Wide spread of opinion on this one - from braise it to low & slow for a much shorter time.

I'm going to review the links (thanks Bob) and then decide if I want to attempt it. If it turns out that braise is the answer, I probably won't bother because I can do that with great results with chuck (called pot roast). If it looks like smoking is good, I will try it sometime when I have a full tank of gas.

Thanks for all the good info.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:43 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
Paul,
No one said that you couldn’t braise the brisket on a grill or in a smoker. There are two ways to achieve this:
#1 Steve’s way (he did it with the lamb shanks): smoke the meat for the first couple of hours as usual, and then wrap with foil, add some liquid, seal well, and finish cooking until desired internal temp.
#2 Place the meat in a foil pan or deep baking dish, pour some liquid to half the thickness of the meat, and smoke until desired doneness.
I believe there is nothing you could not do with a grill. After all, it’s an outdoor oven.
Good luck.

Post Fri Mar 26, 2004 10:38 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5375
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Excellent suggestions.

Why not throw some cast iron into the equation with a nice dutch oven. The heat retention properties will help to even out the temperature flucuations you might get with a smaller smoker or grill. Which is helpful witha smaller piece of meat. Plus they just look cool.

People seem to be suprised when you whip out the cast iron. I don't know why. Maybe it's T-Fals fault.

My most used skillet belonged to my great grandmother and it gets used at least 4 times a week for something.

Rob
Last edited by YardBurner on Sat Mar 27, 2004 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:07 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
Rob,
You’re absolutely correct about cast iron. I use them on my grill all the time. And people do get surprised when I start using them. Maybe they think they’re extinct??

Post Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:03 am
JonM rare
rare

Posts: 26
Location: Fort Myers, FL
From the links I reviewed, it looks like low and slow is still the best option - however, cooking time may be drastically reduced... 1.5-2 hours/lb at 200-220, when the meat hits 165-170, wrap it and finish it that way (mopping all along). I'm doing the same thing this coming Satruday, so I'll keep you guys posted as well...

Jon
JonM - Ft Myers
Chargriller with SFB
Charmglow gasser

Post Wed Mar 31, 2004 5:31 pm
PaulP well done
well done

Posts: 681
Location: Beautiful St. Mary's County, Maryland
JonM - if you're doing a flat, I'd really appreciate knowing your results. What I was originally considering is a low & slow of a brisket flat. I really wasn't interested in braising one. My understanding is that a brisket is the nastiest, toughest cut of beef but it can be great when slow smoked, and I wanted to try it on my Weber Genesis to prove to myself that it can be done. However, if I can only successfully smoke a full brisket, forget it, I can't handle that much meat.
PaulP
If you don't like the food, have more wine

Post Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:41 am
JonM rare
rare

Posts: 26
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Ok -the brisket came out great! The temp ran from 180-250 and it took me 10 hours of cook time to get it to 195*. I used a mop consisting of Sam Adams, cider, light bronw sugar and salt. Took it real slow to 165, wrapped it and then raised the heat to 250 and brought it to 195. Let it rest for 1/2 hour then cut away! As for leftovers - bring it to work!

J
JonM - Ft Myers
Chargriller with SFB
Charmglow gasser

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