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Let's Talk About Brisket!

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Post Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:02 am
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I tried a brisket for the first time ever last July 4th. We had a houseful of people over, and neighbors were hanging over the fence by the time the meat came off the grill. Grilling it with the fat side up is most essential. I followed the instructions to the letter, and almost a year later my husband stills dreams of that brisket! (I'm not sure, but I think the cats and dogs do so as well.) Happy BBQing!

Post Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:19 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Excellent job Jon. I have several briskets to smoke for a banquet this month. It'll be my first time to cook for such a large crowd (nearly 200 women). I've never catered before. Hope mine goes as well.
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Post Mon Apr 12, 2004 6:31 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
PaulP, have you been able to do a brisket yet? Just curious as to how it turned out.

A guy I work with wanted to do his first brisket this past weekend. So explained how to set up his gas grill, how to make a rub, and what he needed to do to cook it. He came in this morning bragging about how good his brisket was. His wife was pleased too.
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Post Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:41 pm

Posts: 10
Location: Greensboro NC
PaulP or anyone who has smoked a flat brisket- How did your Flat brisket turn out. I am planning on doing a flat brisket for the first time this weekend. I have never done a brisket before and bought the flat one sort of by mistake (I did not know what to look for). This is pork country down here so a whole brisket is hard to come by with out really payin' big money for it. How long did your Flat Brisket take? I am going to cook it in an aluminum pan on my webber 21 1/2 Grill. I will of course use the indirect method and cook it low and slow. I bought a flat brisket that weights about 5.7 pounds. I'm sort of worried now that I think I may have bought the wrong cut of meat. The cut that I bought did have a nice layer of fat on it so hopefully that will help. They only had flat at my meat counter. Any advice from anyone would be helpful!!!
"I'm just another, Beer Drinking, Good Time Having, Regular Guy" - Quote from my apron

Post Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:06 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3062
Location: Atlanta-GA
Flat Brisket is nothing but a half brisket and it’s the most available cut. The whole brisket is usually divided into 2 cuts the point and the flat. The whole brisket is usually shaped like a triangle. The point of the triangle yields the pint cut and the flat is the wide side:
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The cooking process is exactly the same. If you follow Steven’s instructions in “HTG” to the letter, you will have a beautifully cooked brisket in about 6 hours.
Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Post Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:29 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
CharcoalGrillinDaddy brisket is an ornery piece of meat but it’s not too difficult to cook. It sounds like you got a good flat. It’s important for brisket to have a good fat cap, as that is where it gets its moisture from while the meat is cooking low-n-slow. The fat cap keeps it from drying out and getting tough. I cook mine in a smoker, yours will cook a little faster on the grill than mine do but you don’t want it to cook too fast.

I’ll describe the cooking process a little. First and foremost it has to be low-N-slow or the meat fibers won’t break down and it will be tough. Rub all sides of the brisket and refrigerate overnight (if possible, you can rub and smoke immediately if you’re short for time, but marinating overnight adds more flavor). Take the meat out of the fridge a half hour prior to smoking to let it warm a little. Set the grill up for indirect. I always use a water pan with brisket. Try to maintain the temperature of the grill under 300*, ideally in a smoker I run 225* which is better for brisket. If you can keep it lower it will take longer to cook (which is good & I’ll explain why later). Don’t mop or spray the brisket for the first two to three hours, it will allow the rub to “crust” on the outside of the meat. Otherwise you’ll just end up washing most of the rub off with the mop. After the rub crusts I mop/spray every hour with a mixture of apple cider and apple juice (optional, because a good fat cap will keep it moist but it mopping/spraying adds flavor). If you are monitoring the internal temperature of the meat (and you should with a remote probe or instant read thermometer) you’ll notice the temperature will rise quite rapidly the first few hours. Then as the temperature approaches 160* it will level off and hang there for hours. This is called the “plateau”. I’ve had brisket rise only 5* in six hours on the plateau. During this time is when all the magic happens. The fat is breaking down and soaking into and through the meat. Also the meat fibers are breaking down and becoming tender. A common mistake for beginners is to think there is something wrong and turn the heat up. If a brisket is rushed through the plateau it won’t complete these important processes and will be tough and dry. So just let it ride. Depending of the brisket’s density and fat content times will differ, so don’t worry so much about time and keep an eye on the temperature. After the fats have began to melt the temperature will begin to rise again. I use what Paul Kirk calls the “Texas Crutch”. I wrap the brisket in 2 full wraps of heavy duty aluminum foil when it reaches 170*-180*. It’s smooth sailing from here on. The brisket is now basting in its own juices. When it reaches 200*-205* it will be so tender and juicy that you better have a sharp knife to slice it or it will just fall apart. For a little firmer meat only cook it to 190*-195*. I’ve never had a complaint about tender brisket though.

If I were to guess a cooking time I’d say around 6-8 hours. Start early and if it finishes early you can hold it (still wrapped in foil) in a warm oven or an ice chest for several hours.

Good luck! And most of all have fun!!!
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Post Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:47 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Following a method almost identical to that above I smoked a 15 pound brisket this weekend. It took 16 hours to get to 195 and was cut and served for serving the next day. I reheated and kept it warm on the chargriller and boy oh boy was it good.
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Post Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:13 am
hawgpimp rare
rare

Posts: 35
Location: Stanford, KY
I did a 7# flat and two 8# butts this weekend on my Gourmet (modified) and simply put the brisket on the lower grill directly above the water pan and the pork above on the top grill. the top grill drippings along with the water pan mixture kept it nice and moist, but still able to get a pretty good bark. By the way, I'm going to order a WSM this week and try it and may just scrap the started 24 x 60 and make it a straight grill. I can still smoke on it Texas Hibachi style, but won't have to build a firebox right now. (Geez, steel is high!)
"Listen, I didn't get to where I am today, worrying what I was gonna feel like tomorrow" Ron White

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