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View Full Version : Brisket. Whatcha Got?


Dave Van Skike
03-04-2009, 02:23 PM
Gant's training Journal got me thinking about Brisket...that led me to thinking of other bits of cheap lean meat, such as the often misnamed London Broil.

Any good recipes?

To tenderize Y/N?

Marinate for a 12 hours/24 hours?

Grill or stove?


You Texas Boys need to weigh in here.

Gant Grimes
03-04-2009, 03:07 PM
As a Sopranos fan, the London Broil has a special place in my heart. But it's not my area.

Marinate: see below
Tenderize: nothing beyond lemon/lime. I just cut it into thin strips.
Grill or stove: I don't cook anything in the stove except pizza, lasagna, or other Italian fare.

If I have flank or skirt steak, I'm usually grilling fajitas. So a little lime or lemon, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and all the other usual crap. I score it (most of the time) and marinate it overnight if I think about it. I suppose it's best to do it at least 12 hours, but if I'm doing fajitas, that means I'm drinking lots of Tecate or Negro Modelo, eating lots of chips and queso, and frying lots of onions and peppers in oil. The guests seem to enjoy them, but my taste buds are incommunicado at that point.

I went the other direction once and marinated flank in teriyaki. It wasn't bad.

I don't know much beyond this, but I look forward to the discussion.

glennpendlay
03-04-2009, 04:28 PM
I never marinate. I do inject most of the meat I smoke with apple juice prior to throwing it into the smoker. Sometimes with brisket or pork shoulder, I will also inject some BBQ sauce into the meat...

And speaking of cooking methods... I got an upright gas powered smoker for Christmas. Now I love cooking with wood as much as anyone, but when your smoking... keeping the temp right for 8-10 hours is a pain. This thing is a breeze to use... you fill up the little tray at the bottom with the wood chips of your choice, fill up the water bowl with a mixture of water and any marinade mixture that you want to use to flavor the meet, then dump the meet on the tray, turn the gas on, and pretty much forget it for 8 hours.

Since getting this thing, I havnt used my oven hardly at all, and I havnt used my grill once. This thing makes great meat, is super easy to use, and I would heartily recomend one to anyone who likes to cook meat. Mine is from Cabelas.

glenn

Dave Van Skike
03-04-2009, 04:35 PM
Now we're getting somewhere.

Hot damn! what gauge needle do you need to get BBQ sauce into a pork shoudler?

Know anyone who's tried this?

Trash Can smoker (http://www.cruftbox.com/cruft/docs/elecsmoker.html)

I have a DIY streak that has gotten me in some pretty deep shit but this looks simple.

glennpendlay
03-04-2009, 04:49 PM
I use an injector that I bought at Academy sports, its designed to inject stuff into meat.

That trash can setup looks like it would work fine. The only thing its missing is water, its best to have a bowl of water on top of the wood ships... it boils and evaporates as the meat cooks, and does two things, one is to keep the meat moist, and the second is to flavor the meet... you add a fair amount of what you otherwise would have used to marinate the meat to the water, as it evaporates it imparts this flavor to your meat.

also, there is no need to change the wood chips. I used to do this, but ran out one day, and found that it made virtually no difference. The first batch of wood chips, if soaked in water, smoke for about an hour or so before they are ashes... and it seems that this is plenty to give the meat all the flavor you want.

And the water really is important, ive tried it with and without. With water mades the meat much, much moister.

glenn

George Mounce
03-04-2009, 05:01 PM
And the water really is important, ive tried it with and without. With water mades the meat much, much moister.

glenn

If you want moist meat I suggest a mop sauce. Apple juice + Guinness is mine.. Mop on meat every hour. More flavor = more goodness. It's how the pro's roll.

I prefer dry chips versus wet. I don't care how painful it is, I'll take a day of checking the wood smoker every 15 min versus a gas smoker anyday. I want to smell like I just lived through a forest fire of good hickory or mesquite by the end of the day, and its a good excuse to sit near the fire and drink beer.

Good red meat is done with a rub 24 hours prior. Rub is your choice of seasonings. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and throw in fridge overnight.

Poultry if smoked should always be brined for at least 8 hours...24 is better. I smoked 4 racks of ribs and 2 chickens the other day....absolute perfection. Poultry instead of using mop sauce I prefer butter with apple juice, and put a pan underneath to catch drippings.

I smoke with apple, hickory, and mesquite. All work great for flavors. If you want you can always add liquid smoke to your mop sauce for a little cheat.

Derek Weaver
03-04-2009, 07:04 PM
Calling Jay Cohen...

Jay Cohen
03-05-2009, 08:29 AM
Well, depends on how ya want to cook Brisket. Slow cooker, Grill, Smoke, all work great and there are tons of on line recipes.

Rub, Inject, Brine, BBQ Sauce, all work to enhance the taste.

While I like to Grill either direct or indirect heat, I'm saving up some bucks to buy a Cookshack electric smoker. While the die hard BBQ people might whine, nothing beats putting on a brisket, come back in 18 hours, maybe adding wood once, maybe not, and having a great piece of smoked meat. Read the reviews of these great smokers, you'd be hard pressed to find a better value.

BTW, the BBQ comps and festivals are firming up dates for 2009.

I plan to head to Rochester over the Memorial weekend and catch the RocRib Fest, and get this, I've signed up for a BBQ judging class, and that will get me a KCBS membership and I can judge future competitions. Is this a great country or what.

I plan to spend my summer doing some local Scuba diving and going on road trips to eat BBQ, plus I have the Senior games in York Pa in July.

Chow On.

Jared Buffie
03-05-2009, 09:33 AM
Jay,

Have you considered a Big Green Egg?

I swear by it... one load of lump charcoal can go lo and slo for 24 hours... a little pricey, but the lifetime warranty is neat. Also, temps can get up to 1000 degrees to sear steaks, etc...

egg:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/Jbuff/2465c10c.jpg

three pork butts:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/Jbuff/ffc49f48.jpg

pulled:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/Jbuff/24397197.jpg

spatchcocked turkey:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/Jbuff/6638ae81.jpg

Jay Cohen
03-05-2009, 11:11 AM
Jared;

The egg is a fine piece of equipment, but you'll see the capabilities of the Cookshack far exceed the Egg, though your not comparing apples to apples.

Even the CookShack website is packed with info, and their forum is very good.

BTW, the Electric Cookshack turns out such good consistent smoked meat, that it's banned in BBQ comps. Cookshack came out with the Fast Eddy model that takes charcoal/pellets.

The Egg is good, no doubt about it, in fact a 90 buck Weber turns out killer BBQ.

Jared Buffie
03-05-2009, 07:29 PM
Jay,

Looks good - but there's no fire! Part of the fun of BBQ is playing with fire...

also, can't do this to steaks:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/Jbuff/b71ecc0e.jpg

pizza:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/Jbuff/a803cb96.jpg

ABT's (jalepenos stufed with a cream cheese/pulled pork mixture and wrapped in bacon):

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/Jbuff/e386c8cb.jpg

or wings:

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/Jbuff/DSCF1432.jpg

Jay Cohen
03-06-2009, 01:31 AM
Man, those are good looking pics. True what you said about needing fire, hence I bought the Char Broil last year:

http://www.charbroil.com/Consumer/product_detail_m.aspx?ProductSeriesID=16

Jay

Gant Grimes
03-06-2009, 02:04 PM
Jared, you have your priorities in order, my friend. I have a Weber SM myself. Same concept. Holds heat well.

Those pics are beautiful. I don't know where to start. It all looks great.

I only answered the original question regarding flank steak, but the thread has grown. My philosophy on smoked meats is like anything else. Keep it simple. Don't trick it up too much. If your meat can't speak for itself, buy better meat. Plan ahead; follow your plan.

I don't spend much time with chicken beyond throwing it in a bag with a marinade. I eat the stuff because it's cheap, easy protein. I don't care about it beyond that. Brined is good, but it's not worth the trouble to me.

For brisket, ribs, and pork, I'll rub a little yellow mustard on there to hold the rub better. I add salt and pepper and sometimes a few other items (not very much) (if you come anywhere near my property with liquid smoke you will be punched). After a couple hours I'll spray with a light coating of olive oil+cranberry juice to keep it most and add a little sweetness. That's really it.

The best recipe is good meat, a controlled fire, plenty of patience, and a nice seasonal brew.

Jared Buffie
03-06-2009, 06:16 PM
For the OP...

My results with brisket have been good, but I have not done one in a while. Last one i did was a "packer's cut" that was 11 pounds or something... keep it simple with a rub (usually paprika and pepper based, I'll throw some organic suagr in there to help with the crust), low and slow at around ~250 is the way I would go. With beef, I prefer mesquite to hickory (which I like better for pork - apple for fish, and none for poultry - the meat picks up the flavour of the charcoal itself, and added smoke tends to be overbearing). I also prefer wood chunks to wood chips, soaked overnight beforehand.

Something to remember with brisket, ribs and pork butt/shoulder is something called the "plateau". If you have a remote thermometer, you'll notice that the meat gets to around 150-170 internal temp range and will stall there for hours. What's happening is the heat is being used in a chemical reaction that breaks down the collagen fibers. This is where the meat actually goes from tough to moist and juicy - the biggest mistake that some people make is puliing the meat off earlly (before or during the plateau). I like to pull both my brisket and pork shoulder off when internal temp hits 190. I then wrap in foil, wrap that in a couple of old towels, and then place in an old cooler to "rest" for up to four hours.

Has anyone had any luck finding a grass fed brisket? When we buy 1/2 cows they include one little one... 3 lbs or so.

BTW... I think there was a Christmas where I had more pics of the turkey thru the cooking process than my kids..

Chris Forbis
03-07-2009, 07:11 AM
Has anyone had any luck finding a grass fed brisket? When we buy 1/2 cows they include one little one... 3 lbs or so.

They claim they average 4.75# at US Wellness...

http://www.grasslandbeef.com/Categories.bok?category=Grassland+Beef%3ABrisket%2 C+Ribs+%26+Stew+Beef

Aaron Austin
03-07-2009, 08:30 AM
I was at the butcher shop this morning post workout buying some meat for breakfast and lunch and dinner this weekend - was ready to checkout when I say some brisket in the display case and got the butcher to hook me up. Will be my first time cooking it too - we'll see how she turns out.

Dave Van Skike
03-07-2009, 10:54 AM
Thanks for all the tips. Jared that is a very well thought out brisket plan..i'm curious about the 190 temp before resting...talk about that. Am I high for thinking that's a high temp? honestly I'm either a steak or potroast guy so I go by feel more than temp...discuss.

Jared Buffie
03-07-2009, 04:54 PM
The idea behind the higher temp is that you want all of the collagen (what makes brisket tough) to render into gelatin (what makes brisket tender and juicy). If you try that with a roast or a steak, you end up with something resembling the taste and texture of an old leather shoe (because they have little or no collagen). With pork butt/brisket, you get tender juicy goodness (beacuse they are tough cuts - due to the higher collagen content).

The temp that the meat renders from collagen to gelatin is in the 160-180 range. If you pull it before it goes thru the plateau, the meat will be tough.

I've had briskets take up to 20 hours to cook, pork butts 16-18 (or sometimes as little as 10 hours). Depends on the hunk of flesh, thus the need for a good remote thermometer. Here's a great link about cooking a brisket:

http://nakedwhiz.com/brisket.htm

And lost of other yummy BBQ/grilling recipes -

http://nakedwhiz.com/recipes.htm

All of these are golden - the guy is a legend around the Big Green Egg forum - which, BTW, probably has the only more cult-like following than Crossfit (not sure aout the grammar there). Especialy great are the Mad Max Turkey recipe and the TREX stak grilling method.

Jared Buffie
03-07-2009, 05:02 PM
This is great... almost like a cross between my two favorite forums (BGE and CA)....

If anyone hasn't tried it yet, cook up a tri-tip. It's the flavor/texture of a steak, but the size of a roast. I cook it TREX style (sear at ~1000 deg, then cook at 400 until 130 internal temp). Yummy stuff.

Garrett Smith
03-08-2009, 07:25 AM
Jared,
My wife and I have been thoroughly enjoying tri-tip steaks lately, these are cut into ~1/3 pound pieces when I get them.

I keep it simple...good sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Hard to believe how good they are at such simplicity.

Andrew Trueblood
03-08-2009, 10:38 AM
The brisket ideas are all great and the pictures are phenomenal. That's some good looking meat.

I haven't spent much time with smokers... hope to add that to my bag of tricks someday, but I have really enjoyed braising as a technique to make both beef and sauce. Same concept (controlled, flavored heat), just different technique. I use a dutch oven for the most part and use my oven to provide a controlled, evenly applied temperature instead of cooking on the stovetop (less burned stuff on the bottom of the pot). Cooking liquid covers no more than 1/2 of the meat, controlling the heat applied to that submerged segment of the meat while simultaneously providing a high humidity environment that keeps the exposed meat from drying out as it browns. So you get the ease and tender texture of stewing while maintaining the flavor of roasting.

My quick and dirty Sunday dinner is to season a brisket or chuck roast, sear it off in the dutch oven with a little olive oil and remove to a plate. I deglaze the pot with chopped onion, add garlic when the onions soften, and then add a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes and two bay leaves. Meat goes back in the pot, no more than 1/2 submerged in cooking liquid, the top goes on the dutch oven, and the whole assembly goes into a 350 degree oven for 3 hours. Walk away. With an hour left to cook, I add three or four halved carrots and a couple stalks of rough chopped celery and flip the meat. At three hours, I'll check the meat. A 4# piece of meat should well into its plateau at this point and fork tender (Maybe I should use a remote thermometer to watch for the temp to go to 190? That's a neat idea.).

I take the meat out of its liquid and rest it on a covered plate to the side while I finish the sauce on the stovetop, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed, and allowing it to simmer down to the desired thickness. 3 1/2 hours total prep, on average, with only ~1/2 hour of direct attention.

To kick this up a bit, I'll fry coarse chopped bacon first and use the grease to sear the meat. I then add the bacon back to the mix with the tomatoes and will often add 1/4tsp of crushed red pepper to spice it up a bit. The bacon basically falls apart during the cooking process and just shows up as part of the sauce.

Jay Cohen
03-08-2009, 11:12 AM
Interesting....

I have a 8 qt or so Dutch Oven and while I may get this a shot, I really like my crock pot for simple, cook all day recipes.

Once the weather turns a tad warmer, then it's outside to the grill/smoker.

Frank Needham
03-09-2009, 06:05 AM
I'd have to give this thread almost the highest rating of any I've seen on PM, ever. The heating element is burnt out on the cheapie electric smoker in the back yard and I've been toying around with the idea of getting a new element. Not any longer, I see a new smoker in our future just in time for summer! Really, some great posts in this thread people. I'm thinking about the BGE really seriously, smoking with charcoal sounds good to me. No heating elements to burn out, no gas to buy, just everyday charcoal and some flame.

Gant Grimes
03-09-2009, 12:28 PM
I'd have to give this thread almost the highest rating of any I've seen on PM, ever. The heating element is burnt out on the cheapie electric smoker in the back yard and I've been toying around with the idea of getting a new element. Not any longer, I see a new smoker in our future just in time for summer! Really, some great posts in this thread people. I'm thinking about the BGE really seriously, smoking with charcoal sounds good to me. No heating elements to burn out, no gas to buy, just everyday charcoal and some flame.

The BGE looks pretty awesome (the ability to sear at 1K+ is outstanding), but it's pricey. That will be on my long-term wish list.

I was feeling good about this thread, so I did a brisket this weekend. I only had 10 hours, so I used the Texas crutch (foil it at 180, add beer (or another liquid), let it steam to 190 then let it rest in the cooler). Turned out pretty good. I usually don't wrap, but this one wasn't missing anything.

Anyone else use the Crutch, or do you always go nude?

Dave Van Skike
03-09-2009, 01:39 PM
The BGE looks pretty awesome (the ability to sear at 1K+ is outstanding), but it's pricey. That will be on my long-term wish list.

I was feeling good about this thread, so I did a brisket this weekend. I only had 10 hours, so I used the Texas crutch (foil it at 180, add beer (or another liquid), let it steam to 190 then let it rest in the cooler). Turned out pretty good. I usually don't wrap, but this one wasn't missing anything.

Anyone else use the Crutch, or do you always go nude?

Damns Gant, ...I didn't even know about the crutch.

I'm still back with the remedials hammering out pot roast in the dutch oven...felt like cooking indors yesterday after pouring concrete in the basement all day...couldn't bring myself to grill in the snow.

to the plus side, I used Jared's 190 number instead of instinct and then let it rest in a cooler as RX'ed, worked a charm and I ate the whole thing.

Frank Needham
03-09-2009, 06:45 PM
for more perspective on what the BGE can, and can't do, check out this other huge thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/351543