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Smoked Brisket

DoctorShavegood

"A Boy Named Sue"
Why is this cut of beef such an important part of barbecue? How do you smoke this lovely piece of meat? Do you wrap it in foil or butcher paper or do you leave it naked? What about wood; Hickory, mesquite, pecan or oak? What about seasoning? Do you get nervous about the stall?

Lots of things to consider when smoking the king of barbecue.
 
Brisket is one tough piece of meat, it's basically the pectoral muscle of the cow.
Make sure you buy the whole cut with the cap or point if you will. Make sure you pay the extra $$ and not just buy the "flat".
Remember you cook to temp and not time.
Rub it down good
I smoke mine at around 200 until it hits an internal of 150 (at 150 the meat starts to sweat and stall). At 150 I wrap it in foil and add a little Jim Beam and bake it at 250 until it hits 203. Meat can only obsorb about 5 hrs of smoke, so wrapping it to power thru the stall won't hurt. At 203 it all breaks down and you will have a juicy brisket that will melt in your mouth.
 
Brisket is a big chunk of meat and can take plenty of seasoning and smoke, so I tend to go heavy on both using hickory and oak. The last one I did, I experimented with injecting it with spiced up beef broth and it was my best result to date. I foil between 160-170, adding some of my reserved beef broth mixture. I panicked on my first brisket when it stalled and upped the temperature. Since then I've learned that one of the most important things you can do is give yourself plenty of time. Plan to have it ready 3-4 hours before you need it, that way if/when things get behind schedule you still have at least 1 hour for the crucial step of RESTING it. The more briskets and butts I do, I have realized that a good tightly wrapped rest is one of the most important steps to a moist and tender result.
 
When you say bake, do you mean taking it off the smoker and puttin it the oven?

Sorry about that, yes I usually put it in the oven. Although today will be 110 here in Phoenix, so I will probably put it back in the smoker. The way I cook it, it comes out moist and almost no bark. If you like the bark you can unwrap at the end and put it back in the smoker.
There are a lot of different ways to smoke a brisket, this is just how my family likes it.
 
One other thing, you can't ruin a brisket. If it comes out overlooked or dry, cut it up and make some burnt ends. Man do I love me some burnt ends. This might also help amazingribs.com
To me, the type of wood you use is not as important as other things. If I have to prioritize it would be:
1, by far and away to me it's about how it's cooked. If you've got an overlooked/dry piece of meat it doesn't matter what the smoke came from.
2, my tongue picks up the flavors of the rub, smoke ring and meat more than it does the smoke.
3, with that said, I use apple for pork and mesquite for beef
 
Smoking some brisket today. I'll try to get a picture or two. I'm doing mine @ 225° with hickory wood and a little bit of apple wood.
 
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Smoking some brisket today. I'll try to get a picture or two. I'm doing mine @ 225° with apple wood and a little bit of hickory wood.

Nice !! Can't wait to see.
Costco only had the flat so I passed and picked up 2 pork butts. I cook pork butt and brisket the same. They just hit 150, wrapped them in foil to power thru the stall and threw them back in the smoker.
 
Nice !! Can't wait to see.
Costco only had the flat so I passed and picked up 2 pork butts. I cook pork butt and brisket the same. They just hit 150, wrapped them in foil to power thru the stall and threw them back in the smoker.

Mine's the flat portion as well, but it's from a local farm about 20 miles away from where I live. Nice, clean beef.

Just pulled it from the smoker. Not a huge brisket. About 6 lbs after it was cleaned and trimmed. I was debating about wrapping it, but just left it naked, like I always do. About 9 hours in the smoker.

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Brisket is a good cut of meat because it's comprised of layers of meat and layers of fat. When you slow-cook it, everything just melds together. I agree you need to buy the entire hunk of meat; both the "point" and the "flank."

I smoke mine, usually for about 6-8 hours using hardwood lump charcoal and pieces of cherry and apple wood I got from a neighbor who was cutting down some dead trees. I use a rub comprised of brown sugar, Spanish Paprika, salt and pepper. I leave it exposed to the smoke for 4 hours or so, then wrap it in foil to "get it over the hump" it seems to hit at around 165 degrees. I cook it the rest of time wrapped in the foil. I don't like "oversmoked" meat.

As noted above you really can't mess one up which is good because they're so big you can't buy a small, cheap one. The only way you can mess it up is to undercook it.

The real key to top-notch brisket is having a meat slicer to process it into very thin slices, but I don't have one of those......
 

simon1

Self Ignored by Vista
Nice flat!

I see that the oven thermometer in your smoker is smoked up just like mine is. :001_smile

Dawn soap and some rubbin' take that right off, but I'm sure you know that.

Now where are the pics. of the sliced flat?
 
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martym

Unacceptably Lasering Chicken Giblets?
At about 1900 I throw a whole brisket on the pit away from the fire. I use only mesquite wood. And I close up my pit and return about 0600. I take it off and let it cool for an hour or so and then slice and place in pan, cover with foil and place in oven to keep warm. That's it. Maybe salt and pepper but the mesquite gives it all the flavor.
 
The last one I smoked:

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Here you can see what I'm talking about the layers of fat and meat. This one was pretty striated with obvious layers, but they're usually more subtle. It wasn't an exceptionally choice brisket but I got a good deal on it and it was worth every penny. You also need to take a look at the meat before you smoke it so you know what way to slice it since that "way" isn't the same all the way around the brisket.

The thinly sliced "flat" is what everybody thinks of when they think of beef brisket, but I much prefer the fattier "point."

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I like my pork butts and smoke a lot of those, but you just can't beat a good smoked beef brisket.
 
Well, it's definitely not my best work. It tasted a bit over-seasoned (cutting off the top crust on each slice fixed that), and was drier than I normally have it. It wasn't dry, dry, just not nearly as moist as mine usually turn out. I normally season it about 4 hours before I smoke it, but with this piece, I let it sit seasoned overnight. Oh, well. I still enjoyed it. It's just not as good as it could have been.

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I season with SPOG (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder) and cook @225 naked the whole time. I usually use pecan, but will use hickory or oak as well. This cooking method produces the most bark, which is my favorite part.

I cook to 205 internal temperature on the flat. Most people put the probe in the point, think that the thickest part will be the slowest to cook. But all the fat in the point actually helps it get hotter faster. The lean flat is slower to cook.
 
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The last one I smoked:


Here you can see what I'm talking about the layers of fat and meat. This one was pretty striated with obvious layers, but they're usually more subtle. It wasn't an exceptionally choice brisket but I got a good deal on it and it was worth every penny. You also need to take a look at the meat before you smoke it so you know what way to slice it since that "way" isn't the same all the way around the brisket.

The thinly sliced "flat" is what everybody thinks of when they think of beef brisket, but I much prefer the fattier "point."

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I like my pork butts and smoke a lot of those, but you just can't beat a good smoked beef brisket.

Thats what I'm talking about !
That's why I never bat an eye for paying $$ for fat.
 
I've only done one but followed the advice from the Franklin Manifesto very closely..
I put the rub on (50/50 coarse salt and pepper) and let it sit on the counter for roughly an hour to get it close to room temp.
Cooked at 275 on my pellet smoker (mesquite pellets) unwrapped with a water pan underneath.
After it had been on for a couple of hours I started hitting it with a spray bottle full of apple cider vinegar every hour.
After the stall, when internal temp was about 175 I wrapped in foil and put it back on til internal temp was 203. then let it rest for about an hour til temp was around 140.
It was freakishly good, I've had the smoker for a month or two and this was my favorite food from it so far.

Brisket and ribs have always been my favorite BBQ with Brisket taking the slight lead because it's a perfect combination of fat, flavor, and chew. Good simply smoked or dipped in sauce, works on a sandwich...it's just good stuff. I would have been worried about the stall if not for the Franklin book (explained to just be patient and wait it out before pulling or wrapping), it took a while to get out of the 160's.

Next time I will probably wait til internal temp is 180-185 and get the outside just a little crisper before foiling but that may be the only change.
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