Easter Brisket

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sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Oct 18, 2006
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#1
I think I have the basics identified, but this is my first attempt so any comments would be welcome. I've done almost exclusively pork ribs in the past with great success. This is also my first attempt at not only brisket but beef.

I have a 12lb prime packers cut brisket (before trimming) I am going to smoke this upcoming weekend for Easter.
Pretty much, low and slow. I'm going to keep the smoker at 200-220F, for 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound. I like the flavor of mesquite, but I know it can be harsh - so should I throw anything else in?

I'm going to do the mustard/rub over night. Is there anything special to this? How should I store the meat overnight? I have a food saver/vacuum sealer - would that be good or is it overkill?

Internets opinion seems split on the following items. I figure - if there is a split - it really doesn't matter that much, but I thought I would ask here:
  • Fat cap up or down?
  • Mop or not?

Any other comments?
 

OrangeSpidey

Einstein
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Dec 11, 2004
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#2
I have turned out some great briskets lately. My thoughts:

What kind of smoker are you using? Logs or chunks of wood with charcoal?

Mesquite gets bitter for long smokes, so maybe only do a couple of chunks and use mostly oak or hickory.

I'm not sure there will be much benefit to doing overnight rub. For pork or poultry it is great but with a tough cut like brisket, I don't think it does much. But, it doesn't hurt anything either.

I do not mop mine, but I do wrap in foil after 6-8 hours of smoke. This is because at that point, the meat has accepted all the smoke flavor I want and because it helps to keep it moist. It also allows you to catch the jus. Call it the "Texas Crutch" or "not real BBQ" if you want but foil makes a huge difference.

I recommend doing a "fork test" rather than judging strictly by temp. It seems all briskets are different as far as done tempurature. I like to do a quick twist with a fork to see how easily it tears. I like tender brisket so, depending on the brisket, this can be anywhere in the 190* - 205* range.

Beware the temperature plateau and don't freak out. There will be a point where it looks like the internal temp is frozen...sometimes for hours. This happens with every large piece of meat. Don't jack up the temp to try to compensate, you just have to wait it out.

When the brisket is done, double wrap it in heavy foil, then wrap with a couple of old towels and place in an empty ice chest to rest. It will stay warm for 2-3 hours and the juices will redistribute. This also helps with a little leeway for eating time, since timing is quite unpredictable with brisket.

I follow a guy name Jeff Phillips in Tulsa who has a great website for BBQ. Here are his deatiled instructions for tender brisket: http://www.smoking-meat.com/august-1-2013-amazingly-tender-smoked-brisket-tutorial
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
A/V Subscriber
Oct 18, 2006
8,770
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Fairfield, CT
#3
I have turned out some great briskets lately. My thoughts:

What kind of smoker are you using? Logs or chunks of wood with charcoal?

Mesquite gets bitter for long smokes, so maybe only do a couple of chunks and use mostly oak or hickory.

I'm not sure there will be much benefit to doing overnight rub. For pork or poultry it is great but with a tough cut like brisket, I don't think it does much. But, it doesn't hurt anything either.

I do not mop mine, but I do wrap in foil after 6-8 hours of smoke. This is because at that point, the meat has accepted all the smoke flavor I want and because it helps to keep it moist. It also allows you to catch the jus. Call it the "Texas Crutch" or "not real BBQ" if you want but foil makes a huge difference.

I recommend doing a "fork test" rather than judging strictly by temp. It seems all briskets are different as far as done tempurature. I like to do a quick twist with a fork to see how easily it tears. I like tender brisket so, depending on the brisket, this can be anywhere in the 190* - 205* range.

Beware the temperature plateau and don't freak out. There will be a point where it looks like the internal temp is frozen...sometimes for hours. This happens with every large piece of meat. Don't jack up the temp to try to compensate, you just have to wait it out.

When the brisket is done, double wrap it in heavy foil, then wrap with a couple of old towels and place in an empty ice chest to rest. It will stay warm for 2-3 hours and the juices will redistribute. This also helps with a little leeway for eating time, since timing is quite unpredictable with brisket.

I follow a guy name Jeff Phillips in Tulsa who has a great website for BBQ. Here are his deatiled instructions for tender brisket: http://www.smoking-meat.com/august-1-2013-amazingly-tender-smoked-brisket-tutorial
It is sacrilegious to some BBQ aficionados, but I use a Bradley, which is a glorified electrical outdoor oven. It was given to me by my father in law right before he passed, and it was WELL used/seasoned. I think it does a wonderful job. So to answer the wood question - I am using the preformed pressed biscuits made for the unit. I can incorporate some hickory and oak. Would it be wise to mix it through the entire smoke, or would you suggest staggering, say oak/hickory at the beginning, and finish with mesquite or vice versa?

I had read of the Crutch, and I am glad you reaffirmed it here. I am definitely going to incorporate it.

From my beer brewing experience, I have learned that patience is a virtue with most food preparation activities, so I have no issue with waiting it out on internal temps.
 

OrangeSpidey

Einstein
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#4
It is sacrilegious to some BBQ aficionados, but I use a Bradley, which is a glorified electrical outdoor oven. It was given to me by my father in law right before he passed, and it was WELL used/seasoned. I think it does a wonderful job. So to answer the wood question - I am using the preformed pressed biscuits made for the unit. I can incorporate some hickory and oak. Would it be wise to mix it through the entire smoke, or would you suggest staggering, say oak/hickory at the beginning, and finish with mesquite or vice versa?

I had read of the Crutch, and I am glad you reaffirmed it here. I am definitely going to incorporate it.

From my beer brewing experience, I have learned that patience is a virtue with most food preparation activities, so I have no issue with waiting it out on internal temps.
Some people are BBQ snobs! You can't argue with results though, and if you are turning out great food then who cares how you cook it! I use a Weber Smoky Mountain, which uses charcoal and wood chunks. The last brisket I did overnight, I actually placed it in a foil pan, covered it, and put it in the oven after 6 hours on the smoker! :ohmy: Some people would freak, but once it is foil-wrapped, you are just using heat, not smoke at that point and damnit, I was tired. Got comments from friends that it was the best brisket they've ever had!

I would recommend doing the mesquite early on in the smoke. I would think that whichever smoke you do first would permeate the meat best, but I'm not really sure. I always use Hickory + Pecan and do 1/2 & 1/2.
 
Feb 6, 2007
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#5
My process:
  • Rub briskets (I also include a heavy layer of black pepper after my rub seasonings - the black pepper forms a crust and helps to seal the juices while smoking - easily flakes off when done)
  • may store overnight, if desired (I simply cover them with tin foil)
  • smoke @ 250 degrees at 1 hour/lb.
  • fat side down for first hour then flip briskets so that fat side it up for the remainder of cooking - juices will drain down through the brisket to help keep it moist, tender, and flavorful)
  • I then begin basting about once every 1-2 hours with a mop sauce that is 1/2 Woody's Cooking Sauce and 1/2 red vinegar
  • I check with a meat thermometer and pull the briskets off when the internal temp. is 140-150 degrees
  • when you pull the briskets off the smoker, trim fat as desired
  • slice across the muscle grain
  • briskets will have a paper-thin black layer (from the rub), then a small 1/8" grayish ring, and a dull pink center
I use a liberal dose of Fiesta Brisket Rub, before the black pepper. Do not skimp on the brisket rub or pepper.

That is my process, and I get rave reviews. Each New Year's Eve, I smoke briskets for ~150 people and there is never any left.
 

OrangeSpidey

Einstein
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#6
  • I check with a meat thermometer and pull the briskets off when the internal temp. is 140-150 degrees
Is this a typo? :eek: Or did you leave out steps? I've seen tough brisket at 180 degrees. Can't imagine what 150 would be like. You are barely even getting into the collagen breakdown zone
 
Feb 6, 2007
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Ardmore, Ok.
#7
Is this a typo? :eek: Or did you leave out steps? I've seen tough brisket at 180 degrees. Can't imagine what 150 would be like. You are barely even getting into the collagen breakdown zone
Sorry, no glasses. Temp. should be 160 degrees to 180. As important as the actual temperature, I think, is the duration at 160 degrees or higher. I try to keep my briskets at an internal temp. of 160 for the last 3-4 hours of smoking. I prefer the low end for juiciness.

Thanks for catching my error.
 

Kabob1865

Lives on Steak and Refried Beans
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Nov 20, 2011
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#8
I think I have the basics identified, but this is my first attempt so any comments would be welcome. I've done almost exclusively pork ribs in the past with great success. This is also my first attempt at not only brisket but beef.

I have a 12lb prime packers cut brisket (before trimming) I am going to smoke this upcoming weekend for Easter.
Pretty much, low and slow. I'm going to keep the smoker at 200-220F, for 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound. I like the flavor of mesquite, but I know it can be harsh - so should I throw anything else in?

I'm going to do the mustard/rub over night. Is there anything special to this? How should I store the meat overnight? I have a food saver/vacuum sealer - would that be good or is it overkill?

Internets opinion seems split on the following items. I figure - if there is a split - it really doesn't matter that much, but I thought I would ask here:
  • Fat cap up or down?
  • Mop or not?

Any other comments?
I don't mop or sauce my brisket, but I spray a light mist of apple juice whenever I get bored. The sugar helps develop a nice crust with my rub.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Oct 18, 2006
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#9
Over the memorial day weekend, I did this brisket on a Traegar(sp?) smoker that a family friend brought. Despite the abbreviated cooking time due to the fact that it was totally exposed and there were torrential rains, the brisket turned out lovely. I think it cooked for about 9 hours, then due to weather, moved to the fridge, and then warmed on a gas grill on low.

I know NONE of this was optimal (nor reproducible), but the brisket turned out quite tasty and tender. Very nice smoke ring. I was very pleased with this effort.
 

Cowboy2U

Federal Marshal
Mar 31, 2008
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#10
I think I have the basics identified, but this is my first attempt so any comments would be welcome. I've done almost exclusively pork ribs in the past with great success. This is also my first attempt at not only brisket but beef.

I have a 12lb prime packers cut brisket (before trimming) I am going to smoke this upcoming weekend for Easter.
Pretty much, low and slow. I'm going to keep the smoker at 200-220F, for 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound. I like the flavor of mesquite, but I know it can be harsh - so should I throw anything else in?

I'm going to do the mustard/rub over night. Is there anything special to this? How should I store the meat overnight? I have a food saver/vacuum sealer - would that be good or is it overkill?

Internets opinion seems split on the following items. I figure - if there is a split - it really doesn't matter that much, but I thought I would ask here:
  • Fat cap up or down?
  • Mop or not?

Any other comments?
Fat cap up,always, Mop is never a bad thing so mop the crap out of it...just not too often to lower the 200-220, it's a great temp if you can keep it consistant. Just my opinion..
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
A/V Subscriber
Oct 18, 2006
8,770
7,615
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Fairfield, CT
#11
Fat cap up,always, Mop is never a bad thing so mop the crap out of it...just not too often to lower the 200-220, it's a great temp if you can keep it consistant. Just my opinion..
agreed. this weekend I skipped the mop, and it did fine.

I have heard that some separate the fat cap and apply the rub to the meat, and then tie the fatcap back on during the cooking. When done, they just untie the fat cap. Anyone have experience with this?