||09-09-2012 08:06 PM
My results from "cooking a brisket till it jiggles using parchment/butcher paper instead of foil" and what I learned...
For those interested, here are the results. It was 210* in the point and 203* in the flat when I took it off. It did jiggle like jello when it was done, but I had to hold it for a few hours until it was time to eat, so it firmed back up during the rest. Because of this, I believe that Aaron doesn't rest his more than an hour or so, or he leaves it in a warm hold (maybe in the 200* range)until it's time to be served. Either way, this brisket is in my top 5, maybe even top 3 of all time. Definately the best one I've done in a very long time, possibly years.
To start, it was a 13/lb CAB Choice that I hardly trimmed. Mainly, just the hard fat between the point and the flat, you'll see how uniform it's shape is in the pics. It was seasoned with a simple 50/50 of kosher salt and an even amount of white and black pepper, and a 1/4 of the total amount of granulated garlic. So, I think that it broke down to 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup black pepper, 1/4 cup white pepper, and 1/4 cup granulated garlic. As you can see, the bark was great and I am a believer now that you don't need a bunch of stuff in your rub to make a good bark.
I got the smoker up to temp. I put the meat on when it was at 250* and stable, but once the meat went on, the temp climbed to between 275* - 300* and I didn't touch a thing, I just let it ride where it wanted to settle. It was done in about 7 1/2 to 8 hours. I wrapped it in parchment paper in the 165* - 170* range in the flat and took it to 203* in the flat and 210* in the point.
I put it in a 170* degree oven for about 3 hours to rest. I think that I read that Aaaron recommends a 200* degree temp for holding, I may be mistaking though.
Either way, the brisket came out amazing. It was tender all the way through the flat. I left the flat and point connected to slice for serving, and it was incredibly juicy and tender in that section. But there wasn't a dry part to it except the very end of the flat, and that was still pretty moist. But that was the test piece any way.
One thing I did notice was that there was hardly any extra liquid in the paper after resting. And I put the brisket on a sheet pan just in case the paper leaked, so I wouldn't lose any au jus, but there wasn't any. So I knew that it hadn't leaked through and steamed off in the cooking chamber. My belief now is that the paper really does allow the meat to breath better and gives a better result in the end. I don't think that I'll ever be able to go back to foil now.
So really, it comes down to relearning that all you really need is meat, simple seasoning, fire and simple techniques to put out great brisket. For quite some time, I've been trying to make it "better" for a comp, catering event or what ever, doing all kinds of things that really weren't necessary and only got in the way of what I was really after. And along the way, I forgot that less really is more and simple is better.
Here it is: