Second, as the true arbitor of all this Hot and Fast nonsense, let me mention my credentials. No, I didn't invent it just seemed to revived it... and no that does not mean that I mentioned it first online... just made videos and commentary that made it a popular thing to try and some like it... I also erased the stigma that Low and Slow is the ONLY way and that Hot and Fast would make a leathery, non-traditional BBQ. I will warn you about thinking that EITHER Boshizzle's and I's method is the best way to make a bark. Lockhart, Tyler, Elgin have been making briskets for in some cases 90 years with no sugars - or lemon, or acidic or alkaline additives of any kind. Although if you look at Salt - its higher a bit than baking soda.
So that being said... let me say that the quote
"The biggest problem with hot and fast brisket is usually the bark. The bark just doesn't measure up to the bark of a brisket that is cooked low and slow. So, this recipe is my attempt to rectify that situation," is a bit bothersome
HOWEVER..... NOW THAT I THINK BACK TO WHEN I STARTED THIS WHOLE THING..... IT WAS 100 PERCENT TRUE!!!!!!
Bet you thought I was going to knock that.. NO! It took me 2 days and three whole briskets to fix the matter. BUT my process address it, without the added sugar though. I can make a solid argument that the baking soda matters little. If the recipe comes from our heritage I can explain why its there if asked but I won't right now.
I have been making Briskets with bark perfection for so long I forgot my struggles in getting around this little problem... and it is a little problem... or big one if you refuse to follow a proven method and go your own way.
Drying off the brisket... good tip, mostly because he is wiping off liquid that do not contribute to the bark to replace them with liquids that will. The peanut oil? No, not the key, any oil will do.
BUT, in his case the slathering of sugars and molasses in a liquid form (meaning that he makes a sort of gel) is a good key to this kind of bark and one I have done before. I used sir duke and molasses once with good results.... the base of sir duke is vinegar and look on the scale were it is?
So why is MY bark so stellar? Look where coffee, lemon and vinegar is on the scale. What goes on my meat in the end? Lemon Pepper. Also, many Texas cooks use Sour Salt or Citric Acids on their rubs... why... increases the acidity (of what you are putting it on), which in my opinion, releases acidic proteins in the meat to a gooey residue on the outside. But there is a trick of terminology. The things we think of as acidic, Battery Acid, Lemon Juice, Vinegar... are all actually ALKALINE. Remember, pure water has a neutral pH of 7. - pH values lower than 7 are acidic, and pH values higher than 7 are alkaline (basic).
The reason why all this is confusing is because we FORGET what we are doing. We add for instance "lemon juice" to increase the acidity of what it is we are trying to make more acidic. There is an exchange in hydrogen atoms... thus... we use an alkaline product to raise the PH of the meat. That being said, look at Baking soda on the scale... it is going to have little affect no matter what you use.
In addition, although some people may like the flavor profile of the "Blackhawk Method" (which was used on probably beef quarters at least as Walter Jetton would be really the first to use briskets once they became more readily available after WWII - all the Lockhart places never used Brisker originally), and since the Blackhawk Method may indeed be more popular than my "Tri Level Method," due to the amount of people that prefer the sugar profile (KCBS, a newcomers to beef brisket - meaning areas that never had it as a category 20 years ago) we can consider it a SECOND solution to the Hot and Fast bark debacle... or... the first, if this Blackhawk person did it in the 1800s.
However, once again, the secret (if you want to call it that) to my success in the Hot and Fast "Tri-Level" style is the lemon and the salt... the fuse of the pepper, and of course, not wrapping the damn thing until you have a real (not fake) bark that is the result of the Mailliard Reaction on the meat fibers and not the rubb itself. Boshizzle's method takes all the elements of the benifits of sugars without the burned result of the sugars.... meaning the sugars are soaked into the meat and the meat is affected - instead of sugar being affected.
Also, gear is a concern. I have cooked 50 - 100 briskets in once place at one time. This is vastly different that cooking one in my Kettle. There have been a few briskets I cooked in my Kettle that I WISH felt the foil. They burned up. So I am not knocking Jizzles use of foil either.
Last edited by Pitmaster T; 06-10-2012 at 09:41 AM..