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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 10-29-2004, 08:06 PM   #1
drbbq
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Default What I know about briskets

You want a little something? Here's what I do, minus the injection recipe.

I buy two Certified Angus whole Briskets. Big ones, at least 12 lbs and 15 is better. Learn the packing date if you can and age them in the cryovac for 50 days. They must be held in a cold frig. The temp needs to be about 38f. Your kitchen frig with the family opening it won't work. Your garage beer frig will if you don't open the door too often and you keep it cold.
The cryovac or shrink wrap from the factory must remain tight and sealed. If you see that air has gotten in you must cook it or frreze it within a couple days.

The day you plan to cook, take the briskets out trim anything that doesn't seem to belong. I leave the whole fat cap in place. Inject them with about 12oz each of a beefy injection recipe. Then sprinkle lightly with cayenne, and heavily with rub, black pepper and turbinado sugar. My rub is very mild. You might want to skip the peppers but don't skip the turbinado sugar. I don't bother rubbing the fat cap. Cover and put back in the frig for a few hours and up to 8.

I use two large Big Green Eggs with plate setters to act as deflectors. I prepare the cookers using lump charcoal with 2 parts cherry and one part hickory chips mixed in with the charcoal. I don't use very much wood. I'd bet you guys all use more than I do. They will run at 250f at the temp gauge location. I think it's close to 225 at the grate.

Because the radiant heat comes from the bottom in my cookers I cook the briskets fat side DOWN the whole time.

Here's the deal. Beef brisket begins to break down at 160 and it begins to dry out severely at 180. (Charlie Knote- BBQ and Sausage Making SECRETS) If you can keep the brisket at 175 for the whole time it will get tender and not dry out. This is almost impossible to do so here's what I do. It's a common practice but I don't think most cooks understand what is happening. Take the brisket slowly to 190, about 12-14 hours on my eggs. Take it off the heat and wrap in foil with the fat now UP.

Put the briskets in an empty ice chest and rest them for 4-6 hours. They will stay in that desired range for a very long time on the way down without the drying effects of the fire.

Seperate the flat and point. Trim all the fat and slice the flat and chop the point. You'll find that the point is done completely and falling apart. The flat should be tender but sliceable.
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Unread 10-29-2004, 11:28 PM   #2
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Hey Doc, thanks for the insight. Rule of thumb among us is about the same as yours... 190 for angus and 180 for kobe or awagu(sp?) briskets, then wrap in foil and cooler for as long as you can stand it(4-6 hours is good but difficult when your dribbling on your shirt staring at the cooler). But.. questions..

Age 50 days.. in the cryovac... if it does develop a leak, which I have seen after a week sometimes, would it be ok to foodsaver/vacum seal it again and return it to the fridge to finish aging? Or is it once the seal breaks ya gotta use it.

after 50 days.... does it need to be shaved/scraped? I've removed steaks from cryo after 2-3 weeks and they got that old steak smell.. got a little brown on them... they need a good shave and haircut.

after it reaches temp and you foil and remove.. why specifically fat cap up? I probably do it that way most of the time, but only because that seems to be the top, no other reason.. Whats the reasoning/difference behind fat cap up once its wrapped?
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Unread 10-30-2004, 09:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
190 for angus and 180 for kobe or awagu(sp?) briskets,
You guys may know this but Certified Angus Beef (CAB) is different than Angus by any other name (Angus Pride, Real Angus etc.) The CAB program regrades the carcasses and chooses only the ones that meet their criteria which makes it a higher grade of USDA Choice. It has very little to do with the fact that the cow is the Angus breed. They only need to be a certain percentage angus bloodline anyway to call them that. CAB was a great idea and still produces excellent meat but it was also a great marketing idea that many others have ripped it off without the actual regrading part.

Quote:
Age 50 days.. in the cryovac... if it does develop a leak, which I have seen after a week sometimes, would it be ok to foodsaver/vacum seal it again and return it to the fridge to finish aging? Or is it once the seal breaks ya gotta use it.
I wouldn't try resealing it. Presumably it's done originally in a sterile enviroment and the breakdown could suck some bad stuff in with the air. Freeze it or cook it.

Quote:
after 50 days.... does it need to be shaved/scraped? I've removed steaks from cryo after 2-3 weeks and they got that old steak smell.. got a little brown on them... they need a good shave and haircut.
No, if the original packaging stays intact and it's kept cold there shouldn't be any brown on there. The smell is a beefy strong but good smell. This is different than dry aging. There shouldn't be any mold. There may be some discoloring on the cut edge along the side. It looks almost cured there. I trim that off but it's probably not necessary.

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after it reaches temp and you foil and remove.. why specifically fat cap up? I probably do it that way most of the time, but only because that seems to be the top, no other reason.. Whats the reasoning/difference behind fat cap up once its wrapped?
During the cooking the top will get a nice bark and maybe even a little crusty. I like to rest it so that will sit in the juices and be soft when I go to slice it.
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Unread 10-30-2004, 09:32 AM   #4
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Great info Doc. Thanks. Now i'm drooling all over myself.
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Unread 10-30-2004, 06:53 PM   #5
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Wow. I haven't had the nerve to try a brisket. Hate waste a good piece of meat with my ineptitude. But you guys make me really want to try one. Now I just have to find the time...
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Unread 10-30-2004, 06:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Hate waste a good piece of meat with my ineptitude.
Mista;

Brisket is a really crappy (as opposed to crappie!! :D) piece of meat - that's why it takes so much work!! Time and temp, time and temp - low and so for a L*O*N*G time is the key!! Pick up one on sale, set aside a Saturday and go for it!
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Unread 10-30-2004, 09:44 PM   #7
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Brisket Nirvana!! the goal of all Q'ers! :)

Took me a few years going from science projects and shoe leather, onto a long run of mediocre and then all of a sudden, you produce a brisket that pours juice out like a running faucet and has had guests spread it on garlic bread like its butter. So Mista..l ya gotta start sometime... and at under 2 bucks a lb, how bad can it be? and we'll walk ya thru the process.
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Unread 10-31-2004, 07:27 AM   #8
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Mista, brisket is the most rewarding cut of meat to Q. Jump right into it and have at it brother. You'll be ok as long if you have the day set aside to cook it.
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Unread 10-31-2004, 07:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista
Wow. I haven't had the nerve to try a brisket. Hate waste a good piece of meat with my ineptitude. But you guys make me really want to try one. Now I just have to find the time...
Dude, I was there with you. I tried one or two when I first got the 'dera, ya coulda re-soled your shoes with them. Too much heat, bought the wrong kind of briskets (super trimmed), didn't wrap, etc.........
I had given up on brisket.

Bro. KC started doing quite a few briskets and there was some chatter here on the board about his successes and failures (though I don't really recall any true failures, maybe less than perfect results.) PMs with a few brothers started flying, maybe even a few phone calls. Anyway, took all the advise that was given and cooked a brisket for the 4th of July. Brisket Nirvana first time cooking! I took some of everyone's suggestions and did it! One month later, used the same process at the Boone County Fair cookoff and place 3rd in the brisket catagory.

Phil is right, buy one, the boys here will walk you through. They did with me, and I'm damn glad they did. Seriously, most of my cooking style has come from what I have learned here. I guess you could call it "The Brethren Way." Works for me!
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Unread 10-31-2004, 08:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Mista, brisket is the most rewarding cut of meat to Q. Jump right into it and have at it brother. You'll be ok as long if you have the day set aside to cook it.
Most challenging AND most rewarding. An good friend and salty old Q cook, told me, "you won't get good at brisket cooking ribs". You gotta cook a few too tough, too dry, not quite right briskets before you'll get consistent results. I still haven't cooked that one perfect brisket I wish they all came out like, but eating on the practice ain't too bad! :D
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Unread 11-13-2004, 04:29 PM   #11
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I find brisket pretty easy to fix, but I have also fixed a lot of them. To me ribs are hard because I haven't done much, the wife doesn't like ribs very much. Being in Kansas I do not have to worry to much about what type of beef it is because the Mennonite farmers around here raise the best beef in the world. I never age it and never inject it. I always buy choice but wish they would label it with the "cut-ability" rating. To me that is at least as important as the grade and you never seem to know it. One thing that I always do is use Adolf's before rubbing with garlic and dry rub. I usually let it sit just long enough to get the pit up to temp. I also never foil a brisket and never put it in a cooler. But I do move it to a roaster with about a pint of water and put it in an oven at 180 degrees for 4 to 6 hours. This probably does the same thing as the cooler. I sometimes slice the results but more often than not I just trim the fat and and chop the thing up. The family likes it chopped so I use a couple of bear claws (complements of the trading post) and pull it just like pork. Come to think of it I have used a cooler once and it turned out great. Instead of roasting it I put 4 big briskets in a cooler and drove from Wichita to Cedar Rapids for a wedding. It turned out great. They all could not believe that I cooked the things in Wichita. I also did the same with a couple of turkeys but I sliced them up and refrigerated them for the trip.
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Unread 11-13-2004, 05:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Brisket Nirvana!! the goal...
What's that? - like waba waba?
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Unread 11-17-2004, 12:25 AM   #13
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This link looks pretty cool. I'd be interested to see what the forum collective thinks.


http://www.cookbookonline.com/Brisket.pdf
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Unread 11-17-2004, 08:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista
Wow. I haven't had the nerve to try a brisket. Hate waste a good piece of meat with my ineptitude. But you guys make me really want to try one. Now I just have to find the time...
The first two briskets that i fixed turned out, in my humble opinion, great. I found the brisket to be far more forgiving than the Pork picnick or ribs that i completely ruined (way to smokey and tough). As others have said, i would jump right in and do a brisket, with a little bit of care and following the advise of the experts on this forum, you should have excellant results.
good luck.
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Unread 11-17-2004, 11:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista
Wow. I haven't had the nerve to try a brisket. Hate waste a good piece of meat with my ineptitude. But you guys make me really want to try one. Now I just have to find the time...
Just wait for them to hit the $0.99/lb mark...buy 3-4 of them to experiment with. Heck, at Sam's down here in NOLA, regular price is only about $1.19 - $1.99 per lb....so, it's not like it is an expensive cut of meat....that's what makes it so good!!

I prefer mesquite for my briskets...

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