MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 03-13-2009, 09:52 PM   #1
AlabamaGrillBillies
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Default Trying to improve my brisket, your help please.

Hey fellas. Down here in Dixie the BBQ delite that is brisket is hardly ever served. It has become my favorite BBQ meat and I love cooking. I am happy with my brisket compared to the crap that is served in local q joints down here, but I know I can and need to improve. The things I don't like:

1. I hardly ever have the crust or bark that I want. The flavor is there, but the firmness isn't, its normally a bit mushy.

2. My smoke ring is more of a half ring. I can't ever seem to get a ring on the fat cap side.

3. I don't like having extra fat from the fat cap on my slices.

I do like the flavor profile I have, and I do like my tenderness/moistness I also have developed a BBQ sauce that is a perfect match for brisket.

Here is what I"m cooking on and my normal process:

Standard offset stick burner. Normally run 100% hickory wood. A small bag of kingsford to get the fire started and then its all wood from there. I run my pit between 225 and 250. I rarely trim my brisket, I rub both sides with either a spicewine rub or plowboy's bovine bold both great by the way. I normally rub 15-30 minutes before going on the pit. The brisket cooks fat side up until the flat hits 165 and then I normally foil until both the flat and point are fork tender.

I'll slice the flat against the grain and save the point for burnt ends. I love my point by the way, its just the flat that's bothering me.

So, all that being said (sorry to be so long winded) I am looking for some pointers. I am trying things different. I currently have a 14 pound packer in the fridge that I will be smoking tomorrow. I heavily trimmed the fat cap and seasoned each side with a basic rub of Garlic Salt, Black Pepper and 'gunpowder' A local steak seasoning. I have in a pan covered in foil letting it sit for a good 12 hours prior to being smoked.
















I plan on flipping the brisket every couple of hours thinking that the flat side (which normally is down the whole time) has been getting more smoke than the fat cap side so maybe flipping will help even out the smoke ring. I also don't plan on foiling this time. I'll try and keep the temp as close to 220 or 215 as I can.

Looking forward to any tips, tricks or other info you'd like to share. I'll be updating with pics as the cook goes on.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:00 PM   #2
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I think you're gonna be happy. Trimming the fat cap will help the nitrate and nitrite ions penetrate to the meat to react with myoglobin to form a smoke ring. Losing the foil will help with your bark. Rubbing it ahead of time lets it cool back down before you put it on the pit, which will also help your ring. Make sure your fire is super clean before putting the cold meat on
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:07 PM   #3
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I will bold all the things not to do

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaGrillBillies View Post
Hey fellas. Down here in Dixie the BBQ delite that is brisket is hardly ever served. It has become my favorite BBQ meat and I love cooking. I am happy with my brisket compared to the crap that is served in local q joints down here, but I know I can and need to improve. The things I don't like:

1. I hardly ever have the crust or bark that I want. The flavor is there, but the firmness isn't, its normally a bit mushy.

2. My smoke ring is more of a half ring. I can't ever seem to get a ring on the fat cap side.

3. I don't like having extra fat from the fat cap on my slices.

I do like the flavor profile I have, and I do like my tenderness/moistness I also have developed a BBQ sauce that is a perfect match for brisket.

Here is what I"m cooking on and my normal process:

Standard offset stick burner. Normally run 100% hickory wood. A small bag of kingsford to get the fire started and then its all wood from there. I run my pit between 225 and 250. I rarely trim my brisket, I rub both sides with either a spicewine rub or plowboy's bovine bold both great by the way. I normally rub 15-30 minutes before going on the pit. The brisket cooks fat side up until the flat hits 165 and then I normally foil until both the flat and point are fork tender.

This makes me think you are checking too much...

I'll slice the flat against the grain and save the point for burnt ends. So Sad, So Sad. The point is premium baby!

I love my point by the way, its just the flat that's bothering me. I thought you were satisfied with the taste, moistness and stuff?

So, all that being said (sorry to be so long winded) I am looking for some pointers. I am trying things different. I currently have a 14 pound packer in the fridge that I will be smoking tomorrow. I heavily trimmed the fat cap and seasoned each side with a basic rub of Garlic Salt, Black Pepper and 'gunpowder' A local steak seasoning. I have in a pan covered in foil letting it sit for a good 12 hours prior to being smoked.






Please, Please stop this ^










I plan on flipping the brisket every couple of hours thinking that the flat side (which normally is down the whole time) has been getting more smoke than the fat cap side so maybe flipping will help even out the smoke ring. I also don't plan on foiling this time. I'll try and keep the temp as close to 220 or 215 as I can.

Looking forward to any tips, tricks or other info you'd like to share. I'll be updating with pics as the cook goes on.
Okay, peek less and raise your temp. Add ridiculous (to you) amounts of coarse kosher or sea salt. 215 is better for making jerky than brisket. UDS guys you are excluded. Don't worry about a smoke ring under the fat cap... not typical. Points get done naturally quicker than flats - thus trimming that fat, quicken the process and you have a glorious point while the flat lags behind more than if you didn't trim it.

I still don't get why you are asking for tips when you say "I do like the flavor profile I have, and I do like my tenderness/moistness


This has nothing to do with brisket - I also have developed a BBQ sauce that is a perfect match for brisket."
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:16 PM   #4
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Oh... you're from alabama, a southern boy... so you should master this very quickly.. y'all got q smarts.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:16 PM   #5
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I'm asking for tips to help improve my smoke ring, and the firmness of my bark. Those are the things I'm trying to improve on. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaGrillBillies View Post
I'm asking for tips to help improve my smoke ring, and the firmness of my bark. Those are the things I'm trying to improve on. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
I'll hop in, where angels fear to tread, with my opinion on those two subjects.

Smoke Ring -- Put the brisket on while it is cold, fat cap down, and cook on the low end for the first couple of hours - say 225, then crank it up to at least 275 or more to finish. They cook 'em at 400 or in the great Central Texas joints. Don't flip and don't look much.

Firmness of bark -- lose the foil.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:38 PM   #7
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mmm that looks good. Hope it turns out well.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
I'll hop in, where angels fear to tread, with my opinion on those two subjects.

Smoke Ring -- Put the brisket on while it is cold, fat cap down, and cook on the low end for the first couple of hours - say 225, then crank it up to at least 275 or more to finish. They cook 'em at 400 or in the great Central Texas joints. Don't flip and don't look much.

Firmness of bark -- lose the foil.
There;s nothing I can add. Lose the foil, raise the temp, stop looking at it. Sorry I didn't understand it when you wrote you were concerned about your flat.

Attachment 25145
My Brisket Under the fat cap... LOL

Also that is basically how I do it and Third Eye does it and he has that great looking pic.

Attachment 25146
Third Eyes

HSLS and TE and Me are within fractions of the same temps
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:50 PM   #9
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Ok, I like the suggestion of starting low and finishing high, I've never tried that before.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:00 PM   #10
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Chris, I think, wrote a thing about why the smoke ring sets at cooler temps. This is why HIGH HIGH smokers like Kreuz, Meullers, and Blacks have less of a ring (its still there) because the external meat temp races to over what is it? 140 when ring stops.

Anyway, I smoked at 270 for years at least in the first 2/3rds of the smoke and had a ring that was here or there.... BUT after Thirdeye's tip... Spot on everytime.

One other thing... people that say habitually stuff their boxes also often get a good ring because there so much mass the temp cannot climb quickly.

Remember the ring is not the source of the smoke flavor though
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Remember the ring is not the source of the smoke flavor though
Very key point there.

And the ring can be produced artificially so, in theory, doesn't count in scoring KBCS boxes. (Wink)
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:18 PM   #12
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Ya, I'm not trying for better flavor, just want to improve on my visual smoke ring (without any artificial help).
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:29 PM   #13
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Yer on the right track. Brisket is my favorite! I use a good coating of Worchestershire and S/P only(but that's just the flavor I like), just before placing it o the smoker-right out of the fridge.As Karbeque said , it helps the ringy thing. I don't trim any of the fat cap off my packer and place it fat side up. I know that's a subject of great discussion as is not turning it once it hits the cooking surface, but again ,that's how I do it and they are always tender, moist and have a really nice bark.
There are a couple of other things I do to "insure " a good Brisket;first ,I NEVER open the smoker lid until 1 to 1-1/2 hrs. before estimated time of being done-i.e. an estimated time to cook one is 1.5Hrs./lb.@220*F AND I pre-burn my wood(sticks or splits) to embers then add them to the fire box. Done this way gives you a great degree of heat control(pun). 220*F is a cinch this way. Just keep the exhaust open and make sure you have a good flow of air into the firebox(keep the ashes pulled out).
Well, sorry ,but you asked
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:45 PM   #14
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Hello Smellslikesmoke, I don't mean to disagree, But I was raised in Temple Texas(CEN-TEX) and we NEVER went to 400*F on a Brisky. Sacreligous! Shame,Shame,Shame...220*F is the majic number and done with pre-burned wood, you have NOTHING but flavor and the majic of chemistry and heat does it's thing.
I wouldn't of said anything but my being anal about the way I do it has earned me good rep. here in G'Burg. Just MHO :)-
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:58 PM   #15
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I think he was speaking of the Texas Meccas like Kreuz Market, Old Kreuz (smittys), Muellers, Blacks, Taylor, you know,,, the ones that have been making ecellent cue for generations. I don't think he was speaking of some backyard weekender. Blacks, Smittys and Kreuz are in Lockhart, which the Texas Legislature voted the BBQ CENTER for Brisket. Taylor has the oldest texas BBQ cookoff and arguably the oldest in the nation. Where's My Taylor invitational trophy at?

I also suggest looking at this video and listening to how long Louis says he smokes a full packer and then look at the resulting product.

http://www.roadfooddigest.com/post/2...ler-Clips.aspx


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Hello Smellslikesmoke, I don't mean to disagree, But I was raised in Temple Texas(CEN-TEX) and we NEVER went to 400*F on a Brisky. Sacreligous! Shame,Shame,Shame...220*F is the majic number and done with pre-burned wood, you have NOTHING but flavor and the majic of chemistry and heat does it's thing.
I wouldn't of said anything but my being anal about the way I do it has earned me good rep. here in G'Burg. Just MHO :)-
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