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Unread 08-04-2011, 01:18 PM   #1
shiva
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Default Night train brisket unsuccessful

First, I'm a big time KC BBQ fan. I'm from Columbia MO and rarely get good bbq. This weekend I went to Oklahoma Joes and fattened myself up with some brisket and burnt ends (see picture!). I came back home and decided I wanted to make some nice, tender brisket in the oven since I don't have a way to smoke. Only other real beef cooking experience I have is a couple crock pot roasts and some cast iron steaks.

I purchased a 5lb flat brisket ($20 , but worth it for the experiment) that looked a little lean on the fat cap after I opened it. I rinsed it and patted it dry, liberally sprinkling a mixture of 2tbl black pepper and 3tbl celery salt.

Wrapped it up in 2 pieces of Al foil, crimping the edges tight. I put it in a glass baking dish and put it in a 275F oven for 4hr 15m. Rested 30 mins, turned on the broiler, removed steak from pouch and broiled on a cookie sheet until it looked well browned on the fat cap, about 12 mins.

Waited 15 more minutes, and started slicing. Taste was excellent, the beef pulled apart fairly easily, but was dry dry dry in the mouth! This was confusing since the foil pouch was still filled with juice, though some did collect in the baking dish. I chopped about half into cubes and mixed it up with BBQ sauce, though it's still dry when I eat it. 1/2 is still in steak form in the fridge, and I saved all the juices in a tupperware container.

1) What can I do to make it "juicier" next time? I feel like I followed the directions perfectly (I was a baker for a little while), but I'm very inexperienced with roasting/braising meats.
2) Any way to salvage the brisket I have left over? can I rehydrate with the drippings?

Thank you brethren

PS also open to other meat ideas that I can mock up with BBQ sauce to simulate the experience. I have not been impressed with the bbq shops in Columbia, MO.
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File Type: jpg brisket-first.jpg (160.8 KB, 408 views)
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Unread 08-04-2011, 01:48 PM   #2
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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Perhaps the glass dish changed the timing? More likely it was just one of those flats that don't turn out right.

Sounds like you have the perfect first step for some brisket chili.

I hope that Brother Donnie sees this and chimes in.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 01:58 PM   #3
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If it was pull apart, you definitely didn't undercook it!

It might have helped to let it rest longer before slicing.

Since I don't normally cook them this way, I'm not sure I have much advice for you really.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 02:23 PM   #4
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IMHO the best thing I did was learn to cook to internal temperature and not by time, I do brisket to 190° internal and then start probing with the thermapen when it slides in like the meat was soft butter it's done, or you could come to STL and go to Pappy's.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 03:24 PM   #5
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I did the NT experiment once and I liked the briskets I had been smoking better - I thought they were more tender and juicy - could have been the piece of meat itself, plus I usually do whole packers and just did a flat for the NT experiment.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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sure seems overcooked to me. as mentioned, take it to about 195 then start the probe method. i always use my drier pieces in bbq spaghetti which we love.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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I dont cook brisket that way, but that shouldnt change tenderness? IMO... A couple of things :
1) flats can be very tempramental and dry, really better to do packer and trim down.
2) the rest time seemed a little short, as the meat rest it will reabsorb some of the juices that rendered out of it...
3) you might also try(if you have a grill of any kind is to sear the brisket first then put in oven and cook....
Good luck
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Unread 08-04-2011, 03:46 PM   #8
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Try injecting it next time. Good beefy broth or au jus mix.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 04:12 PM   #9
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In hindsight, the resting period did seem a little short (I reread the NT post and it gave a range, with 30m being on the low end). With all this talk about tempermental cuts, I also believe the trimmed fatcap may have contributed. I bought the steak at walmart and they blacked out the fat side, so I couldn't gauge how much fat there was (I was actually worried it was all fat and I was wasting good money). Too many variables, will have to just try it again and make a note of what, if anything, I changed.

In the mean time I'm also researching smokers in the $200 - $250 range. WSM 18" looks good, but I'm wondering if a propane one would be easier since I don't really have too much time to master this craft . I saw some posts of how easily a propane smoker will hold 225F and it's tempting to go that route...
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Unread 08-04-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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I would definitely stick with charcoal/wood as opposed to propane.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 05:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiva View Post
In hindsight, the resting period did seem a little short (I reread the NT post and it gave a range, with 30m being on the low end). With all this talk about tempermental cuts, I also believe the trimmed fatcap may have contributed. I bought the steak at walmart and they blacked out the fat side, so I couldn't gauge how much fat there was (I was actually worried it was all fat and I was wasting good money). Too many variables, will have to just try it again and make a note of what, if anything, I changed.

In the mean time I'm also researching smokers in the $200 - $250 range. WSM 18" looks good, but I'm wondering if a propane one would be easier since I don't really have too much time to master this craft . I saw some posts of how easily a propane smoker will hold 225F and it's tempting to go that route...
I have a GOSM and it is fairly good at holding temps as long as you've got very good isolation from wind. You'll also want to do some minor mods on it involving the chip box and water/drip pan. Nothing wrong with them and I still love mine. BUT. I much prefer using my Weber Kettle/Cajun Bandit conversion (a virtual WSM) or even just my kettle. Once you've become profficient on these they're fairly set and forget too. The flavor beats the heck out of the GOSM. Whatever you decide on you'll always get friendly advice from fellow members.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 05:42 PM   #12
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Next time buy the floppiest brisket they have. They end up much more tender and juicy than the stiff ones.

You can also smoke chuck roast as a nice alternative to brisket. More marbling is better in both cuts.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 07:55 PM   #13
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One thing I would note, the Night Train experiment is really about getting the texture right. While it can and usually does produce a tasty product, it is really about learning how a properly done brisket will feel. Properly braising meat is an art in itself, and about as far from baking as you can get. If I was to be preparing a brisket for eating, I would probably add more liquid and braise it a little longer. I am not a big believer that you need fat cap for moisture in a brisket, I have just not had the experience that a bigger fatcap leads to a moister brisket. And yes, I am basing this on hands on experience.

I really beleive you will find a better product comes from charcoal or wood burning, than propane or electric cookers. But, in the end, even if you use a propane smoker, you will end up with a good product that is very edible. I recommend you do another NT brisket, see what happens and really consider getting a smoker, propane or charcoal.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 08:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
One thing I would note, the Night Train experiment is really about getting the texture right. While it can and usually does produce a tasty product, it is really about learning how a properly done brisket will feel.
Exactly. Most people seem to be missing that point. The longest learning curve in smoking a brisket is knowing when it is done. It's just a "feel" that you develop over time. Instead of spending 10-15 hours at a time learning this curve, the idea is to do a couple in the oven and learn it quickly.
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Unread 08-04-2011, 09:45 PM   #15
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Not to be off topic but can you make a UDS? Would be worth your trouble.

Also on yet another side note I thought when you said Night Train you where talking about some nasty cheap wine here in Oregon ROFL.
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