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Unread 05-11-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
MushCreek
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Default Brisket questions

I cooked my first brisket Saturday (no pron; wasn't that pretty) and have a few questions. I cooked it on the UDS @ 225 for about 10 hours on a 4-1/2 lb piece. I've noticed that some pics of brisket have a red tinge- this one came out gray. Also, I sliced it about 10 minutes before dinner, and it dried out like crazy. It was tender, and had great flavor, so everything was cool. I must confess, I've never even HAD smoked brisket before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It made great sandwiches with some BBQ sauce on an onion roll. I'm just wondering if I need to adjust my technique, or keep on smokin'. BTW- I foiled it at 165, and unwrapped it a couple hours later. It hit 195, and got nice and tender, so I pulled it off. It was early, so I foiled it for about an hour before dinner. Fuel was Kingsford, with 4 big chunks of hickory. The UDS ran perfect, with about a half basket of coal left after 11 hours.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 05:48 PM   #2
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Sounds like you did everything right and it turned out good. There is certain reasons for smoke ring formation, I just forgot the details at this moment. Maybe someone can chime in. Some briskets I've made turn out a little dryer than others and I think that when I can pick up a "choice" grade briski that helps in that area as well.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 05:53 PM   #3
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First off, let me just say (and Mods, I know this is not totally kosher) but, pics would be a real big help. I have had brisket that once done has a smoke ring that was a little on the gray side, but, I could see the distinct pink ring at the edge of the ring. I am not sure why this occurs, but, it does not mean it is a bad brisket.

I seems like you rested it long enough to make sure the meat was properly rested, however, did you wrap it in foil and place it in a pre-heated cooler or other container? I find that resting in a pre-heated cooler makes for a better end product.

If it tasted good and was tender, sounds like you got it down. Smoke another one soon and see how it comes out. And then some more.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 06:26 PM   #4
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I have better luck with flats smoking them at higher temps...325-350...then foil @ 160 ish...then cooler @ 190 ish (or when the temp probe slides in with little to no resistance. I let 'em rest in the cooler for an hour before slicing. Try some oak (if you have it) next time...it's killer on brisket.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
First off, let me just say (and Mods, I know this is not totally kosher) but, pics would be a real big help.
Mod Note: Asking for pictures to help someone with a problem is perfectly fine.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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I'm going to guess that you cooked a flat since it was 4.5 pounds. A properly cooked flat, once sliced, will dry out. That's just the way of that piece of meat. It is a lean muscle with lots of connective tissue, so the only moisture it gets is from the connective tissue converting into gelatin, and as it cools this hardens and it seems a bit tougher and drier than when it was still hot.

What you want in a brisket is great flavor and tenderness, which it sounds like you got, so congrats on making an excellent brisket flat. Some people try for a loooong time with bad results, so you have reason to be proud.

Now a whole brisket (or packer) contains both the flat and another piece called the point with a thick layer of fat between them, and is much larger, usually found beginning around 10 pounds and up. This meat in the point stays juicy after it is sliced (actually it's usually chopped) because of the high fat content. This fat will stay moist even while it is still cooling down, up until the point it is basically fully cooled to room temp or chilled in the fridge. This fat also has tremendous flavor, for the same reasons the crispy soft cooked fat on a steak tastes so good. So the point is really where it's at (in my opinion, and many others).

I never see just a point for sale, except in the case of packaged corned beef, I usually see either corned beef flats or points available for sale. So the only reasonable way to get a point without placing a custom order is to buy a whole brisket to get one.

Anyhow, I just said a lot, you just read a lot (if you're still awake), and all I have told you is that it sounds like you did good and that flat turned out just fine. Next time you might try a whole brisket and see how you like that.

As for the pink, that pink should only be around the outer edge of the meat, and as others have mentioned is the smoke ring. This is formed from the smoke when cooking. It is not pink from being cooked less, but pink from being cured, much like how ham or corned beef are pink. The smoke actually cures the outer portion of the meat as it cooks turning that outer edge pink.

A brisket is not done until it is usually 185 or higher. If you want to use temp as a guide think 195-200. However, I do NOT recommend judging a briskets doneness by temp, but by feel. Not all briskets get tender at the same temp. They get tender when all of the connective tissue has converted to gelatin which is a function of the quantity of connective tissue, not the temp of the meat. As you cook more briskets, you will start to recognize when they are done. I do a probe test, which is to stick a probe in both the flat and the point. When the probe goes in with no resistance into both pieces, it is done. Probe the flat in a couple spots too because many times the outer part of the flat is done before the part in the center where it is hiding under the point.

Good luck on your future briskets! Keep up with these guys on the forums, you will get tons of advice and learn YOUR way to make the best brisket. Sometimes other people find a way that works for them that is different from others. Stick with what you like. Just make sure it's tender first, no matter WHAT method you choose, that sucker needs to be tender to be good.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 08:20 PM   #7
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I would skip the foiling when smoking and let er stay in the smoke the whole time them foil with some beef broth to rest a few before serving. Just my $.02
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Unread 05-11-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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10 hours for a 4.5# flat seems like a very long time.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 08:37 PM   #9
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Wow, bigabyte just gave you the best class on Brisket you might ever see.

Thanks Chris, cause I learned a thing or two also.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 09:42 PM   #10
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I have had this specifically go precisely like this in a general way as to not having occurred in the exact way you are describing. The PRECISE reason you are having trouble and the meat is not perfect is because something in some factor anywhere from the cow itself being dry before it was slaughtered to your confusing buttons on the keyboard and accidentally typing "dry" when you meant "just fine."

Somewhere in between those parameters or out side of them in both ways simultaneously is what went wrong. If we can figure out what happened between those two conditions we will be either right where we started in the brisket process or near the end of it.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 09:43 PM   #11
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or.. you cooked it too long.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 09:52 PM   #12
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Sounds like a great first try at brisket to me. Follow Bigabyte's advice and you're well on your way. The best part about this "lifestyle" is that you can keep cooking briskets all you want until you're happy. This is what we do.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 09:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
I have had this specifically go precisely like this in a general way as to not having occurred in the exact way you are describing. The PRECISE reason you are having trouble and the meat is not perfect is because something in some factor anywhere from the cow itself being dry before it was slaughtered to your confusing buttons on the keyboard and accidentally typing "dry" when you meant "just fine."

Somewhere in between those parameters or out side of them in both ways simultaneously is what went wrong. If we can figure out what happened between those two conditions we will be either right where we started in the brisket process or near the end of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
or.. you cooked it too long.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 10:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgh1204 View Post
10 hours for a 4.5# flat seems like a very long time.
Ditto. (tried +1 but the software said I needed at least 4 characters)
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Unread 05-12-2010, 12:59 AM   #15
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I hope I do as well on my first.

Maybe sometime soon!
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