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View Full Version : My rant--Brisket is not a mystery meat!


The_Kapn
04-05-2013, 05:05 PM
I have been here for a long time and have watched all the "cultural" changes--both good and bad. 8)
Brisket has become the most frequently discussed and fought about item I have ever seen--and for no reason I can figure out.

There are folks that consider it the "holy grail" and say ya gotta do "this, that, and the other" to make some sort of nirvana brisket.

Foil, Paper, nothing--225, 250, 275, 300, 325--just pick a Farking technique and a number and cook the Farking meat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think 90% of the more of the "help me" brisket threads are due to under cooking. SIMPLE

Back when I first starting competing in 2004, brisket was our best category and remained so to the end in 2010. Although we were not "nationally" ranked, we were always contenders.
We injected, cooked, foiled, and sliced the flat with cubed point around the sides--simple!

For folks that view Texas as the birthplace of BBQ Brisket (which I am not uncomfortable with)--do you really think the folks in the past made it so complicated???

For those of you who claim that ya gotta cook a hundred or a thousand briskets to get the "feel right"--how do you sleep with that kind of crap!
Brisket is one of the easier meats to cook IMHO~

But, what in the heck do I know?? 8)

TIM

Woody1911a1
04-05-2013, 05:11 PM
shhhhhhh , you're going to ruin my entertainment :twisted:

ssv3
04-05-2013, 05:14 PM
Amen Kapn!

Gore
04-05-2013, 05:14 PM
But the question remains, "What injection should I use when boiling and rub before or after?" :noidea:

landarc
04-05-2013, 05:20 PM
So, you're saying I wasted my money buying that Signature Brisket Boiling Pan from BBQ Bubba?

marubozo
04-05-2013, 05:34 PM
do you really think the folks in the past made it so complicated???


I think this can be said for all BBQ, not just brisket. Rub recipes with 25+ ingredients, injections, no injections, foiling, no foil, fat side up or fat side down, mop or no mop, yada yada.

Why does it need to be so complicated? It shouldn't be. For fark's sake, we're just cooking a piece of meat that's already delicious in its own right and making it a little better.

1. Get a high quality product to start with.
2. Know how to manage your cooker and smoke.
3. Use a simple rub and/or sauce that simply compliments the meat and smoke flavors instead of trying to make it the star of the show.
4. Pull the meat when it's done.

There you have it. A recipe for good BBQ with a little bit of practice. Like you said, pick a method and stick with it. After some practice you will have it dialed in and make consistently good product. Any method can and does work, but if you're jumping to try some new trick every time a cook doesn't turn out perfectly instead of trying to improve on what may have gone wrong you aren't learning anything and are instead just trying to chase a secret formula that may or may not even work for your processes and setup.

bigabyte
04-05-2013, 05:43 PM
Yeah, you're right, but there's no glory in that. Nobody is going to worship at your feet hoping you drop some sort of almighty brisket knowledge on them every once in a while if they know that all they need to do is cook it until it is done. Where is the fun in that?

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 05:52 PM
So....if I'm reading you right, I should:

Lightly toast my ends, not burn them.

Soak my brisket in water for at least 24 hours, (changing the water every 4 hours), before cooking.

Cook brisket at 130 degrees until I reach an internal temp of 195 degrees.

Wrap brisket in saran wrap after it reaches an internal temp of 200 degrees.

Slice the brisket with the grain for maximum tenderness.

Serve to the in-laws on hot dog rolls.

Thanks Kapn!

Dave

garzanium
04-05-2013, 05:59 PM
For noobs like me who haven't gotten it perfect, yes, it haunts me and keeps me up at night:-)
I see your view, but also understand why it is so heavily discussed.

cowgirl
04-05-2013, 06:02 PM
Well said Tim! :thumb:
Heck, If I like the looks of a brisket.. I won't even trim it.
S&P and some wood heat suits me fine. :wink:

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 06:11 PM
I think the biggest reason folks are so paranoid is because brisket is unforgiving and expensive. If you overcook a rib roast, who cares, it's still flavorful and tender (to a point).

Before I bought my WSM I drooled over the lousy select cuts at Wally World. 17 lbs. @ 57 dollars.

Now that I have my WSM, I can't find one locally to save my life.

I will say that I agree with you in terms of all of the posts asking how to cook a brisket. When I do finally score one, I have all the confidence in the world that I'll nail it because I have done my homework here.

At this point, I'm certain I can do one in my sleep.

All of the info you need is here folks.

Dave

16Adams
04-05-2013, 06:12 PM
Beer. Its all about the beer. There is a reason brisket rhymes with beer, eventually.

cowgirl
04-05-2013, 06:19 PM
Beer. Its all about the beer. There is a reason brisket rhymes with beer, eventually.

lol Hadn't thought about it that way.. :thumb:

superlazy
04-05-2013, 06:24 PM
I will say that I have never made the perfect brisket but that is due to 2 things, My old offset and I think I always pulled to early.
Now that it is $5lb around here it's no longer on my summer to do list.

smokeyokie
04-05-2013, 06:31 PM
Cowgirl nailed it!! good meat, S&P, and wood for cooking! Simple just cook till probe tender, the best briskets I have ever cooked were the simpler variety.... Period!!!! I did succomb the searching for the magic elixir?!?!?! :doh::doh:There really is no such thing and I have come full circle back to the simple way of cooking and everyone that eats it says its the best they have ever had.... go figure!!!:confused:

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 06:32 PM
I think this can be said for all BBQ, not just brisket. Rub recipes with 25+ ingredients, injections, no injections, foiling, no foil, fat side up or fat side down, mop or no mop, yada yada.

Why does it need to be so complicated? It shouldn't be. For fark's sake, we're just cooking a piece of meat that's already delicious in its own right and making it a little better.

1. Get a high quality product to start with.
2. Know how to manage your cooker and smoke.
3. Use a simple rub and/or sauce that simply compliments the meat and smoke flavors instead of trying to make it the star of the show.
4. Pull the meat when it's done.

There you have it. A recipe for good BBQ with a little bit of practice. Like you said, pick a method and stick with it. After some practice you will have it dialed in and make consistently good product. Any method can and does work, but if you're jumping to try some new trick every time a cook doesn't turn out perfectly instead of trying to improve on what may have gone wrong you aren't learning anything and are instead just trying to chase a secret formula that may or may not even work for your processes and setup.

Well said.

I'll add that a lot of backyard folks are trying to attain comp BBQ.

In comp, you are constantly re-inventing your process to gain an edge.

Most of the people I see here are backyard folks.

Cook what tastes good to you unless you're competing.

Dave

landarc
04-05-2013, 06:43 PM
Hmmm, brisket costs $5 a pound, burger meat costs $4 a pound, steak costs $9 a pound, seems like brisket is still a great deal. Plus, you can always make it into chili.

Brisket is actually quite forgiving if all you want is to make a tasty meal. And there are ways to save it if you miss a little. For instance, over-cook it, just slice it a little thick, it will hold together just fine. Undercook? Then slice it 'wafer' thin, it will be fine. Too dry, add some jus and sauce, too moist, tell me what you did, I would like to know.

angryfish01
04-05-2013, 06:47 PM
My humble apologies. Some of us are still learning.
Thought I could come to a place called the "Brethren" for a little mentoring.
Please have patience.

landarc
04-05-2013, 06:58 PM
My humble apologies. Some of us are still learning.
Thought I could come to a place called the "Brethren" for a little mentoring.
Please have patience.
You can, and it will all be fine. Sometimes the old timers get cranky because the same questions end up being asked, and then, sometimes folks don't listen so well, it does get a little frustrating.

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 07:16 PM
Hmmm, brisket costs $5 a pound, burger meat costs $4 a pound, steak costs $9 a pound, seems like brisket is still a great deal. Plus, you can always make it into chili.

Brisket is actually quite forgiving if all you want is to make a tasty meal. And there are ways to save it if you miss a little. For instance, over-cook it, just slice it a little thick, it will hold together just fine. Undercook? Then slice it 'wafer' thin, it will be fine. Too dry, add some jus and sauce, too moist, tell me what you did, I would like to know.

Bob,

I'm assuming this question was for me. Please forgive my communication skills as I'm an engineer and usually, very socially awkward.

What I should have said was the perception of cooking brisket, to noobs like myself, is that there is a window that it must be pulled at or it is garbage.

I emphasize the word perception.

If you look back at my posts, you'll see that I have not yet done a brisket as I have yet to find a local supplier, but when they were carried at my local Wally World, (before I purchased my WSM), they were an expensive cut of meat if I were to screw it up.

I can spend 8 dollars for 2 pounds of ground beef for chili, I don't want to spend $57 for brisket chili.

The point I was trying to make is that I understand where the newbies are coming from, but I also see where the vets like yourself get frustrated with the posts. I have never personally asked for brisket help, nor will I in the future, because all of the info I need is right here at my fingertips.

Personally, I just don't click on posts that don't interest me, but I can see where maybe there is a data storage issue for redundant posts.

Dave

landarc
04-05-2013, 07:24 PM
Dave, yes, I understand that perception. I think there are many of us, who, if someone were, for instance to search for 'brisket help' they would learn that there is a larger window than most people think.

The one thing that puzzles the heck out of me, where do people get the information that they should pull brisket at 190F? There is only one person on this forum who states that he always pulls brisket at 190F. And yet, I see all to often, "I read all the brisket threads, and I pulled right at 190F and wrapped"...where did that come from? I am always puzzled by that.

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 07:34 PM
Quite honestly Bob, I see it all of the time too and I don't know where it originated.

In my few short months of BBQ, I go by instinct rather than anything.

I do use my Black Thermapen (which operates at 300 Mega-Delineations/Sec) occasionally, but not very often.

Dave

---k---
04-05-2013, 07:35 PM
Agreed.
There's not enough people around with a 2004 join date to remind us of this. :sad:

landarc
04-05-2013, 07:38 PM
Agreed.
There's not enough people around with a 2004 join date to remind us of this. :sad:
There are a few of the Purple People that are logged in most days, but, they get tired easily. :biggrin1: Some, need to take small breaks from posting, as they get captious :shock: But, it is worth listening when a purple person speaks, as there is often merit.

CharredApron
04-05-2013, 07:39 PM
Brisket, Schmisket I like mine corned and then turned into Pastrami, go figure! Seriously folks, there is a wealth of information here. Generally,I try to search past posts and digest as much information as i can prior to posting a question. Other times I prefer just to poll the audience, use one of my lifelines, if you will. I am just a nube, on this forum, but I have been around the block and this is not my first rodeo. So my suggestion to the new comers like myself.....Pay for a subscription, this site is not hosted and administered for free, be polite and have fun, Show respect for your elders (easily done by looking at their profiles) and don't take yourself too seriously! Q is fun if you let it be!

Farkity fark did I say that outloud?

Bludawg
04-05-2013, 07:43 PM
BBQ isn't difficult if you stick with the roots> laid back beer swilling redneck cookery> heat & meat & time. There are many ways to achieve a great product, in 30+ yrs I've tried more than a few and it took time & enough beer to float the USS Iowa to come to the conclusion My Granddad was a wise soul. SMALL,Clean hot fire S&P & time it's done when it's done> probe tender.

superlazy
04-05-2013, 07:46 PM
Hmmm, brisket costs $5 a pound, burger meat costs $4 a pound, steak costs $9 a pound, seems like brisket is still a great deal. Plus, you can always make it into chili.

Brisket is actually quite forgiving if all you want is to make a tasty meal. And there are ways to save it if you miss a little. For instance, over-cook it, just slice it a little thick, it will hold together just fine. Undercook? Then slice it 'wafer' thin, it will be fine. Too dry, add some jus and sauce, too moist, tell me what you did, I would like to know.

good ground is around here is around $2lb, The wife just informed me that I am a snob :oops:won't eat "grocery store steaks"

She informed my my beloved Round Steak's are $4lb. ON SALE:shock:

CharredApron
04-05-2013, 07:47 PM
BBQ isn't difficult if you stick with the roots> laid back beer swilling redneck cookery> heat & meat & time. There are many ways to achieve a great product, in 30+ yrs I've tried more than a few and it took time & enough beer to float the USS Iowa to come to the conclusion My Granddad was a wise soul. SMALL,Clean hot fire S&P & time it's done when it's done> probe tender.
The older I get the smarter my father gets!
Thanks,
jed

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 07:50 PM
BBQ, to me, is nothing more than an extension of what I love to do, which is cook.

I researched this site for 6 months before I decided to become a member because I didn't want to be the guy that asked "How do I boil water."

There seemed to be a camaraderie here that appealed to me (and still does) and I knew I could draw upon the experience of the veterans.

Hot and fast or low and slow, I'll try them all and report back with my experience.

In the end, I'd like to just make some friends that share the same passion.

Dave

landarc
04-05-2013, 07:52 PM
an engineer who wants friends...and wants to be understood...geeeeez!

superlazy
04-05-2013, 07:53 PM
asked "How do I boil water."


I lived with a gal that could not boil water:shocked: How somebody could burn water confuses me to this day

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 08:00 PM
I know, it's a tall order.

But I'll take the friends.

:grin:

Dave

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 08:01 PM
I lived with a gal that could not boil water:shocked: How somebody could burn water confuses me to this day

I prefer boiled water with salt, noodles and olive oil please.

:grin:

Dave

CharredApron
04-05-2013, 08:21 PM
I lived with a gal that made my water boil. Then it kinda got lukewarm, Oh well

superlazy
04-05-2013, 08:28 PM
:biggrin1:I prefer boiled water with salt, noodles and olive oil please.

:grin:

Dave
Ribs added?

Terry The Toad
04-05-2013, 08:33 PM
Dang, first there was the post that was bee-itchin' about not enough pictures, now this. Sniff. :sad: I think I'm gonna go join the BBQ sistren. They'll probably appreciate a sensitive guy like me. :drama:

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 08:33 PM
You said it Super!

(After the crockpot)

:biggrin1:

Dave

AustinKnight
04-05-2013, 08:34 PM
The_Kapn- I have been here for a long time and have watched all the "cultural" changes--both good and bad. 8)
Brisket has become the most frequently discussed and fought about item I have ever seen--and for no reason I can figure out.

It seems to be apparent that the reason for this is new brethren wanting to know all that we've learned and needing help, so as nice breathren we do just that in are own way technique etc.

There are folks that consider it the "holy grail" and say ya gotta do "this, that, and the other" to make some sort of nirvana brisket.

I don't think I've ever read about someone dictating this is the only way brisket can be cooked my way or the highway mentality doesn't seem to be the nature of this here brethren.


Foil, Paper, nothing--225, 250, 275, 300, 325--just pick a Farking technique and a number and cook the Farking meat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


To each his own you should've also included sous vide


I think 90% of the more of the "help me" brisket threads are due to under cooking. SIMPLE

I couldn't agree more, practice makes perfect.

Back when I first starting competing in 2004, brisket was our best category and remained so to the end in 2010. Although we were not "nationally" ranked, we were always contenders.
We injected, cooked, foiled, and sliced the flat with cubed point around the sides--simple!

I'm willing to bet you spent weekend honing your craft that leads me back to practice and I'm sure you put in work before you put your name on it. Am I wrong?

For folks that view Texas as the birthplace of BBQ Brisket (which I am not uncomfortable with)--do you really think the folks in the past made it so complicated???


Keeping it simple is something of a tradition around here. I don't think anythings complicated about bbq I think it's over thought most the time.

For those of you who claim that ya gotta cook a hundred or a thousand briskets to get the "feel right"--how do you sleep with that kind of crap!
Brisket is one of the easier meats to cook IMHO~

I sleep very well and am a firm believer of BluDawgs BBQ RULES, back to practice your making it sound like you came out swingin moist tender brisket without having a few cooks under your belt, did I miss something here?

But, what in the heck do I know?? 8)

TIM

Conclusion: People may say it's easy or nothing to it but at one point it was a challenge and without cooking more asking questions an trying new things you will never learn.Nice rant though

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 08:35 PM
Dang, first there was the post that was bee-itchin' about not enough pictures, now this. Sniff. :sad: I think I'm gonna go join the BBQ sistren. They'll probably appreciate a sensitive guy like me. :drama:


If it will make you feel better, I'll sit down the next time I pee.

Dave

Terry The Toad
04-05-2013, 08:48 PM
If it will make you feel better, I'll sit down the next time I pee.

Dave

You mean you don't now?

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 08:55 PM
Terry needs a hug ....:butt:

Dave

CharredApron
04-05-2013, 08:56 PM
The_Kapn- I have been here for a long time and have watched all the "cultural" changes--both good and bad. 8)
Brisket has become the most frequently discussed and fought about item I have ever seen--and for no reason I can figure out.

It seems to be apparent that the reason for this is new brethren wanting to know all that we've learned and needing help, so as nice breathren we do just that in are own way technique etc.

There are folks that consider it the "holy grail" and say ya gotta do "this, that, and the other" to make some sort of nirvana brisket.

I don't think I've ever read about someone dictating this is the only way brisket can be cooked my way or the highway mentality doesn't seem to be the nature of this here brethren.


Foil, Paper, nothing--225, 250, 275, 300, 325--just pick a Farking technique and a number and cook the Farking meat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


To each his own you should've also included sous vide


I think 90% of the more of the "help me" brisket threads are due to under cooking. SIMPLE

I couldn't agree more, practice makes perfect.

Back when I first starting competing in 2004, brisket was our best category and remained so to the end in 2010. Although we were not "nationally" ranked, we were always contenders.
We injected, cooked, foiled, and sliced the flat with cubed point around the sides--simple!

I'm willing to bet you spent weekend honing your craft that leads me back to practice and I'm sure you put in work before you put your name on it. Am I wrong?

For folks that view Texas as the birthplace of BBQ Brisket (which I am not uncomfortable with)--do you really think the folks in the past made it so complicated???


Keeping it simple is something of a tradition around here. I don't think anythings complicated about bbq I think it's over thought most the time.

For those of you who claim that ya gotta cook a hundred or a thousand briskets to get the "feel right"--how do you sleep with that kind of crap!
Brisket is one of the easier meats to cook IMHO~

I sleep very well and am a firm believer of BluDawgs BBQ RULES, back to practice your making it sound like you came out swingin moist tender brisket without having a few cooks under your belt, did I miss something here?

But, what in the heck do I know?? 8)

TIM

Conclusion: People may say it's easy or nothing to it but at one point it was a challenge and without cooking more asking questions an trying new things you will never learn.Nice rant though
I applaud you're conviction. Everyone here is entitled to their own opinion. And you make yours known. Stand-up! Respect those whom have gone before you, as they have paved your way>
Peace out!
Jed

Fo Sizzle My Nizzle
04-05-2013, 09:10 PM
When I joined here last year I had never cooked a brisket before. After seeing all the "help me" threads everyday, I thought this must be a tough cut of meat to cook. Some people sounded down right scared to cook the thing. People that have been putting it off for YEARS!! That combined with the landslide of advice saying how brisket SHOULD be cooked and not always necessarily how it COULD be cooked made it seem intimidating.

But like landarc said, I just started to focus on what the more seasoned members were saying to narrow down the huge amount of information that is found here. That ended up getting me to the road map section where I found Bigabyte's tutorial. Unfortunately many of the newer people (myself at the time) don't know this valuable resource is even there. If I hadn't of listened to the old farts I probably would have junked a couple briskets.

But after following Bigabyte's tutorial pretty closely, I had a damn good brisket my first time out. I figured it must have been a fluke since so many others were either messing it up or not cooking them at all. So my next few brisket cooks I started tailoring my initial schooling with small changes to fit my preferred cooking times, tastes, and cooker. Then I found the Funk (Donnie). I cranked up my cooker, used the tri-level rub, and haven't looked back yet. The flavor profile combined with the HnF cooking temps fit my tastes and time constraints. But that's just it, it fits me personally. I'm sure at some point I'll be ready to step back out of the boat and try to switch things up, but until then I'm happy with things.

** Re-reading this I just realized I said that Bigabyte and Donnie's teachings fit me personally. There is something scary admitting that.

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 09:19 PM
If Biggie can't slip it in a biscuit, he won't eat it.

I've been invited to his house for dinner before, but his dog was fat, so I didn't eat.

:grin:

Dave

Happy Hapgood
04-05-2013, 09:28 PM
Changing the air conditioning compressor in your outdoor condenser unit is simple. Just take the old one out and put the new one in. All you need is some heat, silver solder, a wrench and a vacuum pump.

It's easy...if you know how. ;D

bigabyte
04-05-2013, 09:50 PM
Let me recall the story of the first time I truly nailed brisket. I had thought I had been making some really good briskets for some time. Until that morning.

Back then I cooked on a little offset at temps that would swing between 225 and 240 that needed to be refueled every 90 minutes. I knew that cooker well, and could depend in those temps so long as the intakes were set right and I refueled properly each time. I depended on a pair of Maverick ET-73's (in case one lost signal the other was backup), monitoring pit and internal temp.

I was making a brisket overnight for lunch the next day. I don't know what time of day I started, but back then 18 hours was pretty common for brisket.

I don't recall what exactly happened that night, but what is do recall was around 3am I got up to refueled the pit as it had been 90 minutes since the last refueling and temps had dropped back down towards 225, just as expected. Since I was napping between refueling, I was depending on my Maverick alerts in case the temp went high in either the meat or the cooker, and both would have been set.

After refueling at 3am, an odd confluence of events happened. The first was that my alarm either did not go off at 4:30 to refuel or I slept through it (based on a couple things I am thinking I was really tired and slept through it). Another thing that happened was my pit temp swung high, to temps unknown and my Mavericks did not alert me (probably lost signal as I doubt I slept through two Mavericks AND an alarm clock).

What I do know is that I woke up after 6am, probably 6:30ish. My first thought was, "FARK, my pit is going to be cold"! I looked at my MAvericks and they were reading a little high. I don't recall the number, but probably like 260 or so. Nothing too outrageous, but enough to confuse the ever loving fark out of me for a little bit. I remember standing there wondering how in the fark they could possibly read high after more than 3 hours on one load of fuel in a cooker that needed refueling every 90 minutes based on my methods.

After a moment it dawned on me that I may have screwed something up royally and the pit ran really high after the 3am refueling, and this was simply what it had cooled down to since. I practically ran outside to my cooker with this realization, expecting the worst, a burnt up charred piece of turd.

I opened up the lid, and sure enough, I was greeted by what looked exactly like a meteorite. It was black, save for some reflective shiny bits from the coarse sea salt I had rubbed on there.

I cursed for a few minutes and then went to grab it from the cooker only to find (very much to my surprise) that it was flexible. So I held out hope that at least I could get some meat from the inside of that meteorite.

When I sliced into it I was shocked to find that it was not like cutting through a meteorite, but instead was like cutting through a tender piece of meat, with the black outside simply being what I assumed to be charred bark (it wasn't all that burnt tasting, really, but I had made better bark for sure).

Then I tried it. It was the first time in my life my tongue had achieved orgasm. I had more and kept having one mouthgasm after another. I became insatiable. I literally ate almost half of that brisket right there from the cutting board on my back porch table.

I couldn't believe what had happened. I didn't understand what happened either, and I may never figure out what happened exactly based on the rather unusual timings and circumstances. All I knew for sure was that...

1. The pit had definitely been cooking hot, at 260 and above for the last 3 hours of the cook (I was targeting 225-240 and a noon-ish finish, not the 6:30am finish I achieved).

2. What I thought at first was a most certainly overcooked and burnt to a crisp brisket was actually the best brisket I had made to date at that point.

This forced me to consider high-heat as an option for future cooks, and is what I did for a couple years, and why I ordered my WSM's (since my offset couldn't really do 300+).

Since that switch to high heat, I've gone back to 225, 250, 275, 300+ each a few times. I get MY best results cooking around 275, but that doesn't mean it's for everyone.

This pit temp isn't necessarily the magic either. The true magic is simply cooking it until it is done, no matter what temp you cook at (just like the OP says, no matter how cranky you may think he is).

So there's my original "Eureka" moment for brisket. I only remember it because it was so unusual.

I think my tutorial is helpful to get folks started (search for Basic Brisket Tutorial), but honestly, there are many, many, many other GREAT threads, maybe even BETTER threads than my tutorial. You may not like Pitmaster T or his now defunct alter-ego barbefunkoramaque, but really is a good idea (in my opinion) to check out his brisket stuff as well if you are learning brisket. He covers brisket from many angles and will keep you busy and give you plenty to think about and practice with.

The Aaron Franklin stuff is great too. Seriously. I don't think you have to cook thousands of briskets though. I didn't. I probably only cooked at most a couple dozen before that "Eureka" moment, and I've been getting more and more "there" ever since.

All the OP is really trying to tell you is to stop overthinking it.

Use the Force, Luke. Let go, Luke. Luke, trust me.

Someone better run this through a translator so it can be condensed to 25 words or less.

VA-Dave
04-05-2013, 10:14 PM
If you want to get scientific about it, there are so many variables (cooker, indirect, direct, 250, 325, etc,) you could literally drive yourself crazy, but all of those variables mean something to the person cooking.

The best advice I could give someone is to research the info here that best matches your cooker, conditions, etc, and then tweak those variables to suit you.

My advice and $8.00 will get you a cup of Joe from Starbucks.

Dave

Wesman61
04-05-2013, 11:53 PM
All the threads kept me away from brisket for years. Then I finally felt the need to take the plunge. As I said in my thread a few days ago the first one came out perfect. I did as the OP said, I picked a method and cooked it. Since brisket is cheaper than chuck at cash and carry I'll be smoking a lot more.

MS2SB
04-06-2013, 12:12 AM
There is a lot of talk about not "over" thinking it, when you cook a brisket. Even that is too involved. The best thing to do is, once you understand the properties of your cooker, meaning you can maintain a desired temperature, is to put it on and WALK AWAY.

Go mow the lawn, paint the house, swap out the transmission on your car, paint a masterpiece, solve Fermat's Last theorem. Just do something to distract yourself. Come back in a few hours and poke it with something sharp like an ice pick or a temp probe. If it takes effort, go distract yourself for another couple hours, come back and poke again. Is it a little softer this time? If yes, check again in an hour, softer still but not quite? Start checking it every 45 minutes or so until you reach that rich buttery stage that is doneness.

JazzyBadger
04-06-2013, 01:11 AM
I've been around briskets cooking my whole life. First time I made one it came out good, second time I made one it came out really good, third time was the charm, and it was freaking nailed. Never had a problem since then. The cook it until it's done motto really is all there is to it in the end.

The whole salt and pepper only thing is usually the route I go, but every now and then I'll throw some garlic salt and chile powder on there too, because hey, I felt like it. Sometimes I even throw some parsley on that mother farker because it makes my day. The one thing that stays the same is I cook it until it's done. Oh, I'll also wrap it now when it reaches the color I like. That's something fancy I do.

fedex
04-06-2013, 01:22 AM
I'll take Tri Tip please.

Bbq Bubba
04-06-2013, 07:08 AM
So, you're saying I wasted my money buying that Signature Brisket Boiling Pan from BBQ Bubba?

Everybody knows that was my old rib boiling pan. Just trying to retool and make an extra buck.

Johnny_Crunch
04-06-2013, 07:26 AM
Yeah, it's super easy to cook brisket. :roll:

Gnaws on Pigs
04-06-2013, 07:52 AM
I think a lot of things get way over-thought, not just brisket. Pork butts and ribs, for example. They'll be good however you rub them and cook them, as long as you cook them until they're done and don't incinerate them in the process, or don't use old tires or newspapers for fuel, etc.

People used to just cook bbq, and it was great. Some of the best bbq I've ever eaten was cooked by old fellers in cement-block pits with a sheet of tin over the top, or leaky-assed cookers made out of old oval oil barrels, with burnt-down hickory and oak coals for fuel. The pit had no thermometer-they just kinda judged it by feel and didn't worry whether it was 225, 250, or 300 degrees. It was probably all of the above at different times. That was it-no rubs, no temp control, just a fire and some beer and some experience. They cooked it until it was done, which they judged by poking at it and looking at it and feeling of it. And it was better q than most of us make.

Along comes tv bbq comp shows and stuff. I enjoy watching them too, but it would be boring if everybody just threw a chunk of meat on the fire and didn't do something "magical" to it. And it's hard to sell products and ingredients if nobody is convinced that you need them.

You can make excellent bbq with a custom multi-thousand dollar smoker that has a computerized temp control, with a remote internal temp probe, using the magic brand of charcoal, with the magic commercial rub, sauce, whatever. But, contrary to what a lot of newbies seem to think, you don't NEED all that stuff to make good bbq, either. It's all luxury, not neccessity, and it doesn't make the meat taste a bit better. Our grandpas made just as good of bbq as us without any of that stuff.

Johnny_Crunch
04-06-2013, 07:55 AM
Yeah people! Next time you buy a $30-$40 hunk of meat don't ask for help cooking it properly! :wink:

Whistler
04-06-2013, 07:59 AM
It's interesting to read the brisket threads but I don't pay much attention since most of you guys do it wrong...

Seriously though it is interesting to learn about the way others approach BBQ, regional differences, share techniques and applaud successes/failures. You should feel just a bit complemented by the fact folks ask for your advice.

I'm new to this forum (not Que) and lurk because I seldom have anything to contribute that hasn't been suggested but being new here (or not) is little indication of anything really.

Nice rant, a bit lacking in profanity & conviction but it had a nice rhythm, I give it a 7.

Big George's BBQ
04-06-2013, 08:01 AM
I love a good brisket Unfortuneately no one else in my house does. The best one I did was when I got a nice one from my butcher and had him cryovac it I then put it in my basement fridge for 40days to wetage and smoked it on my egg with pecan and cherry Came out great

LMAJ
04-06-2013, 08:23 AM
I love a good brisket Unfortuneately no one else in my house does. The best one I did was when I got a nice one from my butcher and had him cryovac it I then put it in my basement fridge for 40days to wetage and smoked it on my egg with pecan and cherry Came out great

What?? And you didn't call??? I love a good brisket too!!!!

Bludawg
04-06-2013, 08:55 AM
I think a lot of things get way over-thought, not just brisket. Pork butts and ribs, for example. They'll be good however you rub them and cook them, as long as you cook them until they're done and don't incinerate them in the process, or don't use old tires or newspapers for fuel, etc.

People used to just cook bbq, and it was great. Some of the best bbq I've ever eaten was cooked by old fellers in cement-block pits with a sheet of tin over the top, or leaky-assed cookers made out of old oval oil barrels, with burnt-down hickory and oak coals for fuel. The pit had no thermometer-they just kinda judged it by feel and didn't worry whether it was 225, 250, or 300 degrees. It was probably all of the above at different times. That was it-no rubs, no temp control, just a fire and some beer and some experience. They cooked it until it was done, which they judged by poking at it and looking at it and feeling of it. And it was better q than most of us make.

Along comes tv bbq comp shows and stuff. I enjoy watching them too, but it would be boring if everybody just threw a chunk of meat on the fire and didn't do something "magical" to it. And it's hard to sell products and ingredients if nobody is convinced that you need them.

You can make excellent bbq with a custom multi-thousand dollar smoker that has a computerized temp control, with a remote internal temp probe, using the magic brand of charcoal, with the magic commercial rub, sauce, whatever. But, contrary to what a lot of newbies seem to think, you don't NEED all that stuff to make good bbq, either. It's all luxury, not neccessity, and it doesn't make the meat taste a bit better. Our grandpas made just as good of bbq as us without any of that stuff.:whoo::whoo::whoo:I'M NOT ALONE!!! :clap::clap:

aawa
04-06-2013, 09:04 AM
It took me 3 times to properly cook a brisket. The first two I definitely undercooked it. I went with the probe till tender method to test for doneness, except I didn't know how tender it had to be and I pulled it early. The first two briskets didn't melt in my mouth and took just a tad bit more to tug to come apart. The 3rd though I got the proper texture and it was like a party went off in my mouth. After the 3rd brisket I knew what the proper tenderness is for probing tender.

I will typically take internal temperature of the meats I cook after I pull it to add to my notes. However for all of my cooking (not just bbq) everything I cook is by feel and texture. I don't go by temperatures or time other than guidelines to start checking for doneness.

Bamabuzzard
04-06-2013, 09:28 AM
Then I guess I'm a big "slow", knuckle dragging, mouth breather that slobbers out the side of my mouth. Because brisket isn't "easy" for me. I attribute it to being a different animal to cook than ribs and pork butt. Not necessarily "harder" but different with regard to the method of determining when it is done or not.

Ron_L
04-06-2013, 11:05 AM
Then I guess I'm a big "slow", knuckle dragging, mouth breather that slobbers out the side of my mouth. Because brisket isn't "easy" for me. I attribute it to being a different animal to cook than ribs and pork butt. Not necessarily "harder" but different with regard to the method of determining when it is done or not.

Maybe all the slobber is washing the rub off of the meat? :becky:

If there's one thing I've learned in BBQ, it's that everyone has some meats that are "easy" for them and others that are harder. For whatever the reason, I've never had a problem with brisket, but competition chicken kicks my butt! I can't seem to get it right. Right now there are dozens of Brethren laughing at me because chicken is easy for them.

We all just need to realize that there are folks here at different experience levels, regardless of how long they have been on the site. Join date means nothing more than when you first signed up. There are folks who have been here since the beginning and have purple user names but only cook a couple of times a year and there are folks here who joined last week but have been cooking BBQ for 30 years. The color of our user names and our join date do not equate to experience or wisdom. We all can learn from everyone.

This also means there there will be questions that come up often and questions that may seem silly to some of us, but are very serious to the person who posted it. They all deserve our best answer and it should be done in a courteous and friendly manner. That's what made this site the best BBQ site on the Internet.

The other thing that quickly becomes obvious after reading the posts for a while is that there is more than one way to get good results, even with the same equipment. If someone's method or equipment is different than yours that doesn't mean that they deserve anything less than your best advice and definitely doesn't mean that they deserve ridicule or a nasty response. If you do things differently and feel that they can benefit from your techniques then point out what you do and let them know why you do it. It they are using different equipment accept their decision and either don't reply or try to help them with what they are using. Don't put them down because you don't think their equipment is as good as yours or doesn't meet your definition of BBQ. There is way too much of that going on around here lately.

Sorry for the mini rant, but thanks for reading :rolleyes:

WineMaster
04-06-2013, 11:26 AM
I blame the cow, not the cut.

The_Kapn
04-06-2013, 12:05 PM
It is very hard to communicate with text on the WWW

I never intended to "ding" folks who ask questions.
My post was meant to be about the folks who answer the questions, but do more to complicate the situation than fix the problem.

This post nails the concept I was talking about.

When I joined here last year I had never cooked a brisket before. After seeing all the "help me" threads everyday, I thought this must be a tough cut of meat to cook. Some people sounded down right scared to cook the thing. People that have been putting it off for YEARS!! That combined with the landslide of advice saying how brisket SHOULD be cooked and not always necessarily how it COULD be cooked made it seem intimidating.


All over the WWW are folks who make it seem like VooDoo or something and in many cases do not even read the question completely.
I have seen folks state that it took hundreds or thousands of practice briskets to get it right.
I recently saw a reply that told the OP they needed to buy a different smoker if they wanted to cook brisket.

Best example I can give is that many times, all the OP needed to do was cook it longer. Not always, but that is the answer to many of the problems encountered.
But, there follows a avalanche of "cook it hotter", "cook it cooler", "mess with the fat cap (more or less), and so forth till the OP would need to change each and every thing they did. And, that is if they could even figure out all the changes folks recommend.

Bottom line, IMHO, is that many of us make it harder to cook brisket (and other things) when our goal should be to help make it easier.

If I were just coming into the wonderful world of brisket cooking right now, I doubt seriously that I would have the nerve to try one based on the info on the WWW these days 8)

Lots of good posts above.
Thanks

TIM

Bamabuzzard
04-06-2013, 02:09 PM
My "problem" is I don't cook brisket enough so I haven't gotten used to "the feel" of when it is ready. I've only cooked brisket three times and overcooked all three of them.

I'm actually cooking one today. Wish me luck. :shock:

Maybe all the slobber is washing the rub off of the meat? :becky:

If there's one thing I've learned in BBQ, it's that everyone has some meats that are "easy" for them and others that are harder. For whatever the reason, I've never had a problem with brisket, but competition chicken kicks my butt! I can't seem to get it right. Right now there are dozens of Brethren laughing at me because chicken is easy for them.

We all just need to realize that there are folks here at different experience levels, regardless of how long they have been on the site. Join date means nothing more than when you first signed up. There are folks who have been here since the beginning and have purple user names but only cook a couple of times a year and there are folks here who joined last week but have been cooking BBQ for 30 years. The color of our user names and our join date do not equate to experience or wisdom. We all can learn from everyone.

This also means there there will be questions that come up often and questions that may seem silly to some of us, but are very serious to the person who posted it. They all deserve our best answer and it should be done in a courteous and friendly manner. That's what made this site the best BBQ site on the Internet.

The other thing that quickly becomes obvious after reading the posts for a while is that there is more than one way to get good results, even with the same equipment. If someone's method or equipment is different than yours that doesn't mean that they deserve anything less than your best advice and definitely doesn't mean that they deserve ridicule or a nasty response. If you do things differently and feel that they can benefit from your techniques then point out what you do and let them know why you do it. It they are using different equipment accept their decision and either don't reply or try to help them with what they are using. Don't put them down because you don't think their equipment is as good as yours or doesn't meet your definition of BBQ. There is way too much of that going on around here lately.

Sorry for the mini rant, but thanks for reading :rolleyes:

Ron_L
04-06-2013, 02:59 PM
My "problem" is I don't cook brisket enough so I haven't gotten used to "the feel" of when it is ready. I've only cooked brisket three times and overcooked all three of them.

I'm actually cooking one today. Wish me luck. :shock:

Luck!

I think that may be the most challenging part of brisket. In most parts of the country it's not cheap, so most of us don't cook them enough to perfect it.

16Adams
04-06-2013, 08:03 PM
And in addition to beer, there is not one damn thing you can smoke, grill steam or bake in your chosen patio cooker that you can not dump, dice,chip or shred into a pot of pinto beans and be absolutely amazing. Drink up and smoke on brethren. Smoke on

Mo-Dave
04-06-2013, 08:42 PM
Most of us have forgotten that almost all smoked or bbq meat started off as the lowest cut of meat available, and was given to poorest of the poor. which were slave or migrant workers. This is what they had and they made it work for them. It really bothers me to see the price of not just brisket but all meat skyrocket in price the last couple years, but what really bothers me is people paying outrageous money for kobe beef or other high dollar cuts to do almost the same thing a cut of meat 1/3 the cost will be when done right.

For pete sake if you want to squander that kind of money on a hunk of meat why not do it right and get a rib roast or a beef tenderloin? Sorry it just pisses me off.:tsk:
Dave

landarc
04-06-2013, 08:53 PM
Although I may be as guilty as anyone of making my own cooks over-complicated, I do have to say, for the first time I can remember, yesterday, I did post that I felt the OP in the specific thread should abandon his chosen process. I agree with Tim, that too many people make statements that simply are not true, 1000 briskets to get one right? C'mon.

That being said, if they post that they want help, they are going to get the multi-tude of answers. Winnowing through the chaff is certainly difficult. But, there are many ways, and putting them out there, that has to help in the end.

Dallas Dan
04-06-2013, 09:31 PM
We all have to start somewhere with learning how to cook briskets. My first was circa 1988 and I had no clue as to what I was doing. I "grilled" my first brisket over a open gas flame grill...at least I knew to keep the temp of the flame low. :roll: It was my first cook for my new in-laws and was a chard mess. :doh: Fortunately they all took it in good humor as we all laughed...digging through the chard crust for some edible meat. lol

And today, after years of learning curves, I smoke terrific briskets for family and my company's special events. Everyone raves about them. :grin:

Today's newbies are fortunate to have access to the WWW and forums like this to give them guidance before they ever start.

93vpmod
04-06-2013, 10:01 PM
I have smoked brisket with varying results for at least 10 years. Until I found this site, I never knew what I had been doing wrong. Or better yet, identified other techniques that could lead to improved results. This is over the traditional x minutes/pound or to x temperature.

As far as the many Should vs. could options, everyone has to weed out the things that won't work for them. Also, as far as flavors and approaches...if you only eat vanilla ice cream, you will never find out that you really like some other flavor even more.

RevZiLLa
04-07-2013, 01:10 AM
I know, it's a tall order.

But I'll take the friends.

:grin:

Dave

Feed me and I'm your friend :mrgreen:

I lived with a gal that could not boil water:shocked: How somebody could burn water confuses me to this day

A buddy married a very pretty girl who walked into the room during a football game and asked if bubbles in the water meant it was boiling. Seriously. He does the cooking

dealm9
04-07-2013, 04:24 AM
Beer. Its all about the beer. There is a reason brisket rhymes with beer, eventually.
It rhymes with whiskey a whole lot faster IMHO

Untraceable
04-07-2013, 04:36 AM
100% of my brisket problems are due to undercooking. It doesn't matter whatever you rub with, that's just a percentage of the flavor profile. Keeping the flat super moist should be the question.

willbird
04-07-2013, 08:13 AM
100% of my brisket problems are due to undercooking. It doesn't matter whatever you rub with, that's just a percentage of the flavor profile. Keeping the flat super moist should be the question.



I know it would be expensive, but it would be an interesting experiment to intentionally leave some on after a well tuned expert said "it is done" and see exactly how long the window actually IS low and slow to hot and fast. The perception from the neophyte perspective is that you hone only seconds to spare when it is done. If you KNEW that you had 30-45 minutes HNF and an hour or two low and slow....well then you could chill a bit :-).

The frequency the old hands check at gives some "feel for this"..........."check every 30 minutes after the IT hits 200f, pull when it probes like butter".

But if you cook HNF like some do, say 300, wrap in butcher paper after the first 4 hours, then check at some interval until it probes done, what happens if you leave it on an extra hour AFTER it probes done ??

Bill

Bbq Bubba
04-07-2013, 08:29 AM
Outstanding! :cool:

Hawg Father of Seoul
04-07-2013, 06:18 PM
I know it would be expensive, but it would be an interesting experiment to intentionally leave some on after a well tuned expert said "it is done" and see exactly how long the window actually IS low and slow to hot and fast. The perception from the neophyte perspective is that you hone only seconds to spare when it is done. If you KNEW that you had 30-45 minutes HNF and an hour or two low and slow....well then you could chill a bit :-).

The frequency the old hands check at gives some "feel for this"..........."check every 30 minutes after the IT hits 200f, pull when it probes like butter".

But if you cook HNF like some do, say 300, wrap in butcher paper after the first 4 hours, then check at some interval until it probes done, what happens if you leave it on an extra hour AFTER it probes done ??

Bill

Your Windows of time seem spot on to me. I have been on the anti "feels like butta" wagon for a while.

landarc
04-07-2013, 07:08 PM
I like the probe method, as it allows for every variable but one, my own skill in using it. No matter which cut of meat, how tender the steer, how hot I am cooking, how humud it is, it always comes down to the feel.

Now, I can lift a brisket and have a pretty good idea if it is done, there are cues. But, the probe is cheap, battery free insurance. I think if you are cooking hot and fast, you have at least an hour to pull a decent brisket. Thus, no need to get weird for at least 30 minutes.