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View Full Version : BRISKET,, why is it considered to be holygrail??


jaejw1
07-14-2010, 07:56 AM
why is the brisket looked upon as being difficult?,, there seems to be so many different ways to cook it with great results,,,

im no expert and being new to this forum I dont have nearly the experience as most,, but my first brisket was done on the fourth and I did have guests over...
the only practice I did was with the smoker itself.. learning the temps and how to regulate...

I just feel that the brisket is fairly simple and that it cooks itself... im having a more difficult time perfecting ribs and chicken

I cant wait to do brisket again.

I will admit though , I did research/read online aswell as ask lots of questions at my favorite bbq joint in the city of compton...

just curious

thirdeye
07-14-2010, 08:57 AM
I think brisket is just more of an "involved" cook, than say butts or a chuck roll. The involvement starts with the selection, then moves through the prep, seasonings, cook, rest, and serving. The more consistantly you repeat a proven technique, the more predictable the end result will be. It's a plus your first one turned out so good.

I agree with you about chicken, it's harder than most folks think. I always thought I cooked above average chicken..... until I judged my first competition. I now put a lot more work into my chicken.

Saiko
07-14-2010, 09:15 AM
The biggest challenge I have had with cooking briskets is knowing when to pull it from the smoker. There is a small window that occurs between an undercooked, dry, tough brisket and an overcooked, dry brisket.
There is no set temperature that will let you know when to pull it, as all briskets are different. It just takes practice, and trust me I'm still learning.

Prep and serving are a bit more involved than most cuts of meat also. Learning how the grain runs different depending on which side the brisket came from, learning how the point and flat run together. It's not rocket science, it's just harder than most cuts of meat in my opinion. And this opinion is from a backyard cook, I don't compete.

jaejw1
07-14-2010, 01:02 PM
well I enjoyed the late hours of the smoke. and the rest time was used to get other stuff done...

if I can I would like to put the brisket in the fridge before cutting,, and just have all uniformed slices placed in a pan and ready for reheating....

but I have to truly say that it was worth every minute of my time ,,,, I will try to take more pics next time also.. I only took about 3 from my first...

BluesDaddy
07-14-2010, 02:11 PM
From what I've read, lots of people have had success with their first brisket and then found it difficult to repeat.

Bigmista
07-14-2010, 02:18 PM
From what I've read, lots of people have had success with their first brisket and then found it difficult to repeat.

That's because every brisket is different. I have cooked two briskets on the same grate, same seasoning, same temp, same size and same trim. At 8 hours, one was 190, the other was 165. It's done when it's done and you have to learn what done feels like.

BluesDaddy
07-14-2010, 02:27 PM
That's because every brisket is different. I have cooked two briskets on the same grate, same seasoning, same temp, same size and same trim. At 8 hours, one was 190, the other was 165. It's done when it's done and you have to learn what done feels like.Which was sort of my point. The OP wonders what the fuss is about since his first one turned out great. It's the second, third...fifteenth...twenty-sixth that become the issue!! :thumb:

jestridge
07-14-2010, 02:59 PM
I always thought it was easy . I think it one of those Texas myths they didn't want anyone else trying them they need something they good at

kickassbbq
07-14-2010, 03:08 PM
It's all about the internal temp of the meat.
Like said above, "It's done when it's done!"

deepsouth
07-14-2010, 03:11 PM
i've only done brisket like three times, but they all turned out delicous and tender with nice bark and smoke rings, etc..... the process was a bit different to get there, but i didn't think it got complicated. i dunno.....

Johnny_Crunch
07-14-2010, 03:24 PM
It's not rocket science but it is really easy to over cook or under cook. It's simply not a set and forget like other meat cuts.

cycle1667
07-14-2010, 03:32 PM
High fat content = good flavor.
High fat content = good insulation
Low and slow is the way to go.

jaejw1
07-14-2010, 03:51 PM
ohwell... labor day will be the real test....

barbefunkoramaque
07-14-2010, 04:10 PM
High fat content = good flavor.
High fat content = good insulation
Low and slow is the way to go.


You are so wrong. Now try again to snatch the pebble from my hand grasshopper.

MattB
07-14-2010, 05:44 PM
I still am learning the ways of the Brisket. I consider it the holy grail because I've had so few good briskets. It's a meat that you can't cook by the numbers, as others have said. You have to have a feel for it and that takes time to learn.

JiveTurkey
07-14-2010, 05:44 PM
My theory is that brisket used to a difficult piece of meat to cook because the techniques were passed down from generation to generation within the family, all in a small region of the country. If anybody wanted to learn how to cook it they had to go to grandpas house and hope that he would share his secrets. Now with the internet all of those little secrets are exposed for the world to see. Now that mysterious piece of meat isn't so scary once we've seen others cook it with success in all varying degrees of styles.

JCHjr55
07-14-2010, 05:52 PM
Every Brisket is Different.

No Texas Myth.

No Ancient Whatever Secret.

Prep It. Season It. Smoke It Low & Slow OR HIgh Heat.

Remove Brisket When Done. :thumb:

Great Eats To ALL.

John

Chef Jim
07-14-2010, 06:17 PM
I recall a post way back this year where there was a u tube video of a couple making the best ribs they had ever eaten. Grandma's secret recipe.:laugh:

They boiled them!:doh: and then smothered them with Sweet Baby Ray's in another pot. Yummy.

Wonder if I could get the same brisket every time if I did it that way.:confused:

I personally don't think brisket is the Holy Grail but I sure do like the way it tastes. Even if I didn't do it that good this time. :becky:

ZILLA
07-14-2010, 07:43 PM
I don't see it as the Holy Grail or difficult to cook well. I'll tell you right now that cooking fully jointed half chickens for comps here in Texas and getting them right is what's nerve racking for me. I think ribs are easy too.

thirdeye
07-14-2010, 08:30 PM
My theory is that brisket used to a difficult piece of meat to cook because the techniques were passed down from generation to generation within the family, all in a small region of the country. If anybody wanted to learn how to cook it they had to go to grandpas house and hope that he would share his secrets. Now with the internet all of those little secrets are exposed for the world to see. Now that mysterious piece of meat isn't so scary once we've seen others cook it with success in all varying degrees of styles.

That's who taught me how to cook brisket..... My grandpa that is. And I'm still learning from the Internet. Good barbecue is a journey, not a destination.

Kevin
07-14-2010, 08:59 PM
That's who taught me how to cook brisket..... My grandpa that is. And I'm still learning from the Internet. Good barbecue is a journey, not a destination.

Thank you. I'm still following that journey.

This is an old pic, but it makes me hungry anyway.

http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp138/GrandpaK_photos/Slicedbrisket1.jpg

Boshizzle
07-14-2010, 09:07 PM
Brisket is the "holy grail" because it's hard to cook a great one every time. It's pretty easy to screw up brisket; much easier than it is to screw up a pork shoulder, for example. Many can cook a good brisket but the good cooks can cook a great one most of the time.

Speaking of competition brisket, I have had boxes full of brisket slices as thin as the canvas from a Chuck Taylor Converse sneaker and just as tough. I have also had a few exceptional briskets. But most of them are average at best. So, even a lot of competition cooks struggle with it.

If you can routinely cook a great brisket you are doing well and you deserve bragging rights.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Bbq Bubba
07-14-2010, 09:11 PM
why is the brisket looked upon as being difficult?,, there seems to be so many different ways to cook it with great results,,,

im no expert and being new to this forum I dont have nearly the experience as most,, but my first brisket was done on the fourth and I did have guests over...
the only practice I did was with the smoker itself.. learning the temps and how to regulate...

I just feel that the brisket is fairly simple and that it cooks itself... im having a more difficult time perfecting ribs and chicken

I cant wait to do brisket again.

I will admit though , I did research/read online aswell as ask lots of questions at my favorite bbq joint in the city of compton...

just curious

If its your first brisket, how do you know if it was good?

deepsouth
07-14-2010, 09:12 PM
and sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

jaejw1
07-14-2010, 09:17 PM
sweet.... I wish I had the time to do it often ,,,, after the time and energy spent with the first one it looks like it will have to reserve brosket for holidays or special occasions....

im super excited about my first but now that I think about it, im more concerned about my second with my first being a reference point....

landarc
07-14-2010, 10:12 PM
I think if you are doing one brisket, for service whenever you want to serve it, just how you want it, it is not that difficult to turn out acceptable product. However, it is a bit more difficult to cook a large amount that will hold. Most of what makes brisket a legend is that most folks do not and will probably never cook one for themselves, their only experience being the stuff bought from BBQ restaurants. Further, it is highly variable, like all of the meats we cook.

I would suggest that while most of use think we cook all out meats pretty darned good, none of them is really easy. If it was, then people would not crock pot/boil/oven bake their BBQ. I find that making really great ribs to have it's own difficulties, as does ribs, brisket and pork butt. To do them really well is never easy.

gtsum
07-14-2010, 10:25 PM
as has been expounded on by many above, it is several things...that some briskets are done at 190 internal and others are done at 202 for instance.....most people can and do produce a good brisket every now and then, but I have come to find out, like already pointed out above, that making very good brisket all of the time is what is tough (because every piece of meat is so different). They are not as forgiving as a pork butt either - hell, most people can produce acceptable pork 9/10 times....same with ribs...nailing 9 out of 10 briskets is the challenge imo...I am still trying to replicate "my" perfect brisket I cooked a couple months ago...I have not even come close for some reason (modified low heat, then high heat cook).

Ye Olde Party Palace
07-14-2010, 11:11 PM
If it was easy then my ex-wife could've cooked it. No, really, I think that we all feel that our first brisket was pretty darn good. That is, until we taste some really gooood brisket at a competition. Then, we have to go home and try to figure out how to make ours better, and better, and......:doh:

jaejw1
07-14-2010, 11:35 PM
oh dang,,,, now that I think about it.. my temps were not a consistent 225 nor 250,,, more like up and down between 215-275,,,, due to periodic checking and sleeping... since it was done overnight....

the person that tasted my brisket did say that it was close to competition and with a lil work it could be competition. but since I havent had competition brisket im not sure how close or far I was from that level,,, I can only go by what ppl said

now I have tasted other briskets ,,, BLUDSO'S,, the texas grill place in el toro,, and from newport rib company in ladera ranch,,,, I have to say Bludso's taste better than mine and all the others I have had... I would like to get to Bludso's level

barbefunkoramaque
07-15-2010, 08:07 AM
Son of a Bitch! He is spot on. This the product of my father teaching at Ball High and SFA for 40 years. Dude you are so "on" I cannot believe we do not bump into each other. Note were I am from.


Every Brisket is Different.

No Texas Myth.

No Ancient Whatever Secret.

Prep It. Season It. Smoke It Low & Slow OR HIgh Heat.

Remove Brisket When Done. :thumb:

Great Eats To ALL.

John

barbefunkoramaque
07-15-2010, 08:12 AM
Look at the slices behind. He slices like a Texan... which is like I think maybe Jesus would slice a brisket if he we with me. You know... properly. Thick!

Thank you. I'm still following that journey.

This is an old pic, but it makes me hungry anyway.

http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp138/GrandpaK_photos/Slicedbrisket1.jpg

SmokinOkie
07-15-2010, 10:45 AM
To answer the original question, think of it this way.

What cut of meat gets the most question for help. Having run a forum for 10 years, hands down I've seen 10 questions about brisket to any other cut.

On AVERAGE, it just appears to be a difficult cut because if you don't have good Q knowledge (or access to this forum) and you don't know heat control, Brisket is the cut that can really define how good you are at the basics.

2nd toughest might be Ribs.

PB is pretty damn easy

Chicken, if people didn't ask questions about chicken skin we probably wouldn't have any posts about chicken.

Brisket is the toughest because it exposes your weaknesses as a cook.

Russ

Attrill
07-15-2010, 11:40 AM
I think the time commitment, patience, and fire control skills are the things that make brisket seem difficult. I've found ribs and pork butts are more forgiving if the smoker runs a bit hot, but brisket can dry out very quickly if you don't keep a close eye on your temps. The long temp plateau that you get with brisket also throws a lot of people off. I know a few people who pulled their first briskets at 160 or so since the temp hadn't budged in hours. Needless to say those weren't good briskets.

I have had really good luck with brisket, but as others have said it may take 8 hours one time and 14 the next, and it can be hard to block out a chunk of time that big. It also makes it difficult to cook for a large event - "we'll be eating sometime between 5 and Midnight" doesn't usually go over well.

Q-Dat
07-15-2010, 06:26 PM
I'm not a golfer but I've talked to enough of them to say I think cooking a brisket and playing golf are a lot alike. One day you're great and everyone respects you and the next time out the same thing makes a fool out of you.

BBQ Grail
07-15-2010, 06:41 PM
Oh Shane, would you care to comment on this?

NorthwestBBQ
07-15-2010, 08:24 PM
why is the brisket looked upon as being difficult?,, there seems to be so many different ways to cook it with great results,,,

im no expert and being new to this forum I dont have nearly the experience as most,, but my first brisket was done on the fourth and I did have guests over...
the only practice I did was with the smoker itself.. learning the temps and how to regulate...

I just feel that the brisket is fairly simple and that it cooks itself... im having a more difficult time perfecting ribs and chicken

I cant wait to do brisket again.

I will admit though , I did research/read online aswell as ask lots of questions at my favorite bbq joint in the city of compton...

just curious

"In the city, the city of Compton
We keep it rockin! We keep it rockin!" - 2-Pac

jaejw1
07-15-2010, 11:09 PM
"In the city, the city of Compton
We keep it rockin! We keep it rockin!" - 2-Pac
lol.. :-D

well here is a pic of my first brisket.. not sure why i didnt post it before..

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x196/jaejw1/july%204th%202010/DSCF1538-1.jpg

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x196/jaejw1/july%204th%202010/DSCF1557.jpg

toumaj
07-16-2010, 10:18 AM
It's all about the internal temp of the meat.
Like said above, "It's done when it's done!"


At what temp do you usually pull your brisket?

BBQ Grail
07-16-2010, 11:10 AM
I've been served a great deal of brisket that the cook thought was perfect and I thought it was crapola!

Just saying....

JD McGee
07-16-2010, 11:20 AM
My first brisket was tasty shoe leather! :becky: I didn't start getting good briskets until I tossed the temp probe and started cooking them hot-n-fast...for some reason it's workin' for me...:cool:

BBQ Grail
07-16-2010, 11:28 AM
At what temp do you usually pull your brisket?

I pull my brisket when the probe of my super fast Red Thermopen slides in like it's going into warm butter. What's the temp? Don't know, I don't look...

Smokesman
07-16-2010, 12:04 PM
It's all about the internal temp of the meat.
Like said above, "It's done when it's done!"


At what temp do you usually pull your brisket?

No it's not all about the internal. Yes it is done when it is done. There is no set temp to pull brisket as every cut is different. The range is typically 195 to 205 though.

Keep an eye on the internal until it gets into the 190+ range...after that forget it and go by feel checking for tenderness with a probe every 1/2 hour or so.

Do check for tenderness in a few spots. Some cuts will be for the most part tender, any stubborn spots usually equal out while resting in hotbox.

txschutte
07-16-2010, 01:22 PM
Oh Shane, would you care to comment on this?
I would actually.

Many things have to happen when cooking good brisket, and it all starts with selecting good meat. Sure, you can buy a cheap piece of briskie and make it taste good. But, to do that consistently is the challenge. I buy the more expensive CAB briskets now. I have a much easier time being able to predict what and when that meat is gonna do it's thing.

barbefunkoramaque
07-16-2010, 04:59 PM
At what temp do you usually pull your brisket?


Oh my God! I knew when he wrote that it was not what he meant and it would start this confusion about IT Pull temps all over again. Kick did that Intentionally. Grrrrrrr.

Just follow Kick's last sentence, not his first... it is not about IT temp at all. Its about when its done to "feel" There can be a 40 degree IT variance as to when the Brisket is done to its zenith... any less its underdone... any more its over or dried out.

BBQ Bandit
07-16-2010, 06:57 PM
Oh Shane, would you care to comment on this?

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=75&pictureid=2020

barbefunkoramaque
07-16-2010, 08:38 PM
ahhh the day we all learn not to ever use brown sugar on briskets



lol.. :-D

well here is a pic of my first brisket.. not sure why i didnt post it before..

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x196/jaejw1/july%204th%202010/DSCF1538-1.jpg

http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x196/jaejw1/july%204th%202010/DSCF1557.jpg

Sean "Puffy" Coals
07-18-2010, 09:42 AM
I think it's the holy grail, personally. Probably because of all the BBQ's and Picnics i've ever been to I've never seen it served (apparently I'm the only one in my extended-extended-family with a smoker). I've seen the usual hot dogs, burgers, chicken, ribs and even pulled pork but never brisket. So, to me, it's the holy grail because the only time I ever get to eat it is when I cook it myself, which I plan to do quite often now that I have a better job and a pit of my own.