Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
It's July 4th weekend and it's time for a cook out. It's been a few years since I smoked some brisket, and I was specifically asked by my son and daughter to please, please do it. Naturally, I thought I would document it here :). A few days ago, I thought I would take photos, but that idea got overlooked at 6 this morning. I rolled out of bed at 5:50 am, had the fire lit and put the meat on to smoke by 6:50.

On Tuesday I bought two large briskets at Costco. The two smallest ones I could find were 7.6 and 8.6 lbs. There were more that were 9+ lbs :eek:. These were brisket flats, not the packer's cut which includes the point. At Costco, the brisket was $6.89/pound. As I found later, there was a lot of fat – maybe a total of 1 lb. – on these I trimmed off. Whole Foods also had large brisket flats that were very nicely trimmed, but they cost $10/pound.

I have found that there are two kinds of fat on brisket. The softer fat comes in thin sheets, and can render nicely as the meat is cooked. Thicker layers of hard fat which doesn't render, must be cut off. Some people love the fat, others would rather eat lean meat. I like it lean, but I understand that some fat is needed to keep the meat from drying out. Too much fat prevents the smoke from entering the meat. So, I've found the fat layer should be less than ¼" thick.

On Thursday, I trimmed most of the fat off the meat, measured to see if each was small enough to fit on 18" diameter grill racks. I had to cut one end off the larger flat so it fit. And I covered the meat with dry rub and pressed it in. Then I refrigerated the meat in a large covered plastic box. This recipe (from Legends of Texas Barbecue by Robb Walsh, page 218) makes enough for two large brisket flats:
  • 3 Tbl spoon Sea salt or kosher salt *
  • 2½ Tbl spoon Dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl spoon Paprika
  • 2 tea spoon Dry Mustard
  • 2 tea spoon Garlic granules
  • 2 tea spoon Onion granules
  • 1½ tea spoon Dried basil
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground coriander
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground savory
  • ¾ tea spoon Dried thyme
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground black pepper
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground white pepper
  • ⅛ tea spoon Ground cumin
* Note about salt: The original recipe in the book called for ¼ cup (4 Tbl spoons) of salt. It made the brisket nice and tender, but it tasted too salty. My brother tried 50% salt (⅛ cup, 2 Tbl spoon) and the meat didn’t tenderize despite plenty of extra cooking time. He later tried a kosher brisket (brined with salt water),dry rubbed it with 50% of the salt in the original recipe, and it did get tender. It seems the salt in the rub or the brine soak helps to keep moisture inside the meat during cooking. Apparently, this is needed to get it tender. Finally, I tried 75% as much salt (3 Tbl spoon) with a non-kosher brisket and it was just right.

Liberally cover the entire surface of the meat with dry rub mixture and press it in. I let meat sit refrigerated in rub overnight. One hour is said to be OK, but the shortest time I've done was overnight.

Smoke for 3-4 hours at about 250° F (±15°). Then wrap meat in aluminum foil and cook 3-4 more hours. I use a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) smoker with a water pan. I used an electronic meat thermometer with two probes, one as a meat thermometer and another to monitor the top rack temperature in the smoker. The remote electronic meat thermometer I now use is a ThermoPro TP08 Wireless Remote Digital Meat Thermometer.

I poured 1 large starter chimney of unlit hardwood charcoal into the fire bowl. Then I refilled the chimney, put 3 pieces of crumpled newspaper underneath, lit it, and after ~15 minutes added the lit charcoal on top of the unlit charcoal. I added cherry, apple, or pecan wood chunks, at least 6-8.

I assembled rest of smoker with water pan and meat on two racks and lid. Fire/heat resistant gloves are useful. Smoke for about 3-4 hours at ≤250° F. Every hour, stir the charcoal to clear away ash. Add charcoal or wood as needed. After that, I removed meat, making sure to put the lid back on so that fire didn’t heat up.

After 3-4 hours, use 18" wide heavy duty aluminum foil to wrap the meat so it’s sealed inside the foil. A single layer of foil can stick to the smoker rack and tear when you remove it. So, place another sheet of foil on the rack underneath it, or wrap it in two layers of foil.

Put the meat back into smoker for ≥3 more hours at 250-300° until meat is ≥190° F. Cooking longer will do no harm, it won’t dry out unless the aluminum foil tears. During this step, I add more charcoal to the fire to maintain temperature, but did not add more wood chunks or water in the pan. Inside the foil, the meat produces enough liquid to simmer & steam the brisket until it becomes tender. It does not produce that crunchy bark.

Brisket contains a high amount of collagen, a tough meat protein. It must denature (melt) during cooking for tenderness. The salt in the dry rub, plus heating to 190° is necessary for tenderness.

After cooking, let meat rest inside aluminum foil for at least 1 hour. The liquid from the meat, trapped inside the foil does partially reabsorb during this time. When you open the foil, use a large pan to catch this liquid. It’s flavored with smoke, dry rub, and the meat. I add some to a small bowl of barbecue sauce.
 
Last edited:
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
As I write this, I'm mid way into the first 3-4 hours of smoking.

Yesterday, I made a batch of BBQ sauce that I simply love. No store bought BBQ sauce comes close. Here's the recipe. It's called Fritz's BBQ sauce, and I found in another book, Weber’s Big Book of Grilling by Jamie Purviance & Sandra S. McRae (page 45). The recipe below makes 2 pints, but I've also made 4 pints by doubling everything.

Fritz's Barbeque Sauce
  • Extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup - 2 oz.
  • Chopped red onion ½ cup
  • Minced or pressed garlic 2 teaspoons
  • * Chicken broth (low salt) 1 cup - 8 oz.
  • * Frozen OJ 4× concentrate ½ cup - 4 oz.
    OR
  • * Better Than Bullion 1 teaspoon
    * plus 1× OJ 8-16 oz.
  • Ketchup ¾ cup - 6 oz.
  • Steak sauce (A1 or other) ½ cup - 4 oz.
  • Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbl spoons
  • White wine vinegar 1 Tbl spoon
  • Finely ground coffee 1 Tbl spoon
  • Dried chervil (or parsley) 2 teaspoons
  • Ground celery seed ½ teaspoon
  • Fresh ground black pepper ½ teaspoon
In a medium saucepan, warm olive oil over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Add onion and garlic, cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add remaining ingredients and mix.

Frozen OJ concentrate is getting difficult to find. This is concentrated 4×, four ounces = 16 ounces of 1× OJ. Instead of using prepared chicken broth in a can or box, use ‘Better Than Bullion’ concentrated paste, 1 teaspoon of paste plus 1× OJ in the amounts shown in the table. This provides half the amount of orange juice without adding any extra liquid. If you do have frozen OJ concentrate, use Better Than Bullion plus water.

Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Use a blender to make sauce smooth (optional). I use a handheld blender that works directly in the sauce pan after the sauce cools for about 10 minutes. This way, I don't have to chop the onion into such small pieces.

Transfer to a bowl or glass jar and cover. Keeps well in the refrigerator for about 1 week, indefinitely if frozen. With all the sugar, this BBQ sauce can easily grow bacteria, so keep it cold.

For hotter sauce, set some aside in a smaller bowl; add Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper to taste.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
The brisket has smoked, with cherry wood chunks, for about 4 hours. The temperature range was 245° to 275°. During this time, I added some more wood, and more water to the water pan.

At 11 am, the internal temperature of one of the brisket flats was 162°. I removed both flats, brought them indoors, and wrapped each flat in heavy duty 18" wide aluminum foil. I tore off a second sheet to put under each wrapped flat, so that 3-4 hours later the foil won't tear as I remove it from the grills.

After I put them back in the smoker, I added some more charcoal. With the foil wrap, no more wood is needed, nor do I need to add water to the pan. I'll watch the temperature for the next 15-30 minutes. The goal is to heat at about 300° for another 3-4 hours.

So far, so good. It's a very hot & humid day. I'm smokey and sweaty. After I get the meat off the smoker, I'll have time to shower.

Getting photos while doing this job is just too difficult. It's messy work, and I'd need another person whose sole job is to take pictures. If I remember, I'll take a photo of the briskets after they're done.
 
Last edited:
B

bigkrazy155

Audioholic
Wow...my mouth is watering for some reason. Sounds amazing
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
It's July 4th weekend and it's time for a cook out. It's been a few years since I smoked some brisket, and I was specifically asked by my son and daughter to please, please do it. Naturally, I thought I would document it here :). A few days ago, I thought I would take photos, but that idea got overlooked at 6 this morning. I rolled out of bed at 5:50 am, had the fire lit and put the meat on to smoke by 6:50.

On Tuesday I bought two large briskets at Costco. The two smallest ones I could find were 7.6 and 8.6 lbs. There were more that were 9+ lbs :eek:. These were brisket flats, not the packer's cut which includes the point. At Costco, the brisket was $6.89/pound. As I found later, there was a lot of fat – maybe a total of 1 lb. – on these I trimmed off. Whole Foods also had large brisket flats that were very nicely trimmed, but they cost $10/pound.

I have found that there are two kinds of fat on brisket. The softer fat comes in thin sheets, and can render nicely as the meat is cooked. Thicker layers of hard fat which doesn't render, must be cut off. Some people love the fat, others would rather eat lean meat. I like it lean, but I understand that some fat is needed to keep the meat from drying out. Too much fat prevents the smoke from entering the meat. So, I've found the fat layer should be less than ¼" thick.

On Thursday, I trimmed most of the fat off the meat, measured to see if each was small enough to fit on 18" diameter grill racks. I had to cut one end off the larger flat so it fit. And I covered the meat with dry rub and pressed it in. Then I refrigerated the meat in a large covered plastic box. This recipe (from Legends of Texas Barbecue by Robb Walsh, page 218) makes enough for two large brisket flats:
  • 3 Tbl spoon Sea salt or kosher salt *
  • 2½ Tbl spoon Dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl spoon Paprika
  • 2 tea spoon Dry Mustard
  • 2 tea spoon Garlic granules
  • 2 tea spoon Onion granules
  • 1½ tea spoon Dried basil
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground coriander
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground savory
  • ¾ tea spoon Dried thyme
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground black pepper
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground white pepper
  • ⅛ tea spoon Ground cumin
* Note about salt: The original recipe in the book called for ¼ cup (4 Tbl spoons) of salt. It made the brisket nice and tender, but it tasted too salty. My brother tried 50% salt (⅛ cup, 2 Tbl spoon) and the meat didn’t tenderize despite plenty of extra cooking time. He later tried a kosher brisket (brined with salt water), dry rubbed it with 50% of the salt in the original recipe, and it did get tender. It seems the salt in the rub or the brine soak helps to keep moisture inside the meat during cooking. Apparently, this is needed to get it tender. Finally, I tried 75% as much salt (3 Tbl spoon) with a non-kosher brisket and it was just right.

Liberally cover the entire surface of the meat with dry rub mixture and press it in. I let meat sit refrigerated in rub overnight. One hour is said to be OK, but the shortest time I've done was overnight.

Smoke for 3-4 hours at about 250° F (±15°). Then wrap meat in aluminum foil and cook 3-4 more hours. I use a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) smoker with a water pan. I used an electronic meat with two probes, one as a meat thermometer and another to monitor the top rack temperature in the smoker. The remote electronic meat thermometer I now use is a ThermoPro TP08 Wireless Remote Digital Meat Thermometer.

I poured 1 large starter chimney of unlit hardwood charcoal into the fire bowl. Then I refilled the chimney, put 3 pieces of crumpled newspaper underneath, lit it, and after ~15 minutes added the lit charcoal on top of the unlit charcoal. I added cherry, apple, or pecan wood chunks, at least 6-8.

I assembled rest of smoker with water pan and meat on two racks and lid. Fire/heat resistant gloves are useful. Smoke for about 3-4 hours at ≤250° F. Every hour, stir the charcoal to clear away ash. Add charcoal or wood as needed. After that, I removed meat, making sure to put the lid back on so that fire didn’t heat up.

After 3-4 hours, use 18" wide heavy duty aluminum foil to wrap the meat so it’s sealed inside the foil. A single layer of foil can stick to the smoker rack and tear when you remove it. So, place another sheet of foil on the rack underneath it, or wrap it in two layers of foil.

Put the meat back into smoker for ≥3 more hours at 250-300° until meat is ≥190° F. Cooking longer will do no harm, it won’t dry out unless the aluminum foil tears. During this step, I add more charcoal to the fire to maintain temperature, but did not add more wood chunks or water in the pan. Inside the foil, the meat produces enough liquid to simmer & steam the brisket until it becomes tender. It does not produce that crunchy bark.

Brisket contains a high amount of collagen, a tough meat protein. It must denature (melt) during cooking for tenderness. The salt in the dry rub, plus heating to 190° is necessary for tenderness.

After cooking, let meat rest inside aluminum foil for at least 1 hour. The liquid from the meat, trapped inside the foil does partially reabsorb during this time. When you open the foil, use a large pan to catch this liquid. It’s flavored with smoke, dry rub, and the meat. I add some to a small bowl of barbecue sauce.
I've only smoked one brisket before and, although it was tasty, it wasn't as tender as I would have liked. My wife just picked up a brisket and I had to put it in the freezer, as I wasn't prepared to do a smoke right away. You've given me a lot of useful info that may help improve my results. Thanks!
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Field Marshall
Nice write up.
Now where do you live again?:)
We love us some brisket here in DFW.
 
Old Onkyo

Old Onkyo

Senior Audioholic
Nice smoker, I was looking at that the other day, but is you smoke two types of meat m, won’t one drip on the other?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Sounds awesome, @Swerd. Putting me into a brisket mood, and due to go into town soon where I might find such meat (never saw one in our local supermarket altho I haven't asked).

I saw an interesting episode of The Chef Show (Netflix offshoot of the Jon Favreau movie "Chef") where they had Aaron Franklin on showing how he trims brisket....very interesting, plan to watch it again before I attack my next grilling.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
Lol that sounds just less appealing than the porked turducken. You ever cook camel?
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
Lol that sounds just less appealing than the porked turducken. You ever cook camel?
Hell no! :p Its just a fun recipe to share! Nobody believes it when you say it out loud! HA!

I did make, for a winery Thanksgiving timed event, a Turducken Crepinette... basically Confit of Turkey, Duck and Chicken Thighs+Legs, each done individually, but cured with the same warm-holiday spices and herbs, then picked apart and made into Rillettes with the addition of Butternut, Dried Cranberry and Hard-Toasted Pecan, shaped into small patties and wrapped in Caul Fat. Seared to heat through and cook out the Caul Fat wrapping, I served them with a little Fresh Cranberry Mostarda.
It was pretty hilarious telling all these snooty juice-heads that they were eating Turducken paired with our top-tier red! In all, one of my finest moments. ;) I wish I could remember at this point the other 3 recipes in this progressive pairing... I know it was a Quiche, and Soup shooter, and a Pie (details escape me some 4-years later), all paired with our wines: A 4-course Thanksgiving meal in 8-12 bites. Wish I had the photos. *Shrugs Oh Well!
 
Dan

Dan

Senior Audioholic
Well I was there with big brother Swerd and it was most delicious. Plenty moist and smokey. I liked the sauce variation too, nice and thick. Thanks again, it was most welcome, since I currently don't have the ability to make one myself.And thank Bon for the huge helping of leftovers she sent me home with! Yum!
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
The morning after… The briskets were great – thanks Dan.

Yesterday, about 3 pm, I brought the two briskets and one grilled chicken into the house, and headed for the shower. It was 92° and very humid yesterday, I'd been up since 6 am. Never did get any photos.
I've only smoked one brisket before and, although it was tasty, it wasn't as tender as I would have liked. My wife just picked up a brisket and I had to put it in the freezer, as I wasn't prepared to do a smoke right away. You've given me a lot of useful info that may help improve my results. Thanks!
The amount of salt in the dry rub is key. You also have to cook the meat until the internal temperature is about 190°F or 88°C. Because I take out the internal meat thermometer when I wrap the meat in aluminum foil, I never know the final temperature for certain. But the books say brisket needs about 190°F to be tender, and I know it gets tender the way I cook it.

Good luck with your efforts. And please let us know your results. I know this recipe has worked for myself, Dan, and at least one other. I'd like to know if it works for you too.
 
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
It's July 4th weekend and it's time for a cook out. It's been a few years since I smoked some brisket, and I was specifically asked by my son and daughter to please, please do it. Naturally, I thought I would document it here :). A few days ago, I thought I would take photos, but that idea got overlooked at 6 this morning. I rolled out of bed at 5:50 am, had the fire lit and put the meat on to smoke by 6:50.

On Tuesday I bought two large briskets at Costco. The two smallest ones I could find were 7.6 and 8.6 lbs. There were more that were 9+ lbs :eek:. These were brisket flats, not the packer's cut which includes the point. At Costco, the brisket was $6.89/pound. As I found later, there was a lot of fat – maybe a total of 1 lb. – on these I trimmed off. Whole Foods also had large brisket flats that were very nicely trimmed, but they cost $10/pound.

I have found that there are two kinds of fat on brisket. The softer fat comes in thin sheets, and can render nicely as the meat is cooked. Thicker layers of hard fat which doesn't render, must be cut off. Some people love the fat, others would rather eat lean meat. I like it lean, but I understand that some fat is needed to keep the meat from drying out. Too much fat prevents the smoke from entering the meat. So, I've found the fat layer should be less than ¼" thick.

On Thursday, I trimmed most of the fat off the meat, measured to see if each was small enough to fit on 18" diameter grill racks. I had to cut one end off the larger flat so it fit. And I covered the meat with dry rub and pressed it in. Then I refrigerated the meat in a large covered plastic box. This recipe (from Legends of Texas Barbecue by Robb Walsh, page 218) makes enough for two large brisket flats:
  • 3 Tbl spoon Sea salt or kosher salt *
  • 2½ Tbl spoon Dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbl spoon Paprika
  • 2 tea spoon Dry Mustard
  • 2 tea spoon Garlic granules
  • 2 tea spoon Onion granules
  • 1½ tea spoon Dried basil
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground coriander
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground savory
  • ¾ tea spoon Dried thyme
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground black pepper
  • ¾ tea spoon Ground white pepper
  • ⅛ tea spoon Ground cumin
* Note about salt: The original recipe in the book called for ¼ cup (4 Tbl spoons) of salt. It made the brisket nice and tender, but it tasted too salty. My brother tried 50% salt (⅛ cup, 2 Tbl spoon) and the meat didn’t tenderize despite plenty of extra cooking time. He later tried a kosher brisket (brined with salt water), dry rubbed it with 50% of the salt in the original recipe, and it did get tender. It seems the salt in the rub or the brine soak helps to keep moisture inside the meat during cooking. Apparently, this is needed to get it tender. Finally, I tried 75% as much salt (3 Tbl spoon) with a non-kosher brisket and it was just right.

Liberally cover the entire surface of the meat with dry rub mixture and press it in. I let meat sit refrigerated in rub overnight. One hour is said to be OK, but the shortest time I've done was overnight.

Smoke for 3-4 hours at about 250° F (±15°). Then wrap meat in aluminum foil and cook 3-4 more hours. I use a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) smoker with a water pan. I used an electronic meat with two probes, one as a meat thermometer and another to monitor the top rack temperature in the smoker. The remote electronic meat thermometer I now use is a ThermoPro TP08 Wireless Remote Digital Meat Thermometer.

I poured 1 large starter chimney of unlit hardwood charcoal into the fire bowl. Then I refilled the chimney, put 3 pieces of crumpled newspaper underneath, lit it, and after ~15 minutes added the lit charcoal on top of the unlit charcoal. I added cherry, apple, or pecan wood chunks, at least 6-8.

I assembled rest of smoker with water pan and meat on two racks and lid. Fire/heat resistant gloves are useful. Smoke for about 3-4 hours at ≤250° F. Every hour, stir the charcoal to clear away ash. Add charcoal or wood as needed. After that, I removed meat, making sure to put the lid back on so that fire didn’t heat up.

After 3-4 hours, use 18" wide heavy duty aluminum foil to wrap the meat so it’s sealed inside the foil. A single layer of foil can stick to the smoker rack and tear when you remove it. So, place another sheet of foil on the rack underneath it, or wrap it in two layers of foil.

Put the meat back into smoker for ≥3 more hours at 250-300° until meat is ≥190° F. Cooking longer will do no harm, it won’t dry out unless the aluminum foil tears. During this step, I add more charcoal to the fire to maintain temperature, but did not add more wood chunks or water in the pan. Inside the foil, the meat produces enough liquid to simmer & steam the brisket until it becomes tender. It does not produce that crunchy bark.

Brisket contains a high amount of collagen, a tough meat protein. It must denature (melt) during cooking for tenderness. The salt in the dry rub, plus heating to 190° is necessary for tenderness.

After cooking, let meat rest inside aluminum foil for at least 1 hour. The liquid from the meat, trapped inside the foil does partially reabsorb during this time. When you open the foil, use a large pan to catch this liquid. It’s flavored with smoke, dry rub, and the meat. I add some to a small bowl of barbecue sauce.
No pics, it ididn't happen!! :p
 

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