Brisket Membrane?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by cityofvoltz, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. cityofvoltz

    cityofvoltz Fire Starter

    Hi All,

    So I have been smoking Brisket for well... 3 or so years.  I have probably smoked a good 30 thus far.  About 8 of which this year.  I usually use a rub out of the jar, (sugar paprika pepper onion powder etc).  This time i tried the 50/50 salt pepper with a little garlic powder.  I have used that once before, but i have NEVER had the issue I ran across.

    I know that brisket (non fatcap side) Has a thin membrane on it that is usually...never a problem.  My brisket turned out fine- not the most tender i have done, but still tender...  but it was like that membrane became a tough rind.  I could peel it off of a slice.  Hard to even bite through.  It was a dark red burgendy color.   At first i thought at some point the cooker just got too hot and i 'burned' the surface- but if i burned the surface not sure i  would be able to peel it off.  It was about as thick as like a baloney rind- and I prepped the brisket myself i Know it was not paper or anything.  

    A few pictures (of the brisket in general)  not the issue (not sure if many leftovers are present haha)

    thanks for any help,

  2. idk...never seen a brisket with a membrane on one u have any pictures of it(the membrane)?
  3. ps0303

    ps0303 Meat Mopper

    You're probably talking about silver skin as it's called.  Yes you want to trim it off but not too aggressive.
  4. cityofvoltz

    cityofvoltz Fire Starter

    below are photos of a piece from yesturday- showing the skin peeling away.  I did notice, but did not think much of it, but it had alot of silverskin on it.  Previously its never been a problem- I have purchased briskets from the same brand/ store before.  I was wondering if it was the amount of salt used in the rub- my regular rub barely has any salt in it

  5. looks like bark to me. did u spritz or mop any?
  6. cityofvoltz

    cityofvoltz Fire Starter

    i did not spritz or mop (typically i do not).  Biggest change from normal was amount of salt in the rub
  7. can you provide details of the prep and cooking process?  How long did the rub sit on the brisket before going into the smoker, how long smoked, what temp, etc.  I suppose it is possible to "cure" the silver skin - salt will pull out the moisture and make a harder bark, but I've never heard of that happening.
  8. cityofvoltz

    cityofvoltz Fire Starter

    The process:

    Brisket was opened, rubbed with kosher salt/ pre ground pepper (50/50) and within 30 minutes put on the smoker.  The brisket was an Excel packed Choice, 13#

    I cooked this one Hot and fast, starts off a bit hotter on the front end, over 325, and it coasts down to 300 then to like 275.  This brisket cooked for 6 hours.  Reaching an internal temperature of about 195-202 when I pulled it off.  With mostly charcoal (royal oak briquettes) and some pecan/oak/apple chunks/logs/logs for flavor.  My smoker set up is vertical, cooking grate about 2.5' above coal level.  No water pan in cooker. No spritzing or mopping.  I cooked fatcap down- and slid the brisket over to the left side of the cooker after 5 hrs.

    you can see photos of the smoker here
  9. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks like part of the smoke ring/bark to me from this view!

  10. cityofvoltz

    cityofvoltz Fire Starter

    thanks again all for your assistance...

    I should have added, the 'rind' in question is translucent (like a venison salami rind)  rubbery and almost elastic in nature.
  11. Well, this is outside of my experience on conditions - I always cook fat cap up and at lower temps.  All I can think of is that you somehow "cured" the silver skin since it was on top, no moisture (fat cap or mopping), good salt content, etc.  If this brisket had a thicker than normal silver skin, it is possible.  From a butchering web site with a definition of silver skin...

    "Unlike other connective tissue like collagen (which dissolves into gelatin, imparting flavor and better “mouth feel”), silver skin does not break down when cooked.  As the protein in your meat coagulates, it contracts, pulling the silver skin with it.  The silver skin becomes extremely tough and unpleasantly chewy.  Silver skin is usually easier to remove prior to cooking, and taking it off will result in a far more pleasant eating experience."

    From your description - this sounds like may have happened.
  12. humdinger

    humdinger Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think Tuscan is right, maybe you had one with thick silver skin to begin with and then the salt cured it making it even tougher and more chewy.
  13. cityofvoltz

    cityofvoltz Fire Starter

    Silverskin it is... Thanks again all for your help.  Next time i'll trim it and lose a smidge of meat and avoid the skin issue ;)

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