First brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by biged02, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. biged02

    biged02 Newbie

    I'm planning on smoking a brisket flat on my char-grill offset smoker this weekend and wanted some advice on the following: cooking temp, rub and duration of cook. Thanks guys in advance for your advice.
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The flat (typically labeled as center-cut brisket) will be a lean trimmed piece, and flats have very little intramuscular fat unless it is prime grade beef. Assuming you have select grade beef, as that is the most widely sold in most every grocery chain, there will be minimal fat. Keep your chamber temps reasonably stable around 220-230* as a baseline. Plan on 1.5hrs/lb without foiling before reaching finished internal temps, and bit less if you foil it @ 160* or so.

    Lean-trimmed flats are not easily smoked to a tender state without drying out. I do it a lot with good results, but let's talk about how YOU can one, without going into specifics here on how I smoke them with a vertical water smoker. For your pit, I would suggest going the foiled route @ 160* and add a bit of beef broth, or most any of your favorite adult beverages (within reason, and using a bit of good judgment), or a bit of both, can make for a really nice flavor addition while adding a bit of extra liquids, too. Now. keep in mind that a meat soaking in liquids will not necessarily translate to juicy just means you soaked it in liquid...juicy meat refers to it's own natural juices, and they are best kept under the wraps of the interior of the cut of meat...that is where you want them to much of it as you can keep in there, anyway. The idea behind added liquids when foiling is impart more flavor (if you desire) and more moisture for steaming the meat to reach your desired tenderness.. It doesn't take much liquid to accomplish this...a couple ounces is sufficient. Bringing the meat to the desired temp, and then, resting (foiled/towel wrapped/coolered)to allow those precious juices to redistribute back to the core of the meat...this is just as important as bringing the internal temps up slow, and it's all about retaining as much natural moisture in the meat as you possibly can...the more the merrier.

    For rub, less is more with brisket IMHO...meaning less spices...let that great beef flavor walk and talk on it's own. That said, SPOG (salt, pepper, onion, garlic), and in this instance, being very lean without a fat-cap, I would go with a ratio of 1:1.5:1:1.5 parts...I generally would use 2 parts onion, but with no fat I think the flavor is a bit better with less onion.

    OK, so have a  thermometer probe to check temps, as time will be irrelevant...temps are the only way for even some of us more seasoned smokers to get things out exactly when we want them out. You can probe for tenderness when reaching you target temp, just to be sure it has reached your desired tenderness. Now, as for foiling, with this lean cut, and no easy and quick way to set up specifically for a method I use, I would say yes to foiling in this case. For finished temps, take it to around 185* for a relatively tender slice...brisket needs heat and time to get tender, so no med/rare brisket, else it will still be shoe-leather, just a lot juicier.

    I think I got out what was on my mind...back again if I missed something...but I think I covered the lean-trimmed flat and what I would do with your type of smoker, were it me.

    In my sig line you'll find various brisket smokes...I know these methods because I use them, and they work for me, with my smokers, but it may give you some insight as to where I'm coming from, as well as some things to look at doing in the future, if you wish.

    Most of all, enjoy your first brisket smoke, and learn from it so your next smoke and next brisket will see some improvements. Firsts will never be perfect (in your opinion, and that counts the most), but there's no law that says you can't try for perfect, right?

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  3. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Time is a hard issue to pin down. I have seen some go 14 hours, some as little as 6 hours. My personal longest is 9 1/2 and that was at 215º smoker temp.  If you come out try, put a 1/2 can of beef brother in the foil next time you wrap.

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