Need help defrosting briskets..

Discussion in 'Beef' started by philh, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Any help would be appreciated. My wife & myself are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this weekend. We figure about 30 people are coming. We decided to have a BBQ, keg of beer & a Margarita machine going with good country music in the background.

    I bought 4 full size packers at Walmart a couple of weeks ago. I froze them in our freezer & now want to thaw them out. They weigh about 46lbs.

    I put them in the fridge last night & they are still hard as a rock. I want to start smoking them Friday night so any suggestions would be helpful on the best way to get these things thawed out.


  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I pulled an 11#er out of my freezer at about 5:00 tonight, put it in the sink and filled it with cold water, it is thaw and thanks for reminding me I need to go put it in the fridge.
  3. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Just leave them in the sink and they should thaw by Friday morning. Separate them as much as you can so warm air can circulate the entire mass.

    You could defrost them in the microwave very carefully.

    Congrats on 25 yrs!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2012
  4. big dee

    big dee Smoke Blower

    I would put them in the sink and check them often so as not to defrost too much. Lesson learned on a pork shoulder that sat out to long and went bad.
  5. Yes I would set them in sink and keep an eye on them then put em back in fridge when thawed and still cold
  6. With a keg of beer and a Margarita machine, will anyone notice food? 

    Best thaw I know of is the sink.  Cold water only.  Set it to drain just as slowly as the water is going in, since even cold water is a lot warmer than the big ice cubes you're trying to thaw.  If you have a huge stock pot, set the roasts in there and you won't need to worry about the drain overflowing.

    Four full sized packers for 30 people?  Way too much meat.  We are talking full packer briskets?  One should do you, two would give you a safety margin and room for seconds and something to send home with folks.  You must have a huge freezer to hold 4 packers. 

    If you're talking pork butts, one pork butt will feed about 12, so then you might need 3 or even 4 of those.

    So, where is this party and when should we arrive?
  7. I might have gotten the terminology wrong on the briskets. They are the full size ones you get at Sam's or Walmart. They weigh on the average about 11 lbs each. All four weigh right at about 46 lbs.

    I thought that if the flat & the point were connected then that would be a packer brisket. Sorry if I got that wrong..

    I just got a small freezer. 5.0 cubic feet. It would probably hold about 10 of these.. It works good though..

    I have a friend of mine who is coming from New Braunfels, TX is bringing me 10 pork sausages for the event. These are full size loop links. Your right I will probably have way too much food. 30 people are the people who rsvp'd. We may have some people who just show up.. I'd rather have too much food than run out.


    P.S. I'd put the briskets in the horses water tank but those crazy horses would have them strewn about the pasture.. lol
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  8. New Braunfels isn't all that far from Austin.  I spent a great deal of my summer off Lake Travis in Spicewood.  So you're a Texan.  That explains why you chose brisket.

    I've never done 4 briskets at once, but if I did I would allow a few hours extra time . . . maybe 4-6 hours, just in case they stall, which you know they will.  Start them early and you won't be worried about them being done by serving time.  Of course, there is always the Texas Crunch Method, but if you're into that you don't need any advice.

    Good luck,

  9. I went to High School in Austin.

    I plan to get the briskets on at 6:00 PM tomorrow night. I can foil & place in coolers when they get done. I'll need the space for the sausages anyways..

    I'm definitely planning on plenty of time. I know things can go haywire.. lol


    P.S. And yes Texan born & breed....
  10. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Philh, Congratulations on the 25th[​IMG]The Wife and I had our 25th in Dec. and will have the doings in June(weather).

    About the Briskets , you may have already solved the problem , but if not...

    keep them in cool running water , it should not take over 8 hrs. or so...  but even though the inside is still a little crystally, you can still smoke it...the object is to get the outside 1/4" or so to 145* in 4 hrs. So start out a little hot (300* ) then after an hour , place your probe in the deepest part of the Point and lower the temps. to 225* for the remainder of the cook. You may get a little better Smoke ring being it was cooler going in...

    I do a lot of Briskets during the Summer and always take them from the Refrigerator right to the Smoker ; and sometimes I swear there is a little ice in the middle , but they come out great each time , even when I do a bunch :[​IMG]

    Anyhow, have a great Anniversary and....
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    When defrosting you have two SAFE choices...In the Refrigerator or in a Container/Bowl or Pot Submerged in cold Running Water. The Microwave will ruin a piece that large and just sitting them in the sink to defrost can lead to bacterial growth...Thirty people with Food Poisoning does not make for a fun Party! 46lbs of Brisket will yield around 28lbs of cooked and trimmed Brisket. That is easily 2X what you will need for 30 but I agree, better to send them home with Leftovers than Hungry...Congratulations on your 25th...JJ
  12. Thanks everybody for all of the replies.

    We decided to use the bathtub & have the cold water running. 2 thawed & 2 more to go.. lol


    P.S. We got the briskets a couple of weeks ago at Walmart when they were 1.97 a pound..
  13. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good choice on using the bath tub I do that as well I just throw them in a cooler in the bath tub and let a small stream of water run into the cooler. It can take a bit to thaw them this way but it is faster then the fridge. 
  14. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    It's like JJ has done this before?   Good advice.

    Let's here how the party went and share some pics!

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