Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by kc5tpy, May 29, 2013.

  1. I am fascinated by this “brisket mystique” that seems to be present here.  Different parts of the country are known for different meats and or sauces.  Brisket being a Texas thing.  Growing up there smoking a packer was just what you learned to do.  I know a brisket can be tough and chewy but I want to see if we can take some mystery out of brisket.  With brisket you just throw it on, be patient, watch your temps and your smoke from the stack and come back later and take it off the smoker ( simplified version ).  We just learn to smoke brisket from a young age.  BBQ means you are cookin a brisket in Texas.  I happen to be old school.  I don’t brine.  I don’t use rubs.  I like the taste of the meat and smoke.  I have never used a meat therm. (  I recommend all less experienced smokers go by IT for all their meat! ).  Salt and pepper, maybe red pepper instead of black.  I have to special order a point end of brisket here in England.  British supermarket meat has almost all the fat trimmed off.  I’ll post a pict. of British brisket soon.  Anyway, I have always used wood ( at the very least lump wood charcoal ) as a heat source.  Do we think maybe smoking a brisket using different heat sources might be a contributing factor in the final product?  We smoke butts but we usually slice em.  Can’t beat some good pork.  Brisket seems so easy to me.  What do the members think is the reason so many folks find it hard to get a good moist tender brisket?   Keep Smokin!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
  2. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit


    This should get interesting!!

    Here in Texas, packer briskets are plentiful.  I have a friend up North Dakota who cannot get briskets very easily.  He does the best he can.  I feel blessed to be able to smoke a whole packer brisket, or a portion.
  3. Yeah!  
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
  4. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    I have found most people just don't have the patience to cook a good brisket.  There is really no secret to cooking a good brisket beyond patience.  I have used complex rubs, simple salt and pepper, foil, no foil, mesquite, pecan, oak, hickory, any which way you can cook one and as long as you let it cook long enough, they will come out just fine.
  5. link

    link Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I have never had a problem smoking a brisket myself (other that my family not wanting to share it with anyone). I do like to use a rub on it  though. I do also foil it after a bit but that is it. I have never added any liquid and it has always been delicious.

    I have found the hardest part (for me anyway) is how long it takes. But then again that is a good part of the fun for me, having to stay home all day and watch it cook.
  6. this right here my friend is exactly what i have talking to most of my friends here in OKC, they just get tired of sitting around and end up pulling it off and putting it in a crockpot or oven and sit inside watching tv...lame!!...i do briskets all the time back in texas and also here in oklahoma, and patience is something definitely needed...i mean what else do you have to do on a warm day except play horseshoes, drink beer, and brisket going on in the background....haha...
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  7. Well we have some dialogue goin here.  bruno994 you don't count.  Bein a Texas country boy you can do a brisket in your sleep.  Dig a hole in  the ground, throw in some mesquite wood, 2 bricks and the rack from the oven.  Throw the brisket on and you're cookin!  Country boy WILL have BBQ!! [​IMG]  I am REALLY curious as to what others find difficult about brisket.  Maybe we can learn those not lucky enuff to be born in God's country ( Tx ) how to cook a proper brisket. [​IMG]
  8. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I use SPOG on mine only. Beef needs Pepper.

    The best way or word to explain an underrated brisket is in a single word : PATIENCE [​IMG]

    Have fun and. . .
  9. papacurtis

    papacurtis Smoke Blower

    I have not attempted one yet. The Costco, Bjs, and Sams here do not carry the full packer. I did find them at a place nearby called Penn Dutch! Hooray!! But, they are big! I'm wondering if it will even fit in my MES 30? I am more intimidated by the trimming it out and slicing it across the bias properly than i am by smoking one. I plan on taking the plunge for the 4th of July holiday hopefully. I should have my amnps and pecan pellets by then, so not worried about having to babysit the smoke process. I really want to do burnt ends with the point as well. Now that i've gone and made myself all anxious weeks in advance, i have to go take my Crown Royal medicine! ;-)
  10. I believe we have hit the nail.  No matter your presmoke preparation just remember LOW and SLOW and hold your nerve is the key.  I also think maybe it is an intimidation thing over the sheer size.  Just think of it as a 15-20 lb. burger and get stuck in.  Those 3 things I believe will make your brisket turn out great every time.  Of course if you are using the age old timing method of "Brisket is done when the beer runs out" no problem.  Just start out with a LARGER cooler. [​IMG]  Papa Curtis, you can always cut it in half and then smoke 1/2 at a time.  I do think people sometimes over trim their brisket.  Brisket does need fat or can become dry.  I trim mine as I slice it.  I like the taste of some of that smoked fat.  Trimming it after the smoke allows the fat to first do it's thing.  Just my two cents.  Brisket just requires patience.  Some of the things you guys are doing here scare the he11 outta me.  Smoking sausage, making bacon??  That requires skill.  Am going to give em a whirl though; that's why I am about to build the new smoker.  Hope you guys won't let me hospitalize myself.  [​IMG]  Have fun and Keep Smokin!
  11. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    This has been well-addressed already, and I don't want to   [​IMG]   but the only hard thing about brisket is the amount of time required to get it right.  I'm also a KISS believer...SPOG rub, low and slow, and I don't trim much fat until I'm slicing.

  12. care to elaborate on that?..?? [​IMG]
  13. I just realized some idiot (me) posted this thread in the wrong forum.  Anyway.  Sure TurnandBurn but my elaboration would move us off subject.  I just meant I can cook a brisket almost without thinking about it but I have never made and smoked sausage and or bacon.  Corned beef, pastrami, etc.??  I find that REALLY intimidating.  You guys are doing a great job with those kind of things.  I am learning plenty from your threads.  I will be trying that kind of stuff with plenty of guidance from all the great members here.  Keep Smokin!
  14. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That depends on how you smoke it...lean-trimmed, wet-to-dry smoke chamber, no foiling until it rested:

    EDIT: had to reload pics...wouldn't open to new tab to zoom-in.

    (right-click the following pics, select open to a new tab, then click where you want to zoom...these speak for themselves)

    Sliced Flat:

    Sliced Point:

    Pulled (not shredded - hand-pulled) Point & Flat mixed:

    Some of us like lean-trimmed for healthier eating...maybe, some us of don't like the taste of brisket fat...maybe, some of us don't like the greasiness on our sliced or pulled meat likely caused from smoking with the fat-cap on...maybe, some of us like smoke and bark on all of the meat's surfaces...that's just a few reasons to go lean.

    Obviously, there is more than one way to smoke brisket, and many of us have mastered a method that we like best. I've smoked trimmed packers; full scored fat-cap, separation @ mid-smoke for BE's, sliced or pulled point and sliced flat, or, pulled flat and sliced point (yes, you can pull the flat when done correctly); and lean-trimmed pre-smoke separated...I can't think of any other ways, so I guess I've tried them all. If I want lean, tender and moist brisket with bark and smoke all the way around it, this is how I get it:

    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    It must be a Fat thing on my end...So far every time I say," Buy a Brisket." The Mrs. comes home with a trimmed to fat-free Flat, all they ever have. I add a simple rub and smoke at 200*F tried both Charcoal in an original NB Offset and in the MES, until a toothpick slides in easily. Typically 2-2.5 hours per Pound.  The meat will be tender but DRY as Arizona Asphalt! The family won't touch it until I get around to makin' Chili...[​IMG]...JJ
  16. "Trimmed to death" no fat - zero is all I can get in England without special order.  "DRY AND NO TASTE WHAT SO EVER"  I have read Eric's method of wet to dry and might just have to give that a try.  Finished product looks great to me.  Never to late for an old dog and new tricks.  I do trim my brisket; but as I said earlier I trim when slicing.  Keep Smokin!

  17. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds to me like the perfect candidate for the wet-to-dry chamber, Danny. I don't even buy flats...wife brought home a center-cut (trimmed flat) once a couple years ago...didn't know WTH I was doing back then, and needless to say, we ate dry and dusty flat for dinner that night. I can get flats, but prefer to trim it myself, as I usually save the harder fats to freeze for later grinding for a chicken salami I make. I can say with reasonable certainty that you will enjoy a lean-trimmed flat when smoked as I described with that method.
    Wet-to-dry smoke chamber should fix that lean brisket flat right up for you, JJ, and just about any other lean-trimmed meats you can throw at. If you're thinking about leaner meats for health reasons, this method will fit right into a low-fat diet, and still provide you with enjoyable dining.

    I'll put together a Wiki on this when I get a chance...just the basics and what I know about it, meats I've smoked with it, etc...until then, if you fellas have any questions on it (I put a lot of details in the brisket thread, but may have missed a few things), shoot me a PM...I'd be happy to help you get set-up and rolling with it...pretty simple to do and it yields consistently good results with anything I've tried with it so far.

    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  18. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    X2 I'll vouch for Eric's wet-to-dry method. I trimmed that brisket last weekend like only someone who makes sausage would. There is more than enough fat left inside the brisket if you smoke it this way. Perfect bark.......tender......juicy......delicious
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I smoked a full packer, flat and point Eric's method.... All the fat trimmed... It was the best tasting brisket I have smoked.... moist...  Bride was surprised I did so well.... took it to 190 ish for slicing...   With all the fat trimmed, it had a better flavor, IMHO.... YMMV.....  I don't particularly care for the flavor of brisket fat...  The intramuscular fat was plenty to keep the meat moist....     

  20. Well, if the new folk can't smoke a brisket after all this great advice ; we may as well start smokin tofu and rice cakes. [​IMG]

Share This Page