sliceable and juicy brisket flat

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dvuong, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Picked up a 3.75 pound brisket flat from Trader Joes yesterday.  It's probably not ideal but it's hard to find brisket around here.  It was a nice thick piece though, about 2 inches and very even.  

    I plan to smoke tomorrow using my MES 40 Gen 2.5.  I've read a ton of threads on smoking brisket, most being done on non MES units.  I just wanted to hear what us MES 40 users do to achieve perfect juicy sliceable brisket!

    Ready?  Go! 
  2. Go to a Smart & Final for briskets. I know there is one in Daly City and a couple in SF.  Full packers are usually in the $3.19-3.39/lb range.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  3. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Thanks!  There's a S&F about 10 minutes away from me.  I've never been in it so never thought to look.  :)  You're probably thinking of the same one I live close to.
  4. On El Camino Real or Mission. It's been awhile since I've gone into SF that way.
  5. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    Yep!  That's the one.

    Best Chocolatier huh?  Hmmm.. Would love to try someday! 
  6. Just finished prepping for a private event at Windy Oaks Estate tasting room in Carmel, CA this weekend.

    Saturday we'll have an ancho and chipotle infused chocolate.

    Sunday will be a raspberry, pinot noir infused chocolate truffle.

    I make custom chocolates for events all over CA.

    I'll be up in your neck of the woods in SF, on Wednesday, at Levi's headquarters.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  7. dvuong

    dvuong Smoke Blower

    That sounds amazing!  I work in Menlo Park.  Any chance you'll be in the area or ship via mail?  
  8. I'll be in San Carlos next Saturday, the 29th, at Domenico Winery(Industrial near Whipple) from noon-4:30 pm.

    Shipping this time of year is expensive, due to the warm weather. In order to have them arrive pristine and unmelted, I have to use insulated shipping containers(styrofoam) with frozen gel packs inside.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've become very adept at making the brisket you're after in my MES 30 Gen 1. It should turn out ever better in your model.

    Keep it simple. If there's a lot of hard fat you can trim it down because it doesn't render very well. But some guys don't believe in trimming any fat off at all, whether it's the hard or the soft fat.. It's your choice. I didn't trim any of the soft fat last time and I thought it interfered with bark forming the way I wanted it to. The bark was a bit spongy because of the unrendered fat.

    Choose a good dry rub whether it's a commercial rub or one you make yourself. I like applying a base coat of yellow mustard to both sides of the brisket and then applying the dry rub on top of that. For brisket I think the best wood pellets (since I use the AMNPS) are either oak or hickory. Oak on its own works incredibly well with brisket but a lot of guy like hickory. You can even mix the two. I prefer to cook everything at 235° but in the MES the controller hops between 235°-250° before if finally settles down to my set point.

    A 3.75 lb. brisket isn't that large so it's possible--depending on the temp you cook it at--to finish it up in about 8-9 hours. I'd definitely foil it when it hits the stall, which may not last that long in a smaller brisket. Typically you foil when the IT hit 160°. Guys had foil juice to add flavor and to steam and further tenderize the meat. I don't add foil juice anymore since the brisket renders so much fat inside the foil adding extra liquid makes some parts a little mushy to me. I unfoil when it's just about at the finish IT of 200°. Some guys feel the brisket is done anywhere between 185-203° IT. If you can test the texture of the meat at 190-195° where it should slice the way you want it to. I like 200° because there are parts I can slice and parts that are perfect for BBQ pulled beef sandwiches. The higher the IT the more it will pull and the less it will slice, or at least that's my experience. I also like to brush on BBQ sauce after I unfoil just to add to the flavor and the texture of the bark.

    If you decide to take the brisket out at 190-195°, I highly recommend you keep it foiled and place it in a cooler with a towel or newspapers over it. It'll keep the brisket warm for hours and further add in the recirculation of juices and flavor throughout the brisket. Bu if you can't wait, just let it rest for 15-30 minutes while tented with foil on a cutting board, then slice and dig in.

    In fact, I've found with brisket that it may not taste very smoky when it comes out of my MES but if I give it a few hours or a few days the smoke flavor starts to bloom wonderfully. Of course you can apply as much smoke as you want during the cooking process. I learned early on that too much smoke makes meat taste bitter and harsh. I always say smoke should enhance meat and not overpower it.
  10. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Rick, I thought I might mention Mesquite for brisket also. My youngest Son that lived in Texas before moving to CA, used to bring me brisket smoked with Mesquite by a friend of his and I really liked it. I still haven't smoked a brisket yet, but intend to if I can ever find a small one like dvuong found. All they have around here is 8-10 lbs and up.
  11. bregent

    bregent Smoking Fanatic

    I get brisket from S&F all the time, but Cash & Carry usually has a better selection at slightly lower prices. None in Daly City that I know of, but one in SF and another in SJ.
  12. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Jim, yes, mesquite is an excellent wood for smoking brisket. I've used it before but I forgot to mention it.  For my own tastes I really like oak. Here in the Seattle area beef brisket is all over the place. However, one store chain refers to a brisket flat as a whole brisket. But then they also call poblano peppers pasilla peppers. You can find brisket flats (weighing between 5-8 lbs.) all over the place but you have to hunt for actual whole briskets, which weigh I guess between 12-16 lbs.from what I've read. Maybe whole briskets also come in a 10 lbs. but the weight ranges I mentioned is what I usually see.

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