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Brisket virgin (sort of)

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    Brisket virgin (sort of)

    Hi everyone, I’m currently smoking my first brisket and want some moral support!

    I’ve previously had great success with pork ribs and butts (I now get grief at work when I don’t bring a couple of butts in for my birthday) and even a whole leg of lamb, but I’m now going all in to prove I can do brisket too. Due to an accounting error, I managed to pick up a 4lb point end for £3 ($4) from my local butcher, so I’m not too worried about the investment, but I’d still like to do the best I can.

    So far I’ve been following Meathead’s advice - dry brine overnight, rub with his beef rub, onto the smoker (a gas [forgive me] Landmann Smokey Mountain), fat down over a water bath, at around 250F. It’s been on for 90 minutes and is currently at 141F internal, but my two big questions are:

    1. Do I need to wrap it? I’m seeing conflicting advice, and don’t know whether the water bath has an influence, abd

    2. Assuming yes, should I wrap (it’ll be foil) during or after the stall? Again, I’m seeing conflicting opinions.

    Any advice would be appreciated. I know I’ll have to decide what works best for me and my smoker by trial and error, but a nudge in the right direction would help before I go in completely the wrong direction!

    (picture is just after loading up)
    Attached Files

    #2
    Hi there. Since everyone else is asleep still I may as well chime in.
    I wrap when the brisket has color I am looking for. With a baby brisket like that It will cook fast, so I would not bother.
    Don't worry about the stall , just keep plodding along at 250f. Start probing when it gets above 195, but don't take it over 205f.
    Last edited by Ahumadora; April 26, 2020, 07:20 AM.

    Comment


    • texastweeter
      texastweeter commented
      Editing a comment
      Wrap when bark is set, and is the color you desire. I start checking at around 190° myself. I smoke in gas a LOT, no shame. Got 15 butts over hickory and gas right now.

    #3
    That looks like a flat.

    Comment


    • Ahumadora
      Ahumadora commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Maybe those English cows are a bit mutated.....

    #4
    Thanks for the help guys. I’ll defer to your knowledge on flat vs point - it was labelled as point in the shop, but you obviously know brisket cuts better than my butcher does!

    i realise that asking a primarily US forum for advice in the middle of the night your time for isn’t the cleverest thing to do, so maybe next time I’ll give myself more time to play with.

    I managed to find some paper in a drawer, so wrapped it at about 165. It’s now just north of 180, so another ten degrees out so and I’ll start proving it to see what it feels like. Here’s hoping it not a complete disaster …

    Comment


    • Mosca
      Mosca commented
      Editing a comment
      My experience is that it will come out pretty good either way. They are just different paths to reach the same end point. After trying both, I decided that my workflow fits with wrapping. (To explain, I start with figuring when I want to serve dinner, and then work backward to when I want to start cooking. If I don’t wrap, then I have to wake up in the middle of the night. So,I wrap!)

    • Razor
      Razor commented
      Editing a comment
      Don’t worry, there are a lot of members here from your side of the pond.

    #5
    Wrap or not to wrap...most wrap to get past the stall. Probing will give you the answer to being done. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Comment


      #6
      One thing I like to do on big cuts like that is a trick I learned here, put a chunk of wood underneath in the middle so that moisture doesn’t pool up in the middle of the meat.

      I’ve been having mixed results cooking briskets at 225° in my WSM, especially in the winter, so I’m going to start using 250° as my target temp. Other than that I follow Meathead’s recipe to a T.

      Let us know how it turns out!

      Comment


      • HawkerXP
        HawkerXP commented
        Editing a comment
        You mean under the meat, on the same rack? Ahhhhh.

      • texastweeter
        texastweeter commented
        Editing a comment
        hairy soo black belt trick right there.

      • Razor
        Razor commented
        Editing a comment
        HawkerXP, ya that! 😄

      #7
      OK, my little flat’s been on for about eight hours, wrapped for about 5, and is up to 196 at the thicker end. I’m just gently warming a dish to rest it in in the oven (just so the meat doesn’t go straight against cold china) then I’ll place it in a cooler with a load of towels for a couple of hours, and see what I’ve managed to produce.

      The reason I said in the title I’m only sort of a brisket virgin is I’ve tried once before and it was far from a success - it came out like shoe leather. However, I think I know where I went wrong last time. I cooked to 203F and laid it up to rest, but I thought (stupidly) I could rest it in the oven on low rather than in a crambo to stop it “going cold”. To add to my error in judgement, I set the oven incorrectly - I’d read that 140F is a good temperature to serve brisket after resting, so set the oven to 140, because that way it won’t “go cold”. Genius, right?

      No.

      Because I have a British oven, which is calibrated in C, not F. So, after diligently tending my first brisket to Meathead’s ideal temperature, I took it out of the smoker and dumped it in the oven at 280F for a further two hours. All I can say was the bark was spectacular.

      Comment


      • Razor
        Razor commented
        Editing a comment
        We all do dumb things from time to time. Early on while making jerky I forgot to push my ambient probe all the way in to my WSM. I generally run it with a fan controller.

        The whole time I thought I was at 170 but the fan was running at full blast because was 70 outside. The WSM was at 300 when I went to check on it. I had meat flavored hard rock candy by he time I caught it. 😂

      #8
      So here’s the finished article after testing for 90 minutes I think it’s slightly overdone, but far better than my last attempt, and still edible even if it isn’t competition standard. I’m really happy with the results, and I’ve got a couple of tips for next time too - when resting I put it fat side up, because I thought the juices would run round and marinade the whole piece. That may have been true, but when I unwrapped it there was a lovely bark on the fat cap and the bottom of the meat was wet where it had been sitting in the juice, spoiling the bark. next time I’ll rest it fat side down, and probably run the fat more before I start as well.

      Thanks for the positive support, I might be a bit more active here in the future if I need any more help!

      Attached Files

      Comment


        #9
        That's a flat. I always inject the flat. Mine go straight from pit to cambrio. I crutch in paper, then wrap in foil when it goes in cambrio. I never smoke just a flat, unless I have cured it and made pastrami.

        Comment


          #10
          Looks like a good cook from here! Great job, and I hope to see you in here more often.

          Comment


            #11
            Nice work! If you can obtain some untreated butcher paper (it's usually pink or peach in color), that will give you the benefits of wrapping while also absorbing a lot of that liquid that accumulates in foil and softens the bark.

            Comment


              #12
              That’s pretty good for an early effort. Every brisket is different. The only way to get good at them is to do a lot of them, and that is a good thing!

              Comment


                #13
                Takes a lot of bad briskets to make good ones.

                Comment


                  #14
                  Nice cook.
                  Lots of great advice here so I'll keep my bad advice to myself....

                  Comment


                    #15
                    Looks good to me! Congrats!

                    Comment

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