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Small Brisket Question

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    Small Brisket Question

    A local farm raises grass-fed and pastured beef that is superb--well-marbled and delicious. But the briskets that they're currently selling are only 2 pounds each. I was hoping that someone here might have insight into how the timing when smoking might have to be adjusted to accommodate such small cuts of meat.

    #2
    Cook to temperature and not time....

    Comment


    • AdamG
      AdamG commented
      Editing a comment
      That was sort of what I thought, but as a newb wanted to check. Thanks!

    • Steve R.
      Steve R. commented
      Editing a comment
      Cook to tenderness and not temperature or time. But temperature will give you an idea of when to start checking for tenderness.

    #3
    So, I think this will just take less time to get to ~203F or so. If it were me, I'd try this on a weekend when you have flexibility (Hey, dinner's at 3pm!). I'd also check to see what you get, point or flat (or do they just cut across so you get some of each?).

    Finally, these are obviously part of a larger brisket so if you like what they produce, I'd ask about buying a full packer.

    Comment


    • AdamG
      AdamG commented
      Editing a comment
      Good ideas all around. I am, in fact, going to give it a go this weekend, and the guy who runs the farm said that he'd be happy to arrange a full packer for me if I order before the next slaughter.

    #4
    We just bought a 1/2 beef from some friends who raise Dexter cattle. They're a small breed and the brisket is about 4 lbs. I think this is a perfect opportunity for SVQ/QVQ.

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      #5
      Sounds like it is about the size of a chuck roast. How thick is it? I'd cook like a chucky which is usually 4 to 6 hours for me - depending on thickness.

      Comment


        #6
        Cook to tender. 225'f.

        Comment


          #7
          That is about the size of the corned beef brisket flats I see for sale around Saint Patrick's day - those range from 2 to 3 pounds. I am sure they have just cut the brisket down into multiple small "briskets" to sale, probably all the flat, and have ground up or sold the point separately.

          I would just treat it like a chuck roast or the way I would a corned beef brisket. That means smoking until it reaches around 160F or so IT, then wrapping in foil with some liquid for a braise, to avoid drying out. If it was a full packer, I would go until it was 170 or 180 before wrapping, but the trick with something that small is not to dry it out.

          Just be aware that a 2 pound piece of brisket, even if there is no waste on it, will shrink to about 1.25 or so while cooking. I.e. the typical 30-40% loss by weight. This is not going to feed a family, just a couple people.

          Comment


          • AdamG
            AdamG commented
            Editing a comment
            You sound like a man who knows whereof he speaks. And I will heed your advice. Thank you!
            Last edited by AdamG; September 11, 2020, 08:11 PM.

          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            Haha thanks AdamG - after watching an episode of Cheers last night, I am wondering if I am just another Cliff Claven, with an opinion on everything....

          #8
          Shoot low boys, they're riding Shetlands...

          (and consider injecting a bit of beef bone stock too, before the wrap)

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            #9
            I have a side of beef and the brisket is small. I have not cooked yet, but totally agree with jfmorris here. I would wrap at 160 and braise.

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              #10
              I really appreciate all the knowledge and advice. I'm glad to be here and hope to be able to pay it forward when I haver a little more knowledge of my own to impart.

              Comment


                #11
                I tried the method at ThermoWorks for a brisket flat. My first brisket. Weighed 3 lbs. Cooked it on a Weber kettle with a Slow 'N Sear at around 250. Wrapped the brisket when is reached 160. Added 1 cup of both. Continued cook until it reached 200, then put it in a cooler for 1 hour. Total time on Weber was about 5 hours. For the first time I was very pleased.

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                  #12
                  First thing. Never tell someone you have a small brisket.

                  Second thing. Wrap with juice of choice.

                  Comment


                  • rickgregory
                    rickgregory commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It's not the size of the brisket, it's how you cook it. Right?

                  #13
                  I did itty bitty (1 and 2 lb) flats two days ago. The results were odd. Half the 1 lb was great, the rest was dried out. The entirety of the 2 lb flat was hopelessly, miserably dry. It was like round roast and not a brisket.

                  I went wrong in two ways. First, I only cooked to temperature -- 205 in the largest part of the largest flat. What I totally neglected to do was probe for tenderness. If I had done that, I might have gone longer and ended up with more "briskety" brisket.

                  I also used Steven Raichlen's brisket-in-foil-pan-with-bacon-on-top method. There's nothing wrong with Steven's method, but it does presuppose a larger (5 lb at least) and fattier flat than what I had. When I plan to do next time is incorporate some form of a true braise in foil (alas, the bark) once it hits 160. For the flats I get at HEB, which I am sure are the cheapest of the cheap, that is something I think these things will require.

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