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A case for confit and BBQ

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    A case for confit and BBQ

    2020 was the year from hell for me. I lost my wife(passed away), job, and health(temporarily). The winter was ugly,long, and so forth. One thing I did have was cooking, and I cooked like a man possessed, and I learned some stuff which might be helpful for certain cooks that are low and slow in nature for you all.

    I had used the confit method occasionally on the job, especially for duck, as it is classic. But, I learned this method is very useful for many styles of cuisine. I used it to cook chicken before I fried it. The most tender and flavorful chicken ever. You get the idea...

    The confit method is simple: submerge your food in fat, and cook at 200 degrees till you get what you want. The meat will turn out super tender, firm, and with intensified flavors. When the meat is done and tender to your liking, cool down in the fat, remove from fat(save the fat!) and dry off a bit with paper towels. Then, brown the meat till heated through, and serve. Simple.

    I did a cook with some brisket where I rubbed and smoked the brisket for a couple hours, Then transferred the brisket to a suitable pan, covered in fat, then cooked at 200 til barely fork tender. When cool(the next morning), I pulled and wiped off the brisket. Then re rubbed minus any salt, and cooked till the bark was to my liking. About 2-2 1/2 hours.

    It was/ and is the best brisket I have ever cooked. Huge flavor, great moisture, and decent bark. Now, to be fair, I'm not a brisket fanatic, but I AM an affectionado of well cooked beef. If you want things extra smokey, adjustments should be made, but it won't be super smokey, just smokey.

    I've used this method a dozen times or so with chicken, pork, beef, and even ahi and halibut.All with good to great results.

    Full disclosure, this a pain in the butt, however very consistent and versatile. I hope you all like it.

    From Houston, Alaska.




    #2
    Deeply sorry to hear about your circumstances last year. We're glad to have you back with us. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment


    • Strat50
      Strat50 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks!

    #3
    To have all that rolled into one year must have been tough mate. My sympathies for your losses, but all Kudos to your strength to pull through all that with your sanity.
    On a less emotive note, that must have been one hell of a big pot to confit a brisket in!!

    Comment


      #4
      I am so sorry that such heartbreaking and challenging events happened to you. My deepest condolences on the loss of your wife.

      Hopefully you are returning to good health and have found another job. Even so, the dealing with all the memories as you recover must be challenging to say the least.

      I wish you well, Strat50 .

      Kathryn

      Comment


      • Strat50
        Strat50 commented
        Editing a comment
        I went back to work at my old job, 2-3 hours a day to start, using a walker...lol Then crutches, then a cane, now I'm cleared for full contact cooking. Thanks so much for the sentiment, as it does mean a lot. Peace and blessings to you and yours..

      #5
      My condolences over your losses. I know it must have been a very tough year. I hope things get better as time goes buy.

      Comment


        #6
        Thanks for sharing your tough journey with us. What a remarkable way of dealing with the adversity.

        I love how your method parallels a QVQ cook. But I can see how with QCQ that fat packs in even more flavor and moisture. I am curious about what you chose as the fat for the brisket cook. It must have taken quite a bit.

        Comment


        • Strat50
          Strat50 commented
          Editing a comment
          Salad oil. It wasn't a full brisket either, but about a third of one.

        #7
        So sorry to hear about your 2020. Thanks for sharing your cooking adventure through it, very interesting concept to consider and ties in pretty tight with some recent tallow brisket discussions. Someone needs to try the Q wagyu tallow confit Q brisket for sure.

        Comment


          #8
          I listened to your story as I read. I wish you well in the years to come.

          It seems the latest trend, although not new, is to add beef tallow to the wrap when wrapping a brisket. The Mad Scientist BBQ smokes the tallow first.

          Comment


            #9
            So, so sorry for you and losses. Tough year for sure. You said your health temporarily, so I hope it's come back and you are healthy.
            Very interesting use of confit. I have only tried it on duck and then garlic, delicious.

            Comment


              #10
              Sorry for your losses and tough 2020. I hope and pray that life goes better for you. Your method of using confit on brisket sounds appealing.

              Comment


                #11
                I am so sorry to hear of your loss and tough times. My condolences on your wire. 2020 sucked.

                On the con-fit method, which I've heard of before - it sounds a lot like cooking sous vide, but submerged in fat without a bag. How do you maintain the 200F for the fat bath? Or is the pan the meat is submerged in inside your oven or something?

                A second question - what fat do you use? I've heard of using duck fat. Not sure where I would get it, but just wondering what you use, and would beef need a different type of fat than chicken for example?

                Comment


                • rickgregory
                  rickgregory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Jim - confit is usually done in a pan deep enough to hold all the fat with the meat submerged which is then placed in an oven at 200F or so. Temperature precision to the degree (hah!) that SV maintains it isn't important. You CAN actually confit in an SV too https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-m...de-duck-confit

                #12
                rickgregory Strat50 re: SV, that was what I was wondering. Why not put the fat and the meat in a SV bath, and try for a SV heat of 200. The SV machine will really need to be cranking, and it might be better to use a cooler, or wrap the tub in towels, etc, in order to minimize heat loss.

                Comment


                • shify
                  shify commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You can quasi replicate confit via SV but you don’t need to the sheer volume of fat nor cook at 200 degrees.

                #13
                Originally posted by new2smoking View Post
                rickgregory Strat50 re: SV, that was what I was wondering. Why not put the fat and the meat in a SV bath, and try for a SV heat of 200. The SV machine will really need to be cranking, and it might be better to use a cooler, or wrap the tub in towels, etc, in order to minimize heat loss.
                Because there's no advantage to doing it via SV. You don't need the temperature precision of SV (it doesn't really matter if the fat is 200, 210 or 220F, really) and it's MUCH harder to do large amounts of meat in SV at 200, especially if you want significant fat in the bag.

                It's just so much easier to submerge the meat in fat in a hotel pan etc, cover and shove it into the oven. The Serious Eats approach is useful if you want to confit, say, just 2 duck legs. But aside from that, eh.
                Last edited by rickgregory; September 8, 2021, 01:57 PM.

                Comment


                  #14
                  rickgregory I would see a SV advantage in being able to use a fraction of the fat that is required to submerge in a hotel pan. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Instead of using a half gallon or more of vegetable oil, I could use some of my rendered bacon fat, or duck fat, etc.

                  Comment


                  • rickgregory
                    rickgregory commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If you're doing just a little meat, yes. But if you're doing, say, 2 ducks, it's not that much fat. And you can reuse it.

                  • rickgregory
                    rickgregory commented
                    Editing a comment
                    PS: Confiting a duck, say, in veggie oil won't give you quite the luxury of doing it in its own fat. Still works, but some of the duckiness is absorbed into the oil. IF you're doing this you ideally want to use the same fat as the animal your confiting. So for a brisket, I'd save the trimmings in a freezer back and render them for later use once you have a bunch. But it's a relatively minor upgrade for the OP (lots of other flavor and veggie oil still gives you the richness)
                    Last edited by rickgregory; September 9, 2021, 10:19 AM.

                  #15
                  2020 sucked for just about everyone. I hope 2021 is treating you better.

                  This QCQ could be done as a QVQ, with say, a small amount of duck fat in the bag, done at 180 for a bit longer. It's a really nice technique.

                  In her BBQ Stars courses, Ariane Daguin actually suggests grilling the duck confit, taking care with flare ups, with a claim that it's a remarkable flavor add on to the amazing confiture.

                  Comment


                  • Strat50
                    Strat50 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It would be good that way, but regular confit is very forgiving, and easy to adjust as the cook progresses. You only need an oven that is precise enough to hold that 200-225 temp. It's pretty idiot proof.

                  • Potkettleblack
                    Potkettleblack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The main advantage to the SV process here is that duck fat can be pricey... Using 2 TBS instead of enough to poach the whole legs in can be much more economical.

                    But I do agree, it's idiot proof with a decent oven. I have a giant pizza steel in the oven to help regulate the temp. The extra thermal mass reduces the swing.

                  • Strat50
                    Strat50 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You can use any "short" fat, not just duck, of course. Lard, bacon grease, vegetable shortening,etc. When you season the fat, like sprigs of herbs, peppercorns, etc., it really infuses the flavors into the meat. This takes volume, as a thinner layer of fat is dealing with surface temps and the meat too. A larger volume of fat provides greater thermal mass, which really helps here.

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