Author Topic: Smoked Brisket first attempt.  (Read 1086 times)

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Offline livo

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Smoked Brisket first attempt.
« on: December 05, 2022, 12:22 AM »
7/10. I have to rate it fairly well as it was good, but I can't go too high as I believe there is room for improvement.  It's either that or I don't know what all the fuss is about. I imagine it is the former, since there is obviously quite a lot to learn and involved in making really good slow cooked / smoked brisket, and there are a lot of very biased opinions about what to do and not to do.  Do this. Don't do this. Do that. Don't do that.

Robbo, I'd be really grateful of your wife's recipe and tips, but here is what I ended up doing after much research.  It worked pretty well for a first attempt, and I made very detailed notes as I went so, I now have a baseline to work from next time.

I went for a "mixed" rub by making a batch of copycat Lawry's seasoning salt, which I applied over the top of 16 mesh black pepper and ground sea salt.  I used a binder / slather of American yellow mustard on the fat cap side only.  The brisket sat on the bench coming to room temperature (mild dry brine) for only about 1 hour.  On the rub I would comment that it was a bit too peppery.  By comparison to the videos I've seen, I didn't use too much so I can only assume that Texas smoked brisket is peppery.  I'll use less next time.

The cook.  I was later starting the fire than I wanted to be by about 3 hours and as it turned out, I needed the extra time.  I ended up finishing the cook in the propane BBQ with the lid down as I couldn't get the smoker temp high enough.  This is apparently ok with some people who finish them in an oven but frowned upon by traditionalists.  Oh well, it worked for me so I'm good with it.  The biggest time issue was that I did well and truly encounter "the stall" and it lasted for just over 2 hours.  All up it took exactly 8 hours to cook from room temperature to the target of 203' F. As it was later than anticipated I was unfortunately only able to give it a short rest.  This is apparently not desirable, but I don't think it did too much damage.

By all accounts this was a very small brisket being a yearling piece of only 2 kg or 4.4 lb.  At a cook time of 1.5 to 2 hours per pound it was about right to take 8 hours. It didn't have enough fat as I foolishly chose one that didn't.  This is wrong and I've learnt that lesson.

I used an ACV / Apple Juice / beer spritz every 45 minutes after the first 45 and wrapped in tallowed and spritzed peach butchers' paper as soon as the meat broke out of the stall.  You can wrap it when the stall starts and push through it faster (the Texas crutch method) but I chose to let it go by itself.

For smoke I used only 2 fairly small pieces of Pecan and 1 small piece of Cherry wood.  This was adequate and there was plenty of smoke flavour, or possibly even too much for the small cut of meat.  It carries a bit of bitterness in aftertaste.  I used the water tray to control temperature and humidity.  The problem with this is that you simply cannot raise the temperature above about 110' C until the water is all gone.  This is great for a long slow controlled cook though.

Anyway, when it was carved it was juicy inside, displayed a clear 1/4" pink smoke ring and had a nice dark bark.  Only one corner went a little dry, but I covered this with foil halfway through, so it wasn't too bad.

Just about everything I did is either recommended or frowned upon, depending upon who you listen to, but it wasn't bad at all, and I look forward to the next one.  The bonus is that I have the bigger model smoker and I was able to do a chicken in it at the same time.  I also finished this in the propane BBQ to crisp up the skin.

Offline bhamcurry

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Re: Smoked Brisket first attempt.
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2022, 05:05 PM »
my own experiences across many sessions of smoking meats, including full briskets (12 - 18 pounds of meat).

Smoke penetration only happens where meat is exposed. No smoke ring at the fat cap.

Smoke ring and flavour development happen in the first roughly 3 hours of the smoking session. After that you just need BTUs. I put the meat in the oven to finish off at that point - if you've hit the stall and you're going to wrap it, why bother managing charcoal?

A whole brisket can take 12 to 14 hours to complete. I'm not going to manage charcoal for a whole day. I'm going to stick it in the oven and go to bed  :Clown:

Most importantly: cook to temperature, not to time. Sound like you did a good job on the first one.


Offline livo

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Re: Smoked Brisket first attempt.
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2022, 07:29 PM »
Thanks bham. I appreciate your input. It did go down well and I have been enjoying the leftovers. Still a bit peppery though, but homemade bbq steak sauce mellows it right out.  Delicious and still really moist and tender.  I now would have no problem cooking and reheating.  You're possibly not too far away from where the previous owner of my new smoker is now.  His wife told me they are about an hour north from the gulf coast.

I agree that there is nothing wrong with a controlled oven to finish and apparently the Texas BBQ houses use holding ovens where the finished brisket are kept until required for serving, sometimes for long hours.  I'll be investigating this and reconsidering time of day to cook for optimum readiness at meal time.  Wow, some of those offset smokers over your way are amazing.  There's nothing like it here.

I had a very clear and well defined smoke ring all over, with my minimal fat cap but there's plenty of video showing this, even under the fat.  There is always instruction to trim the fat down to only 1/4" thickness all over however.  I'll pay closer attention when I do my next one.  I already have a supermarket piece in the freezer but yesterday I picked up a pair of lamb shoulders so they'll be up next on charcoal for this weekend. I've got a shaker of F. Whitlock & sons Zesty Za'atar rub that I'm keen to try out on some charcoal roasted lamb.

Curry usually goes slow for me in bbq season.

Offline Kashmiri Bob

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Re: Smoked Brisket first attempt.
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2022, 09:54 AM »
Zero degrees here in Birmingham this morning livo.  No chance of me having a bbq anytime soon.  Will get more curries done instead. Nice to hear Zaatar rub in use.  I came across Zaatar extra for a 100% Abdul's of Manchester shami kebab recipe.  Will be making a batch in the coming weeks.

Rob


Online Robbo141

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Re: Smoked Brisket first attempt.
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2022, 11:29 PM »
Well it turns out my missis mainly does smoked pork butt, so here’s her recipe.
Important note: the chilli powder noted in the dry rub isn’t the chilli powder we use in curry.
It’s like this, not hot: 
https://badiaspices.com/product/chili-powder-122-5/?doing_wp_cron=1670455645.4970109462738037109375

Smoked pork. It’s very forgiving and you can vary greatly and still get an amazing outcome every time. 

I take a large pork shoulder or butt of about 7 or 8 pounds and pat dry. Cover with dry rub of your choice, if you have a favorite you already make, or a commercially available one. 

My homemade starts with:
3 Tbs chili powder
3 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs Lawry’s season salt
1 Tbs cayenne
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs paprika

Then I might add additional herbs/spices as the mood strikes. You can use any that you like the flavor of, this part is definitely to your own personal tastes.

Rub on the roast getting into all the folds and crevices, then wrap (cling wrap & set in a pan, zip lock bag, or vacuum seal) and refrigerate at least overnight, up to 36 hours.

Take the roast out about an hour before to take the chill off, and then place in smoker preheated to 225 deg F. You can smoke for up to 10-12 hours until internal temp is at least 200 deg F but I don’t care for a heavily smoked flavor and think doing it that way dries it out more, plus I want the drippings, so I only smoke it for about 3 hours. Then I remove from the smoker and wrap it in 2 layers of heavy duty foil and continue cooking in the smoker, on the grill, or in the oven (I have done all 3 but more often do the oven) for another 3 or 4 hours at 300 deg F.  Internal temp should be at least 200 deg F and it should be tender and pulling/falling apart easily. 

Then I drain off the drippings into a pot and close the foil back up to let the roast rest for about a hour. While it’s resting I add a favorite bottled (or your homemade) bbq sauce to the drippings and simmer to reduce. For us, we like a slightly thinner than bottled consistency.

When ready to eat, shred the pork with your hands (or chop if you like that texture) and we include all the bark and fat and mix it so it’s all evenly distributed throughout the pulled meat. Then add some of the drippings/sauce and serve the rest on the side for everyone to add to their taste.

Missis Robbo

Offline livo

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Re: Smoked Brisket first attempt.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2022, 11:11 AM »
Thanks. I learnt the hard way that American chilli powder is not powdered chilli.

Offline bhamcurry

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Re: Smoked Brisket first attempt.
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2022, 11:32 PM »
Thanks. I learnt the hard way that American chilli powder is not powdered chilli.

also that all bay leaves are not the same.

That was one... ODD... tasting curry powder....


 

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