Brisket Less than Should be!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by shooterrick, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok I am posting this just to let ya newbies know even us old timers can have a bad day!  LOL  I didn't take pics on this one because I was operating on 3 hrs sleep and just was not up to it.  Sorry.

    The Story:  I have smoked hundreds of briskets with consistant and excellent result.  I was feeding 40 at a going away party saturday and had 2 briskets and a 10 lbs butt with beans on my Lang at 6am for 4Pm party.  Normally this would be a easy smoke but I had to grab a brisket at the last second and ran to wally world.  Nothin but corn beef brisky with only 2 unseasoned packers available.  My instinct said go some where else but I was exhausted and didn/t listen to that self thing talking to me.

    The brisket from wally world was marginal in quality when I unpacked it.  It was cooked exactly the same way as the other I had. 

    Was it tasty? Yes!  Was it tough?  Yes!  Did I make a mistake cooking technique?  No!. 

    Lessoned reinforced.  Trust your instincts and don't make decisions on 3 hrs sleep.  Luckily I had enoeph with the other up to snuff cut and the butt.  I woould have been embarrassed to serve the tough one.   
  2. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Left or Right hand brisket?
  3. gotbags-10

    gotbags-10 Smoke Blower

  4. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Left Handed Brisket

    Posted by Shingleman on July 18, 2001 at 20:44:16:

    Just remember, YOU asked for it!

    A few year back at the Texas State Finals, lovingly know as the "Meridian", several of us early birds would arrive on Thursday to get in line for the first come first serve pick of the best cook sites, to chosen on Friday.

    Thursday night was devoted to serious drinking hoping to pry secret tips out of other cooks.

    One of the better cooks there was ole Connie Baker of team "Li'l Pit Of Heaven". He was throwing back quite a few of those Mexican beers with a chunk of lime stuck in the neck of the bottle.

    Connie had so many of them lime aid beers that he was starting to smile with a pucker. As a matter of fact some of the strangers started to scook away and look at him kind of funny.

    This was when I figured that ole Connie was ripe for the prying of secrets. One of us asked him how come his brisket was so tender and always placed in the top three.

    I thought to myself, boy oh boy, if loose lips sink ships then Ole Connie is going down tonight. All got quiet as he stuffed another lime in a long neck and said that he only cooks left handed briskets.

    He explained that most, but not all, steers rest on their left side, which means when they get up they have to push harder with their right legs.

    At this point about half of the bunch mummered something to the effect of Bull Hockey and went back to their 4 or 5 different conversations.

    A few of us noticed that ole Connie wasn't smirking. Hmmm, was he onto something? Two or three of us moved closer and I told him you can't stop there. What does pushing up with their right legs have to do with the left brisket.

    Ole Connie stuffed another lime and told us that when they push up with the right legs it flexes the right brisket muscle more so than the left. Therefore the right handed brisket will be tougher and less marbled than the left, not always but usually.
    Most everyone had written Connie off as a bull sheeter and not paying much attention to me and Connie. I had to know more and asked him how the heck do you tell a left handed brisket from the right.

    As expected he stuffed another lime and I mixed another Makers. He then told me that with the fat side down, on a left handed brisket, the point will curve to the right.

    Saturday awards time rolled around and Connie took 1st brisket and Grand Champ over 180+ of the best cooks in Texas. His next stop was gonna be the American Royal.

    I think that I came in 19th with my right handed brisket. I just could not get this left handed brisket thing off my mind. When we got home Sunday afternoon I stopped to look at the cows. Four were laying down and 3 were on their left side.

    Welp, I have been raising a few head of cattle for 24 years and this got me to thinking about what ole Connie had spilled out to us that night. I phoned the kin folk in LaGrange, Texas and told them the story and asked if they would check out their herd.

    Yep, you guessed it. Only 3 out of 37 consistently rested on their right side.

    Dangnation, Connie has got it going big time. I went to 5 different grocery stores and flexed briskets to see which sides were more limber and which ones were more marbled.

    I have found that there are exceptions to every rule. There are some right handed briskets that are more limber and marbled than the lefties but for the most part I find that the majority of the best pick comes from the left handed pile of briskets.

    Another exception to the rule is that you can find a Prime Grade quality brisket that is marked Select and a Select grade marked Choice.

    My rule of thumb is Flexibility and Marbleing. Evenness on the flat end is a plus. I'm going to inspect the lefties before I move on to the right handed ones.

    Welp, there it is folks. Take it or leave it. As Jack used to say in the 1950's Drag Net T-V Detective Show, "only the facts mam".

  5. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To be honest I didn't with 3 hrs of sleep even notice the brand.  Left hand right hand briskets?  LOL  Makes sense but I will keep it to myself for fear of being taken to the looney toon farm.  LOL
  6. When I was in the Army...Special Operations...they did a study where at least 4 and preferably 6 hours of sleep is required to make "good" decisions. "Lessoned reinforced. Trust your instincts and don't make decisions on 3 hrs sleep."

    Further, at the embarassment of my Sweet Potato Queen in Wally World...I laid out all the packers avail to determine right from left hand briskets.  Of the three right hands avail, I selected the "best" one (IMHO).   When selecting a packer I ALWAYS look for a right hand.  Whether superstition or not.

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