My first brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by chubbabubba, May 4, 2012.

  1. I've really gotten good at ribs, and have been wowing my friends and family. Now it's time for something harder. We joined a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get meat and veggies from a local farmer. The meat is grass fed and all natural. I'm kind of worried about the brisket smoke tomorrow. It is VERY lean, and the fat cap has been trimmed.

    Here are the preparation pics, I'll post the finished product tomorrow.


    It surprised me how red this meat is, and how lean it is. I'm scared it's going to be too dry. It is 3.6 lbs, so I'm estimating ~5 hours tomorrow. The plan is to put it on at ~225 until 165, then foil until ~195. Hopefully it will turn out well.


    Here it is rubbed down with mustard, this thing barely has any fat on it at all.


    Here it is rubbed down, and then wrapped it in plastic wrapped to rest in the fridge for the night. I'm excited to do my first brisket, been loving smoking meat since I started last summer. The goal this year is to smoke/grill all summer. So far so good. I've smoked ribs 4 times already, and grilled out 3 - 4 times a week so far.

    I quickly threw the rub together with what I had, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, brown sugar, and steak seasoning. Tasted pretty good by itself, so hopefully it'll be good on the meat. lol. Thanks for viewing, wish me luck and get ready for some QView tomorrow. It goes on the smoker at 2:00 PM.

    Here is the brisket 1.5 hours in, doing good so far. Got the temp down to a controllable 225 and IT is 128 so far.


    Looking good so far.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  2. Grassfed beef is fantastic. It has a much more pronounced iron taste, some folks think it tastes like liver.

    You're right about the lean, it's a risk that it may dry out, but your plan seems sound. I think dropping the temp after it's past 135 degrees IT will offer some security.

    Good luck!
  3. Thanks Moose, that sounds like great advice. I think I will do that.

    Looks like I'll have to put it on in Sunday morning. Had some plans changed, and going to see Avengers tonight. Good thing I went light on the salt, because it's going to stay in the fridge for about 36 hours. Hopefully that will mean it's nicely seasoned.
  4. I think you'll be fine.

    It takes alot of salt to mummify meat. Believe it or not, salt, brines and marinade only penetrate 1/8"-1/4" an inch of meat, and the osmotic pressure is far less pronounced on beef as it would be on chicken, fish, or veggies.

    Good luck, and enjoy the show, you lucky devil!
  5. Thanks Moose. So got up at 5:00 this morning and fired up the smoker...for some reason I could not keep it below 250 this morning. There's a cool breeze out and this thing is just burning hot this morning. So I also picked up a second wireless remote probe from my surprise and kind of annoyance the damn things are on the same frequency. So the good news is I can pick up both probes with 1 monitor, but the bad news is the damn thing as always beeping. lol. I guess you win some you lose some.

    Some more pics.

    Here's wood I'm using this morning, a big chunk of cherry and a little chunck of hickory.


    Here's the fire bucket I use to dump my ash, and refuel my fire pit quickly.


    Here's also a pic of my smoker all modded up.


    The fire pit sits on the concrete footer, and I lift the smoker onto and off of it for refueling. Also put 2 aluminum disks with holes on top and one on the bottom of the fire pit for air flow control. I need to add a gasket to give me even better control, probably why I can't get it under 250 this morning. This is the picture of it before I seasoned it very well from last year. I'll get another pic of it later today in it's current state. lol.

    Here's the pic of my modded fire pit. I cut the up part of an old rack to raise the coals up off the bottom. You can also see the holes in the bottom and my little handle to open and close the holes.


    Last but not least this is my stash of wood that I am very proud of. Cherry on the right, and Hickory on the left.

    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks great, if your worried about it being dry you might keep a good baste on it or even heaven forbid hang a bit of bacon on it!  Wonder why they trimmed it so close,  I would expect it to be a bit leaner then store bought meat anyway.
  7. I like the ventilation cut-outs on your pier block, that's a clever way to make sure your fire keeps breathing.
    Yeah, the really did a number on it, didn't they?
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Doesn't the fat on grass fed beaf tend to be a bit browner and stronger tasting?  I've never purchased grass fed beef so I don't have any experience with it but I thought the fat wasn't as pearly white as standard beef.
  9. The fat on grassfed beef tastes alot l like mutton fat. It's alot stronger tasting than the fat on grain-finished beef, and it contains more polyunsaturated and omega-three fatty acids than grain-finished. These fats have lower melting points than the primarily saturated fats in grain finished, so they'll render out alot faster in this cut, increasing the potential for it to dry out, but likely carrying off some of that gamey flavor. I've yet to smoke a grassfed brisket, so I can't say much about results, but I've smoked grassfed chuck, and it was awesome. I smoked it at 215, and kept it pretty gentle. I think I took it off the heat at about 180-187, and let it rest in foil and blankets for two hours so it would slowly reach a good slicing temp.

    I'd also been told by the grassfed packers I used to deal with that grassfed beef contains less saturated fat per pound than conventionally farmed chicken. Just a tip to those who are trying to watch their intake.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  10. I actaully got lucky on those Moose, that's how they came. They're dekblocks. Slots for 2x4s to run across, and the middle has a large square cut out large enough to fit a 4x4 so definitely perfect for what I needed.

    As for the fat being browner I don't know, my first one from the CSA. I think I may stick to buying from the store next time for brisket, that way it has a nice fat cap which is one of the best parts. lol.

    Thanks for the tip on basting Al. I foiled it at 132 degrees, before I headed into church this morning to do set up. The fire was down to 195 when I got home, threw in a new batch of coals. I cut some holes in the foil too to allow it to continue to smoke, and threw in a little bit of apple juice to help keep it moist.

    I've got high hopes for this bad boy. lol.
  11. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i will Wait for it sounds god so far
  12. Just pulled the brisket, and I think this is a good sign...I hope anyway. lol

    I only put about a quarter cup of apple juice, maybe less than that in the foil when I foiled it. Well, I started to pull the foil off of the smoker and it starts gushing out liquid. It had to have been close to a cup, and there was still some liquid left in the foil. I guess it sweated some? Should there have been that much extra liquid in there? I just threw it in the cooler wrapped in some towels. Headed back to church to do tear down, then I'll be cutting into it about an hour from now for lunch. Can't wait, hopefully it's a good surprise.
  13. Well, just cut it and tasted it. There were some goods, and some bads.

    The goods:
    1. It was moist and tender.
    2. It had a good looking smoke ring.

    The bads:
    1. It wasn't very flavorful. I put together my rub and went light on the salt, because I have high blood pressure. Even after 36 hours there was no absorption.

    2. Even with a nice looking smoke ring I wasn't able to taste the smoke. I attribute this to me foiling it so early for fear of drying it out since it was so lean.

    In all I learned a few lessons, and saw some good things that let me know I can get it right the nextime.

    1. Get meat that isn't so lean, need that fat cap to keep it moist so I don't have to foil it so early.

    2. Add more salt to the rub. Not an excessive amount, but enough to help with the penetration of flavor into the meat.

    Thanks for the help guys. Here are the pics.


    The smoke ring looked pretty good.

  14. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice looking brisket.  I believe the foiling liquid will take the surface rub off. 

    Yea, I think you can go a bit longer before foiling,  you may want to consider the bacon thing next time you get one that lean.
  15. Looks pretty good though!
  16. Thanks all. I may try the bacon next time, and I realized afterwards that I didn't need to put liquid into the foil...well it was a lesson learned and I will get it better next time.

Share This Page