Reality TV - Brisket from a newbie's perspective

Discussion in 'Beef' started by michaelt1959, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. michaelt1959

    michaelt1959 Fire Starter

    Ok. I know I'm a newbie (18 months).  But I don't get something.  I have done a few Briskets now. Some pretty good, some not. On average, they take least 1 - 1 1/2 hrs COOK TIME per lb. Yet, these darn reality TV spots show them going from shrink wrap to Judge in 9 hours.  Really? What am I missing????? My  gut tells me no way, but ..... perhaps better equipment? I mean, they trim like we trim. Rub like we rub. Inject like (some) inject. Yet, they go from shrinkwrap to Judge in 9 hours. 

    Am I missing something???????
  2. icyhot

    icyhot Smoking Fanatic

    Alot of them cook them hot and fast.
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Michel , there are several ways to do large cuts of meat , however (in MHO) they lack the ... Ompf that S/L does .

    Also thezse guys have "Prime" meat ,less. Fat and heat transferrs through leaner meat faster..

    Also thay cookat extreme heat 300*to350* ,doing this shuold be tried and true on the L&S. .

    They also wrap thier Brisket infoil and (essentually) Braise the meat as in. an oven .

    These are just my thoughts. , I never wrap ,foil or open my Smoker. While smoking a. Brisket !

    Have fun and . . .
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  4. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I think you will also find that a lot of the big time competition cookers also run restaurants. In the restaurant business many people cook brisket at 285-300 in order to accommodate their cooking schedules and volumes. I saw a video online with Rick Schmidt of Kreuz Market and he said that he cooks brisket at 325 for 6 to 6 1/2 hours because he's too impatient to spend 12 or 14 hours cooking brisket. Even Aaron Franklin cooks his brisket at 275. 

    Also, in the KCBS competitions, for whatever reason, the judges seem to prefer brisket (and all meats really) that most of us would consider too tough to eat. They don't like the super tender fall apart brisket that us normal people like. 
  5. michaelt1959

    michaelt1959 Fire Starter

    I sometimes wonder if those judging standards in the TV competitions - i.e., "ribs that don't fall off the bone but rather must be lightly bitten off the bone" and "Brisket that slightly folds but does not break" - are standards set in the interest of (TV) time.  Like you say, I have yet to cook anything for anybody that they don't want as tender as possible, including ribs, brisket, pork of all kinds, etc.

    This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be asked to Judge a regional sanctioned competition. 22 entrants. In talking with the judges - all  laymen like me - was "the more tender, the better" on all meats.  So, I made the decision last weekend to throw out the reality TV competition standards and simply go for as tender as possible on everything I cook from this point forward.

    Which means .... 12-18 hour brisket!!  
    boboso likes this.
  6. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Those are actually the judging criteria for KCBS competitions. Which is why I don't place much stock in KCBS or Kansas City style barbecue.
  7. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I cooked a brisket two weeks ago that only took 9 hours on the WSM. A whole packer 13.8 #. i ran temps high all night(higher than i meant to) 270-295. i planned on like 12 hours but it reach a temp of 198 degrees IT in little more than 9 hours. I wrapped 6 hours in. I think by KCBS standards it was over cooked anyways. but everyone liked the fall apart tenderness and the flavor.

    phatbac (Aaron)
  8. eh1bbq

    eh1bbq Fire Starter

    Personally, I MUCH prefer ribs that don't fall off the bone. The meat is completely overcooked and mushy at that point. It sticks to the roof of your mouth. It's terrible mouthfeel.

    Also, for the record, the KCBS really only suggests the pull test for brisket in it's judging criteria. No fold or flop test. Why? Tenderness can be faked through creative slicing. And since the KCBS does not have a thickness standard for sliced brisket, this eliminates any "faking" of the tenderness or doneness of the meat.
  9. michaelt1959

    michaelt1959 Fire Starter

    I agree with you on your tenderness comment .... there is a point where it is indeed "too tender". 

    Interesting trivia on the KCBS brisket standard.  Can you share how to fake tenderness via creative slicing? One never knows when it  may come in handy! Also, the more I learn the better.

    Thanks in advance for your comments.
  10. eh1bbq

    eh1bbq Fire Starter

    It's actually very simple. Slicing thinner can cover up undercooked brisket (thinner meat is easier to chew). Slicing thicker will cover up overcooked brisket (thicker pieces won't crumble). Great little trick for home cooking. The problem with this thought in competition is that no brisket can really evade the pull test. Either it pulls apart easily at the connective tissue (properly cooked) or it doesn't.
  11. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    1/4" to 3/16" thick is normal. I hate going to a barbecue restaurant and getting "slices" that are an inch or thicker. At that point it's a slab not a slice.

    I also hate brisket that is sliced razor thin, or shaved on a deli meat slicer, as does a certain barbecue restaurant in Pryor, Oklahoma. That's how you use creative slicing to cover up undercooked brisket.

    I want my brisket to be tender enough that I can easily use the side of a fork to cut it, not have to use a steak knife to cut it.
  12. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

  13. jcbigler

    jcbigler Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Yep. I had not eaten there in 7 or 8 years. Went with my daughter a couple of weeks ago. As soon as I walked in, I remembered why I haven't eaten there. Shaved brisket (stored in a large crock pot with tin foil cover), dry, no smoke flavor and probably a fake smoke ring too. Their brisket is only $13/lb, which is a good $3 or $4/lb cheaper than most other barbecue places in NE Oklahoma, which I think says a great deal about their quality.

    They also use cafeteria style service, which I find revolting. Give me sit down service or counter service.

    They do have good potato wedges though.
  14. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    Back in the day when they were a little shack in front of the cattle auction it was good food. Since they moved (and changed ownership I don't know how many times) it has been pretty disappointing.

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