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New to Brisket

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Entering the world of briskets....... I have gotten pretty good at smoking pork and enjoyed it but now the best half wants Briskets..... A few questions I would love answered. (I realize if I search I will find this but if you mind answering again I would thank you in advance) 1. Best size to look for when picking one? (how many pounds)

2. I hear about trimming them.... do you really need to

3. Wrapping in foil? Should you. At what temp do you wrap in foil. I never use foil with pork and it turns out great.

. 4. Whats the best finishing temp for brisket....

5. and the stupid questions of they day.... what is mopping meat.

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by psouthwick View Post

Entering the world of briskets....... I have gotten pretty good at smoking pork and enjoyed it but now the best half wants Briskets..... A few questions I would love answered. (I realize if I search I will find this but if you mind answering again I would thank you in advance) 1. Best size to look for when picking one? (how many pounds)
2. I hear about trimming them.... do you really need to
3. Wrapping in foil? Should you. At what temp do you wrap in foil. I never use foil with pork and it turns out great.
. 4. Whats the best finishing temp for brisket....
5. and the stupid questions of they day.... what is mopping meat.
You'll get a few different answers here.... but here's my method.
If fat cap is much thicker than eighth to quarter inch I'll trim a little. If you want to leave it you'll find when its ready to serve you can simply use a knife edge to easily scrape off the fat. My cook temp is 250 to 260. I only wrap after the IT gets to about 200 and then double foil it with a little foiling juice, wrap in a towel or blanket, and then in a cooler for a couple hours minimum. This when the magic really happens to get a nice, moist, tender brisket. Mopping meat is to use a thin sauce or mopping liquid and dabbing it on the meat with a meat mop. Instead of mopping I tend to spritz with a spray bottle although with brisket I rarely see a need. But I'm a great beleiver in letting beef flavor shine on its own. If you want to see what works for you try the mop, but remember every time you open the cooker you let out moisture and delay the finish time. Just remember to be patient and it will be fine. Best of luck.
post #3 of 6
1. I think whole packers are best to smoke, 10+ lbs. The smaller flats are a little tricky to keep from drying out.
2. You don't need to and you will hear all different opinions on this. "Don't trim", "Trim all but 1/4" or 1/2"", "Trim all the fat". That is how I do them, trim all the fat, I like the rub to get right on the meat and not on the fat that I don't eat and will throw away anyway.
3. Again you will hear both ways about foil. I don't foil because I like a good bark. Foiling will speed up the cook time and help push it through the stall. Most people will foil around 160*.
4. About 190*-200* for slicing and up to 205*+ for pulling. The real test is when it gets around 180* to start doing a probe test AKA the toothpick test. Using a toothpick or sterile probe start sticking all around the brisket and when it slides in like going into hot butter with no resistance it is ready.
5. Mopping is just coating the meat with some type of sauce or liquid with a brush every hour or so as it cooks to add some extra flavor.

Here is an excellent thread about smoking a brisket:
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/141647/brisket-with-wet-to-dry-smoke-chamber-q-view-method
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by psouthwick View Post

Entering the world of briskets....... I have gotten pretty good at smoking pork and enjoyed it but now the best half wants Briskets..... A few questions I would love answered. (I realize if I search I will find this but if you mind answering again I would thank you in advance) 1. Best size to look for when picking one? (how many pounds) I prefer about 12# do a bend test on it to see how it bends. If more is needed add a second or third brisket...That's not to say smaller or larger won't be good eating!

2. I hear about trimming them.... do you really need to I only trim the really thick fat.

3. Wrapping in foil? Should you. At what temp do you wrap in foil. I never use foil with pork and it turns out great. I never foil till I remove it, Then sometimes I towel it to keep the bark.

. 4. Whats the best finishing temp for brisket....I start using a tooth pick when it hits 185° when the tooth pick goes in and out without resistance it is tender. Some 185° some 200°

5. and the stupid questions of they day.... what is mopping meat.mopping can be anything from apple juice to a mix of what ever you like It adds flavor and moisture. It also has the bad side effect of you slowedit down by opening the door and let the smoke and moisture out.

Happy smoken.

David

post #5 of 6

Paul, morning.....  Below is a method Eric put together after much experimentation....  I have tried it and it makes a great brisket...  

There are hundreds of methods for cooking brisket and you have to start somewhere.....     Dave

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/141647/brisket-with-wet-to-dry-smoke-chamber-q-view-method

 

 

EDIT:   we all think alike.......


Edited by DaveOmak - 8/4/13 at 12:33pm
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by psouthwick View Post

Entering the world of briskets....... I have gotten pretty good at smoking pork and enjoyed it but now the best half wants Briskets..... A few questions I would love answered. (I realize if I search I will find this but if you mind answering again I would thank you in advance)

1. Best size to look for when picking one? (how many pounds)

Depends on your smoker and personal preferences. If you want to smoke a whole brisket (packer), they need a large grate space, so unless you have a wide-body vertical or a horizontal/offset smoker, a packer is not the best choice unless you separate the point/flat muscles before smoking. A center-cut (trimmed flat) will fit on most vertical smoker grates.

 

2. I hear about trimming them.... do you really need to

This is also a personal preference. Some leave the fat-cap intact, some trim lean, some trim to leave a predetermined amount of thickness. I prefer lean-trimmed to allow for more smoke reaction with the meat (fat hinders smoke penetration/smoke ring). To go along with lean trimmed, I use a wet-to-dry smoke chamber humidity.

 

3. Wrapping in foil? Should you. At what temp do you wrap in foil. I never use foil with pork and it turns out great.

Many foil at around 165* or up to 180*. This will reduce bark formation, or keep the bark soft after formation. I no longer foil brisket when using a wet-to-dry smoke chamber.

 

. 4. Whats the best finishing temp for brisket....

For a basic brisket smoke (packer), you can separate the point/flat muscles mid-smoke smoke, as the flat will finish before the point. For sliced, the it should be tender around 185*, give or take...probe for tenderness before resting. If you want to pull the point, take it to 200-205*, again, probing for tenderness before resting.

 

If you wish to make Burnt Ends from the point, I like to rest it after reaching the upper 150* to lower 160* range. Rest for 30 minutes or so and cube to 1" to 1-1/4", toss in a light coating of sauce and return to open grates in the smoker for 2-3 hours @ 225* until the edges and some of the sides are crisp.

 

5. and the stupid questions of they day.... what is mopping meat.

Mopping is basting with a blend of spices and liquid of your choice, simply put. It adds moisture and flavor to the surface of the meat. The added moisture aids in smoke penetration. Generally, it is used with horizontal/pit smokers which do not have a fixed source of water (water pan) to increase the smoke chamber humidity. Mopping causes heat loss and increased cooking time due to opening of the smoke chamber, so keep that in mind if you plan on mopping. I don't mop...I let the water pan do its thing, then let it run dry about half-way through the smoke to bring it all home.

 

If you'd like more info on the wet-to-dry smoke chamber, go to the Wiki article, HERE, or directly to the Brisket thread, HERE. I advocate the wet-to-dry smoke chamber method only because I have consistently good results with it.

 

For a basic packer brisket with burnt ends:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/120558/come-back-smoke-double-packer-briskets-burnt-ends-taters-in-the-vault-q-view

 

Pulled point and sliced flat:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/105105/i-dream-of-brisket-big-brisket-progressive-q-view

 

There are a few more variations to brisket in my signature line as well, if you browse a little.

 

PM me or ask here if you'd like to know more on any of the above.

 

 

Eric

 

EDIT: I see a few of our fellow smokers have beat me to it...too many distractions here and I type too slow, I guess...LOL!!! Thanks fellas!!!

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