Hi everyone, the posts in this thread and the previous "smoked meat" thread have been very helpful. Thank you all for your postings, and hard work, and thank you specifically for sharing. Here is what I am looking for: I just completed my first attempt at Montreal Smoked Meat. I followed the recipe in the Mile End Deli cookbook pretty much bang on, including using about one pound of fresh garlic among the other items in the dry rub for the dry brine process. Surprisingly, the garlic did not overwhelm, as we all thought it would. It was obvious, but it did NOT ruin the final product.
Overall, I was not satisfied with the result. As everyone pointed out while we were eating 3/4's of the 14lb brisket, it was good, but not quite the same as anything from Montreal, and not the same as Estrella's, which is what we based the comparison on. I even bought a $5 sampler from them for everyone to use as a baseline. I probably shouldn't have done that.
I would truly like feedback on some of the process I followed, and here it is:
1. I brined the brisket for 11 days, just like the recipe said. No issues there.
2. I rinsed the meat for 4 hours, changing the water every 30 minutes. This definitely eliminated the saltiness. No issues there.
3. I smoked it for 8 hours at 225dF, applying 4 hours of Apple, Maple & a little Hickory, using the wet wood method. (I didn't check the temperature of the brisket at all, and I didn't wrap it.)
4. I steamed it for almost 3 hours the next day in my makeshift steamer (turkey pan, rack, and foil cover).
- The final brisket was a fairly deep pink, not the light pink I expected. (I used pink salt, and I used the correct amount).
- It tasted much more of smoke than I expected.
- The flat was not tender, it was a little chewy, and dry. (The brisket was USDA Choice, Angus stamped, bought from a wholesale supplier in Bellingham, WA.).
- The point was well marbled, and as expected, it was fantastic!! Dark pink, yes. More smoke than expected, yes. But NOT chewy at all.
- After the steaming was finished, I noticed that there was a lot of "fat" in the bottom of the pan. (Did I over do it and lose some of the fat and tenderness from the flat?)
- I stored the left overs in the fridge, and tried some of the flat the next day, and it wasn't nice at all. At this point, the "point" was gone (yum!).
So, there we have it. My process, some right and quite possibly lots of wrong. I would very much appreciate some feedback. I'm going to have one more go at this, but as someone pointed out, at a cost over $60 for the brisket, I want to get it "right", or I'll just stay with the usual fully smoked brisket, which I'm pretty happy with now.
My ideas for the next go:
- Lower the amount of garlic, obviously, maybe completely eliminate it.
- smoke with the temp probe in place, watching for 160dF.
- Smoke at 215dF instead of 225.
- Maybe wrap the brisket when it "hits the wall" at about 155dF, which it seems to do every time.
- Apply 2 1/2 hours of smoke instead of 4 hours.
- Use maple only, as some have suggested in this forum.
Ideas, Help, Suggestions??
Thanks in advance