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Labor day weekend brisket - just sharing

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thought I would share the progress on this weekend's labor day brisket. I am currently in the middle of a 4 hour stall so thought I would share some pics.

 

This is my first brisket after making some mods to my vertical offset. It''s very well sealed now and I am anxious to see how the tuning plate I rigged works.  I am bound and determined to nail this one - gotten close a couple of times, but still haven't reached that pinnacle of what many of you have achieved on this site. Any suggestions you can offer on the progress thus far is appreciated.

 

I will post more pics once through this (second) stall and when I hit wrap time (going with butcher paper this time - my first attempt).

 

FYI .... lump charcoal with pecan wood start to finish.

 

 

Seemed to be  a good price - bought 3 more of approximate same weight

 

 

USDA Choice

 

 

 

After trimming

 

 

After trimming

 

 

After 1st rub layer (T-dust, Salt, Pepper) - set for 4 hours in frig

 

After 2nd rub layer (Chipotle, Smoked Paprika, Brown Sugar, and light salt) - 4 hours in frig

 

 

Just me and the deer out back at this time of day

 

 

 

Initial load @ 430am CST once  I got to temp (225)

 

 

3 hour mark - flat - (had to load the taters and almonds)

 

 3 hour mark  - point

 

 3 hour mark - flat close up

 

 

She went from 55 internal at load to 152 in about 90 minutes then stalled.  Broke out to 165, then stalled again and moved backward.

Point on the left, Flat on the right.. Nearly 5 hours into the stall now ......

 

 

 

 

Beautiful day for a smoke 60 miles NW of Houston

 

 

The mods really helped - no leaks anymore - and hoping that tuning plate I rigged on the bottom rack equalizes the heat. Seemed to help on my ribs last weekend, but this brisket should put it to the test.

 

 

Smoked almonds. Marinated in OJ and Soy Sauce for 90 minutes. Lowest rack for 2 hours.

 

 

 

More pics to come once she breaks through this stall ......

post #2 of 19

The almonds wouldn't survive through any stall around here... :rolleyes:

 

 

Both look spot on from here... 241.png

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

She finally broke the stall .... few pics before the butcher paper wrap

 

 

 

 

A little surprised at both the color and apparent moisture? Could this be the one (pic taken on white butcher paper)

 

 

Just another angle ..... thinking this might be good.

 

 

Ok ... really starting to believe at this "point" ... no pun intended !

 

 

 

A small "loose end" fell off .... lovin' the bark and texture ..... can only hope the entire cut turns out this way.

 

More to come .... wrapped until 195 internal and then unwrapped to 200.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

And ... the end product. Very happy with the bark, color, and tenderness.  Texture, however, was just a little bit, well, "mushy" - just a little bit.  My better half didn't comment (she's just happy she did not have to cook it!) but I noticed it.

 

Anybody else ever experience that?

 

Also like the butcher paper approach ....... though it is a bear to wrap in my opinion (first time,  perhaps it will get easier?)

 

 

 

 

 

Burnt ends .....  I know, we don't "do" them here in Tejas, but we like 'em so we do 'em!

 

 

post #5 of 19
Looks great! Wish I had a brisket!
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks, B-One. The key now is to reproduce it!!

 

Noticed you are from Michigan. I hail from the great state as well, and just returned yesterday from visiting family and looked around and could not find a brisket anywhere!  What's wrong with those grocers???? !!

 

In what general area do you live, if I may ask?

post #7 of 19
On the mushy part, it could be overcooked. The longer you cook it, the mushier it should get.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelt1959 View Post

Thanks, B-One. The key now is to reproduce it!!

Noticed you are from Michigan. I hail from the great state as well, and just returned yesterday from visiting family and looked around and could not find a brisket anywhere!  What's wrong with those grocers???? !!

In what general area do you live, if I may ask?

Grand Rapids,do you live by a Gordon Foodservice cash and carry some of them carry them.
post #9 of 19

Hi fellow West Michigan folks!  I can confirm that both Port 72 meats and Sheldon Meats - both on Sheldon Rd - offer fantastic Choice grade packers.  I really like the folks at Port 72 so I usually go there.  Not only that, but Costco in Grandville regularly has PRIME grade packers at $3.00 or less a pound.  Haven't tried them yet because the flats get a bit thin from the offerings I've seen.  Port 72 and Sheldon Meat sell their packers for about $4.50lb on average.  Pretty excellent deal all things considered.

6 months ago you simply could not find any butcher in West Michigan that was carrying packers.  In addition to the two I've mentioned (which are the lowest cost), there's at least 5 other butchers I've called that are now carrying packers - including the place in Byron Center (can't remember the name but they are listed on Google Maps).

 

Good luck!

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm from St. Joseph (SW corner along the beach) and the folks there have to travel to either Grand Rapids (85 miles) or South Bend, IN for a Costco, Sam's, etc.

 

Thank God our Texas grocers all always have a couple dozen to choose from - most only carry select, but our local HEB carries Choice quite often.  Going rate around here is usually $1.99 when really on sale, up to $2.99 a pound everyday price.  Finding those Choice cuts @ $2.34 was a good deal so I loaded up on them.

 

My good friend tells me he has to $5.00 a pound in Modesto, CA - and that's when he can even find them.  Just curious, but do you by chance know the going rate in and around western MI?

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelt1959 View Post
 

Just curious, but do you by chance know the going rate in and around western MI?

 

 

Hi, I'm in West Michigan so see my post above.  :)

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi there .... and my apologies.  I missed your reference to the local price.  Sounds like there are indeed good an price competitive options in the greater Grand Rapids area.

 

Doing Root Beer ribs again today.  Did them 3 weeks ago and hope to get lucky and re-create them.

post #13 of 19
First on price, the sale price here is $4.59/pound. When they are out, I have to go to Costco and pay $5.26/pound. You guys in TX are lucky as heck.

Congrats on a successful smoke. I was worried over trimmed at first but it looks like it didn't matter. I've been taking them out of the pit at 190. depending on how thick I'm going to slice I pull earlier. If I'm thinking of pulling, I'll leave till 205.

Good work!
post #14 of 19
Looks like you nailed it, Michael!

What time is dinner? I'm not too far away from you.
yahoo.gif
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Yeah - really took a lot of fat off this time because she was so well marbled inside - and she was LOADED with fat on the outside. Did not seem to hurt trimming her so close, however.   Overall each section of each cut had the appearance, texture and flavor we wanted. I gave away a bunch to guys on the golf course yesterday afternoon and have heard nothing but positives .... finally think I nailed one (after 18 months of trying!)

 

However, one little section of that flat was a little mushy. So, I am thinking do away with the butcher wrap next time, let her heat up to 190 or 192, then let her rest on the counter for an hour or two before slicing.  

 

Leftovers today were even more tender, and the flavors all really set it. Even the teenagers noticed different flavors after letting it sit overnight. When they complement the meal we know we have accomplished something!!

 

Thanks for the insight on your approach to temps, etc. I tend to agree with you on the temps.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 


Thanks ... we are pretty happy with it overall. 

 

We are about 90 minutes apart .... you can keep me awake next time!!

post #17 of 19
Ah. Gotta love that HEB meat. Nice cook.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have found HEB to be, in general, the best price and the best quality overall unless I want to go to a retail meat market for a prime cut and pay nearly $6.00 a pound.  Someday I might spring for it, but until I get the process(es) consistent I am content with the HEB quality and price point.

post #19 of 19

As I mentioned above, I buy from two sources. The Amish market ($4.59/lb) or costco ($5.29/lb). At Costco, you have to ask in the meat section if there are any untrimmed briskets in the back. They look at you like you are crazy and ask "are you sure" several times, then someone heads back and brings you choices. After several successful briskets, there is no doubt in my MOUTH that the brisket from the Amish market is superior!

 

It is way more tender and flavorful than the Costco meat. There is a halal market in my area that sells briskets for.....wait for it $10.00/lb! I'd never spring for that considering how much of the meat I give away because I hate re-heating LMAO.

 

Anyway, I think if your temp control is fine, your rub is fine and you choose your wood well you will get consistent results. I'm very new to smoking. I've been grilling for years and I thought smoking was a hassle because of temps and smoke control. I finally got around to heavily modding an ECB and I've been sold since. I've had one bad smoke (fish with pecan wood) and I fire that baby up 3/week. 

 

Cheers and on to the next smoke. 

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