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My first brisket

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have lurked on this site gaining advice for several years, but haven't posted in a long time.

Tomorrow morning, I will be up bright and early to smoke my first brisket.  Since buying an electric water smoker six years ago, I have smoked numerous butts, ribs, chicken....  Even though I am just an amateur, my family prefers my stuff to meat we could buy at a restaurant. My son wants me to fix brisket for his family birthday get together this summer, so I told him while he is home from school on Christmas break that I better make a practice run to make sure it will turn out okay.  He is hoping for a few small packs of it to take back for meals when he returns to school.

Tonight, I rubbed it and made up a batch of bbq sauce.  I plan to get up in the middle of the night, start the smoker and get it going.  I have told the family not to count on it for supper, unless they want to eat late.  I will throw some brats on the grill for supper if and when it becomes likely that it won't be ready.  If it turns out good, my wife plans to use some of the slices to make brisket rolls for a NY Eve party Thursday night. (We have ham ready as a back-up.)

My only fear is slicing it.  I have read several accounts on this site and watched a couple of youtube videos about how to properly slice brisket.  Since I haven't done it before, I am worried about cutting it from the correct direction and am a little worried about separating the point from the flat.  I guess I will learn by doing tomorrow night.

Here are a couple of questions:

1. If I mess up the slicing and am not going against the grain, should I just chop it?

2. What will be the best way to freeze small portions of leftovers (probably 1/2 lb or so bags) for my son to warm-up in the next few weeks? 

3. What will be the best way for him to warm it?  He always does pulled pork with a little apple juice.  Would that be good with brisket?

 

Thanks for any advice.

P.S. After years of using Emeril's rub from GFS as a base and mixing it with brown sugar and Sweet Baby Rays sauce (which both tasted fine to me), I finally bought Jeff's recipes.  I smoked a Butt for a Christmas Eve get together at my in-laws using the recipes and gave a pound of bbq to a neighbor.  It was a huge hit.  I  can't see myself ever buying sauce or rub again.  I should have made that purchase years ago.  Also, on the last two Butts I have done, I have let them reach 205 degrees before I pulled them.  They have been the 2 juiciest and most tenders ones I have done.  On each of them, I have used Jeff's "The Best Mistake I Ever Made" recipe and finished them off in the oven after 8 or so hours of smoke.


Edited by TedLNancy - 12/28/15 at 7:13pm
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Here is a que view after 6 hours of smoke. I normally don't open the lid, but when I put it on at 2:00 a.m, it was too dark to get a good pic. The temperature was at 164, so I am expecting to hit the stall soon. It is chilly with a little wind this morning, so I have the smoker covered with a welding blanket to hold in the heat. I bought the blanket on eBay a few years ago and it has allowed me to smoke meat in cold or windy weather.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Here is the finished product.

This was a small piece of meat-8#'s. It cooked about 10 hours to get to 200 degrees and rested for two hours. The slices from the flat are thin, but the meat is moist and tasty. I waited until it was done to remove the fat. Next time, I will trim fat off first. I bet I removed 1-2 pounds of fat,along with the tasty crust that was on it. I would prefer that be on slices next time. I will not hesitate to make brisket again and will buy a much bigger piece for the summer family get together. Most of it is in the fridge with some drippings spooned over it. and enough for supper is staying warm in the crock pot with a little apple juice mixed with BBQ sauce. Can't wait for supper. The point just fell apart, so I just pulled it into pieces.
post #4 of 6

Sorry to get back to you to late, but hope some of this helps, putting my answers next to questions below.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by TedLNancy View Post
 

I have lurked on this site gaining advice for several years, but haven't posted in a long time.

Tomorrow morning, I will be up bright and early to smoke my first brisket.  Since buying an electric water smoker six years ago, I have smoked numerous butts, ribs, chicken....  Even though I am just an amateur, my family prefers my stuff to meat we could buy at a restaurant. My son wants me to fix brisket for his family birthday get together this summer, so I told him while he is home from school on Christmas break that I better make a practice run to make sure it will turn out okay.  He is hoping for a few small packs of it to take back for meals when he returns to school.

Tonight, I rubbed it and made up a batch of bbq sauce.  I plan to get up in the middle of the night, start the smoker and get it going.  I have told the family not to count on it for supper, unless they want to eat late.  I will throw some brats on the grill for supper if and when it becomes likely that it won't be ready.  If it turns out good, my wife plans to use some of the slices to make brisket rolls for a NY Eve party Thursday night. (We have ham ready as a back-up.)

My only fear is slicing it.  I have read several accounts on this site and watched a couple of youtube videos about how to properly slice brisket.  Since I haven't done it before, I am worried about cutting it from the correct direction and am a little worried about separating the point from the flat.  I guess I will learn by doing tomorrow night.

Here are a couple of questions:

1. If I mess up the slicing and am not going against the grain, should I just chop it? If you slice against with the grain it isn't a big deal, just helps with making the meat tender. It should be pretty easy to tell with brisket which way the grain is running, especially when it is cooked

2. What will be the best way to freeze small portions of leftovers (probably 1/2 lb or so bags) for my son to warm-up in the next few weeks? The best way is to freeze it in Vac sealed packs, but if you don't have those I would double bad in freezer bags, and get as much air out as possible. If you saved any drippings, putting that in there with it will help keep the moisture

3. What will be the best way for him to warm it?  He always does pulled pork with a little apple juice.  Would that be good with brisket?

The apple juice method is fine with brisket too, if you have it in vac seal bags, I prefer to drop them still sealed into a pot of almost boiling water, then turn off heat and let it sit till warm. this IMHO is THE BEST way to reheat BBQ. Otherwise its sort of prefetrence, reaheating still in bags in microwave works fine, or covered in foil in the oven.

 

Thanks for any advice.

P.S. After years of using Emeril's rub from GFS as a base and mixing it with brown sugar and Sweet Baby Rays sauce (which both tasted fine to me), I finally bought Jeff's recipes.  I smoked a Butt for a Christmas Eve get together at my in-laws using the recipes and gave a pound of bbq to a neighbor.  It was a huge hit.  I  can't see myself ever buying sauce or rub again.  I should have made that purchase years ago.  Also, on the last two Butts I have done, I have let them reach 205 degrees before I pulled them.  They have been the 2 juiciest and most tenders ones I have done.  On each of them, I have used Jeff's "The Best Mistake I Ever Made" recipe and finished them off in the oven after 8 or so hours of smoke.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  That info is helpful.  I was able to id the grain once I started cutting.

post #6 of 6
I notch the corner after trimming it up, before applying rub.
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