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Quality of meet vs. cook time

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I smoked my very first brisket yesterday and it couldn't have come off any better, with one exception. It was just under 8# and, while everyone had nothing but good things to say about it, I felt it wasn't quite as tender as I would have liked it to be and was fairly average relating to flavor.

 

I used cherry wood chips in the charcoal and cooked it on my Big Green Egg. Did not open the egg the entire smoke and took it to 190 degrees before removing. Allowed it to "rest" for approximately 1 hour and it sliced up nicely.

 

My questions are; 1. if I take the temp to 195, or so, is that going to make it a bit more tender? 2. Should I be looking for a place that can provide a better cut of meat?

 

I should add, I purchased my brisket at a local, family owned, grocery store that has a complete meat department and, normally, provides us with very, tasty meats.

 

In advance, thanks, for any advice/help for future smokes. I am looking forward to smoking another brisket soon. And, plan to smoke some ribs this afternoon.

 

Chuck

post #2 of 6

Brisket isn't ready just because it hit some predetermined temperature.  It's done when it's done, and that's when you can stick a probe in and out of the thickest part of the flat like a knife through room temp butter. I'd wager that it should have cooked a bit longer.

post #3 of 6

I agree, if it's not tender, then it's not done.

 

Here are some good brisket recipes:

 

http://www.smoking-meat.com/tag/brisket

 

Hope this helps!

 

Al

post #4 of 6

Finding a better Grade of meat will cost more and you may need to travel to find it. A Prime Grade Brisket, is going to have more Marbling so will usually be more flavorful and more tender. Small family owned stores buy only what the area will support or what they can get a good deal on. In a rural area or small town, $4-6 per pound Select or Choice Brisket will move. $20 per pound Dry Aged Prime will not sell as well, if at all. Small operations will also frequently get No-Roll Beef, which is less expense than Graded. No-Roll is beef inspected to be wholesome but grade quality wise can be anywhere from below Select to Prime and it is up to you to know what to look for piece to piece or day to day. So if you are willing to travel beyond the Mom & Pop Store and are able to spend $$$ to get a higher grade, you may be happier. IMO, Going high dollar for Prime Beef Steaks or a Rib Roast that will be served a perfect Med/Rare?...Yes well worth the extra bucks. Buying Prime Chuck or Brisket that will be Pot Roast or Smoked Low and Slow? Total waste of money as these techniques were designed to take the toughest, lowest quality cuts of Beef and make them Tender, Juicy and Delicious. You are really better off looking into a more flavorful Rub, Injecting a flavorful liquid and/or Cooking the Brisket longer and serving with Au Jus...JJ

 

Many folks enjoy dipping their Beef in Au Jus for flavor and moisture. This recipe is made in the Smoker while a Beef Roast or Brisket is being cooked.

 

Smokey Au Jus

 

1- Lg Onion,

4-5 Carrots,

3-4 Ribs Celery

3-4 Peeled Cloves of Garlic

Toss them in a pan under the Beef, and let the whole deal Smoke for one hour,

THEN add 4-6 Cups Beef Broth,

2 Tbs Tomato Paste,

1/2tsp Dry Thyme (4-5 sprigs Fresh)

1-2 ea Bayleaf

Finish the Smoking process to the IT you want. 

While the Roast is resting, dump the pan juices veggies and all into a 2-3Qt Sauce pot and add 1Cup Red Wine, something you like to drink, and bring the Jus to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain out the veggies and let the Jus rest a minute or so for the Fat to rise. Skim off the bulk of the fat then using strips of paper towel laid on top of the Jus, drag quickly across to take off the last little bit of fat.

The purpose of Smoking the Vegetable for 1 hour before adding the Broth and Herbs is...The Smoked vegetables Roast in the Dry heat concentrating their Flavors and Sweetness giving the finished Jus a Richer, Deeper, Full Flavor.

Serve the sliced Beef Au Jus or thicken the Jus to make Gravy.

 

NOTE: If you are using this recipe with Brisket or a long smoke, additional Water will have to be added periodically to maintain the proper volume. Do not add more Broth as repeated addition and reduction will make the Au Jus too salty..

 

post #5 of 6
I've been working on briskets as well and from everything I've read the quality of meat is less important as being sure it cooks long enough. The best part of smoking a brisket is you get the cheaper cut of meat and it will turn out very tender. hat's not to say a better cut will not turn out better...

I like to be sure I get a cut of meat that has really good looking marble in the meat. Then I don't have much fat on the outside at all so there is less to clean out of the smoker and I still get all the flavor.

D
post #6 of 6
I've been working on briskets as well and from everything I've read the quality of meat is less important as being sure it cooks long enough. The best part of smoking a brisket is you get the cheaper cut of meat and it will turn out very tender. hat's not to say a better cut will not turn out better...

I like to be sure I get a cut of meat that has really good looking marble in the meat. Then I don't have much fat on the outside at all so there is less to clean out of the smoker and I still get all the flavor.

D
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