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blow-by-blow account of frst solo brisket on the SnP - q-view will be posted!

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
to all -

as you know, i helped a freind with our first brisket about three weeks ago on his weber kettle. it came out great and since then, i have been eager for antoher one. today, i bought a brisket at wal-mart (you don't want to know the price of the local stuff), and will be cooking it this weekend on the SnP.

first, i started a thread in order to get y'all's opinion on the three best flavors that, when together, compliment beef. here's the link if you would like to provide an answer:


next - this brisket is 7.38 lbs. and appears to be cut from the flat; it is well-trimmed with a little fat on the bottom and a full fat cap on top that looks to be 1/4 inc deep. it does seem to be slightly thicker at one end than the other.

for my first solo brisket, i didn't want to get the whole big packer thing as they are rather expensive up here - as it was, this was 1.86$ per pound - just out of curiosity, is that considered a good, not-on-sale price?

it was sold not frozen and i figure it will hold fine until this weekend. the date on it says it is all good until 12JUN09. if anyone thinks i should toss it in the freezer and then take it out the night before the actual smoke, say so now, but as of this point i see no reason to do that.

next - this brisket will be slow-smoked on my brinkmann SnP. the pit has the "rotissierie holes" in the ends plugged and also has a chimney exhaust extension down into the smoking chamber terminatiing just above the grate - other mods are forthcoming but wil not be in place this weekend.

i plan on using hickory but also have apple available. i would love to try cherry but i don't have any right now - might get some if i remember to. i get good prices on wood chips for my little chief in cherry, alder, apple and hickory. the only catch is that the cherry, apple and hickory are blended with alder, but i don't see that hurting anything and could in fact mellow things quite well if i decide to do it.

i bought a wire-probe thermomenter for 14$ at wal-mart when i got the brisket, and am thinking that 190 will be a good target temperature. once again, if anyone thinks otherwise, please let me know.

my choice of rub, mop and glaze/finishing sauce (if any) will be made after bouncing a few ideas around.

as far as a rub goes, if i can't think of anything otherwise, i currently plan on using a mixture of garlic and onion powder, red pepper flakes, worcestershire pepper, cumin and paprika. note thelack of salt and sugar - also note the lack of proportions or amounts of each ingredient. need to come up with that!

as far as a mop/basting sauce goes - i am not sure yet, but barring any better ideas, i do believe that my normal dr. pepper/low-sodium soy sauce/olive oil mop might do very well, if i choose to use one at all. several times as i ahve used this mop, i've thought to myself how good it would also work for beef. i might also add some worcestershire sauce, but that is an idea that i haven't fully developed, yet.

finishing sauce, glaze, table sauce - i don't know aything about this, but i would like to think of something that has some sort of tomato base. for my recent beef ribs, i used a ketchup/brown sugar/vider vinegar glaze that i applied the last 30 minutes or so of cooking. this worked very well and resulted in a nice look and flavor. barring any better ideas, i may try that again, perhaps subbing red wine or red wine vinegar for the apple cider vinegar.

that's about all the preliminary info i can think of to give - i would now like to throw the topic open for thoughts, suggestions, opinions and any other ramblings. i am prepaed to take all seriously but am also prepared to go completely solo if i have to!
post #2 of 47
Hey congrats on the bold tackle of the brisket this weekend! Good stuff, and am sure it will be a success.

You'll get many answers to your flavor question, but I think you meant a rub mix, so I answered it that way. Lots and lots of "finalists" that didn't make the top three on my list by the way!

To answer your points, I'll just follow the post-

1- You got a great deal as far as my local MO prices. $1.89/Lb is the best I've been able to do since last fall around here. And that was on sale. I guess the year before lasts' $1.39/Lb regular price ain't ever coming back.

2- No, don't freeze it. Let it rest in your fridge. It will be fine. Think of it as "aging". That puppy in it's original wrap should be good for another 2 weeks in your fridge at proper temp.

3- You are right on the money with the Hickory. That, to me, is the best wood for a long brisket smoke. Mesquite gets pungent REAL QUICK, apple is too light, never tried alder, and I once did a brisket in cherry and I was dissapointed. Nothing I could quite put my fnger on except that It seemed that it was a waste of good cherrywood and a so-so smoke for a brisket. To me, cherry is better used for other meats. That's just pure opinion. Oak is good. Pecan is good.

4- As far as temps are concerned, 190 seems a bit low. 225 F is what I target and with that temp, your brisket of 7 plus pounds you're looking at an easy 12 hours. Don't discount an extended plateau, it can happen, no two are ever the same and just when you want to get things orderly that piece of meat does not cooperate. Course, you can always pull it after say 8 or 10 and slap it in the oven, that is definitely convenient, and schedule-conducive!

5- Rubs...the sky is the limit!

6- Your mop sounds fine. Just keep it regular.

7- Got a nice tomato based recipe for a side sauce....got to hunt it up. But really, any good sauce you like is good, just put it on after you slice, or on the side and let folks serve themselves.

You got a good plan, and are doing your homework well......good luck and keep us posted with lots of pics!
post #3 of 47
You didn't say if you wanted to slice or pull. Rivet mentioned 225 which is more than enough for pulling. I like the 190 for brisket as I like slicing mine. Actually, I've found 192 exactly is perfect for me.
post #4 of 47
lol, ok, is everyone talking about the brisket temp, or the smoker temp? I interpreted the OP to mean 190 for the brisket temp, while the next reply I thought was referring to the smoker temp. Isn't 190 - 200 the target temp for a brisket?
post #5 of 47
I took a 7lb flat to 205° on mother's day and sliced it. It was good but just a tad dry. I would have been better off pulling I think. I am going to try your 192° mark next time. Good info Bassman, thanks!
post #6 of 47
We are talking about meat temp. I can see where it would be confusing. All this temp talk makes my head spin sometimes.
post #7 of 47
TW, try this for a rub, you just might like it. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...56&postcount=1 Good luck with the brisket. Should be a winner.
post #8 of 47
Oh, okay.......I thought Tas's 190 meant smokER-temperature. My reply for 225 was for the smoker. 190 is fine for the internal meat temp!

Sorry for the confusion, I should of read it more closely. icon_redface.gif
post #9 of 47
See, I thought the 2 were talking about different things. lol. Glad we cleared that all up. :)
post #10 of 47
Thread Starter 
g'morning, guys!

thanks for suggestions so far -

yep, 190 was meant to refer to internal temp of the brisket. sorry for the confusion! i'll try the 192 and see how it goes....

i normally smoke cook at around 250, but will bring this one down a bit and try to hold temps at around 225.

rivet - as usual, great advice! i'll stick with the hickory and my standard mop. i was even thinking of cutting a hole in the cryo and dumping a cupful or two of my mop in as a "marinade" overnight, but for a first attempt, that might be too much. if you can find that side sauce recipe, tbat would be great!

mikey - that no-salt-no-sugar rub looks to be pretty close t what i am looking for ~ i'll check the cabinet and see what i have.
post #11 of 47
Good luck on your smoke!
post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 
alright, guys - getting ready to kick this pig (except it ain't a pig, i guess!) ~

going to use mikey's no salt no sugar rub - might have to modify a couple of things based on availablity and also to add this bit of koolaid mix as per buzz's suggestion. will post the recipe.

for a mop/marinade while it is cooking, i am torn between two options, and will decide by morning. the first option is my usual mop, which is dr. pepper, low-sodium soy sauce and olive oil. i am thinking of trying something new, which would be just beer and butter - this is an old mop/baste that they used to use in medieval poland and probably elsewhere. i'll decide by morning and will inform y'all then.

rivet sent me a very nice finishing sauce recipe for brisket, and i will be giving it a try. will post recipe tomorrow.

i also got a pork shoulder to do along with the brisket
post #13 of 47
Always a nice treat seeing someone on the forum posting as they have some nice smoke coming along.
Waiting on a butt to come to 205 but that ***** (for lack of a better word) is being one stubborn plateau piece or porky pig.
Good lucks and happy smokes
post #14 of 47
Thread Starter 
thanks for the well sishes, FiU -

i've got the brisket slathered down with a light mustard film and then rubbed. it's sitting in the fridge waiting for dawn's early light.

my rub is a very close relative of MIKEY'S no-salt-no-sugar rub (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...56&postcount=1) with a few slight differences due to what we had in the cupboard, a couple of mistakes while i was measuring and also a suggestion from buzz. here's the recipe i used, but i doubled it:

1 tbsp mrs dash table blend
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp chopped freeze-dried chives
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbspchili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1tsp worcestershire pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp ground mustard powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 envelope unsweetened black cherry kool-aid

put this all in my blender (i need a coffee grinder!!) and let 'er rip. mixtrue came out quite fine (amybe a little too fine, but it works) and i dumped it into an empty shaker bottle. tasted great -

will ge things going tomorrow ~
post #15 of 47
I'm right there with ya! Starting to rain here and I'm glad I put up an umbrella!! Brisket is at about 140 and I'm hoping I am somehow not going too fast!! GOOD LUCK TO YOU!
post #16 of 47

Brisket Finishing Sauce

Here's the recipe for the side sauce I make for brisket sandwiches. Just ladle a spoonfull or two on the meat. Some folks eat there brisket sandwiches without sauce, so this goes in a bowl on the side.

1 medium onion finely diced
3 TSP minced garlic
1/4 Cup olive oil
2 Cups tomato sauce (here's where my Sicilian Tomato Sauce can be used)
1 Cup molasses
2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
2 TBSP chili powder
2 TSP mustard powder
1 TBSP celery seed (or you can substitute 1 TSP celery salt- U use seed toi cut the salt and haven't noticed any diff.)
2 TBSP paprika
1 TSP cayenne pepper
1 1/2 TSP coarse ground black pepper
1 cup water

Sautee onions in olive oil until almost clear. Add garlic and continue for a minute or two. Don't let the garlic brown.

Add all other ingredients. Bring to low boil, then turn down heat to low and let heat below a simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring often. It will thicken up nicely or you can continue to cook until it reaches the consistency you want.

That's it! Good Stuff!
post #17 of 47
Thread Starter 
excellent sauce recipe, rivet, i appreciate your sharing it!

well guys, i'm getting a slightly late start here with my briskett and shoulder, BUT my brisket and shoulder are both a couple of lbs. smaller than normal, so it should all be good.

should have meat on soon - looking forward to it!
post #18 of 47
thanks for the "finishing sauce" recipe, looks and sounds good. I will try it in a couple of weeks, but am going to do one modification... Eliminate the water and use 1 cup whiskey.

Actually I will taste it before adding and decide water or whiskey at that moment. Will let everyone know how it goes.

Excellent looking recipe, thanks again.
aka Rocky
post #19 of 47
Thread Starter 
alright, guys - meat's been on since 0900 and an hour alter things are looking alright. not quite up to the 225-240 degree temperatures that i prefer to cook at, but this is OK because the meat temp is slowly rising and the TBS is beautiful.

i've decided to try a beer and butter mop/marinade for the brisket. if anyone has done this, i'd appreciate a clue as to do it. my current plan is to melt a stick of unsalted butter with two cans of beer and brush it on. if anyone has any ideas to carry this up a notch without going overboard, let me know, as it will be about 45 minutes before i make the mop.

post #20 of 47
Thread Starter 
another cancern is how to keep the beer and butter mixed txogether. when i use olive oil, i can use a blender and the mop will stay "emulsified" for a while. not sure if i can achieve that with butter - has anyone tried it?
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