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To brine or not to brine a brisket? - Page 2

post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 

I usually inject mine 10 - 12 hours before smoking.  Keeps them very moist.

post #22 of 30
1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 qt apple juice, 2 tbl. garlic powder per 1 gal. water
post #23 of 30
I use Deep Beef Injection. I trim and inject the night before to get a more equal distribution of liquid.

I did try this technique and got some of the best beef I have ever made. It was a combination of stuff I gathered from around the forum.
http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/132019/smokyokie-chef-jimmy-j-brisket-with-a-cold-start#post_899098
post #24 of 30
I've only been at this for a couple of years, so I'm relatively new at this. But just as an fyi for those who've never tried brining a brisket, it's a lot of work, but makes a big difference in the finished product. I make a brine of 1-2 cups of kosher salt, 2 tbsp of whole black peppercorns, 2 tbsp of minced garlic, & 1 whole onion (quarters and separated). I brine the brisket for 6 to 8 hours, depending on size, and then pat dry and use a good rub. Let the meat set with the rub for at least 4 hours until ready to smoke.
The most noticeable difference you'll notice isn't the element of salt or flavor in the meat. That's actually pretty subtle. The biggest difference you'll notice is that the salt acts as a tenderizer. I've been pretty fortunate to have been offered a lot of great advice and so my briskets have always come out very well. But this is one tip I would recommend everyone try at least once. Again, it's a lot of work, but well worth the effort in my opinion. If you don't like it, no harm, no foul. Best of luck!!
post #25 of 30

The food scientists at America's Test Kitchen brine their brisket by dissolving 3 TBS table salt and ½ cup sugar in 4 quarts cold water in large container.  Cut slits in fat cap, spaced 1 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into meat.  Submerge brisket in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.*

 

*The Editors at America's Test Kitchen (2012-10-12). The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen (Cook's Illustrated Cookbooks) (Kindle Locations 3871-3872). Boston Common Press. Kindle Edition.

post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jduenes32 View Post

I've only been at this for a couple of years, so I'm relatively new at this. But just as an fyi for those who've never tried brining a brisket, it's a lot of work, but makes a big difference in the finished product. I make a brine of 1-2 cups of kosher salt, 2 tbsp of whole black peppercorns, 2 tbsp of minced garlic, & 1 whole onion (quarters and separated). I brine the brisket for 6 to 8 hours, depending on size, and then pat dry and use a good rub. Let the meat set with the rub for at least 4 hours until ready to smoke.
The most noticeable difference you'll notice isn't the element of salt or flavor in the meat. That's actually pretty subtle. The biggest difference you'll notice is that the salt acts as a tenderizer. I've been pretty fortunate to have been offered a lot of great advice and so my briskets have always come out very well. But this is one tip I would recommend everyone try at least once. Again, it's a lot of work, but well worth the effort in my opinion. If you don't like it, no harm, no foul. Best of luck!!

J, morning and welcome to the forum....   good advice on the brine....   

Please take a moment and stop into " /Roll Call/  " and introduce yourself and get a proper welcome from our members.... Also, if you would note your location in your profile, it will help in the future when answering questions about smokin'...   elevation, humidity etc....    

We're glad you stopped in and joined our group...    Enjoy the long smokey ride....     Dave

post #27 of 30

I am relatively new to smoking briskets, though I have smoked many other meats for a couple of decades. I also graduated from a good culinary school, and I worked my way up from a restaurant vegetable cook to executive sous chef at a fancy hotel, before I moved on to another profession.

 

Whether I brine a brisket, or not, depends on how large the meat is, and how long I intend to cook it. A piece of meat will spoil from the outside inward. If you increase the salt content, especially at the surface, then you inhibit bacterial growth. I smoked a brisket yesterday, at a temp of 175-200 F. It was a six pound flat. It took eight hours for the internal meat temp to reach 140, which is considered the safe range for bacterial growth prevention. The rule of thumb is that any perishable food should not remain between a temp of 40 and 140 for more than about 4 hours.

 

If food is just for my own consumption, I don't worry about it so much. If I have having a dinner party, or otherwise cooking for family/friends, then I am very cautious about food temps. 

 

Brining is different than curing meat. A corned beef is cured in a mixture of about 2 cups of salt per gallon of water. Pastrami cuts the salt in half. Personally, I find a smoked corned beef too salty for my palate, even if I soak it in fresh water for four hours. Maybe an overnight soak would do it. When I make pastrami, I soak my brisket in one cup per gallon for about a week, prior to smoking.

 

For me, brining can be as short as 30 minutes for fish, or as long as overnight for poultry which is denser meat. My goal is to increase the salt content at the surface of the meat to prevent spoilage during the slow cooking process. 

 

When I don't want to brine a brisket, then I just cook it at a higher temp, generally 225-250, and in that way the temp of the meat stays in the "danger" zone for a shorter period of time, thereby reducing the possibility of bacterial growth. 

 

If you don't brine a slow cooked piece of meat, then please be sure to use a salt based rub, and let the rubbed meat sit in the refrigerator long enough for the rub to adhere to the meat surface. This will not provide the same measure of safety as brining does, but it also works well to prevent bacterial growth on the surface of the meat, as we know from many years of people smoking meats in this way. I am just ultra cautious when I am making food for others to consume. 

post #28 of 30

New to this smoking thing.. super excited to get started.. I am curious what size cut of brisket are you talking about .. about 6 pounds? 

post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 

Any size is fine, 6 pounds up to a whole packer cut of 14 - 16 -18 pounds.  Obviously just adjust the amount of brine to cover the entire piece of meat; that's the important part.

post #30 of 30

I brine my briskets, inject with butter, smoke for about ten hours and finish with a Texas choke in a braise pan. Once they hit 205 leave them in the braise pan and gradually bring the temp down to about 160. They come out beefy, juicy and tender. Don't know if they would if I didn't do all that, but I figure why mess with success. Brining won't give you corn beef. You have to add curing salts for that. 

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