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Hi-Speed Brisket - long & tons of Pron

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'm taking one for the team. I've pushed the envelope on the hot-fast brisket idea, and the result...

Success! The secret comes from moisture control, fire control and resting.

I thought I'd throw up a thread explaining my method of getting quality brisket without the agonizing wait times. I used to do them low & slow, and doubted the hot & fast method, but after a class and a taking what I learned and incorporating it into my way, I have run through a bunch of briskets since and this way works for me. It's a bit more prep work - some counter-intuitive - but it all pays off in final product. I will tell you that this method doesn't produce a nice. thick bark. Not an issue for me, as I'm more of a meat guy than a bark guy. As always, YMMV.

We had our Pastor over for dinner a couple of weeks ago, and as you can imagine, he probably eats other people's food a lot in his line of work. He kinda looked at me funny when I served the brisket meal without a knife, but I said "trust me". He was amazed at the tenderness. Unfortunately, he's mentioned it to others at church several times since, so it looks like I might have to expand my production scale soon.

1. Picking the right brisket
Start out with a good brisket, not the cheapest you can find. A side-by-side comparison smoke session convinced me of this. Always pick a choice over a select grade packer brisket. Certified Angus beef (CAB) is nice too, but not as important. I haven't tried either Prime or Wagyu briskets, mostly due to cost, but I don't know if the return on your money is there. Below, you see a 13.92 lb. Choice brisket I picked up from Costco. The brisket was nice and flexible, and didn't have as large a fat clod on it as some of the others did. The end of the flat was also a pretty even thickness, which will allow for more even slices when done. Sometimes you have to go through a number of briskets until you find a good one, and the meat guys shouldn't mind as long as you aren't making a mess of their displays.

Here's a closeup of the label on the cryovac bag, for those that may be interested.

2. Trimming the meat
Now, I didn't take any pictures of the fat trimming operation or separating the point from the flat. I figure that's something that anyone can get through on their own. Below are pictures of both sides of the flat after I have removed the fat cap and most all the other fat deposits. I know all about the "fat makes flavor" and "fat bastes the meat" arguments, but they don't turn out to be necessary with this method, and I don't have to worry about the fat after the cook this way. Plus, removing it all now allows you to season ALL of the meat - any fat you season doesn't help at all.

One side of the trimmed flat:

Other side of the trimmed flat:

Here are the pictures of the point after I separated it from the flat and removed all of the surface fat. You'll see that there is still a lot of intramuscular fat, which is what gives the point it's particular flavor and texture as compared to the flat.

One side of the trimmed point:

Other side of the trimmed point:

After I was done, it turned out that I removed right at six pounds of fat from the 14 lb. brisket. It may seem a lot of loss, but consider what your yield is when smoking one the conventional way, and you'll see all this does is let you lose it earlier. Without all this fat, you'll have to learn to cook without the annoying "stall", too. Darn. Here's the pile o' waste:

3. Seasoning the meat
I used a brisket rub that I've developed over a period of time. It's still in flux, but it's pretty close to just what I am looking for. Here you see a medium coating on both pieces - the undersides and edges are done as well.

4. Meat and Fire monitoring
Thought I'd toss a clock in the pictures so all can see the time frame throughout the cook. Yes, that's AM...

Started with a full Weber chimney of Kingsford comp. charcoal, lit with 4 paper towels loaded with vegetable oil. Unlike newspaper, there are no funky inks to get in there, and there are absolutely NO ashes left behind.

The WSM fire ring was filled with 10 lb.s of lump and 5 lbs. of the Kingsford mentioned above. On top of that went 4 chunks of mesquite. Once ready, I added the chimney coals on top of that and spread it around a bit to get a hotter fire faster. Maybe a pseudo-Minion method.

Here I have placed the pans of meat in smoker.

An hour later I flipped the meat for a bit of smoke ring on the bottom side.

Note the temp in the pic below! Also notice that I had to "adjust" the corners of the foil pan so that it would fit into the WSM 22. One nice benefit of doing this is that you can slide the pan partway out the door for temp checking and liquid management!

Here it is five minutes later, cruising along back at 325 degrees.

I foiled the pans 40 minutes later, and added a little water and other liquids to the pans.

Forty-five minutes later after that, the pans were pulled and set in my oven to rest. I preheated the oven to 200 then turned it off. This is where you could sauce the point, cut it up and return it to the smoker for some for burnt ends.

5. Wrapping it up
Here is part of the finished flat, sliced against the grain with a little pan juices.

Here's a closeup of one slice, showing the pull-apart tenderness of the flat. The point is even better!

6. Review

Here's the time line for this morning's brisket blitz. All times are AM.

06:45 - Start the chimney and load the WSM with charcoal
06:55 - Empty the chimney in the WSM and distribute the coals. Add center section with 2 gallons of warm water.
07:25 - Load the pans into the WSM.
07:30 - Button up the smoker and add 2 small oak splits to the charcoal.
08:00 - WSM cruising along at 325.
08:30 - Flipped meat for a bit of smoke ring on the other side
09:35 - Foiled the pans and added liquids.
10:10 - Cooking's done. Pans were pulled and taken inside to rest.
11:45 - Brisket rested for 90 minutes. Started slicing it, and it was as tender as ever.

There you have it - five hours (including resting) from starting the fire to eating the goodies.

I think from now on, I'll use the offset for low & slow just for show - if company's coming, that is.

Thanks for watching!
post #2 of 16
Looks good will have to try this out someday. It is kinda like basting it in the oven with smoke added. No wrong way to cook it as long as you enjoy it. Excellent tutorial will help anyone duplicate the process.
post #3 of 16


nice job, looks great points.gif
post #4 of 16
looks good and juicy
post #5 of 16
I looks very good. It is nice to no in a pinch you could do this with great results. I really enjoy the long smokes so I probably wont be trying it real soon.
great job
post #6 of 16
Nice looking meat.

I might try that method but add a 45-60 min. step on the front end: meat directly on the grates.
post #7 of 16
Nice tutorial. Good alternative to smoking brisk. points.gif
post #8 of 16
Well, it definatly looks great! And I'm hungry again....points.gif
post #9 of 16
I have a vertical smoker and I have started putting the fat on a grate above the butt or brisket to melt down onto the meat.

Deffinately gotta try this fast method soon
post #10 of 16
Interesting Mark, Thanks for sharing this method. Sometimes I don't have the time to do a low and slow smoke but with this I might get some more smokes in.
post #11 of 16
Thank you for the article, it was very interesting and lots of information. I will be trying this soon.PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif
post #12 of 16
Yes sir this could be the plan B brisket for sure. Now yours looks really good and juicy too.points.giffor the whole tutorial on the method of your smoke and the time line too.
post #13 of 16

Hi-speed brisket

Mark, the temperature at 8.50 was 166. What was final temp when you pulled it at 10.10 ?
post #14 of 16
Great explanation on the Hi-Speed method. I will have to give it a try. I've been doing them low and slow taking 12-16 hours to smoke. This will save a bunch of time. The only problem I have is keeping the temps that high. My Mes will only go to 275 and my SnP will do it but with a lot of tending. icon_smile.gifpoints.gif
post #15 of 16

Great review

I have done this on my mes. and it does cut the cooking time alot.
I did not cover the brisket in the foil pan but did flip it a few times to allow all of it to get some smoke.
Run the mes at max temp and it will work fine
post #16 of 16
All night cooks are not my thing - for me, this is a must try.
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