Brisket #1 - A Chronicle.

Discussion in 'Beef' started by jswainston, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Like many newbies, I'm diving in to smoking with a low and slow marathon of beef, the brisket. 

    As I mentioned on my Roll Call Post "Amateur Smoker", I had bought a Mini Chief.  After further review and guidance from the smoking elite, I have returned it and purchased a MES 30inch.  Not that the Mini Chief is anything to scoff at, but I really wans't what I was looking for.  I ought to have done more research.  Thank all you guys for making me realize that I really did not have the right tool for the job, plus the MES 30 is so much cooler.  I mean I can't stop playing it.  Its so cool.  I love my new toy. 

    Anyway, So I plan on doing a brisket this Friday or Sunday depending on how the schedule flushes out.  I have a great cut of meat as seen here [​IMG]

    It is a 5.46lbs piece of meat that my butcher cut from the primal just for me.  He's great.  Anyone who lives in Tacoma WA check out Dave's Meats and Produce its where I st turns into 21st.

    I have decided to go simple on the rub, don't want to do anything to fancy first time out.  So I'm doing the Salt/Pepper/Granulated Garlic method.  Which brings me to my first question,  How soon before smoking should I apply my rub?  I really want a light bark from the pepper, and I hope this will work.

    I have also started to consider my wood chooses.  I want to use mesquite.  But I'm not entirely sure.  I have read and heard tale that if I use some charcoal pieces that I might be able to get a better smoke ring.  So second question, Can you mix woods and coals? and if so what would be a good ratio to get a smokey ring from my MES?  Or better yet should I even worry about it?

    I initially thought about aging the meat, but after reading what the SMF elite had to say on the subject of aging brisket as a mute point as its a tough long cook anyway, I have decided against that for this experiment of Brisket #1.

    I have thought about marinating.  Third question - Should I or shouldn't I?  I want to do some really easy marinades and have notice a few suggestions form the forums that I like, one was Pale Ale and Apple Vinegar.  The other was the Buttermilk Bath for twenty four hours to break down the connective tissue.  I like both of these Ideas but wonder if it might be too much for the basic first run I want to try. 

    I guess the concept is that I want to get one decent smoke to prove that I can do this.

    I will continue to post updates regarding this endevor throughout the process.  Thankyou
  2. dasmoker

    dasmoker Smoke Blower

    Well, I can't answer all of your questions. But I would shy away from the mesquite for a long smoke. Or maybe mix it with another type of wood to mild it down some.  Mesquite is quite strong, and over a long smoke can actually make the meat taste too smoky.  I only use mesquite on my grill, when I want a little smoke for something that takes an hour or 2 to cook. Anything longer than that, and I move on to hickory, maple, and the fruit woods.
  3. dburgette

    dburgette Fire Starter

    In simple, and you won't like my answer, the beauty of smoking is you can do whatever you want.  The best way to learn is through trial and error.
  4. newflame

    newflame Meat Mopper

    I rub mine about 24 hours out, i apply a mustard (cheap yellow) coat, and then liberally apply the rub into all the nooks and crannies, and then wrap in celophane and put in a tub in the fridge for about 24 hours, though longer/shorter than that is not going to affect much, the longer the rub is on, the more the rub penetrates the fiber of the I said, I've found 24 hours to be adequate without over powering the natural beef flavor. 

    I like mesquite with beef, again, that's up to you, for brisket I mix mesquite chips with a fruit wood, cherry or apple usually, and that turns out pretty good results, though if you wanted to go hickory i'm sure that would turn out fine as well, for my tastes, I use hickory/fruit with pork, and mesquite/fruit with beef.  The charcoal trick for a smoke ring works, but the results are unpredictable, it's not going to hurt it either way.  The bane of electric smokers is that you're never going to get the smoke ring..if you want to try the charcoal trick, throw two or three briquettes in with the wood chips.  I don't like the instant light kind, as I don't like my food to taste like lighter fluid, again that's your choice. 

    I've never marinated a brisky, and i've never given one a buttermilk bath, I do however, inject religiously, I choose to rub and inject the injection of choice is a mixture of beef broth, butter, and rub, you can pick up meat injectors for pretty cheap at cabela's or bass pro shops, i'm sure wally world has them as well.

    Another thing I would recommend is foiling the brisket, looks to me like you have a flat with a little bit of point, my biggest fear with a flat is drying out, foiling at around 160 internal helps out with this, especially if you put a bit of cooking liquid, beef broth, with the foil, this starts a process called braising where the meat is basically steamed in it's own juices...helps with the dryness thing. 

    In any case, these are just my own opinions, like someone else said, the beauty of smoking is that you can do whatever you like, there are so many options out there..that's what makes it fun.  I own an MES 30 and I love it, I think you made the right choice.  Good luck with your first brisky, don't forget more pics :)
    kjc55 likes this.
  5. gregzee

    gregzee Smoke Blower

    +1 to everything NewFlame said.  Also, Pecan is very tasty smoking wood with beef.
  6. tigerregis

    tigerregis Meat Mopper

    Sorry, Chronos is the Greek god of time. Moot is discussable or arguable. Mute is you can't talk.
  7. So the brisket is in.  A little later then I wanted, but for a first time, I think I'm off to a good start. 

    I rubbed down with a Pepper/Salt/Garlic mixture and let the brisket set for twenty-four hours. 

    Decided to use a combination of Mesquite and Apple for the smoke.  The apple was just a little left over from my Father-in-law that he wanted to get rid of, so I said why not?

    Now we wait.
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Since you are using mesquite I would only use it for the first hour or so, then switch to all apple wood or a mix of apple wood and hickory. Mesquite will overpower the meat if you aren't carefull it is a very strong flavor. I apply a rub to brisket about 6 hrs. ahead of smoke time, I don't want it to sit with salt on it to long for fear of drawing out to much moisture. Definately foil it either at 160° or right after it gets out of the dreaded "stall"... lol.

    For foiling I recomend a foil pan. You can have the pan under the brisket catching drippings for the first couple of hours (I like to dump a bottle of Killians Red Ale into it as well). Then come foil time put the brisket in the pan cover tightly with foil and let it keep going till it hits 190-200°. Pull the brisket out of the pan, double foil it, wrap in towel, and put it in the cooler for 1-2 hrs. Take the liquid gold in the foil pan put it in the freezer till the fat sets up on top, remove fat, then re-heat the rest and use it on the brisket as you serve it. It is the best ajus you have ever had!
  9. So I just pulled the Brisket out of the Smoker.

    At about 175 I wrapped the brisket in foil, added beef juices and a bottle of Stella.

    After taking the brisket out, I wrapped it in foil, twice, as well as a towel.  It is now in the cooler.  I will pull it in about a hour.
  10. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Your going to love the MES.  Don't worry about smoke rings.  It's the flavor you want.  There are ways you can cheat a smoke ring, and this is why it's no longer judged at KCBS events.  The ring is just color due to a chemical reaction.  With the MES you do have to be careful about how much wood you put in, or you can over smoke your meats.  Make sure to leave the vent wide open!  I have been using a a combination of woods on my briskets.  2/3 Oak chips to 1/3 apple chips soaked in water.  I do throw in a few small lumps of coal in the beginning, but that's for flavor.    I throw in a handful of chips about every 45 minutes until the meat hits 140 internal, then I just let it cook.  I would add some turbinado sugar to your basic rub.  It's what gives you the caramilization and flavor you want in a bark.  Look forward to your final q view!
  11. Sorry It has taken so long, my computer was all f-ed up.  But here is the Q-view from the Brisket.


    This is the brisket after the rub.  3parts pepper/ 1part salt/ 1part granulated garlic.

    After about seven hours I got this piece of wonderful meat


    The mesquite was a little strong.  I am thinking next time of moving to hickory.  But all the people eating were very impressed and I got many praises.  To me the pepper rub made it seem almost like pastrami, so I'll probably try something more flavorful next time.  But all and all for the frist time smoking anything, it accually worked.  Awesome. 

    Coming up I'll be doing a few racks of baby backs.  Really looking forward to smoking again.


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