I Broke My Brisket Rule ~ But Hot Hold Saved Me

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thirdeye

Master of the Pit
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Dec 1, 2019
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The Cowboy State - Wyoming
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I was asked to smoke a brisket for a graduation party last Saturday, and I told my friend I wanted to help him pick one out. I planned on a 20+ day wet age, smoking in my drum, then hot holding for 12 hours. Then I get a call "Hey man... I got a brisket today, and the price was reduced $26... I'm freezing it now". So much for my battle plan.

This bad boy was 15 pounds, and had a major hump in the point, no wonder nobody bought it.

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Trimming was a challenge as the kernel of fat was the deepest I've ever seen, and the mohawk was 3" tall at least. Here is the post trim and seasoning photos.

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And a few more action photos.
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Plated up with some salmon, mahi-mahi and some sides.
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Details:
  • Injected with Beef Prod and Kosmo's Brisket
  • Minors AuJus for binder
  • Goldee's Brisket rub
  • Smoked about 7 hours using pecan.
  • Boated for 4 hours, fat up, with a little tallow in the foil.
  • Allowed to cool to 165°
  • Hot held in a tabletop roaster at 150° for 16 hours
 
Man that looks good... Nice job...

But what rule did you break ??
Thanks for the kind words.

My rule, especially for cooking a brisket for someone, is to pick it out myself, wet age it, and never, never freeze it. In other words staying in control for the entire operation is less stressful on the cook. Out of the 25 or so guests, I only knew about half of them, so I kept the smoke and seasoning (especially the salt) light. And tried to keep the tenderness right on the edge of sliceable and pullable. I knew it was probing well, but still nervous until I gave the host the first burnt end.
 
Looks great, but the no freeze rule is kind of moot. About all meat you buy has been frozen at some point unless you killed and butchered it yourself.
 
Looks great and like the flavor combos you added!
Guessing you were satisfied with the outcome?

Keith
 
Looks great, but the no freeze rule is kind of moot. About all meat you buy has been frozen at some point unless you killed and butchered it yourself.
Meat sold in supermarkets, club stores, meat markets and places like Restaurant Depot can come in various forms, and whether it has been previously frozen or not depends on the specific product and the practices of the market in question.

The only frozen briskets I've ever purchased are the high end Wagyu ones from SRF or Creekstone.
 
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Meat sold in supermarkets, club stores, meat markets and places like Restaurant Depot can come in various forms, and whether it has been previously frozen or not depends on the specific product and the practices of the market in question.

The only frozen briskets I've ever purchased are the high end Wagyu ones from SRF or Creekstone.
Wasn't saying it was frozen when you got it, just that it likely was at some point between the processor and market.
 
Looks great and like the flavor combos you added!
Guessing you were satisfied with the outcome?

Keith
I was. People are by nature polite, and the sure fire method to judge satisfaction is to watch them take a bite, and see if they return for seconds. The salmon and halibut was caught by the host in Alaska, the mahi mahi was from a market... so having some barbecue in the mix hit all the taste buds.
 
Meat sold in supermarkets, club stores, meat markets and places like Restaurant Depot can come in various forms, and whether it has been previously frozen or not depends on the specific product and the practices of the market in question.
Agree . The meat I buy at GFS is never frozen .
Brisket looks great BTW .
 
Wasn't saying it was frozen when you got it, just that it likely was at some point between the processor and market.
Ok, I get you. Let's say the producer froze the case, then a week or two later the store thawed it and it eventually made it to the meat case. Then, it hung around for 4 or 5 days before my buddy bought it, and froze it. Since he bought it more than a month before his party, this would mean it was frozen a second time. Yikes. I dislike that more than being frozen once.
 
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Let's say the producer froze the case, then a week or two later the store thawed it and it eventually made it to the meat case.
They should mark it as such . Thawed when I bought them on Friday , but they let me know they had been frozen .
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You trimmed that up very pretty, but only a smoker cooker would notice the work before the cooking even started.

Its like for a carpenter, no one notices the ground work before the the nice finished house.

Looks great Wayne

Long process, end results , perfect.. Hard to have control , when not in your hands the whole time.

Nice plate of food, and as long as the host was happy ( good to give him sample first ) all is good.

David
 
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I missed this post. That is a fine looking Brisket and that plate shot has me Drooling!! Wish my trimming skills were that good, Hahaha!!
 
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They should mark it as such . Thawed when I bought them on Friday , but they let me know they had been frozen .
It'd be nice if this were a legal requirement. Anyone know? Like DougE, I fear it's not. So good on the butcher who so marked it.
 
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I was. People are by nature polite, and the sure fire method to judge satisfaction is to watch them take a bite, and see if they return for seconds. The salmon and halibut was caught by the host in Alaska, the mahi mahi was from a market... so having some barbecue in the mix hit all the taste buds.
Seconds!?!?!? I'd been hunting 3rds and a way to slip some out the door for later! Looks great and nice job overcoming the odd shape!

Jim
 
Looks great and nice job overcoming the odd shape!
So here is the trimmed photo of this brisket. The point favored one side of the brisket. Who knows maybe this steer had one leg shorter than the other. 😄
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And this is what I generally try and shoot for, a balanced shape in the package, and a balanced trimming.
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Like DougE, I fear it's not.
Quoted straight from the USDA: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/guidelines/2013-0013

"Generally, trademarks, company names, fanciful names, etc., containing the word "fresh" are acceptable, even on products produced in a manner described in one through seven above, provided the term is used in such a manner that it remains clear to the purchaser that the product is not fresh.

Sounds like a lot of doublespeak to me. We can call it "fresh" even if it is not fresh, so long as there is some disclaimer in fine print somewhere or other on the label to state that the "Fresh" product we're selling isn't fresh.
 
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  • Wow
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I spent 7 years in the food distribution industry, '96-03. We kept non-frozen meats in the 'meat room' - if I recall correctly it was kept @34F

But - we loaded outbound behind the bulkhead in the exact same part of the reefer unit that kept ice cream. It spent a minimum of (rough estimate for early Charlotte deliveries) 3 hours in the frozen section. Early trucks we sent out going to Charleston SC or some parts of GA or VA/WV, that meat might be in the freezer for 15-18 hours.

I sure miss cost +3% (employee purchase price on everything we carried that wasn't branded for a Sonic/Godfathers Pizza/etc...)
 
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