Newbie trying a Brisket

Discussion in 'Beef' started by jp4lsu, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. buzzard

    buzzard Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    i am sure your brisket will be fine JP. the coloration is from the spices, mine has turned different colors before too.

    the name of the shop is lewisville meat market, but i am sure there has to be one simular to it in your neck of the woods. their usually little shops you do not notice till you know where they are. maybe look in the yellow pages under meat or something.

    this shop also serves great bbq, pretty cheep too.

    keep us posted through-out the day, i am interested in the pork tenderloin with the cherry. i usually smoke mine with pecan, recently i started adding oak. i do not get the opprotunity for many other styles for what ever reason. the place i get my wood from does not stock it.

    remember one thing:

    pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics pics
     
  2. tonto1117

    tonto1117 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi there Jody and good luck with your brisket cook, just remember one of the most important things low n slow , try to keep the cooker as close to 225* as you can and by the way I think buzzard would like some pics :lol: :lol:
     
  3. chris_harper

    chris_harper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    buzzard- at our local H.E.B. grocery chain, they have apple wood and cherry wood chips. they also have hickory, pecan, and mesquite chunks.
     
  4. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Welcome JP -
    Sorry I'm late - I must've missed your post these all night smoking marathons are a killer! Anyway check out Jeff's smoking ecourse should cover most of what you've been looking for in a good smoke!

    Have fun!
     
  5. jp4lsu

    jp4lsu Newbie

    Hey All,
    Well I must apologize that I don't have any pics except pics from the pre-cooking preps.

    The reason is because the brisket took too long to cook and it didn't get done till 8pm and I was in no mood to take pictures. Fortunately the guest we had over understood it was my 1st brisket plus I smoked a pork loin and some sausage. So they did get plenty to eat.

    This leads me to a couple of questions.

    1) The brisket was in the smoker (vertical gasser) for 8 hrs and the internal temp was only 140°. It was at 140 for a long time and never budged. Yes I did have some sausage and pork tenderloin in there for a a few hours, but the smoker stayed btwn 220-230 the whole day. Why would the meat not get up to temp?????

    2) I was going by the temp gauge built into the smoker, shoud I ignore this and use something else?

    The pork came up to temperture fine so I'm thinking the thermometer is somewhat accurrate.

    The only thing I can think of is that the meat was only out of the fridge for a couple of hours before smoking. Is this why I struggled?


    Well, I was expected to do a brisket for the superbowl, but I told them I might stick with turkey, sausage, and pork. But if I made a simple mistake I might give it a shot. Does cooking other meats in there make much of a difference in brisket cook time? Or do I just need to turn the wick up a bit?

    Again, I'm sorry for not having pics. I know you guys wanted to see them but I was just in a fowl mood and tired. I eventually just cranked the fire up and got the temps to 250° got the internal to 160°, foiled and brought to 190° internal.

    Surprisingly the meat sliced really easy and was dry.

    Let me know your thoughts about possible mistakes I made.
     
  6. chris_harper

    chris_harper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    large cuts of meat, ie brisket, will hit a plateau at around 140°. it will stay there for a while then rise more. just give it time, and don't raise your smoker temp. you did check the thermometer to see how accurate it is, right? i put mine in boiling water- it should read 212°. also, make sure your thermometer is at grill level.
     
  7. zardnok

    zardnok Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Welcome to the glorious world of a plateau. All meat will reach a specific temperature where it will stop and just sort of hang out, this is known as the plateau. This is a good thing though, it is during this plateau that the heat energy from the smoker stops heating up the brisket and instead works to break up the connective tissues in the brisket. The longer the meat is in the plateau, the more tender the brisket should ultimately be. This is a normal occurence. The key is to simply plan for it.

    That all depends on your smoker and the relative placement of the temp guage. The best is to have a thermometer at "rack level" to give you your most accurate temps. Some smoker thermometers are in the lid or away from the area your actual meat cooks, so perhaps a small oven type thermometer to set on the rack next to the meat would be good so you can see exactly what the rack temps are looking like instead of what the temps in the lid are looking like. Once you learn the variances in rack temps versus what your other thermometer reads, you can adjust your cooking temps accordingly.

    Cooking other meats will only make a difference as long as the heat energy from the smoker is not enough to overcome them, but as long as you are able to maintain 225ish, there should not be a problem. As for turning it up a bit to cook faster, the problem here is you are reducing the amount of time your brisket breaks down the connective tissues and you will ultimately have a tough finished product.

    You say that the brisket was dry, how long did you let it rest after removing it from the Smoker? The key is to wrap it up and let it sit for at least an hour to allow the juices to redistribute. If you slice it to soon after removing it from the smoker, the juices will all run out and you will end up with an overly dry final product.

    My advice, make a night of it. Superbowl is in the late afternoon, so I would start the brisket off around midnight and make an evening of it. Spend the time reading through the old posts here on SMF. If your brisket gets done early, all the better! Wrap it up in foil and then wrap a towel or two around it and drop it into a cooler and cover it with an old blanket or towel or something to help hold the heat inside. You can keep a cooked brisket in a cooler for a couple hours and the longer it sits, the more the juices redistribute and some even think the more tender the brisket will become.
     
  8. ddemerath

    ddemerath Smoke Blower

    I did my fist brisket, a flat from Walmart, 3 weeks ago on a GOSM Vertical Smoker.. I put it on at 9:30 AM along with a prime rib. We monitored the temperature to try to maintain 225-235 degrees. The winter wether and snow didn't seem to help anything. We tried a marinate on the prime rib that my wife an I decided we would not use the next time (didn't care for the flavor). Anyhow, the prime rib came out after 6 hours. Then I put the thermometer into the brisket and monitored it. It came up to 138 degrees and hung there for what seemed like hours. About 11:00 PM it started to climb again and the snow started falling again. About 12:30 AM it got to 170 degrees. I took it off and wrapped it in foil and put it back in the smoker. Now, being tired and ready for bed, I figured that the brisket wrapped in foil could be finished in the oven and I could get ready for bed; so I brought it in and let the oven finish it. About 2:00 AM the brisket was up to 195 degrees. I took it out of the oven and wrapped it in a towel and placed in a cooler to "rest". I got up at 8:00 AM and took the brisket out of the cooler and sliced it up (it was even still warm). My wife was impressed. We had brisket for breakfast. It came out juicy and fairly tender. Although not as tender as I would of liked, it was not tough by any means. We took the leftovers and froze them in 3 packages for later. My brother and sister in-law came over later and tried some. They thought it was fantastic! Now they want to know when I am going to cook the next one.
     
  9. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    JP4LSU -

    The temperature hanging happens all the time with brisket and shoulders The "plateau" thing. You just have to start earlier or bare with it if you think it's worth it. Obviously everyone else here thinks it is!
    Just gotta love it!

    Welcome ddemerath -

    So ... when are you doing it again?
     
  10. soflaquer

    soflaquer Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hey there, JP.

    Ditto, Deb's comments..................you slipped right past me!

    I am amazed at how many great cooks and contributors we have developed on this site now!!!! WOW! You guys and girls are the BEST! Before I can get to it, you've already sent a Newbie on the right path!

    What I will say, is that it is unnecessary to "Marinate" a Brisket! A simple injection of Apple Juice (100%) with or without herbs and spices does a fine job. A good Brisket Rub is all the spices you really need. ***See my previous posts on my "Double Rub" technique.

    As far as a Mop.......I prefer to Spray! DO NOT use any type of vinegar with Beef........it will dry it out (Pork is OK). Get a good spray bottle (not the $1 cheepo's) fill it half-way with pure Apple Juice a quarter way with cooking oil and the other quarter with Red Wine. That is my personal Brisket spray recipe. After about 3 to 4 hours in the Chamber (otherwise you will wash off that precious Rub), shake the bottle vigorously and give it a good spray approx. every hour or so (or whenever you open the chamber door or lid!).

    Good luck, and let us know your results!

    Jeff
     
  11. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Jeff -

    I never thought to put Red WIne in the spray! I gotta try that!
    Thanks

    :eek:
     
  12. jp4lsu

    jp4lsu Newbie

    Hey guys/girls,
    thanks for the encouragement and the advice and the great tips.
    I now think I will give it another shot if it's not too cold on Sunday.

    Couple of comments:
    - I knew the meat would plateau, but I thought it wouldn't plateau till 180° or so. I had no idea it would plateau at 140°. The thermometer built into the vertical smoker is on the door and it is actually level with the top rack which is where the brisket was. I will probably buy a thermometer to put on the rack to verify the readings. I will double check my meat thermo also.

    - Thanks for the tips. The spray bottle is a good idea because it was difficult to mop in the vertical type smoker I have. Injecting apple juice??
    I've never heard of this.

    I kind of like a bit of sweetness in meatness and was actually wondering how to get a brisket just a hint of sweetness. I like the applejuice idea. Could other juices be used you think?

    I think I will try it again this weekend.

    Thanks again for the help you all!!
     
  13. soflaquer

    soflaquer Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    100% Pure Apple Juice (not a juice "coctail") works in 2 ways. It adds a touch of sweetness from the natural fructose and the acid assists in the breakdown of collagen and muscle fiber of the meat. (It is a much weaker acid than vinegar, hence, no drying of the meat). It preforms this function both as an injectable and as as spray. The fructose, when sprayed, assists in the formation of "Bark" on the finished product.

    A variety of fruit juices can be injected, especially with Pork. (I'd stick with Apple on Brisket). I prefer to use 100% Pineapple as an injectable on Pork. On my Pork spray, I substitute the Red Wine with Apple Cider Vinegar.

    To me, Spraying is more desirable than using a mop, because nothing is touching the meat or rub itself except the ingredient - and it's easier to use.

    If you are using a verical smoker with a door thermo - be careful that the probe on the inside of the door is not touching the meat. If it is a decent size vertical, install a second door thermo directly below it, close to the bottom rack. I also purchase inexpensive oven thermo's and hang them on the racks in variable area's of the cooking chamber, so you have a good idea of any hot-spots you may have (and compare them to your door readings) On a horizontal cooker, set them upright on the racks. I use 2 to 4 of them for each smoker I am using.

    I hope this helps!

    I think you'll like using the Red Wine on Brisket, Debi!

    Jeff

    PS: JP, please update your profile information for us, so we know a little bit more about you! Thanks!
     
  14. ddemerath

    ddemerath Smoke Blower

    I will try the apple juice next time. I thought about doing one this weekend but the weatherman is calling for temps around 0 with wind chills at -5 to -20 or so. I think I'll stay in and use the oven! I can always take a package out of the freezer and heat it up.
     
  15. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Jeff -

    Just picked up another brisket tonight! Gotta try this.
     
  16. jp4lsu

    jp4lsu Newbie

    Jeff,
    I injected the brisket last night at about 9pm. I will start smoking the brisket around 3 or 4 am so it will be done (HOPEFULLY) by 2pm on Sunday so I can rest it a couple of hours before we slice it up at around 4:30 or so.

    It is a little over 5 lbs maybe 5.3 or 5.4, and I hope 10 to 11 hours are enough. I just pulled it out of the fridge (6pm) to let it get to room temp and I'll start the smoker at 4 am or earlier. Is letting the brisket get to room temp correct?? It seems like that should cut the cooking time by an hour or so.

    I rubbed the brisket after injecting the apple juice with Bad Byron's Butt Rub, but I mixed in a little brown sugar too. Not much but just to knock the edge off of the rub. However, I forgot to rub it with mustard prior to the spices. How will this affect the brisket?

    Thanks again for the help. If I remember I will try to get some pics. 3 or 4 am, my mind isn't completely working. I'll have to get some Community Coffee in me. CajunSmoker will know about that good Community Coffee.

    Later,
    Jody
     
  17. cajunsmoker

    cajunsmoker Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hello Jody,

    I don't normally inject my briskets and I never rub them with mustard but other than that it sounds like you have a pretty solid plan. Double ditto on the Community coffee, I got 2 pork butts cooking tonight myself. You definitly want to let the brisket get to room temp before you put it on. Just plan on about 1.5 hours per pound plus 1 - 2 hours to rest and everything will be fine.
     
  18. tulsajeff

    tulsajeff Master of the Pit Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member

    The mustard just helps the rub to stick a whole lot better and helps to form a real nice crust.

    Someone correct me here if I am incorrect and I have not done this.. but I would have to say that if you want to use the mustard it would not hurt to do it now (after the fact) The mustard just kinda mixes with the rub and creates a paste that really sticks to the meat like glue.

    At any rate.. good luck on the smokin'!
     
  19. bud's bbq

    bud's bbq Meat Mopper

    We've been using mustard on the butts and ribs. Like you said, Jeff, it acts as a great paste to hold the rub. Wonder if there is some other agent to rub on that doesn't have much inherent flavor? Tonto wants to use Worchester Sauce instead of the mustard on the brisket.....any thoughts? Has anyone ever tried this?
     
  20. cajunsmoker

    cajunsmoker Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use mustard on my ribs, and I sure didn't mean you shouldn't use it, just that I never have used it.
    It is really just a binder to keep the rub on and it gives no difference in the taste as far as I can tell.

    edit - Tonto, I have used worchectshire sauce and I have used Italian salad dressing on briskets. Both work fine. I'm sure mustard will work fine too.
     

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