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Some Briskets just can't be tamed

agaffer

Smoke Blower
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Joined Oct 2, 2020
My wife made some delicious sweet and spicy pickles this week. Nothing goes better with them than a Texas style brisket.

I called around to the markets where I can usually get either a choice brisket or an Angus brisket. Only flats were available and I really like the fatty point. That meant getting a select brisket from Walmart. They only had one and I couldn’t see a single stripe of fat in it. Not a good sign.

Almost walked away, and should have. I got it home and trimmed it up. What it lacked in “good” fat in the meat it made up with that rock hard type of fat that never renders. Plus, whoever did the trim did such a bad job I had to cut away probably 3 pounds of brisket to get a decent shape.

“O’k, I can fix this.” I thought to myself. I mixed up a batch of Butchers Prime Brisket injection. It is filled with phosphates to tenderize meat. Went to inject and the needle bent trying to penetrate the brisket at the point! Changed needles and injected with the grain instead of across the grain. Plumped it up with a full 2 cups of liquid. “That’ll fix it.”, Says I.

Seasoned it and threw it into my Stump’s set to 190° at 10:00 pm. Got up at 4:00 am to replenish the charcoal and went back to bed. I have cooked briskets using this method many times. It has never failed and always insures that it will be done by dinnertime. Side note for those of you that are about to comment on cooking a brisket at such a low temperature. When I obtained my first stick burner in Texas, John Willingham was the king of BBQ, the Myron Mixon of that time. He advocated smoking almost everything at 185° for long, long times.

At 8:00 am, 10 hours into the cook, I wrapped it in pink butcher paper. Stuck a temp. probe in the flat and one in the point. The point was still as hard as clay. Left the pit temp. at 190°. Figured that around 12:00 pm I would bump up the temp of the pit to 250°, and expected another 3-4 hours of cook time before resting.

At 2:30 (16 ½ hours of cooking) the meat was at 200°, time to take a look and give it a probe. At this point the butcher paper should be soaked in juice and melted fat. Nope, only a little bit on the bottom half. At 2:50 hit 203°, felt like I was sticking the probe into clay. Figured it wasn’t going to get any better so, pulled it and wrapped it in tin foil to let it rest a couple of hours.

Unwrapped it at 5:00. Not even a hint of jiggle. Cutting into it, even the point was a dried out piece of jerky. Good flavor though, as long as you soaked it in bbq sauce and pretended it was a whole brisket of burnt ends.

So, the point is, some briskets just can’t be tamed. I doubt that even Aaron Franklin would have had any luck with this one
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IMG_4139.jpeg

Waiting for brisket to cook is not like waiting for paint to dry. Briskets take longer.
IMG_4149.jpeg

Four months from order to delivery because of Covid.
 

agaffer

Smoke Blower
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Joined Oct 2, 2020
I usually sip a little Blanton's while cooking. If the cook is long enough a rusted drum barrel sawed in half with a smoke stack listing to the side starts looking pretty.
 

TNJAKE

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Happens to the best of us. Nice smoker and beautiful property
 

SmokinEdge

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Wonder what would have been had you taken it to 210 or 215? That can happen as well. Nice cooker.
 

agaffer

Smoke Blower
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Joined Oct 2, 2020
If it was a case of fat needing to render that would work, but, this was a case of no fat which meant every degree just dried it out more. I never would have chosen a brisket where I cannot see any marbling if given a choice of several briskets. This was a case of take it or no brisket. Now I know. Should have grabbed some nice big beef ribs instead.
 

agaffer

Smoke Blower
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Joined Oct 2, 2020
I love Tri-tip, next best piece of beef after prime rib and rib eye. Better grilled than smoked though. Flank steak has a good beefy flavor like Tri-tip and is less expensive.
 

bill1

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Apr 25, 2015
If it was a case of fat needing to render that would work, but, this was a case of no fat which meant every degree just dried it out more...
I agree since SmokinEdge was talking about internal temp. But if you know a cut lacks marbling and you're not going to render some nice juice late in the cook, it might be an argument for cooking hotter (pit temp of 250-275) from the very beginning and pull at the same ~190 IT. At least normal meat moisture may not be lost as much.
 

SmokinEdge

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If it was a case of fat needing to render that would work, but, this was a case of no fat which meant every degree just dried it out more. I never would have chosen a brisket where I cannot see any marbling if given a choice of several briskets. This was a case of take it or no brisket. Now I know. Should have grabbed some nice big beef ribs instead.
For future reference, when dealing with a lean cut, foil and add liquid. Apple juice, beer, whatever and finish to final probe tender. This can help in these cases.
 

Jonok

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Feb 4, 2019
Wrap the damn thing in double hermetically sealed foil at 145 before all the fat melts, and pull it when it probes tender (which it will, if you don’t boil all the water out of it dicking around playing Aaron with butcher paper. He won’t eat his own food, so why does everyone think he’s a barbecue God?)
 

agaffer

Smoke Blower
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Joined Oct 2, 2020
You have a point. That is probably the one thing that could have saved a piece of lean meat. Most briskets, however, are not lean. This is the first one I have ever seen.
 

jcam222

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I wondered if that as a Stumps in your bear post. Very nice!! Man when Butchers Prime injection doesn’t hel you know it’s bad. That’s some great stuff.
 

indaswamp

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First, they started changing the fat pigs to lean pigs....now cows?!?!? What in tarnation has Flavor Town come to????? LOL!!!
 

tallbm

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Great write up. I find chucks to often be like this so at around 180F foil them tightly with some added liquid (water, old wine in fridge, beer, whatever is around) and then let them go until about 208F IT and have chopped/pulled beef. I smoke these chucks (and my briskets) at 275F and it works like a charm here it got plenty of smoke and the foil and liquid whipped it into submission :)

If I run across a brisket that sad I would definitely apply this approach as needed :)
 

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