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Supermarket Brisket - I was desperate!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by pokey, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    So I bought a brisket in a supermarket that has hardly no fat. I guess it's just the flat. Am I doomed, or is it possible to get decent results with a piece of meat like this? Anything to do differently?

    TIA (Thanks in Advance)
  2. The first brisket I smoked was one of those - bought at a local Costco, but was the flat only, with almost no fat, other than the marbling. It was a small one, weighing in at 2.77 lbs - I didn't want to ruin a large piece of meat on my first attempt so I bought a small piece! I marinated it overnight in a garlic marinade and smoked it for about 4 hours, then an hour wrapped in foil and a towel. It sliced up great (sorry - I didn't think to take pictures! and was tender and juicy. My next one is going to be a full brisket but I wouldn't hesitate to do another flat only.

    Alan Hepburn

    San Jose, Ca
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can get good results with the trimmed flats, you just have to take a few precautions.
    1. Don't rush it.
    2. Drape some bacon over the top of it to help it self baste while it smokes.
    3. Don't rush it.
    4. When it hits 165° internal temp. transfer it to a foil pan or wrap it in foil with a 1/2 cup or so of liquid (beer, beef broth, ect.)
    5. Don't rush it.
    6. When it hits 190° internal temp. wrap in foil, wrap in towel, and let it rest in a dry cooler for 1-2 hrs.
    Bascially take your time, keep the smoker running low around 200°, don't peek or open the smoker unless you absolutely have to..... and last but not least.... don't rush it. [​IMG]
  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Patience "Grasshopper"[​IMG]  Put it in at 220*F with a probe and walk away,do not look ,do not touch and be quiet;all that piece of meat wants is to be rubbed(as you have) and left alone in his nice warm,moist sauna.When he gets to 180*F wrap him in a foil blanket and a towel or two then rest for an hour,then DEVOUR IT[​IMG]   Save his juice to add to your favorite BBQ sauce...That is IF you need the extra boost[​IMG]

        Oops,sorry JR, we were posting at the same timeyou beat me to the draw[​IMG]

    Hope that helps and,
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  5. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    lol... never hurts to drive the patience point home when it comes to brisket. I think to many people try to rush thier first brisket, get mediocre results, get discouraged, and give up on brisket. I would have screwed the proverbial pooch on my first brisket if I hadn't had this forum to guide me along.... turned out great, and now the family want's one at least once a month... lol.
  6. dforbes

    dforbes Meat Mopper

    I made the mistake one time of letting someone I was cooking for, ( a good friend) provide the briskets for the cook. The (butcher) talked him into letting him trim all the fat off. It was a lot more work, spritzing with apple juice constantly. The end result was great and I learned a valuable lesson. Never let anyone pick the meat that I am going to cook.
    ralphbrown05 likes this.
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    What did it cost per pound?
    I was desperate too today. Got one at Wegmans. All they had was flats. Biggest one I could find----4.5 lbs.

    $4.79 per pound![​IMG]

    $4.79 at Giant too!

    Weiss wanted $6.99![​IMG]   [​IMG]

    It has some fat on it, but not too much---didn't need to trim any.

  8. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    I think I can handle patience: Today I did the pulled pork for tomorrow's party. I started it last night at 11:00, setting the Traeger to 225. When I checked it at 7:00 this morning, I was shocked to find it already over 175! The last two I did (the only two I've done) took almost 18 hours at 225. That was what I had counted on. Since I had to go to work, I lowered the setting on the smoker to 180. When I got home around 3:00, the smoker temp was 215 and the butt was at 185. I raised the setting back to 225 and around 6:00 it hit 202 and I took her out. If I treat this brisket similarly, (but going 180) it sounds like I should be OK.

    Oh, and it was $4.59/lb.

    Thanks, guys!
  9. good luck to ya
  10. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    So, here goes: I made a rub of 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp each of garlic poweder, onion powder, paprika, coarse pepper and ginger and put the brisket in the fridge for about 36 hours.


    (Oh and it was $4.49 a pound. Typo!)


    I put it in the smoker at 225 using hickory. I expected a 4 hour smoke to 180, which would give me two hours before guest arrival to cook the ABTs in the space occupied by the brisket. Six hours later, the temp was at 172. A little over 7 hours total time got it to 180, so I removed it, foiled it, wrapped it in a towel and let it sit for a half hour before slicing.



    Not good. It tasted great, but was so tough I ended up chopping it and moistening it with BBQ sauce (I like Stubbs Original). I had a few who do not eat pork, and so they skipped the ribs and pulled pork and ate the beef. It disappeared, but I wasn't happy with the results. Some said to cook to 180, some to 190. I think I read somewhere that 180 is for slicing, 190 for pulling. Maybe I should have injected it. For obvious reasons, I couldn't drape bacon over it to self-baste. Anyway, next time I'll make sure I get the whole packer. And leave a lot of fat on.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry to hear it didn't work out as well as we hoped. Hopefully next time with a full packer will go better for you, but on the plus side it all got eaten!
  12. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    Uh oh. Correction: Just because there's nothing left on the serving platter doesn't mean it was eaten. I found out most of it was discarded (polite for "thrown into the trash"). It was inedible. Good thing the ribs and the pulled pork were so good. Oh well. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. But I'm not sure what I learned from this, other than if I wouldn't want to eat it, don't put it out there.