To sear or not to sear, that is the question.

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Sep 26, 2006
We have always seared our briskets before smoking.

I'm not talking about a little grilling, We're talking about great blazes of beef fat and mesqite or hickory. We sear until the exterior is completely black.

I've never seen anyone talk of searing here. Does anyone else sear first?

I'm adding this link a few months after the original post due to the fact that there have been several requests for info regarding the "SmokyOkie Brisket Method". For info on this method look here

Good Smoking and Good Eating,

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I have never seared a brisket .. Alton Brown did a show on searing and not searing, compairing the meat and so one and searing does'nt seal in the juice as you may think. Both pieces of meat retained most of thier moisture .. sooo It's your choice... You'll get the color without searng the brisket ..

Searing is to carmelize the sugars on the exterior of a steak or ?.
With a brisket we look to create smokering and searing inhibits the formation of smokering. If your rub has sugar in it that would be burned while searing. So I don't sear.
When I do roasts when cooking in the kitchen, I'll sear as the fond (carmelized meat bits) adds to the final gravy. When smoking meats, I never sear.
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I was taught to do this by an old man that ran a BBQ store for decades. We've never cooked one any other way, so we can't speak to whether it improves anything or not. But I can assure you that it does not inhibit smoke ring. We've been told that our brisket has a "beefier" flavor than any other that they've had. We think that it probably has to do with the Maillard process that is only achieved @ higher temps as in searing.

I do know that if you poke one of our briskets after 2-3 hours in the smoker, it will squirt a small geyser about 3 feet, but then I don't know if that would be the case with un unseared brskt. Does anyone else?

Dutch, I guess it's kinda like taking the flavor that you get from the fond, and leaving it stuck on the meat.
I'm with Dutch on this one. I always sear my roasts before I put them in the oven(usually coated with pepper, salt and flour) then I make a gravy with the roux left behind. However I have never seared or seen anyone else sear before smoking. My .02.
There's always room for a first time. Next time whole packer trims go on sale for $.99#, pick up a 12-13#one and try it. Place it in a foil pan fat side up in the smoker for 2 hrs then flip for 1 1/2 hrs. flip it again and cover it. cook it QD. If you don't think its super, I'll send you a check for your $.99#. The au jus will be unlike any other, and the skimmed off smokey fat will work magic on any bean recipe.

BTW, Why do you sear your roasts? :?
I sear my roast's to make some beef juice for my roux. I then make the gravy and pour it over the roast, potato's, carrots and onions and cover in dutch oven and slow cook in oven. That is an old family favorite way to cook a Chuck roast.

I definitely am not knocking your way of doing it. I just never heard of it before. Believe it or not, there are still lots of things I haven't heard of before. :D
It's also one of our favorites. I was just wanting to popintg out that the reason you brown the meat is to get at that deep beefy carmelized flavor that only occurs when meat is seared. When we sear a brisket, all of that flavor stays on the brisket, and eventually cooks back into the meat.

As far as having lots of things you haven't heard of, I believe that life is over when you have nothing left to learn, and I idin't think you were knocking it.
I think Dutch was, though
Bump! While I'm not much for resurrecting old threads I believe some life has definately been breathed back into this thread. Some of the members at the gathering weren't around when this was first discussed.

I had forgot the .99 cent per lb. rebate offer Tim. You had better expand on the method a little so PeculiarMike and I don't have to send out for our rebate offer.
I missed this thread before I think it's worth a try rebate or no! I do my steaks that way and pot roasts why not briskets?

I've got faith brother Oky I'll try it without the rebate!
Debi I was there from rub to the finishing slice. You won't need no stinking rebate, you'll need a bib. From the mouth of SmokyOky it's "wunnerful" stuff.
That was a SmokyOky pre-blend which I think your favorite brisket rub should work fine... when he comes along in the daylight maybe he will tell all about it. I think he said, but too much went on to remember everything.
I may live south of Peculiar, but I growed up in the Ozarks and am a card carrying hillbilly and general good ol' boy who knows good grub when he eats it. Those at the gathering will attest to the fact I ain't missed any meals.

All I know about this searing thing is this -
I had SmokyOky's brisket at the gathering (and again tonight for supper) and it is WITHOUT DOUBT the best brisket I have eaten anywhere.
Oky said it was "overdone". If that is fact then I am sure I could not stand his brisket when it is perfect.
Any brisket prepared at this location in the future WILL BE SEARED.
$.99 rebate????? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...........................
Never seared a brisket, but have no doubt that it would be delishous

To be honest, I am kind of getting tired of the red pepper spice it up BBQ ( I mean I aint too proud to eat it, what do you think? I have lost my mind or something?) But the plain meat flavored meat is kind of a favorite with me. Well, let me explain, I think the term is really savory maybe. Just the simple stuff like onion and garlic and salt or some of the aromatic herbs like sage, rosemary or celery and the carmelized meat and some good ole drippings. Once you have this down, then you can add whatever finishing/dipping sause/ condiment tht you like when the meat is on the plate. Beef bouion (SP) can go a long way to help this out too if it is not too salty.

Mean while back on the ranch.... Keep on searing if it is what you like! And thanks for sharing the thought/idea. Something this simple could have been looked over and lost forever!
so, what is the famed method?

I see all these post about following the procedure...well, give it up!!!!
Nope, it's a sealed secret now. Glad I got in on it within the last couple weeks, before it became sealed!!!

Actually, read through the stickies in the "beef" section. There is one where SmokyOkie explains the process. I think that is where I learned most. Then I just asked SmokyOkie a few questions and followed directions. you can see a few pictures of mine in another thread I started. I think it was called "First Packer Brisket" or somethink like that. It is a VERY simple method. I feel it is pretty much impossible to screw up.

As I said in the other thread, one of the benefits besides the fact that it makes outstanding brisket is the fact that it is done quicker because you cook at around 260* to 270*. I GUARANTEE you do not have to cook at 225* to 230* to get tender brisket.

I seared mine using Cowboy lump on my Weber grill. It was VERY easy and quick. I paid $1.98 per lb for my brisket, but no rebate was necessary.
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