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

abelman

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Okie,

Here's a question that I ran across looking through a thread on Tri-tips. You were questioning someone on searing a flat.

Would you do a hard sear on a point if you're not doing a whole packer?

I love brisket and have a pretty good system. Although, I've never seared one and have always done flats or points, never a packer. So, I'm curious and want to try the sear.

Thanks!
 

smokyokie

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I'd be nervous about searing a naked flat. There;s a lot of potential for drying out there, even if you foil it.

I wouldn't think you would hurt a point if it still had all it's fat on it.

I'm curious, why don't you want to do a whole PT?
 

abelman

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Just because I haven't ever done one and don't think I could get it to fit on a vertical. I guess I could cut it but I'm not sure how.

So, I usually do cuts like this which is 5 lbs. which also has a good fat cap underneath.



This is what I would look at searing.
 

richtee

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Wipe it with bacon grease heavily and SEAR it! The Malliard reaction will make you a believer. It's not about the fat on the meat..it's about somehow searing it well.

Trust me. I'll refund your money if you don't think it's better!
 

abelman

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Thanks, perhaps even some 6-15 in the rub


I'll give it a try. I assume you're talking about grease from the pan after cooking the bacon just to be clear.
 

smokyokie

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You mean you don't save ALL your bacon grease?

I'd be a little gentle on the naked side just because the cut is a little thinner, but sear the p*** out of the fat side.
 

abelman

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Smokie, gotcha and we'll see what happens, Thanks!

As for the bacon grease, believe it or not, we don't eat a lot of bacon around here for whatever reason. The only time is when things pop up in recipes like this for example.

As for ABTs, I've been dong them for years and always without bacon and still prefer them that way.
 

meandmytwodogs

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I went to the store yesterday and picked up one a "whole brisket" It's deffinetly whole, but is only 6 1/4 lbs. I kinda reluctantly picked this one up. Am wondering if it is going to be to small to sear safely. Whithout drying it out on the end I mean. The thinnest part of the flat is just less than an inch or so think and tapers up along the edge to closer to 2 inches. Nice fatty side. Aw hell.I love some burt ends! Never mind my doubt. I'm torchin this thing. I'll start my own thread when I get it going Saturday with lots of pics.
See you then!
Dave
 

navionjim

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Don't worry Dave, I do small one all the time and only use SmokyOkie's searing method, I think the small ones are a bit more tender then the big packers, and they smoke somewhat faster too. Plus you don't need so many coals to sear and they are much easier to handle with two sets of tong while searing than a 15lb monster is. Even still, pick the most flexible one you can find and go by Smoky's step by step method. You'll love it.
Jimbo
 

coyote

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I am very new to smokeing.But I have been cookin fer a while. And I think that most of you from what I have read have taken this art of smoking to a level I have not seen most any place else. makes it feel that I have tons to learn and experiment with. which I am going to do.

On this post about searing... several months ago I was invited to attend a promotion ceremony and party for a good friend. I was asked if I would make the Rice, salsa, wings and a brisket. now, I have never made a brisket and have only tasted them and thought they tasted like crap nothing but fat and grease, so I have never fooled with them.. ( I never tasted one that a good cook did.)
I looked on the internet to find a recipe and kinda get an idea how to cook one. ( I had not seen this forum as yet) I have cooked very little meat in my oven, but tons of animal parts on my grills. I found one of Emeril's recipes for brisket and it was cooked in the oven. I did a little modifications to it and pretty much followed his directions.
One of which was searing the brisket. which I normally do to all the beef meat I grill. emeril's searing was pre heat the oven to 500 then stick the meat in untill brown on top the turn it over and and brown the other side.
any way at the party there were over 12 briskets brought in some cooked by experts that have been smoking for years.
mine was the 1st one gone and every one wanted to know who cooked it. and said it was the best they ever eaten. (thank you emeril) I like searing as i like the crust that it gives to the meat on the outside..I found this and copied and pasted. hope it helps with the cornfussion..
Searing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Jump to: navigation, search

Cheese-topped sushi is seared using a blow torch


Searing (or pan searing) is a technique used in grilling, roasting, braising, sautÃ[emoji]169[/emoji]ing, etc. that cooks the surface of the food (usually meat, poultry or fish) at high temperature so that a caramelized crust forms. A similar technique, browning, is typically used to sear or brown all sides of a particular piece of meat, fish, poultry, etc. before finishing it in the oven. To obtain the desired brown crust, the meat surface must exceed 300 °F (150 °C), so searing requires the meat surface be free of water, which boils at around 212 °F (100 °C).[1]
It is commonly believed that searing locks in the moisture or "seals in the juices" of the food. However, it has been scientifically shown[2] that searing results in a greater net loss of moisture versus cooking to the same internal temperature without first searing. Nonetheless it remains an essential technique in cooking meat for several reasons:
  • The browning creates desirable flavors through caramelization and the Maillard reaction.
  • The appearance of the food is usually improved with a well-browned crust.
  • The contrast in taste and texture between the crust and the interior makes the food more interesting to the palate.
Typically in grilling the food will be seared over very high heat and then moved to a lower-temperature area of the grill. In braising, the seared surface acts to flavor, color and otherwise enrich the liquid in which the food is being cooked.

[edit] Sealing in the juices

The belief that searing meat "seals in the juices" is widespread and still often repeated. This theory was first put forth by Justus von Liebig,[2] a German chemist and food scientist, around 1850. The notion was embraced by contemporary cooks and authors including Auguste Escoffier.
Simple experimentation can test the theory: cook two similar cuts of meat, searing one first and not the other. Weigh the end results to see which loses more moisture. (The Food Network program Good Eats carried out such a test in episode EA1H22, Myth Smashers.) As early as the 1930s, such experiments were carried out; the seared roasts lost the same amount of moisture or more. (Generally more, since searing exposes the meat to higher temperatures.)
In short, the meat created by searing is in no way waterproof. Moisture in liquid and vapor form can and does continue to escape from a seared piece of meat. For this reason, searing is sometimes done at the end of the freezing process to gain the flavor benefits of the caramelization as well as the benefits of cooking for a greater duration with more moisture.
 

meandmytwodogs

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Just got back from the W.M. and they did have actual "packers". The diff is that the "whole brisket" that I have looks like the one pictured a few threads earlier but mine has more jib (fat) on the top plus the cap on the bottom. What they have at W.M. also had a large hunk of fat and meat hanging off the thick end of the brisket. And the price was almost half (per lb) of what I paid. So there is a diff. I wish I could post a pick to show you but will start a new thread for the weekend tonight after work with documentation along the whole way. LOTS OF QVIEW! I am also going to do a whole chicken and a package of drumsticks. Smoked chicken legs are one of my most fav bbq foods. I'm getting so excited. the weather here is going to suck tomorrow.
But I'm on it.

Dave
 

richtee

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And that's the rest of the story.

Pick up "On Food And Cooking" for a complete technical tour de force of all the scientific points of culinary arts.
 

smokyokie

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While I don't make any claims about sealing juices and preventing moisture loss, I did see that episode of good eats and by my observation, Mr Brown was far from scientific in his methods. One thing that did catch my attention was the thinness of the me he used to disprove the theory.

I sear primarily for flavor but am very curios about the effect that muscle fiber contraction has on moisture retention in thicker cuts of meat. It is my observation that sear heat causes the outer fibers of the meat to contract and this is demonstrated by the contortion of the emat as it sears. I have also made the mistake of poking a brisket with a thermo probe while it was still in the contraction phase of it's cooking. The resulting geyser when the probe was removed was unlike anything else I'd ever experienced.

I'm not saying that the result is any more moist than with an unseared brisket. In the end, by the time the meat is cooked to 195°-200°, re absorbtion is taking place anyway.

I will say this, by my understanding, anybody that wants cn add to Wikipedia and therefore one should never rely on iy as a credible source. Please correct me if I'm wrong. The fact that an "encyclopedia quotes a television show as scientific evidence supports that theory.

In the end, I have found that searing not only improves flavor, but the hard preheat generated by searing speeds cooking time with not deleteious effects to the meat.

Just my nickels' worth.

Smoke 'em up boys!
 

dwayne

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I sear almost sear any meat I can it always helps to keep twice the moisture than not searing good luck................It depends on the meat and the cook and equipment and time good luck..............
 

richtee

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That's ALL it's about Okie. All the moisture retention things have been shot down years ago. It's science. The Malliard browning reaction changing the amino acids/proteins in the meat is the whole deal.

Is there anything better than the bottom of a long cooked pot roast pan?!? ANYTHING?

On Edit: I do think my trial of searing and THEN rubbing had some merit. A good sear really knocks he-double-hockeystix outta a rub. Sear then rub for a different..if not better- flavor.
 

mickster

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I read through all 14 pages of Searing and am glad I stumble on this post. I rarely do a full brisket because A) Kosher meat is $7-12/lb. for brisket! B) I have a very small offset smoker (Char broil American Gourmet not yet modified) and it has 220 sq. inches C) I have only 3 people living in my household total and one is less than 3 years old (although he LOVES my smoked meats) D) I like the smaller cuts.

Now to searing....

My office mate is from Houston and she says she and her hubby ALWAYS sear first. I've done it both ways now and I'm not really sure which way I like better and which is juicier.

I think I'll make 2 pieces (about 2 lbs. each) and sear one and not the other; I'll rotate them around the smoker so they get even cooking, then we'll see...

It will be a week or two until the Great Searing Experiment 2008 but I'll post results...

Good Smoking'

Michael
 

smokyokie

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The searing is not about the juiciness, it's about the flavor. Think of it this way, which has more and better flavor, a seared steak or an unseared steak? Brisket is no different than steak in that regard.

The rest of the method is about juiciness.

If you do a smaller cut just be sure to leave the fat on until after cooking and sea it a little more lightlyto prevent it from drying out.
 

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