The Brisket Thread - A place to share brisket cooks

Fran604g

Just Call Me Junior
Interesting comments and good info..

Like audio, going for perfection and being a "purists" mostly results in disappointment... at least in my case.

I have a good friend that has been a professional chef and restaurant manager going on 30 something years. He rarely smokes mcuh longer than an hour or so, as he says... "you can only get so much smoke in there". He then uses the oven for the rest. It gets really easy and never fails. The secret is how to seal the container you use in the oven. Fall off the bone everytime. Even BB Ribs... Which I have always found very difficult to get right on the grill exclusively.

Having said that... I love to stand by the grill and hang out in the backyard and listen to music and throw the baseball/ frisbee etc with the kids on a nice day. That's a good day in my book.
As a chef (25 years), I never had a problem with compounding techniques, either. Use all your tools in the toolbox!

I've smoked food on top of a stove burner with a hotel pan. Sea scallops go fast, and taste great. I cut my teeth a looong time ago with a simple aluminum cabinet with wire racks and a hot plate with an aluminum pan.
 

airdronian

Radar Member
I tried it once but it came out a bit too dry, even after the recommended butcher paper technique. So I still have to work on this once I feel like messing with the smoker again. It did have good flavor though and was OK for some shredded beef tacos. I made the mistake of following a method by someone I'd never followed before. There's a recipe on Meathead's site I may try (involves "steaming" it for a couple of hours with beef broth after the bark has formed). Prime chuck is $6.99/lb. here, but I can get Choice for $3.99/lb--I don't trust myself to experiment on better cuts of meat until I've perfected the method.


Top round doesn't have enough fat content to break down and tenderize the meat, like we get with a brisket or pork shoulder. By the same token, I couldn't smoke a pork loin for that same reason. Although one thing we could do with a pork loin or round/rump/sirloin roast is to bake (roast) it outside on a grill or smoker, the traditional way, to where they are anywhere from medium rare to well done (with the pork, medium-well is about as pink as I'd take it). If that's the case, a higher temperature would get some nice caramelization on the outside, the smoke would add its own notes and the inside would be as tender as roasting it inside.

Usually, meats with higher fat content work best for smoking. Except for poultry which behaves differently. I smoked a turkey breast for Thanksgiving that apparently came out OK--I don't like turkey (the smell of it gags me), but at least in the smoker I was able to eat some of it.
There's a recipe I like called Pepper Stout Beef which calls for roasting part way and then essentially braising with the beer & veggies, sounds like a similar method to what you mention. I'll use chuck or possibly sirloin tip for that. On a fresh bun with condiments of choice and a bit of gorgonzola is killer.
 
As a chef (25 years), I never had a problem with compounding techniques, either. Use all your tools in the toolbox!

I've smoked food on top of a stove burner with a hotel pan. Sea scallops go fast, and taste great. I cut my teeth a looong time ago with a simple aluminum cabinet with wire racks and a hot plate with an aluminum pan.
I had an uncle that was an appliance repairman that would use an old refrigerator or freezer as a smoker. He would put a pan of coals in the bottom, knock a hole in the top, fill it with meat, and let it cook all day. Always would bring us some good eats!
 
Lean meat and high fat meat require different cooking techniques.
Prime/high choice meats are very forgiving. A guru told me restaurants wanted prime steaks so the minimum wage meat flipper wouldn’t ruin a piece of meat.

The key to cooking lean meat is to preserve the moisture...that is why I use the pan method(wrap foil to seal the top about half way through). Wrapping it all in foil after a few hours on the smoker is another method. You don’t get the nice bark this way.

If you over cook and dry out a piece of meat, slice it about a quarter inch, put it back in the pan with the juices (you did save the juice?), and cook for about another hour.

Muscle location has a lot to do with tenderness. Structure muscles tend to be more tender. Motion muscles tend to be tougher (more lean). All meat can make an enjoyable meal if it is properly cooked.
 

MrEd

Senior Nobody
I agree with @RPMac , leaner cuts I smoke for while then wrap.
Pork loin works for me wrapping from the start and then smoking at the end.
 

MrEd

Senior Nobody
Reviving this thread with questions for all the smoker guys here.
I am trying to decide on a new smoker and am considering a vertical smoker with offset fire box.
Main reason is space, but definitely want the offset fire box.
It's that or a regular offset barrel type.
Thoughts on vertical smoker in general? 🤔
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
Reviving this thread with questions for all the smoker guys here.
I am trying to decide on a new smoker and am considering a vertical smoker with offset fire box.
Main reason is space, but definitely want the offset fire box.
It's that or a regular offset barrel type.
Thoughts on vertical smoker in general? 🤔
Most vertical smokers have quite a variation between the top and bottom grate but also have a lot more room than the typical barrel type of offset. Are you planning on smoking for a lot of people?
 
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StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
Some big changes are happening at Casa Z. I ordered a Weber Summit E6 Kamado last week. It will be delivered this coming week.

Can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about with Kamado cooking.
 

MrEd

Senior Nobody
Most vertical smokers have quite a variation between the top and bottom grate but also have a lite more room than the typical barrel type of offset. Are you planning on smoking for a lot of people?
I usually don't smoke unless it's a gathering of sorts, be it family or friends.
I am considering something like this
Dyna-Glo-Signature-Series-Vertical-Charcoal-Smoker-and-Grill-DGSS1382VCS-D-product-247x296.jpg

Never looked at the Kamado
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
Variation in heat is not a problem. Understand it and take advantage of it. Use meat probes and cook to the temperature.
Yep in some situations multiple zones of cooking are good. The Cookshack PG500 has 4 zones and some folks really love it
 
Checked my inventory last week and I have about 8 chucks 2” thick, a couple tip roast, and two briskets(special occasion). I have an electric Masterbuilt that has 4 racks. Probably do some chucks and chickens next week.

I’ve had 2 firebox cookers to cook on that would hold a whole pig. Firebox cookers give the meat a lot of smoke flavor when you burn hardwood.

Using the reliable Weber tonight. Pork tenderloin and a few chicken thighs.B64F27FC-7369-4F30-A362-DB3B19FDF695.jpeg
 
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