jjdbike

Smoked Brisket: Experiences & lessons

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Hey everyone,

 

Being a teacher, I try to take a few "lessons" away from every experience. Unfortunately I am not a scientist and do not have the focus of being able to take copious notes, or patience to only change one variable at a time. Instead, I try to soak up as much as I can from people like Aaron Franklin, Myron Mixon, Maclum Reed, Jeromy Yoder, etc...

I cooked my 5th brisket yesterday. In reflection, here are my take aways.

 

1st was a prime from a local butcher shop. I babied it and tended to it like to it like my life depended on it. I did my best to keep egg at at 225, I was still kind of green and temp no-doubt fluctuated between 220 & 280. but I pulled and wrapped it in foil at 160. Finished in oven at 203. Had no idea what probe tender was. I remember it was good, but under seasoned & over smoked as I used copious amounts of wood chunks. As we know, eggs tend to smolder at low temps. Of course, the bark was non-existent due to early foil. They were realtively moist and tender which I attribute to adding liquid and sealing tightly for the wrap... i.e. braised. 

 

Next two were American Wagyu, again on egg. Kept temps between 255 & 285. Both wrapped in foil, pulled 1st at 165, next at 175. The bark on 175 was much better, but not outstanding. I learned that they need lots of rub - seasoning. Also leaned that more rub = better bark. The waygus were really moist and tender. Smoke was okay, but flavor, moisture and texture were great.

 

4th was "point half" (i.e. literally cut in half), done on WSM. It was from a local farm and was prime. The marbling was very good. It was very, very good. Probably better than the ones on BGE. 

 

Yesterday I did an "aged prime" from Wild Fork. Unfortunately the one I got didn't have very good marbling. Couldn't compare w/ incredible marbling of wagyu. Three big differences. 1st, I smoked in my new stick burner KBQ using locally sourced cherry and hickory, some of which was a tad green & smoldered and steamed before catching. 2nd, I kept unwrapped on the smoker till flat was 190.. 3rd, wrapped in butcher paper and coated in wagyu tallow. 

Take aways:

  • Taking to 190 & wrapping in butcher paper produced and maintained much better bark.
  • I found it more challenging to determine prob tender through paper.
  • For some reason, the flat never got probe tender and finally took it off at 208 which climbed to 211 w/ carry over.
  • Point was excellent, great fat render, moist and tender.
  • Flat was just okay, not very moist or tender.
  • Seasoning was good, but I could have done with more. I thought I used a good amount, i.e. slathered, rubbed, let melt in and did another light coating. 
  • Smoke was sublime. Subtle, just enough, but very pleasant. 
  • The KBQ produces amazing bark and clean smoke. Even though some of the wood was a tad green, the configuration of the smoke box pulling smoke through and from under the fire ensures clean smoke from complete combustion. The significant air flow produced by the fans makes amazing bark.
  • Take away.... wagyu is worth it. From my perspective it's all about the marbling, especially in the flat. 
  • If I do another prime with less than amazing marbling in the flat, I'll consider a late injection of tallow and stock, at the wrap.
  • While I do enjoy a day of cooking at the smoker, not in a rush to do another packer real soon. If I do, it'll be wagyu. Next beef smoke will no doubt be prime chuck roasts.

 

A side note... Yesterday I put a pan of beans under the brisket to catch drippings. I also smoked trimmings which I latter chopped & added to the beans. 

This is the second time I've smoked beans. As much as I enjoy smoke flavor, the beans were over smoked. Both times they came out bitter w/ a creosote flavor. I don't know what it is about beans but they soak up a ton of smoke and it produces a flavor profile that is unpleasant for me. It's disappoint as I love beans and had high hope for these. So far, the only beans I've made that I don't like are those I smoked.

 

Best regards.

JD

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I've done brisket, tri tip and chuck roast.

 

I prefer and do much better with a chuck roast.

 

With that said, I know everyone says probe tender.

 

Problem is not all cuts of cook the same or even.

 

I've had cuts that seemed prob tender and were at 205 and I've had some that  were less then 205.

 

Last summer I started panning my cuts when they hit the stall instead of wrapping.  That seems to work alot better and keeps it moist and juicy.

 

Then I run the probes to 208, then I pull it from the pan and wrap and let it rest in a cooler till the temp drops down to 185.

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from my experience . every piece of meat even thou the same cut will yield different results. even when cooking them side by side. I had briskets probe tender in 12 hours & then some took 15 hours with almost identical weight. I never got around to cook anything but choice grade in brisket. Think I'll splurge on the next 1 & see try it. I just purchased some chuck tenders from restaurant depot on sale. about 20# for $45.00. fot it seasoned up now. So going to do about 250* for about 4 hours & then wrap to finish  

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8 hours ago, vce12342000 said:

from my experience . every piece of meat even thou the same cut will yield different results. even when cooking them side by side. I had briskets probe tender in 12 hours & then some took 15 hours with almost identical weight. I never got around to cook anything but choice grade in brisket. Think I'll splurge on the next 1 & see try it. I just purchased some chuck tenders from restaurant depot on sale. about 20# for $45.00. fot it seasoned up now. So going to do about 250* for about 4 hours & then wrap to finish  

Yes, agreed.

Resturant Depot, I see one needs to work in the business to shop there. That's a non-starter for me. vce, are you in the food industry?

1st time I heard about chuck tenders. Like I said, next beef smoke I do, and beef is my fave, will be more chuck roasts. Last time I took them to 210 to pull, delicious. I'll try them lower to slice this time.

Love to hear more about your chuck tenders. I looked them up, seems they're mostly used for stew?

JD

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1 hour ago, jjdbike said:

Yes, agreed.

Resturant Depot, I see one needs to work in the business to shop there. That's a non-starter for me. vce, are you in the food industry?

1st time I heard about chuck tenders. Like I said, next beef smoke I do, and beef is my fave, will be more chuck roasts. Last time I took them to 210 to pull, delicious. I'll try them lower to slice this time.

Love to hear more about your chuck tenders. I looked them up, seems they're mostly used for stew?

JD

Naa. not in the food industry. My friend works there and lets me use her employee discount ;). The chuck tenders was a impulse buy. I googled it after I got home with it, I was like crap:kook:. I purchased stewing beef :laugh:. But Im gonna try to make the best of it. I wanted to try something different besides brisket, chicken quarters, & ribs. If push comes to shove. I have a 100# rottweiler that would enjoy the failed experiment :laugh::laugh: . But chuck roast is 1 of my favorite cuts of beef to use the smoker. The low & slow method really shines thru with that cut of beef. I find it better then brisket. I havent seen chuck roast @ RD. So I usually will get that @ costco. 

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Posted (edited)

38 mins ago, vce12342000 said:

Naa. not in the food industry. My friend works there and lets me use her employee discount ;). The chuck tenders was a impulse buy. I googled it after I got home with it, I was like crap:kook:. I purchased stewing beef :laugh:. But Im gonna try to make the best of it. I wanted to try something different besides brisket, chicken quarters, & ribs. If push comes to shove. I have a 100# rottweiler that would enjoy the failed experiment :laugh::laugh: . But chuck roast is 1 of my favorite cuts of beef to use the smoker. The low & slow method really shines thru with that cut of beef. I find it better then brisket. I havent seen chuck roast @ RD. So I usually will get that @ costco. 

Cool thanks.

I too love chuck. Have you smoked and sliced it? How did that work out? What temp did you take it to roughly?

Rotties are very cool critters. I love their sturdy bear-like look. Can be hard headed & stubborn though.  I was always a GSD guy. When you've earned their trust and respect, they love to train and please. I've seen rotties look at their owner giving them a command as if to say, "make me" : ). 

Next up for me, other than chuckies, I got a couple small boneless skin on turkey breasts. I'd like to have it on hand for those strange creatures who don't eat beef or pork. 

Respectfully,

JD

Edited by jjdbike

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10 mins ago, jjdbike said:

Cool thanks.

I too love chuck. Have you smoked and sliced it? How did that work out? What temp did you take it to roughly?

Rotties are very cool critters. I love their sturdy bear-like look. Can be hard headed & stubborn though.  I was always a GSD guy. When you've earned their trust and respect, they love to train and please. I've seen rotes look at their owner giving them a command as if to say, "make me" : ). 

Next up for me, other than chuckies, I got a couple small boneless skin on turkey breasts. I'd like to have it on hand for those strange creatures who don't eat beef or pork. 

Respectfully,

JD

rotties can be STUBBORN for sure :laugh::laugh:.

 

chuck roasts cook time can vary as any kind of meats, i usually some @ 225* per pound. then wrap @ 170*. go up to 195*. then let it rest for a few hours. if you want pulled beef texture. bring up to about 205*. I prefer 195* as I like it sliced. 

 

turkey breast can be tricky to do. as they like to dry out. imo best to do with a water pan. Ive run mine about 225* 

 

 

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22 mins ago, jjdbike said:

Cool thanks.

I too love chuck. Have you smoked and sliced it? How did that work out? What temp did you take it to roughly?

Rotties are very cool critters. I love their sturdy bear-like look. Can be hard headed & stubborn though.  I was always a GSD guy. When you've earned their trust and respect, they love to train and please. I've seen rotties look at their owner giving them a command as if to say, "make me" : ). 

Next up for me, other than chuckies, I got a couple small boneless skin on turkey breasts. I'd like to have it on hand for those strange creatures who don't eat beef or pork. 

Respectfully,

JD

I got a few nice chuck roasts with the last 1/4 of beef and have 2 left over from the last one. After reading  this I'm going to smoke a CR this week, never did one so we'll see.

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22 mins ago, vce12342000 said:

rotties can be STUBBORN for sure :laugh::laugh:.

 

chuck roasts cook time can vary as any kind of meats, i usually some @ 225* per pound. then wrap @ 170*. go up to 195*. then let it rest for a few hours. if you want pulled beef texture. bring up to about 205*. I prefer 195* as I like it sliced. 

 

turkey breast can be tricky to do. as they like to dry out. imo best to do with a water pan. Ive run mine about 225* 

 

 

Thanks man,

Funny you said that about the turkey breasts. My initial plan was to do them along said the brisket to be efficient w/ time & fuel. The 9 hours on the stick burner before pulled, wrapped & in oven takes a lot of fuel. I was advised against doing the turkey w/ the brisket. Said turkey breasts, because they're so lean and tend to dry out, are best done hot and fast, i.e. 325 - 375. I think most pre wet brine, inject or both to maximize moisture. Like I said, they're small, like 2 1/2 & 3 lbs each. Should be done in no time. I think people shoot for crispy skin or remove skin all together. Not sure which I'll do. I'd thing the skin would keep the rub flavor on the surface. I wonder if any favor from rub would penetrate flesh at all, prolly not much & proll just salt.

I always use a water pan in my KBQ stick burner. That thing is a bark machine so I don't need to worry about water pan inhibiting bark formation.

18 mins ago, richie c said:

I got a few nice chuck roasts with the last 1/4 of beef and have 2 left over from the last one. After reading  this I'm going to smoke a CR this week, never did one so we'll see.

You'll love the chuckies! So much beefy flavor.

Post a report!

JD

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Briskets are aggravating, some are cooked right, some are a good cut, others when not cooked perfectly or aren't a choice piece of meat (probably about a 2 minute window for perfect) are just ok. Not worth my effort anymore, I'll stick with the cheaper cuts and the ease of cooking/smoking. 

 

I will admit though a well cooked brisket is something to enjoy, I'm about for 2 for 12 so I'm ready to go back to the minors, I always overdo them, shredded beef.

 

 

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2 hours ago, jjdbike said:

Thanks man,

Funny you said that about the turkey breasts. My initial plan was to do them along said the brisket to be efficient w/ time & fuel. The 9 hours on the stick burner before pulled, wrapped & in oven takes a lot of fuel. I was advised against doing the turkey w/ the brisket. Said turkey breasts, because they're so lean and tend to dry out, are best done hot and fast, i.e. 325 - 375. I think most pre wet brine, inject or both to maximize moisture. Like I said, they're small, like 2 1/2 & 3 lbs each. Should be done in no time. I think people shoot for crispy skin or remove skin all together. Not sure which I'll do. I'd thing the skin would keep the rub flavor on the surface. I wonder if any favor from rub would penetrate flesh at all, prolly not much & proll just salt.

I always use a water pan in my KBQ stick burner. That thing is a bark machine so I don't need to worry about water pan inhibiting bark formation.

You'll love the chuckies! So much beefy flavor.

Post a report!

JD

Also have a sirloin tip roast, good choice for smoking?

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9 hours ago, Highlander1 said:

Briskets are aggravating, some are cooked right, some are a good cut, others when not cooked perfectly or aren't a choice piece of meat (probably about a 2 minute window for perfect) are just ok. Not worth my effort anymore, I'll stick with the cheaper cuts and the ease of cooking/smoking. 

 

I will admit though a well cooked brisket is something to enjoy, I'm about for 2 for 12 so I'm ready to go back to the minors, I always overdo them, shredded beef.

 

 

Ive been lucky. Ive been rolling @ 70% success on briskets so far. Ive been only using choice cuts :laugh:

 

Its the chicken quarters that Ive been 50% on. Sometimes they come out a little dry :cry:  

 

 

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7 hours ago, richie c said:

Also have a sirloin tip roast, good choice for smoking?

anytype of meat comes out tastier when smoked :drool::drool:

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On 7/23/2022 at 0:40 PM, DerrickT said:

I've done brisket, tri tip and chuck roast.

 

I prefer and do much better with a chuck roast.

 

With that said, I know everyone says probe tender.

 

Problem is not all cuts of cook the same or even.

 

I've had cuts that seemed prob tender and were at 205 and I've had some that  were less then 205.

 

Last summer I started panning my cuts when they hit the stall instead of wrapping.  That seems to work alot better and keeps it moist and juicy.

 

Then I run the probes to 208, then I pull it from the pan and wrap and let it rest in a cooler till the temp drops down to 185.

Have you tried Rump Roast ? 

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