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Did another brisket

Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 04:15
by sausagemaneric
So this time I had another 17lb brisket. I mixed up a brine of 1 cup sugar, 1 cup salt and like a cup or so of soy sauce in 2-1/2 gallons ice water. I pumped about 2 pints or so into the brisket and let it sit over night in the fridge. Put it in my Weber charcoal grill indirect style and kept the tempt right at 200-250 for 7hrs( 160 degree internal temp) Then wrapped it up in foil and put it in the oven at 300 degrees for 2hrs internal temp 185. Took it out and let in sit for 30 minutes or so and sliced away. The lean end was real tender and still was somewhat juicy. The large or fatty end was real tender and juicy. I would say this is my best brisket yet. May become the normal way of doing them.


Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 04:51
by ssorllih
In my part of the world that would be an $80 piece of meat. How many people did you feed?

Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 08:31
by Chuckwagon
Great brisket pard! And Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today is the day to wear green and eat corned beef!

Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 13:43
by el Ducko
I had "push back" recently from an American friend of Irish extraction, on corned beef. Here's a good explanation:
The Irish couldn't afford it!
The Celtic grazing lands of...Ireland had been used to pasture cows for centuries. The British colonized...the Irish, transforming much of their countryside into an extended grazing land to raise cattle for a hungry consumer market at home...The British taste for beef had a devastating impact on the impoverished and disenfranchised people of...Ireland. Pushed off the best pasture land and forced to farm smaller plots of marginal land, the Irish turned to the potato, a crop that could be grown abundantly in less favorable soil. Eventually, cows took over much of Ireland, leaving the native population virtually dependent on the potato for survival.
-Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef
Some say it was not until the wave of 18th century Irish immigration to the United States that much of the ethnic Irish first began to consume corned beef dishes as seen today. The popularity of corned beef compared to bacon among the immigrant Irish may have been due to corned beef being considered a luxury product in their native land, while it was cheaply and readily available in America.

In Ireland today, the serving of corned beef is geared toward tourist consumption and most Irish in Ireland do not identify the ingredient as native cuisine.
There's an interesting reference to Chuckwagon's "pinch of gunpowder" joke, if you'd care to check out the link. Here's a hint: nitrate.

Of course, remember that
Smoking corned beef, typically with a generally similar spice mix, produces smoked meat (or "smoked beef") such as pastrami.
Regardless of its history, corned beef and pastrami sure are good! Congratulations on the brisket. Save some for me. I'll be right over! (I wish.)

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 03:25
by ssorllih
I cooked a brisket today that I started corning 10 days ago. Dry cure, 2.5% salt .25% cure#1, bay leaf, coriander, mustard, black pepper all on a one gallon zipper bag. Simmered 9 hours in water added onions during the last hour. The very best that I have every had.

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 14:22
by Chuckwagon
The very best that I have every had.
I'll bet it was. But did you have to paint it green? :shock:

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 16:38
by redzed
ssorllih wrote:I cooked a brisket today that I started corning 10 days ago. Dry cure, 2.5% salt .25% cure#1, bay leaf, coriander, mustard, black pepper all on a one gallon zipper bag. Simmered 9 hours in water added onions during the last hour. The very best that I have every had.
:?: :?: So where are the pics? :grin:

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 19:55
by ssorllih
had company for supper and we ate it. In years past I bought the sloppy packaged corned beef at this time of year and watched it shrink to less than half its purchase weight. There was very little shrinkage with this one.

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 16:55
by sawhorseray
Do you inject the brisket with 10% of the corning brine, or does in just soak for the ten days? I can never find brisket at a price that's as good as the packaged corned beef prices at this time of year. I picked up four packaged corned beefs, all four pounds or better and fairly lean, for $2.99lb this year. Last year they were $2.29lb at the same store market. RAY

Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 20:36
by ssorllih
Ray this was a 3 pound piece and I dry cured it much as I do a bacon slab.
. I have for years bought the packaged corned beef and been disappointed in the amount of shrinkage. This one lost very little weight in the cooking.

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 02:28
by el Ducko
I realize that boiling corned beef to death is the preferred way to cook it, but it seems a shame to extract all the flavor out of a piece of meat. I guess that's why I find "New England Boiled Dinner," the Carolinas' "Low Country Boiled Dinner," and most British cooking bland and tasteless.

"Them's fightin' words," I guess, but isn't there a better way to cook corned beef than boil it? Is that the way corned beef hash is made? ...the way pastrami is cooked? Surely not. Seems like smoking (with a water pan, maybe) or steaming would be the better way to go, but I'm speculating. (I'm used to slow-smoked Central Texas-style brisket, no sauce needed.) What are your thoughts?

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 03:31
by ssorllih
I have cooked them with considerable success in a covered enameled roaster in the oven. Just enough liquid to ensure that they don't dry out.

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 04:36
by Chuckwagon
"Bandit's Brisket"
(Barbecued Brisket)

Duck and Ross, try brisket "cue". Don`t boil it! Barbecue it! Here`s a little "brisket savvy". Between a steer's front legs are muscles mostly used for walking. This "brisket", cut from the chest of a steer (or cow), is naturally tough. It is also naturally delicious when carefully prepared. Called "London Broil" by butchers desiring to bump up the label for quick sale, this huge slice of beef requires some careful examination whenever selecting the best cut, and certainly some thought in its proper preparation. Most cooks, even the pros, have few clues how to slowly roast brisket that is both tender and flavorful - not overly smoked, bitter, or tough. Being naturally sturdy, the brisket contains two distinct muscles separated by a layer of fat that will not render. Worse, the meat absorbs smoke like a sponge, and may easily become bitter to the palate of many folks. It is also so large, it requires a longer period of cooking time, and most chefs and cooks consider its preparation without drying the meat, a legitimate challenge. The brisket may very well be the most difficult piece of beef of all to barbecue, and the process of selecting, preparing, and barbecue-cooking brisket in many parts of the United States is truly an art form, remaining in a culinary class by itself - often chosen only to display the skills of a good chef. Inside a working ranch barbecue pit, properly cooked brisket habitually becomes a matter of economy, using all the parts of a steer. Allow me to share a few sourdough secrets I've learned along the trail to turn this "tough stuff" into a delicious meal.

Selecting And Trimming A Brisket For The Barbecue

Selecting the best brisket from a butcher`s cold case is almost a combination of skill and luck and cookin' the ominous article may seem as if a miracle were needed. On the range, you may choose and cut an eight to ten pound brisket from a medium size beef, having checked the cut for flexibility - and the brand on the steer! Place your hand vertically beneath the center of the butchered brisket and let the brisket "flop" over the edges of your hand. As with the selection of tenderloin, find a pliable cut with a natural bend. If it is tough coming from the meat locker or butcher shop, it will be difficult to make it more tender upon the barbecue grill.

The large end of the brisket is called the "point". Place the brisket upon a cutting board and remove the outside fat from the brisket's backside with a boning knife. This layer will not render drippings and is hard, tough, and often slightly yellow in color. With a boning knife, cut the thing almost to the muscle so there is only a slight amount of fat remaining. It will look mostly red with just a bit of fat remaining. Yes, there is much waste in preparing a good brisket.

The fat at the front of the brisket is handled a little differently. Notice two things. First, how deeply you must cut into the fat layer of the brisket in order to remove the maximum amount of fat separating the two muscles. This fat layer invariably remains in the center traveling the length of the brisket, separating the two muscles. Second, note the inch thick layer of fat along the bottom of the brisket. This layer will vary anywhere from 1/4 inch to about 1 inch in thickness. If you select a brisket with the 1/4-inch of fat trimmed along this side, you must thank your butcher, as it certainly did not come that way. Be sure to send him a Christmas card and shop at his store often. The goal is to trim this fat edge to about 1/4 inch in thickness, offering a protective layer during the long period of cooking. Although this hardened fat will not render, it will help keep the meat moist while preventing it from absorbing too much strong smoke smudge, becoming overly bitter or having too strong a smoke flavor.

Seasoning The Derned Thing

Now that you've selected the best brisket and have trimmed it to perfection, it's time to season the meat. Some folks choose to marinate the brisket being aware the process only penetrates the meat to a depth of about 1/4 inch and won't penetrate fat at all. Whenever cooking a hefty piece of meat this robust, marinating is not all that effective, although I use marinade to introduce as much garlic flavor as possible, prior to sprinkling the meat with a spicy dry rub.

Folks in the southern and eastern United States, apply a thick coating of ordinary yellow mustard to the meat by "painting" it with a pastry brush before the dry rub seasoning is applied. Some of these brisket-bakin` barbecuers are the finest in the country and their plain ol` yellow prepared mustard helps keep the meat moist, keeps the dry rub on the brisket, and seals the meat by developing a tender crust. The vinegar within the mustard will also help tenderize the meat to a slight degree. The mustard flavor dissipates entirely during the cooking process. Believe me, if you are really seeking "competition brisket", you'll spread on mustard.

In the Rocky Mountains, by tradition, most ranch cooks simply skip the mustard for some reason, usually preferring to "smoke-cook" briskets for hours inside low-temperature smoke houses using light smoke for only a short period of time. Rocky Mountain briskets are mopped persistently using a garlic, oregano, vinegar, and mildly sweet citrus combination sauce. I can`t explain the reason for not spreading on the mustard. It`s just not done often here in the mountains, and to be absolutely truthful, most brisket (having been marinated overnight) is cooked within a matter of minutes as high heat is applied from both sides of the cut simultaneously - London broil style... although folks in London have never heard of the stuff! Only more experienced barbecue cooks tend to slowly cook brisket overnight.

BBQ Dry Rubs

O.K., here's the rub! The first recipe is the very basic and is great for beginning brisket bakers! The second is a little more noble (no bull). Notice neither recipe contains sugars or tomato that may burn, producing bitter flavors. Using a pint jar, punch holes in the lid for generous application of your favorite spice and herb dry-rub mixture. Sprinkle a liberal amount of dry-rub onto the brisket, allowing it to "set up" half an hour.

"Tenderfoot's Brisket Dust"
(Basic Brisket Rub)

1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
3 tblspns. garlic powder
2 tblspns. onion powder

"Noble 'No Bull' Brisket Rub"
(Beef Brisket Rub)

I believe it was William "Smokey" Shakespeare who said, "To rub or not to rub... Now, that`s a heck of a question!"

1/3 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup paprika
3 tblspns. chili powder
2 tblspns. ground black pepper
1 tblspn. ground cumin
1 tblspn. ground oregano
1-1/2 tblspns. garlic powder
1/2 tspn. cayenne pepper
1/2 tspn. powdered mustard

Smoke Cookin` Brisket Low And Slow

Now pay attention cowboys! Beef brisket cannot be cooked in the same manner as pork and can withstand very little smoke during the cooking process. It simply becomes bitter with too much smoke. Pork is quite "forgiving" when it comes to the use of excessive smoke and ribs, butts, and sausage, retain their unique flavor very nicely with lots of hickory smoke. Not true with beef brisket! Lightly smoke brisket using charcoal briquettes rather than real wood as your fire source and you can`t go wrong. If you desire a little extra smoke flavor, you may occasionally place a few hardwood chips on top of the coals. This is done sparingly and cautiously. Good ranch cooks quickly learn not to "overly-smoke" barbecued beef brisket.

Barbecued beef briskets need long and slow cooking with frequent basting to prevent an over dried "bark". We prefer a smoker using lower heat. If you use a grill or a pit, the thermometer, (located at the same level in the pit as the meat), should be reading no more than 225° F. for great barbecuing. Using the indirect method of cooking, place the meat as far away from the source of the heat as possible. If you are using a gas grill, turn off the middle burners and heat the chamber using the side burners. This practice provides even cooking temperatures and consistent tenderness. It also dries out the meat! Allowing ten hours cooking time for a ten-pound brisket is fine - if the brisket is contained in tightly sealed foil during the final eight hours. Left alone these last hours of cooking without containing the meats natural moisture, will only produce a blackened cinder. In times before the innovation of handy aluminum foil, the meat was "sealed" with a heavy sugar or honey based mop sauce applied liberally and often. Today it is perfectly acceptable to inject flavorful liquids into a brisket while using a probe type thermometer to constantly monitor the meat`s internal temperature as it cooks. Be sure to mop the meat often using your favorite mopping concoction. A brisket cooked "low n' slow" (eight to ten hours at 225° F.), is well done when the internal meat temperature registers 170°. A pink center is not desired in this particular cut of meat.

If you have a smaller pit or kettle type barbecue, rake glowing charcoal briquettes to one side of the pit and cook the meat using indirect heat, turning it every 30 minutes or so, as you baste. Keep the cooking temperatures consistent as possible. If you are using a vertical cooker, try using some type of pan beneath the meat to catch the juices, preventing flare-ups, and to act as a diffuser for even low-temperature cooking. A water pan with 1/4 inch of water will keep juices from flaring up and scorching the meat, producing a bitter, burned taste.

To baste or not to baste - that is another question. The only method known by horse ridin' scientists to barbecue tender briskets, is to cook them slowly. Do not baste them at first, allowing the rub to thicken and dry a bit. Later, periodically raise the lid and begin basting the briskets with the liquid or marinade of your choice to intensify flavor. Basting a brisket is usually done with a barbecue mop - a twelve-inch wooden handle with cotton tassels on one end. It`s great for soaking up liquid then quickly and gently "moping" sauce onto the meat. Usually, moisture - holding thicker sauces are applied, containing all types of seasonings, crushed garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and the like. Sometimes, a hand held spray bottle is preferred, containing pure liquid juices without pulp. Another sourdough secret here - and a mighty important one: never use a tomato-based basting sauce on a brisket as it will burn and become bitter long before the meat is ready to be eaten.

I've heard "experienced" cooks say thermometers are for wimps. Don't you dare believe it! Use a baby-dial thermometer and carry it inside your shirt pocket. This tool is vital to good ranch cooking and great ranch cooks are constantly aware of the internal temperature of the meat they are cooking. As not all meats cook at the same rate, constant monitoring is essential to perfectly cooked meat - easily accomplished using an inexpensive meat thermometer - usually $10 bucks or less. Newer models constantly monitor the meat's internal temperature without ever lifting the lid, and the latest on the market are read using remote sensors. By the way, arrogant and overconfident cooks who claim they don`t need a thermometer because they "can sense when its ready", are usually looking for respect and recognition and indeed are the easiest individuals to bluff in a good poker game. Although you may be filling an inside straight, beware of the guy with a thermometer clipped to his shirt pocket as he raises the stakes in the pot!

El Ducko went to his class reunion. He said every one of his former classmates were so gray and wrinkled and bald, ...they didn`t recognize him!

A good cook should constantly be aware of the temperature inside any cooking vessel. Charcoal briquettes and lava rocks are affected by wind and weather. I've seen barbecue pits employ several thermometers to register proper temperatures; not a bad idea at all used to prevent underdone or overcooked meat. Without the knowledge of the cooking utensil temperature, a cook will have no idea when the meat will be done. Use charcoal briquettes only when they have burned to gray ash. If you use wood as a fuel while cooking a brisket, use it only when it has been reduced to red-hot coals - not as raw wood pieces placed into the pit. Always use the cleanest fuel available. Professional brisket cooks using wood, often burn the fuel into coals using a separate fuel fire, avoiding the placement of raw wood directly into a barbecue pit. The pros never use a petroleum based lighter fluid or fluid-soaked charcoals to start their pit fires.

Anytime any cut of meat is overcooked, it will dry its bone and release itself from that bone. Never overcook any meat trying to make it "falling off the bone" tender! If meat is tender, it simply stands to reason, it has not dried out and has become toughened by overcooking the cut.

Good luck with yer` brisket pards! Use tinfoil to hold in the moisture for 8 hours and then smoke it for just a limited amount of time to pick up flavor.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 19:27
by sawhorseray
el Ducko wrote:"Them's fightin' words," I guess, but isn't there a better way to cook corned beef than boil it? Is that the way corned beef hash is made? ...the way pastrami is cooked? Surely not. Seems like smoking (with a water pan, maybe) or steaming would be the better way to go, but I'm speculating. (I'm used to slow-smoked Central Texas-style brisket, no sauce needed.) What are your thoughts? :mrgreen:
I've always cooked corned beef boiled on the stove or in a crock pot, the thought of cooking it another way had never crossed my mind before. I've done rubbed briskets on the weber that turned out great, still juicy with a nice natural beef flavor. I guess a foil-wrapped corned beef wouldn't come out bad on the weber tho I can't say I'm inclined to give it a try. Heck, I like a corned beef sanny with Swiss cheese on rye more than the St. Patty's Day dinner anyway. RAY

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 21:15
by el Ducko
sawhorseray wrote:Heck, I like a corned beef sanny with Swiss cheese on rye more than the St. Patty's Day dinner anyway. RAY
Reuben sandwiches are GREAT, too! Corned beef and pastrami may not be interchangeable if you're a purist, but while everybody else argues about it, I'll be "chowing down" on mine.