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Reponses to My"Fantastically Tender Brisket"

Anthony Up NorthAnthony Up North Posts: 205
edited 3:54AM in EggHead Forum
Wow!!![p]Thanks to everyone for the many very interesting comments about this experiment. Many minds know more than any one mind. That is great!!![p]Here are my responses as best I think about all of the comments below. Some of my responses are facts others are my humble opininons. I beg all of you to take them for what they are worth. They are merely one person's very limited experience, which obviously is a long way from achieving the real truth. [p]1. First I will post my rub and brisket marinade recipes that I took from the Kansas City BBQ Book in a separate post above. And I will also give you all in a second post the theory as I got it from annonymous on the WEB.[p]2. The size of my brisket was 5.5 - 6 lbs. It was the pre-frozen variety in one of those sealed bags. It obviously was not pre-cooked, and looked exactly like any of the previous 4-5 briskets I made that were satisfactory but not excellent. In fact I got them all from the same butcher shop.[p]3. Whoever posted the theory said at oven temp of 225 F. it would take about 1.5 to two hours per lb. My time for this Brisket was 11 hours, which comes out to about 1.8 - 2 hrs per lb. depending on whether it was 5.5 or 6 lbs.[p]4. The meat did not have a steamed quality at all about it. I would know because I hate steamed meat. The thin end, as someone said was very sliceable, while the thick end was soft and very moist, but not mushy as steamed meat would be.[p]5. Now to the theory. I think it was NB who said he was confused. I apologize for not being more clear. The key word however, is the "RATE" of collagin breakdown as it is being converted to gelatin. Collagin BEGINS breaking down and being converted to gelatin at an internal temp of 150 degrees. But at that RATE the moisture is leaving the meat faster then it is being replaced. (but that does not mean that all the collagin instantaneously becomes gelatin) Rather, as the internal temp goes up the RATE of conversion speeds up, as does the RATE of moisture being driven out. But the moisture loss increases at a slower rate than the collagin conversion. So that at some point the rate of replacement of moisture excedes that of the loss. That point seems to be (so the theory says) 205-210 degrees internal. If taken off at that point (so the theory further suggests) the collagin breakdown will have been maximized and the loss of RELATIVE moisture will have been minimized to the point of a more tender and moist briket than if it had been taken out at 190 F.[p]Now that is theory. It worked for me. This to me seem very logical (not illogical) By the way good logic can never undermine the TRUTH only add to it. [p]Let me give two examples to illustrate. (though examples can only illustrate but do not necessarily prove - since we are talking about meat here, not ice or room temp. which are my examples below use)[p]A. A large chunk of ice is melting on my driveway at 33 degree F. At that temp. the ice melts very slowly and the surrounding water evaporates at a fast enough RATE so there is hardly any puddle surrounding the ice. But suppose that the air temp goes up to 80 F. The ice melts much faster, the water evaporates faster, but the RATE of the melting ice out-paces the RATE of water evaporation. Now if The process is stopped when the block is almost or entirely melted at 80 F. then there will be a bigger puddle of water left then if the process was stopped when all the ice melted at 33 F.[p]B. Humidity or lack of it is a major problem here in the North country. So if I boil and evaporate one kettle of water, the air in my kitchen will be moist because I am replacing that moisture which the forced air heating system is drying out as it heats the room. However, if I boil and evaporate 4 kettles of water at the same time, there will be more moisture in the air for a time because the replacement rate is faster than the drying out rate caused by the furnace heating my home.[p]6. Someone said they thought the difference between the results I got this time and those the previous 4-5 times was due to a difference in the meat. My opinion is that is very, very unlikely, since the size was the same, the meat looked the same, it was all pre-frozen, and the butcher was the same, and it had about the same fat cap. [p]If the results were not due to the higher temp. then I would say it was due to the range oven rather than the meat. This brisket I did in an oven, the previous 4-5 were done in the BGE. [p]7. I think it was Nature Boy who said that the time cooked/internal temp in relation to oven temp. is surprising, because internal temp is very hard to reach as the internal temp approaches oven or (in the BGE) dome temp. Or at least reaching that relationship takes a very, very long time. [p] That has definately been my experience too. That is why I put the Brisket on at 9:00 p.m. hoping it would be ready at noon for our mid-day meal. Imagine the surprise when I got up at 7:30 a.m. (in my pajammas - not naked for those here interested) and the temp was 207-212 and the oven was 225. As soon as I inserted the meat thermometer into the meat, I knew it was done. It was fork tender all over. I wouldn't even have to have looked at the therm. temp. So I put the brisket back in the oven, SHUT the oven OFF, and left it there until 11:30 a.m. when we had our meal. The meat was still very warm and perfect for slicing (cross grain) and eating. The thick end, being more moist didn't slice as well as the thin end.[p]This is my experience as best I can describe it. I don't exactly know why it turned out so well. I can only suppose it was for the reasons given. But shortly I too will be trying it on the EGG. Until then I will be wondering if I will achieve the same results on the BGE. Unless some of you good folks try it and see what happens.[p]Thanks for your patience in reading these two awfully long posts.[p]Anthony

Comments

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Anthony Up North, you never cease to amaze me with your great analytical mind. Most folks don't wonder how come, just when is it time to eat. Your moisture observation is probably is the reason the BGE (and other ceramice cookers) work so well in the preservation of moisture retained in the cooking process.
    I was the one who mentioned the difference in the meats. And by that I meant that the meat from one animal may differ from another due to exercise and fat/callogen content in the muscle fibres.
    Just a hint to our readers, Anthony is a full fledged college professor in Minnesota, and is a most wonderful person to know. His quest for knowledge and sharing that knowledge is from a great heart. I personally am well pleased to have met him thru correspondance. Maybe thats more than a hint..:-)
    Cheers..
    C~W

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Anthony Up North,[p]I would offer (for discussion) that the major difference in the results of the cook you posted about and your prior results is the use of a different cooking devices cooking in different environments.[p]An oven (particularly electric) is a sealed environment. Your Egg is very good at moisture retention, but needs to breathe air to keep the fire going. Thus it will lose moisture faster than an oven and the rate of moisture loss is higher in the Egg than an oven. Add in the fact that, in colder climates, the house has higher humidity than the outside air. This only adds to the comparison difference.[p]I would also offer that brisket is better flavored when cooked over charcoal and has the advantage of a nice smoke early in the cook.[p]Interesting...[p]Spin

  • Char-Woody,
    Like minds think a like! I too have developed a great friendship with Anthony over the net! This gentleman is a Class Act! Bar none!
    Thankyou Anthony and C~W for keeping my mind in focus at times! The benifits have been all mine! :-)))[p]
    Dr. Chicken

  • Char-Woody,[p]See what I mean. You just can't help yourself. You always say the most kind things. I think I've got you figured out though. You pretend to be a lion but inside you really are a lamb. But I won't tell anyone.[p]Seriously though, I am humbled by your nice words. Thank you. Like I've said before, I've learned much on the Forum from everyone and certainly not the least of which is a guy who goes by the handle of "Char-Woody."[p]Anthony

  • Dr. Chicken,[p]Dave - have you ever stopped and thought that maybe it is I who am the great benefactor of yours and Fred's friendship. I too enjoy both of you guys. You have so many interesting things to teach everyone, especially me. [p]Thanks much!!!![p]Anthony [p]
  • Spin,[p]I would not disagree with what you said. I would only add this. Discussion without actually trying out the idea being discussed presents a problem. Because then we are not talking about reality, only about abstractions. That is why I posted what I did, so different people could TRY it in order to come to a better understanding of the elusive "perfect brisket." [p]I might just point out that the anonymous source who wrote this theory was intending it for a smoker, not for an electric oven. But you may be right. Try it and see what happens. That's what I plan to do on the EGG.[p]Thanks your your comment. Good luck in your effort.[p]Anthony [p]

  • Spin,[p]I would not disagree with what you said. I would only add this. Discussion without actually trying out the idea being discussed presents a problem. Because then we are not talking about reality, only about abstractions. That is why I posted what I did, so different people could TRY it in order to come to a better understanding of the elusive "perfect brisket." [p]I might just point out that the anonymous source who wrote this theory was intending it for a smoker, not for an electric oven. But you may be right. Try it and see what happens. That's what I plan to do on the EGG.[p]Thanks your your comment. Good luck in your effort.[p]Anthony [p]

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,450
    Anthony Up North,
    I totally agree with you. Sometimes we get caught up in logic and abstractions, when really what we need to do is experiment. One of my favorite things in life is when we can break the "rules" and come up with stellar results. For example, I love hearing about people who cook lean meats low and slow with great results. The rule of thumb being lean meats hot and fast, and fatty meats low and slow. Rules are made for being broken....and what we learn in the process is valuable. [p]Thanks again for taking time (a great deal of time I must assume) to explain your findings. We all benefit from discussions like this.[p]NB

    DizzyPigBBQ.com
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  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Anthony Up North,[p]I totally agree with your intentions. I have no cook I consider "perfect". Each best result invites more possibilities for improvement.[p]Please consider the only reason I have responded. This forum (those who post) is comprised of excellent chefs, very experienced users of the BGE, users with a great deal of knowledge on certain things, users offering their particular experience, and users offering experience and questions for help to the forum. All add something to the sum of knowledge and experience that we all can draw from. This group represents less than 5% of those that visit the forum for information and help for their personal cooking endeavors. [p]You have offered a cooking theory and experience that you have yet to prove or disprove when used with the BGE. You already have responses from new users interested doing the cook.[p]Spin[p]
  • JimEJimE Posts: 158
    Anthony Up North,
    Here is a site where this test was done by a gentleman that has 23 years of brisket cooking behind him.
    You may find it interesting.
    http://www.dannysbbq.com/brisket.asp

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