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brisket help

TomTom Posts: 189
edited 5:13AM in EggHead Forum
Would love to try to cook a brisket. Only a few problems, dont know how to select the meat or prepare. Would love to hear any opinions. If anyone has a link with a good recipe or tutorial that would be great.[p]Tom

Comments

  • Gator1Gator1 Posts: 37
    Tom,
    I just had great success with a brisket. I did a basic oil and wine marinade for about six hours and added a simple pepper and garlic rub. I cooked a 5.5 pound brisket on a V-rack with a drip pan (fat side up) at 230 for 15 hours. Internal temp was 205 when I removed it. Some like to pull the meat earlier, I like mine falling apart done. Let it stand for an hour or so afterward. I was able to cut the meat across the grain with a fork. The good thing about brisket is that it is not too terribly expensive so a mistake isn't the end of the world. [p]When you light the lump, don't let it become a large fire. Get it established in the coals and regulate it right down. I had enough lump left over to go at least another 5-8 hours. This is on a medium egg. Have fun!
    Jim

  • TomTom Posts: 189
    gator1,
    SO when I go to the butcher and ask for a brisket is he gonna ask me for any special cut or anything? [p]Tom

  • Tom,
    Ahhh, where to begin... [p]First off is the quality of meat (as addressed in a thread below). I can get choice for about $1.19 a lb and am always happy with it so I don't even bother with select grades. I would suggest the same; buy the best that you can get.[p]Secondly is the makeup of the meat itself. The brisket comes from the chest of a cow and basically has three parts: point, flat and a fat cap that covers both. If you get it in this state (all three together) it is referred to as a “packers cut”. Often you will see brisket that is sold as a point only or whatever. If you purchase one of these make certain that the fat cap is still on it otherwise you will end up with shoe leather. You see, as the fat slowly rends out while the collagen breaks down and bastes the meat making for a tender as well as juicy finished product.[p]So, now we know about the quality of meat and the types of brisket to cook, so lets cook them. First we will follow the traditional theories. Trim the fat cap down to 1/4 or 1/8 of an inch, season liberally with your favorite rub or just salt and pepper. Whatever you like. The seasoning really won’t penetrate to deep into the meat and will be most noticeable on the bark only. Either way, wrap it up in plastic and let it sit for a few hours or over night. This resting time allows the spices to “become one with the meat.”[p]So it’s been sitting and you are now ready to start cooking, do so at a grill temp of about 225 to 250. Figger about 1.5 to 2 hours per pound. When your thermometer slides in with little resistance, it's about done. This can happen anywhere from 170 to 195 degrees (meat temp). Pull it off and let it rest for a few minutes or a few hours. If you are gonna let it rest for a few hours wrap in foil and then insulate. An ice chest sans ice works fine, as does a good old fashioned sleeping bag or whatever.[p]So your hungry and the food is ready, almost. Take a knife or what have you and then scrape off the remnants of the fat cap and then slice it thinly against the grain. The grain from the point will run perpendicular to that of the flat. A small little way to cheat about remembering which runs which way is to cut a small portion off of the point before you cook it since you can see the grain nicely at that point.[p]That was a quick overview of the traditional method. Some people will soak the whole thing in a marinade or milk or buttermilk before cooking. Others will remove the fat cap completely, season liberally and then place the fat cap back on during cooking. Personally, I leave the whole fat cap on and simply remove it once it’s done cooking. It comes off just as easy as if it were trimmed before the cook.[p]The only question left at this juncture would be to foil or not and that is a completely different discussion. Either way, I am certain that I left something out or didn’t clarify enough where I should have but hopefully this will get you pointed in the right direction.[p]Make certain that you have you fire under control before you start cooking. It's easy to heat the egg up but cooling it off is another story.[p]Matt.[p]PS - Beer. You must have beer to do this right. Having a friend or loved one help you consume the beer while you cook is highly encouraged as well.

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    South O,
    Didn't I read somewhere that the flat is better than the point? Any recommendations there?[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • BluesnBBQBluesnBBQ Posts: 615
    I did one a little different for my July 5 party. I tried to find a whole brisket at a butcher's shop. He sold the last one he had an hour before I showed up. Doh! So I bought a shrink-wrapped flat (about 9 lbs) at a wholesale club. I found the one that had the most fat on it. It didn't look quite like 1/2 inch of fat, but it looked like enough.[p]I marinated it in Stubb's beef marinade. I put it on the Egg around 8:30 Thursday night. I found out right before putting it on that my Polder battery died, so I used my analog instant-read thermometer occasionally to check the temp.[p]The setup I used is the one I almost always use for low and slow: Drip pan (with a little beer) on the grid. Second grid on the drip pan. Meat on the second grid. I kept the temperature around 250 most of the time. Sometimes it went close to 300 or 200. By around 2:00 that afternoon (when my guests were supposed to show up) it was at 190. I also put a small Butt on the Egg around midnight. I took both off some time after 4:00, let them sit some, pulled and sliced about half, and served. All of that meat was gone in minutes! (one thing I've learned from hosting parties - Never serve all of what you are cooking at once. Save about half, wrapped in foil, so you can slice serve some more for the next wave of guests.)[p]I didn't use any rub on the brisket - just the marinade, and I don't think it needed one. The marinade actually formed a nice bark. And, ironically, you know what rub I used for the butt? Cowlick Steak Rub! :)
  • Gator1Gator1 Posts: 37
    Tom,
    I don't think I can top what South-O said! He has it covered! I used a "Choice packer's cut". The beer is ESSENTIAL. I consumed much and put a little in the drip pan.
    Jim

  • TNW, yup, I knew I would leave something out. That's what happens when I rush... While avoiding work... Waiting for quiting time... But I digress.[p]I beleive that the flat tastes better. I have no idea why but it seems more gooder. Must be one of those mysteries of life that is better discussed over cold long neck bottles of Busch...[p]One more thing, the point and the flat will most likely not be done at the same time. I'm lazy and wait for both to finish but there are some who will remove it from the grill and seperate the point from the flat and then place the lower temp piece back on the grill. And no, i can't recall off hand which finishes first.[p]Matt.
  • TomTom Posts: 189
    South O,
    Ok now im more confused. Should I ask for a flat or a point?[p]Tom

  • Tom,
    if you are not going to do a packers cut or whole brisket then you will want a flat.
    The reason for cooking a whole brisket is because the point supplies fat to help keep the flat moist during the long cook.
    The point is normally used forff a chopped brisket sandwich.
    I have no problems getting the point and flat down at the same time but I gauge where it is done or not by the condition of the flat.
    jim[p]

  • ravnhausravnhaus Posts: 311
    Tom,
    My experience with brisket on the Egg has been singular and most satisfactory. I used a whole (packer) 9 pounder on a medium Egg. A rock steady 250° and 10 hours yielded a result to be proud of and I have eaten enough BBQ brisket from central and south Texas the past 40 some years to feel confident in judging the outcome.
    1 1/2 per pound is a good general rule but mine was smaller that average and it was done a little sooner than I would have thought. Hunger may have played a part in the final decision.
    I say go with a whole (lots of fat) and use a drip pan.
    For a visual check out the link.

    [ul][li]4th of July Brisket[/ul]
  • ravnhausravnhaus Posts: 311
    Tom,
    My experience with brisket on the Egg has been singular and most satisfactory. I used a whole (packer) 9 pounder on a medium Egg. A rock steady 250° and 10 hours yielded a result to be proud of and I have eaten enough BBQ brisket from central and south Texas the past 40 some years to feel confident in judging the outcome.
    1 1/2 per pound is a good general rule but mine was smaller that average and it was done a little sooner than I would have thought. Hunger may have played a part in the final decision.
    I say go with a whole (lots of fat) and use a drip pan.
    For a visual check out the link.

    [ul][li]4th of July Brisket[/ul]
  • StumpBabyStumpBaby Posts: 320
    ravnhaus,[p]Looks good. I'm new to the egg, about 2 weeks or so. Can you explain your setup with these bricks, are those ordinary bricks? I use a drip pan directly on the grill, which leaves a mess in the bottom of the pan, probably because it gets so hot. Also, I seem to be having a hard time keeping the temperature over such a long period of time, maybe I'm not putting in enough lump ? How much did you end up using for this 10 hour period ? Did you ever have to reload more lump ? Thanks for any guidance..[p]StumpBaby

  • ravnhausravnhaus Posts: 311
    StumpBaby,
    I filled into the fire ring about a third or so with lump. Got it lit and stable (250°) and never even looked at it until 6 hours into the process. Took a picture and opened again at 10 hours.
    Set your fire bricks (splits) up on their sides on the bottom (standard) grill to hold the meat grill (top) with one or two laying flat to hold the drip pan.
    Look closely at the pictures and you will see the setup.[p]

    [ul][li]brisket[/ul]
  • BasselopeBasselope Posts: 102
    I'm kind of a newbie myself (got my large last Christmas)
    Learning to control the temp where you want it is perhaps the single most important skill to be learned with a BGE.
    I too had trouble at first. Here are some things I have learned.
    Find and read Elder Ward's recipe about pulled pork, the first section is all about fire building. Well worth the read. Untill you know better follow his lead.
    Next Heat: In a BGE heat is kinda like salt in soup. Easy to add more but removing it is much harder. I say kinda because when the egg is first lighting off, before the ceramic has gotten up to temp, you can bring the temp down pretty easily. One hour later, however that same job is almost impossible. Easier yet is not to overshoot your target temp.
    With practice you will learn that X setting of the dasiy wheel will give you Y temp in the dome of the egg. This comes with practice. After you start to master that, you will then learn that adding stuff in the airflow will affect the temps that you are shooting (things like meat,drip pans, fire bricks etc)
    In the mean time, try this: Let's assume that you want to shoot for a 350 degree temp to do your meat. When lighting your lump (I use starter cubes so I am asuming that you do to) the bottom vent open wide, top off. Dome will go up to about 200 and then drop when the cube is burnt out. Then as the lump starts to ignite the temp will start to come back up. When it gets to say 250 add the daisy wheel at 300 close the daisy to what you believe will give you your 350. You may also close down the bottom vent some if you wish (I do sometimes, like I said I'm still learning).
    The trick here is not to overshoot your target temp. If anything it is better to come up a little short and have to nudge the vent a tiny bit then it is to try and remove the salt from the soup.[p]Two last things, I tend to overfill with lump on a lo-slo cook so I don't have to sweat the refill. And the cast iron grate that BGE sells as an accessory is awsome, makes lighting and controling temps easier.[p]I have rambled on for far longer than I intended, hope this helps.

  • Steve-OSteve-O Posts: 302
    Ahhh, Jim, that's the way I like to cook, too!!
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