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Brisket, to brine or not to brine

fergi
fergi Posts: 138

I'm planning my first brisket cook and wondering whether I should brine or not.

I haven't found any recipes yet that do and was wondering why?

Fort Worth Texas

Large & XL Green Egg

Comments

  • DMW
    DMW Posts: 13,832
    No, unless you are curing it to make corned beef.
    They/Them
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE  - BS SS36" Griddle - 2 Burner Gasser - Pellet Smoker
  • DieselkW
    DieselkW Posts: 894
    You can brine it, but I don't think it will do any good. A raw brisket is tough and thick and fatty.  Rub it down, refrigerate until the rub gets wet, and smoke that hunk o' beef until tender. Low and slow is the only way to make this gnarly cut into some of the best tasting meat ever.  SGH will chime in here, I'm sure - he's probably the most experienced, if not, the most prolific writer of how to smoke a brisket.

    Indianapolis, IN

    BBQ is a celebration of culture in America. It is the closest thing we have to the wines and cheeses of Europe. 

    Drive a few hundred miles in any direction, and the experience changes dramatically. 



  • yellowdogbbq
    yellowdogbbq Posts: 389
    edited March 2015
    +3 on no brine, just dry rub and then low and slow.
  • fergi
    fergi Posts: 138
    Thanks for all your comments. It was my impression from reading about the brine offered by Oak Ridge BBQ that brining was a way to add more moisture to the meat. Just wondered why no one seemed to brine brisket. I may try it just for the heck of it and report my findings. Of course I will have nothing to compare it to.

    Fort Worth Texas

    Large & XL Green Egg

  • Mross
    Mross Posts: 338
    Injection is the only way to add moisture to the meat beforehand.
    Duncan, SC
  • luckyboy
    luckyboy Posts: 284
    First stept is make a perenducar cut to the grain in the brisket this will aid in slicing at finish . coat it with yellow mustard and add you rub and let it set over night in the refer then smoke your heart out, low and slow.
  • nolaegghead
    nolaegghead Posts: 42,100
    Brining does work.  Most people don't, and given the high rate of brisket failures, I'm surprised of that.  If you have a crappy piece of meat, you will possibly salvage an otherwise poor result with a brine. 
    ______________________________________________
    I love lamp..
  • cookingdude555
    cookingdude555 Posts: 3,179
    Like any other meat, brining benefits a brisket. I've done it, and it works well. I'm curious on those that said it doesnt work, did you have bad results when you tried it?
  • fergi
    fergi Posts: 138
    Brining does work.  Most people don't, and given the high rate of brisket failures, I'm surprised of that.  If you have a crappy piece of meat, you will possibly salvage an otherwise poor result with a brine. 
    Do you have a recommended brine recipe? I was thinking about using Oakridge BBQ's Game Changer All Purpose Brine.

    Fort Worth Texas

    Large & XL Green Egg

  • nolaegghead
    nolaegghead Posts: 42,100
    @fergi - The benefit is with the salt.  5% by weight salt brine overnight is typical.  You can speed that up with a 10%, but be careful.  A good rest after brining helps.  Let sit out of the brine another day.  The salt is equalizing in the meat.  It will as you cook it too. 
    ______________________________________________
    I love lamp..
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,380
    edited March 2015
    Brine both seasons and puts moisture into meat.  A rub seasons meat, using the moisture already in the meat.
    Brining works great on meats that are cooked to moderate temperatures: steaks, burgers, chicken; and juicy examples of all those have plenty of moisture (ie water) left in them.  
    A brisket, or a butt, is cooked to a much higher temperature (200 or so) but seem equally "moist", but in fact it's melted collagen that makes the meat seem moist, not water.  In fact, the "stall" a brisket or butt experiences is when most of the water evaporates from the meat (cooling it until the water is mostly gone).  Then, the collagen begins melting, lubricating the meat, and you finally have true barbeque.  
    You can also cook a steak to 200.  Like a brisket, most water is driven off, but why is it now a piece of shoe leather?  Because a steak has little, if any, collagen!  
     
    I think brining a brisket would have the same seasoning effect as rubbing it with salt, since the water is driven off in either case, leaving only the salt and melted collagen.  It's just easier to rub than brine.  
    _____________

    "I put spot remover on my dog and now he's gone" - Steven Wright


  • nolaegghead
    nolaegghead Posts: 42,100
    Brining, adding the salt, makes the meat more tender.  So with brisket, it will be done at a lower temperature.  Look at pastrami, it's not cooked to the same temperatures (done at lower temps), has higher water content than brisket and can be just as tender. 
    ______________________________________________
    I love lamp..
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,380
    Brining, adding the salt, makes the meat more tender.  So with brisket, it will be done at a lower temperature.  Look at pastrami, it's not cooked to the same temperatures (done at lower temps), has higher water content than brisket and can be just as tender. 
    Hmmm.
    Since both brining, and rubbing, with salt puts the salt into the meat, why would one make meat more tender than the other?  Plus, there's a difference between "tender" and "moist".  
    I've actually never cooked pastrami (helluva thing to admit on St. Paddie's Day!) but I have had brisket that was cooked to only 160 F.  The red color was completely gone, it was, I guess, "moist", but tough as shoe leather.  
    I see a "cut a brisket in half and do a side by side" experiment in the near future!  
    _____________

    "I put spot remover on my dog and now he's gone" - Steven Wright


  • nolaegghead
    nolaegghead Posts: 42,100
    @Botch - consult the googlez!    I've cooked my fair share of pastrami and it finishes at a lower temp.  I can only assume it's the brine and not the spices, but I've been wrong before. 
    ______________________________________________
    I love lamp..
  • Mross said:
    Injection is the only way to add moisture to the meat beforehand.
    Nope. 
    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX FBTX
  • sumoconnell
    sumoconnell Posts: 1,932
    Good baked beans are how to make a brisket taste great... too dry, slop on some beans baby!  Tastes great with our without :) (mostly kidding)

    Did my last brisket with salt lick rub, best rub I've had yet. (Usually just s&p)

    Ps, oak.  

    Rubbed right before it went on..


    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • cookingdude555
    cookingdude555 Posts: 3,179
    I have brined butts and brisket and the results are incredible.  If I have the time, I always brine them, just like poultry.  I am even one of the weirdos that bought a brining bucket from http://www.thebriner.com/ (ok, I bought two!).  Are they good without it, of course.  I see many people dispute it, but they are often people that have not tried it.