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Need input please: Tiny brisket on WSM

Hey everyone,

I went to my local Amish market butcher who had prime brisket on sale. I had intended to use chuck to make burnt ends. The prime brisket was cheaper than prime chuck. I know that after the trim, the chuck was cheaper, but I decided to go with brisket. I asked the butcher for just the point. Instead of removing the point along the fat seam between the two muscles, he simply cut the brisket in half. So I wound up with a 1/2 brisket w/ a small portion of flat, small portion of point and a lot of fat. The 8lb piece, after I trimmed the fat and removed the fat seam (I separated them), I would up w/ a 2 1/2 lb point and 1 1/12 lb flat. I fear this is far from ideal.

My idea was to make burnt ends for my family. My two son's family haven't experienced real barbecue. Last Christmas I made short ribs on their WSM that they found in the basement of the home they had just purchased. They loved it. My idea this year was to do a sampler of BBQ. I'm bringing some frozen pulled pork I smoked on my KBQ, I'll cook some sausage and the brisket on the WSM and make burnt ends. I also have some smoked "Cowboy beans" cooked w/ chilis, onions and smoked ham hocks. Will make sliders w/ burnt ends and pork butt.

Now the brisket burnt ends on the WMS. Can you please offer advice on how to get bark, render intramuscular fat, and break break down the proteins & connective tissue to make it tender with out drying it out?
  • Should I keep the temp at or 250 or should I try to keep it at or below 225 to expose to heat long enough to render fat and break down protein w/ out drying it out?
  • I was planning spritzing as soon as bark started drying,
  • As soon as bark is establised, I had planned on panning and wrapping and finishing cook in the oven w/ a bit of a stock to compete the cook till probe tender HOPEFULLY w/out drying it out.
  • Then when probe tender, cube, mix sauce w/ au jus from pan, perhaps some brown sugar and butter, and cook uncovered at higher temp (275 - 300) for 30 - 45 mins or so to caramelize the sauce in the oven.
  • Any educated guesstimate on timing? I'm thinking this should be done much quicker (like 6 hours total) than a normal whole brisket cook as both pieces are flat and thin so heat penetration and evaporation may happen quicker (perhaps too fast).
Does that plan sound right?
Any cautions, changes, suggestions or advice?

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,961
    My 2 cents - Heavy Pepper first , then salt, I tend to run a lower temp till bark is set and only ramp up if I need two

    I don't Spritz anything, it will  look dry, but I resit the urge , if you do spritz, Do Not until the Bark is Set--IMO, that is where many fail on barrk, they wrap or spritz before it is set-

    You can even cube all that up and cook the cubed meat, you will get bark all the way around and speed the cook up---I'd probably cube that small amount 
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon FatStack 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker

  • jjdbikejjdbike Posts: 83
    lkapigian said:
    My 2 cents - Heavy Pepper first , then salt, I tend to run a lower temp till bark is set and only ramp up if I need two

    I don't Spritz anything, it will  look dry, but I resit the urge , if you do spritz, Do Not until the Bark is Set--IMO, that is where many fail on barrk, they wrap or spritz before it is set-

    You can even cube all that up and cook the cubed meat, you will get bark all the way around and speed the cook up---I'd probably cube that small amount 
    Thanks so much brother,

    Rub all around for sure.

    Cubbing right off the bat would cut out a step, as you say create bark all around.

    My biggest fear overall is that the meat, especially the flat portion, will dry out before the connective tissue has broken down sufficiently to be probe tender.

    While cubbing will speed the cook as it will increase heat penetration, wouldn't it also increase the risk of drying it before meat is tender? I think I'll try to keep temp under 225, but that won't be easy as those stock WSM's are pretty air leaky.

    I suppose, all I really need to do is create bark. The minuet the bark is set, pan w/ some liquid to take to tender in oven. Once almost tender, I'd glaze w/ sauce and uncover to caramelize sauce and tighten up bark. 

    Am I on the right track? Anything specifically I should look for or avoid? As I say, my biggest fear is being too dry before tender.

    Thanks again!
    JD
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,961
     I would Confit it after the bark is set , drying out wont be an issue 
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon FatStack 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker

  • jjdbikejjdbike Posts: 83
    lkapigian said:
     I would Confit it after the bark is set , drying out wont be an issue 
    Oh wow,

    Thanks for that idea. 

    Honestly I'd never heard of that. I Googled it & found one video (Smoking' Joe barbecue). He smoked it to 160, then finished it submerged in beef tallow at 155 for 10 more hours.

    Is that what you're saying? I'm fairly confidant that their oven won't go below 170 or 175. I'm certainly not tending the WSM for an additional 10 hours and no way I'd be able to maintain that at 155. 

    I also saw a recipe that cooked brisket in fat after searing, then kept it in fat in fridge for two more days.

    Would simply finishing submerged in fat at 225 do it? I'd shoot for 200 but no idea how long that would add to cook. Timing would be a complete blind guess. 

    I suppose I could smoke till bark is established, finish submerged in tallow at 200. Hold in fridge submerged in tallow overnight. Then melt off tallow and toss in Kansas City sauce. Back in oven to caramelize and tighten up bark. Would that work? Would that be worth the extra work & time?

    Thanks again!
    JD
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,961
    @jjdbike yes you can finish it @ really any temp in the fat and yes rock it till finished , no need to hold it in the tallow after its done , remove and refrigerate , you could reheat in the tallow if desired 

    Confit is a step that works well with any protein , I do my smoked chicken this way all the time 
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon FatStack 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker

  • jjdbikejjdbike Posts: 83
    lkapigian said:
    @jjdbike yes you can finish it @ really any temp in the fat and yes rock it till finished , no need to hold it in the tallow after its done , remove and refrigerate , you could reheat in the tallow if desired 

    Confit is a step that works well with any protein , I do my smoked chicken this way all the time 
    Thanks brother!

    I'm looking forward to trying this technique (i.e. confit) for the first time. Never considered or even heard of it.

    I'm assuming that being enveloped / submursed in fat and slows or disallows further evaporation from cooking meat. 

    I'll cook as low as the WSM will allow until I feel good about the bark. Then into the pan w/ tallow until probe tender (again low & slow). I'll allot 10 hours from start to finish, e.g.: 
    • On WSM: 3-4 hours for bark, 
    • 2-4 hours till probe tender, 
    • 2-4 hours rest wrapped in tool in cooler)
    • Cube, toss in sauce & and back in oven at 300 to caramelize sauce
    Good plan?
    JD

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,961
    Order is great , time is a crapshoot lol
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon FatStack 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker

  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 5,858
    some are built for speed some are built for comfort.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.

    "It’s very possible I’m doing it all wrong, haven’t watched any videos, but I’m happy with the ones I make."
      - @Legume

  • jjdbikejjdbike Posts: 83
    lkapigian said:
    Order is great , time is a crapshoot lol
    some are built for speed some are built for comfort.
    I’m all bout that bass (comfort), but have a feeling  that cubed will cook fairly quickly, though I’ll do my best keep the WSM at 225 of below (don’t have high hopes of that based upon how air leaky they are).

    Yes, I’ll be flexible w/ time.I’ll start early, if done prematurely (which I’ll anticipate), I’ll hold pan in cooler wrapped in towels. I’ll toss in sauce, add some more rub, and caramelize just before serving to reheat.

    None of my local butcher shops had tallow. My local Giant had a bin of freshly trimmed beef fat. They gave me 3 trays for free. It was crazy, how much meat was left in that “waste fat”.Could have certainly salvaged stew meat, have made ground beef or sausage.

    I chopped up fat & put in a deep pan, & in the 250 oven uncovered for 6 hours. I yielded approximately 2 - 2 1/2 quarts. I’ll include the 8 oz of Wagyu tallow I have frozen.

    I’ll post a report w/ pics.

    Thanks gentlemen!
    JD


  • jjdbikejjdbike Posts: 83
    lkapigian said:
     I would Confit it after the bark is set , drying out wont be an issue 
    some are built for speed some are built for comfort.
    Good morning once again Ik & alaskan,

    My one last concern is, do I cube from start or after confit when sauced to caramalize?

    Cubing from start would create bark all around, but may dry the meat out too much by the time the back is established. It may cook faster too so could even itself out. 

    If cubbed from start it'll be more difficult to tell when "probe tender". If whole I could use my wireless temp probe as a guide, not if cubbed.

    Your thoughts?
    JD
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,961
    Cube them bigger than your final desired size , they will tighten and plump up 

    looking forward to the outcome 
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon FatStack 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker

  • jjdbikejjdbike Posts: 83
    Thanks brother.
    I’m looking forward to this experiment.
    I’ll let you know how it goes.
    JD
  • jjdbikejjdbike Posts: 83
    I just got a “Meater Block” w/ 4 wireless remote 2 zone temp probes. Gonna use it for this cook. Trying to keep it as low & slow as I can.
    Cheers,
    JD
  • ChargersChargers Posts: 2
    New Question Does anyone have an Eggulator 
    for the mini max ?
    What is the inside circumference ?
    Thanks
    Chargers
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 14,523
    lkapigian said:
    @jjdbike yes you can finish it @ really any temp in the fat and yes rock it till finished , no need to hold it in the tallow after its done , remove and refrigerate , you could reheat in the tallow if desired 

    Confit is a step that works well with any protein , I do my smoked chicken this way all the time 
    God's gift to mankind, confit.  That is how I do my carnitas.
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    Some Eggs, some Weber stuff, the occasional Traeger, and various other things that make flames and hold coals.
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 5,858
    lkapigian said:
    @jjdbike yes you can finish it @ really any temp in the fat and yes rock it till finished , no need to hold it in the tallow after its done , remove and refrigerate , you could reheat in the tallow if desired 

    Confit is a step that works well with any protein , I do my smoked chicken this way all the time 
    God's gift to mankind, confit.  That is how I do my carnitas.
    Quick rundown on your carnitas?
    South of Columbus, Ohio.

    "It’s very possible I’m doing it all wrong, haven’t watched any videos, but I’m happy with the ones I make."
      - @Legume

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,961
    edited June 21
     It sure how @Ozzie_Isaac does it @alaskanassasin… But I confit it in Manteca and water for a few hours with pig skin over the chunks till tender , typical to add some oranges salt pepper cumin oregano during this, once the water is all gone ( you will know ) crank up the heat to crisp, add Mexican Coca Cola ( not US, Mexican will be in a glass bottle and uses sugar not corn syrup) at this point, some condensed milk will add a depth of color 
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon FatStack 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker

  • Langner91Langner91 Posts: 1,172
    Chargers said:
    New Question Does anyone have an Eggulator 
    for the mini max ?
    What is the inside circumference ?
    Thanks
    Chargers
    I have one on my mini-max.
    The chimney diameter is 4.5" approximately.
    There are two sizes.  You need the smaller one.
    Clinton, Iowa
  • jjdbikejjdbike Posts: 83

    Sorry for such a long time for report. Traveling, family around (both sons, their wives and 5 grandkids), and wife & I got covid. A lot going on. Anyway, here's the report.

    • Got WSM stabilized at 225 w/ good clean smoke (seasoned - not dried oak & cheery chunks)
    • Slathered and rubbed flat & point went on WSM. Let roll for 2 1/2 hours. Spritzed and flipped.
    • Rolled for an other 1 1/2, spritzed again. 
    • Temped at 170. Put in pan submersed in preheated (to 200) beef tallow.
    • Cooked at 200 for another 2 hours till 205 internal and very probe tender. 
    • Drained fat, wrapped in butcher paper, double foil, three beach towels for  2 hours. 
    • Cubed the point (left the flat resting), tossed in Kansas City style sauce, back in oven in pan at 300 for 40 mins, tossing several times.
    • Served burnt point ends & sliced flat, smoked pulled pork, slider buns, cole slaw, cowboy beans, potato salad, pickled red onions, jalapeños, hot dill pickles.

    Was a real BBQ feast. Big hit. The brisket, even though way small, was so juicy and tender. The confit was a very successful experiment. The only added effort was acquiring the fat, rendering it down to tallow and straining out the bits. Next time I'll smoke the tallow along w/ the meat.

    Next up, smoked ribs and sausages.

    Best regards!

    JD

    P.S. A reflection of my second time using WSM, it easy, need to really limit lit coals used in minion, so air leaky, needed to shut the intake vents way down. Does need some gaskets and new upgraded door.

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