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Smoking Brisket: The Topic


Dave the Cook
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Abra, if there are kids present, smoke some chicken legs, but be sure and cut those tendon's down at the end of the leg so they aren't all stringy. Kids love legs.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Nope, no kids, so I think thighs it is. I have a lot of Korean-style ribs in the freezer, but that would seem to be too much beef. Has anyone smoked those, by the way? The flat thin across the bone beef shortribs?

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Nope, no kids, so I think thighs it is.  I have a lot of Korean-style ribs in the freezer, but that would seem to be too much beef.  Has anyone smoked those, by the way?  The flat thin across the bone beef shortribs?

We usually do a quick grill for those. Never thought of smoking them. I think the thin beef is better suited to quick grilling.

Good call on the chicken thights by the way. I often add chicken parts during a smoke or even a whole bird at the end of a smoke just to use up the last of the coals. Perfect to toss in the freezer for those unexpected snack attachs.

A.

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I smoked my first brisket friday night, and I'm pretty suprised at how well it turned out. I dry-rubbed it thursday night, smoked it for roughly 8 hours on friday, then wrapped it in a foil tent and braised it at 220F for about 8 more hours. I served it with Mark's barbecue sauce at my daughter's b-day party on saturdy, and it was gone in seconds.

gallery_23736_355_24436.jpg

gallery_23736_355_10873.jpg

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Good call on the chicken thights by the way.  I often add chicken parts during a smoke or even a whole bird at the end of a smoke just to use up the last of the coals.  Perfect to toss in the freezer for those unexpected snack attachs.

A.

How well do smoked products last in the freezer? I'm thinking of throwing on a turkey breast to accompany my brisket, but I'll probably have too much meat to eat in a week between the two, and so will probably need to freeze the turkey...

Ian

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Sorry, no visual food porn - but man, that brisket practically disappeared on the 4th. Ooh and aahs, moans, people bickering for the last pieces, people running their fingers through the trough of the cutting board to get the last of the fatty black bits. It was well received indeed.

Klink's Dry Rub, sans sumac, and fresh garlic for the dried was great. (although a bit salty and a bit sweet - perhaps the ratios were off due to leaving out the sumac. On a bun though, it was perfect). One half of a recipe covered, with leftovers, a 4.5 lb. brisket flat. =Mark's Mustard Sauce, left over from last week's pork roast was a big hit too - not really needed though.

7 hours of smoking it with hickory chunks and lump charcoal. I took it off at an internal temp of 185 degrees - it was fairly tender, but not falling apart at that stage. I used 3 small to medium chunks of hickory 3-4 times, more or less for the first 4 hours of the smoke. It had a nice smokey flavor, but it was not overpowering.

Thanks for all the great posts here, I couldn't have done it without egullet!

Edited by ianeccleston (log)
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Sorry, no pics here either (at the moment) but my briskets also turned out great. I smoked them over mesquite for about 14 hours at around 200 F. Between what was eaten during our party and what folks took home, 24 pounds of brisket is now down to less than a pound.

Because I spend such a long time smoking briskets, I only end up doing them about once per year. It's rare that I have such a long chunk of time to spend around the smoker. But that once a year sure is worth the effort. Next weekend, it's back to ribs :biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Good call on the chicken thights by the way.  I often add chicken parts during a smoke or even a whole bird at the end of a smoke just to use up the last of the coals.  Perfect to toss in the freezer for those unexpected snack attachs.

A.

How well do smoked products last in the freezer? I'm thinking of throwing on a turkey breast to accompany my brisket, but I'll probably have too much meat to eat in a week between the two, and so will probably need to freeze the turkey...

Ian

Smoked meats keep quite nicely in the freezer. You shouldn’t have a problem with the turkey. Just wrap tightly in foil, plastic and whatnot…

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How well do smoked products last in the freezer?  I'm thinking of throwing on a turkey breast to accompany my brisket, but I'll probably have too much meat to eat in a week between the two, and so will probably need to freeze the turkey...

Ian

Smoked meats keep quite nicely in the freezer. You shouldn’t have a problem with the turkey. Just wrap tightly in foil, plastic and whatnot…

What $50 said. We used up the last smoke chicken breast that we put away about 8 weeks ago. No problems ... except that I have to smoke some more now, and its supposed to rain all weekend :sad:

A.

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My 4th of July brisket pictures are here. Uh, there are other pictures on of-brisket foods. Just scroll past fast if they're too off-topic.

I see that ianeccleston got more smoke ring than I did, and that he used hickory whereas I used mesquite. I'm wondering whether that distinctive pink ring is more a result of hickory specifically than smoke in general. Anybody know?

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I finally found the cord for the camera, so here is a picture of my whole brisket

gallery_6263_35_6969.jpg

I forgot to take pictures of that beautiful platter of sliced brisket, but I heated some of the slices up last night (in foil, in the toaster oven at about 250)

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It's a crumby photo, but it's what I have.

Mine did not have that smoke ring either, but it is smokey through and through. This brisket had a wonderful fat cap, as well as a nice layer of fat running through it. I'm figuring that the fat absorbs more smoke, and somehow, that smoke infused all of the fat, which infused the meat.

We had this on our 3rd of July party, and one kid said it was like smoked butter. And, she was right.

For sides we had a wonderful bean salad, potato salad, cole slaw, and some really wonderful rhubarb strawberry pie with strawberry ice cream. Assorted munchies (pita, hummus, tapenade, baguette, cheese, olives, etc.) before hand. Lots of beer, lemonade, and gin and tonics.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Thanks for the advice on freezing,everyone. Unfortunately, I got talked out of throwing it on while the brisket was going, so my pepper-crusted turkey breast is in our freezer. That's OK - I'll have one more thing to smoke for this weekend. I'd like to get the triumverate - pulled pork 2 weeks ago, brisket for the 4th, ribs this weekend, with the turkey breast as a bonus. Life is good.

I see that ianeccleston got more smoke ring than I did, and that he used hickory whereas I used mesquite. I'm wondering whether that distinctive pink ring is more a result of hickory specifically than smoke in general. Anybody know?

Glad you liked the smoke ring (from the pork forum?) - but man, I'm not a fan of mesquite. All I can think of is those bbq flavored potato chips. If I had a choice, I'd go with all oak, but hickory is a nice substitute.

The smoke ring is more a result of how slow you cook it, from what I hear, not necessarily a result of even the presence of smoke - here on egullet someone mentioned that a Chinese slow-roasted duck has that ring, all without any lick of smoke. In any case I doubt that it matters what kind of wood you smoke with.

Edited by ianeccleston (log)
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. . . I'm not a fan of mesquite. . .

I've definitely come to the same point of view; at least as it pertains to beef. I prefer hickory. My briskets this past weekend, while very good, weren't as good as the briskets I smoked last summer or the chuck I smoked last month -- both over hickory.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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The smoke ring is more a result of how slow you cook it, from what I hear, not necessarily a result of even the presence of smoke - here on egullet someone mentioned that a Chinese slow-roasted duck has that ring, all without any lick of smoke.  In any case I doubt that it matters what kind of wood you smoke with.

My brisket did not have a prounced smoke ring. It never got above 250, and was lower on the initial. Hickory. I get a much nicer smoke ring with butts, but the smoke never penetrates the butt as deeply as it did the brisket. Wonder why?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 2 weeks later...
Wood chips--check. In doing back ribs (about four hours), I find that mesquite gets unpleasantly pungent, so I'll go for hickory.

I would skip both mesquite and hickory and go for something milder and sweeter. I have had great success with both maple and pecan. On my first brisket I ignored a lot of advice to the contrary and went for mesquite. Mistake, it is way too strong.

Unfortunately the only place I can find woods other than oak, hickory, or mesquite is at a specialty barbecue place such as BBQs Galore, but if there is one in your area it is worth the trouble.

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I have ribs and thighs on right now, using oak and hickory. I put Col Klink's rub on the ribs, which is way non-traditional, but I had a bunch left over from the brisket. I'll let you know how that flavor combo works out.

Oh, Ian, sumac is very tart, almost lemony, so if the sumac-less rub seemed too sweet to you, that's probably why.

Later edit:

Ok, the ribs were FANTASTIC with the Col Klink rub. Here are the finished ribs

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the finished chicken

gallery_16307_1508_74336.jpg

and a plate of ribs, chicken, roasted potatoes, and corn with costato squash and basil

gallery_16307_1508_70888.jpg

I know none of it's brisket, but if it weren't for this thread, I wouldn't have tried either the ribs or chicken, both of which were in the "best ever" category. This thread and the Col.'s eG smoking class have changed the course of our family's food history!

Edited by Abra (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Unfortunately the only place I can find woods other than oak, hickory, or mesquite is at a specialty barbecue place such as BBQs Galore, but if there is one in your area it is worth the trouble.

Fruit orchards are always a good place to check, and so are tree trimmers. Mesquite is a good grilling wood, but is quite nasty for smoking. I prefer pecan over hickory. they are similar in flavor, with pecan being milder. Oak, apple, cherry and pecan are my preferred woods. It depends on what is native to your location.

Jim

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Cooker has been running steadily at or near 225º for about three hours now. Internal temperature is at 160º, been cooking fat cap up the entire time. Crust is just starting to appear around the perimeter of the flat.

gallery_11593_1570_254734.jpg

woodburner

Edited by woodburner (log)
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In one of John Willingham's bbq books, he builds a rub using brown sugar which has been set in the top half of a double boiler and slowly dried, removing excess moisture which then makes it easy to apply to meats without clumping. Here, I've taken my personal collection of ground chile's, and incorporated the sugar into the chile powder.

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After the 4 hour mark and during the brisket stall, I re-rub the outside of the brisket on both sides with my "sweet-heat", chile/sugar combination, and put it back on the cooker

gallery_11593_1570_5089.jpg

woodburner

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This specimen, came off the cooker when it registered 188ºF internal temperature. Final gauge of course, is when a sharp pronged fork, slides thru the brisket like hot butter.

gallery_11593_1570_42212.jpg

After a short rest, wrapped in foil and set in a beverage cooler I took two test slices,

gallery_11593_1570_78348.jpg

good to go.

woodburner

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