Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In Search of the Best Brisket

Since I can remember one of my favorite BBQ meats has been Brisket.  Over time I've cooked a few crappy briskets, some average briskets, and lots of "pretty good" brisket.  I've been in search of the "wow" brisket.  

My family and friends overall love my BBQ, but I'm a perfectionist and am always looking for the "best" flavor, tenderness etc.  Brisket is hard to "experiment" with since overall it's relatively expensive, and a big cut of meat.  You gotta be ready have some people over, or ready to eat leftovers if you're going to cook some brisket.  

This is a prime grade packer brisket which I trimmed to 1/4 inch of fat on the fat pad and picked pretty much clean around the point and flat on the other side.  This brisket started at nearly 20 lbs prior to trimming,  and after... well I forgot to weigh it...  

I injected and rubbed this huge brisket with Butcher BBQ products. They put out some great stuff and I was very impressed with the results.  

 I put it on the PG1000 at 225 degrees at about midnight, shooting for a Noon finishing time.

This is about 0800 internal temp around 170

I was planning on taking this to around 195 degrees internal temp and then checking for done-ness, however, church ran a little long (it was a good sermon though!!!), and the internal temp was about 205 when I got it off the grill.  Brisket was wrapped in foil, then in a towel and then into a cooler.  

Several hours later I took out the point (or "declke") portion of the brisket, cubed it and put it back in the smoker at about 300 degrees.  About an hour later I drained off all the rendered fat, added some sauce and cooked it for another hour or so.  Voila... Burnt ends.

The brisket flat was removed just prior to dinner and sliced.  You may notice the slices are a little thicker than usual... this was to keep the slices together as it was so "tender" (it was falling apart a bit).  This is due to that finish temp of 205... Technically overdone for slicing.  However, this brisket actually stayed together pretty well and was very juicy and tender.  Remedy... next time will pull it off the grill at a lower finish temp.  Remedy #2... don't cook a brisket if it might finish during church! 

Overall this brisket had a great beef flavor and was very tender and juicy.  I will use this method again.  The combination of rub, injection, prime grade meat, and cooking techniques worked out well.  Though I need to tweak it a little... I've finally made a "wow" brisket.

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