Author Topic: Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer  (Read 1305 times)

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Online Elderberry

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Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer
« on: May 12, 2018, 11:37:53 PM »
ThermoBlog by Martin 5/11/2018

In my earlier life, I was a musician and a physicist. Music, science, and food are still my great loves in life, but that initial training as has made some things in cooking more difficult. You see, in physics there is a right answer. You can do the math a few different ways, but even within those varied pathways, there are rules that point the way forward. Music was the same: follow the conductor, play the notes as written, remember the rules of harmony and music theory. Jazz was not my forte.

This reliance on rules and direction has been no problem with “classical” cuisines in cooking. (Read: “western European cooking.”) But then there is barbecue, which is—more than any other mode of cooking—improvisational jazz.

Line up three expert pitmasters and grill them on technique, temperature, smoke, wood, fuel, wrapping, resting, or bark and you’ll get three different answers. You’ll pick up on themes—chord changes, if you will—but not “right” answers. At first, it was hard for me to adjust to. But now I understand that the placement of the water pan, the time you spritz or wrap, whether you use charcoal or plain wood for heat, or the sugar content of your rub—those are all stylistic differences, flairs and trills on a theme with one persistent beat: low heat plus time, low heat plus time, low heat plus time.

In the end, the most important factor in your barbecue success is the final state of the collagen/gelatin transformation in meat. Not enough time in the melting-zone and you get tough, chewy, regrettable BBQ. The kind your uncle makes that he’s so proud of and that everybody eats out of politeness. Too much time in the melt zone and you get fall-apart BBQ that can start to dry out and that, while still tasty with a little sauce, isn’t going to win any awards.

In today’s post, we intend to walk you through the whole brisket process, including some of the methods that are used by amateurs and professionals alike to help you navigate your way to some fantastic brisket. After all, May is National BBQ Month (did we mention that?). And you can do this.

Difficulties of cooking beef brisket

Two muscles: what is brisket?

One of the reasons that brisket is known as the king of BBQ meats—aside from the fact that it’s packed with delicious, almost sweet-tasting fat—is that it’s hard to get right. To make perfect brisket, you have to surrender: you do what it says for 8–16 hours. Not what you planned. Stoke the coals at 3 a.m? Do it. Stay up an extra hour to let the bark set before you wrap? Yes. Put the potato salad back in the fridge and try to think of things to talk about with your brother-in-law for the 2 more hours than you expected to get this thing just right? That’s the price of perfection. Those that master brisket are great pitmasters, indeed. But they have also learned how to be patient.

What makes brisket so difficult to cook, though? The very muscle itself. A whole brisket (full packer) is actually composed of two different muscles: the flat and the point. They are separated in the brisket by a thick layer of fat (the deckle) and cook at different temperatures. The flat is relatively lean and prone to overcooking, while the point is marbled with fat, which requires long cooking to render properly. Add to this the fact that the point is stacked on top of the flat—well, really, half the flat—and the thermal conundrum of how to properly cook brisket comes more sharply into focus.

More: https://blog.thermoworks.com/2018/05/smoked-brisket-a-how-to-primer/?utm_source=Nl-2018May12&utm_medium=email&utm_term=FeatureImage&utm_content=inbox&utm_campaign=May2018-Brisket-Smoked-cs
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Offline WarmPotato

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Re: Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 12:11:47 AM »
(Wall of text intensifies)

Offline Sanguine

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Re: Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 12:14:03 AM »
I cook my briskets with love and that seems to work well.
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Offline RoosGirl

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Re: Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2018, 01:10:38 AM »
I keep a bowl of cheap beer on the grill with the brisket to slightly increase the humidity inside the grill.

Offline Frank Cannon

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Re: Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2018, 02:09:29 AM »
I keep a bowl of cheap beer on the grill with the brisket to slightly increase the humidity inside the grill.

I would be surprised if you had anything other than cheap beer laying around.

Offline RoosGirl

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Re: Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2018, 02:15:32 AM »
I would be surprised if you had anything other than cheap beer laying around.

It all tastes like shit to me, why pay more for it.

Offline Gefn

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Re: Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2018, 02:57:01 AM »
Forget the primer. Let's eat!!!!!



Mmmmm. Brisket.....
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 02:58:56 AM by Freya »
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Offline Gefn

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Re: Smoked Brisket: A How To Primer
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2018, 02:57:51 AM »
I cook my briskets with love and that seems to work well.


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