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Author Topic: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket  (Read 25472 times)

Offline Pachanga

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2009, 09:44:17 am »
Dbrown1 and Squirtthecat,

Every smoker I have ever dealt with was a learning process.  The Bradley was no different.  Your Bradley will be different than mine and then there are the variables I mentioned above to CRG.

Be sure you have a packer cut brisket and not a trimmed brisket.  A trimmed brisket is more suited to braising in the oven.  If you have a 12 pounder, I would start on the second rack form the bottom and then move it down if I feel things are too slow.  If you start the smoke at night and want a good nights sleep, move up to the third rack and set the temperature lower.  Around 200 degrees F.  The larger amount of water will help to regulate the temperature.  When I was first experimenting, I kept a remote alarm next to my bed with the probe plugged into the bottom brisket.

Raising the temperature slowly until you get used to your how your smoker responds to brisket is the prudent action. 

I rarely smoke one brisket at a time.  I would smoke at  least two and freeze one.  See the recipe for freezing and heating instructions.  A frozen and then reheated brisket is great for parties, unexpected guest, pot lucks and church gatherings.  The recipe will explain freezing a single brisket in portions for smaller families.

Length of smoking will depend on your wood selection.  A strong wood will overpower the brisket on a long smoke.  Even though I am from Texas and have always smoked with mesquite and oak, I find that the Bradley mesquite is very strong and taints the flavor in a long smoke.  The truth is that wood for big smokers is burned down to coals in a separate pit and only the coals are used which provide a light smoke.  Logs are used just occasionally. This method goes back to the early days of barbecue when dugout pits were used. Holes were left in the wire rack every four feet to insert more coals.  The Bradley mesquite smoke is much different than this method and produces a different smoke flavor.

I use mostly apple, hickory, oak and a touch of mesquite.  I load the smoker to full and when this runs out, I stop the smoke for a while.  As the brisket gains temperature, I finish with apple.  The recipe goes into further detail.

Good luck and slow smoking,

Pachanga



Offline BareBones

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2009, 10:15:58 am »
A little off topic but...

What kind of puppies do you have there!? They are great!

Offline Pachanga

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2009, 11:36:20 am »
Thanks for asking.  This is not off topic; they are a part of the recipe and cooking technique.  My pups are Brittanys.  They are also known as Brittany Spaniels but this is a misnomer.  Spaniels are flushing dogs.  A good Brittany is a more of a pointer with an outstanding nose.  They have traveled over several states pointing pheasant and quail.  They are great retrievers for dove, duck and geese.  I live on a lake and they are real water dogs, retrieving further than I can shoot (and love to ride in the boat).  They are wonderful kids' dogs and are willing to stand still while their noses are pinched, ears tugged and tail pulled by the little ones.  Its all in a days work.  They make a pretty good pillow during a rest on a long hunt.  They are some fine hounds, buddies and compadres.

I did have five.  I lost their Mom to cancer and their Dad to a heart attack. The Mom had 32 champions in her direct family bloodline line and the Dad had 28.  Two of them were the most famous Brittanies ever; Beans Blaze and Bandee which appear on both side of their papers.

They are all finished hunting dogs but act like family members.  They are always at the ready during outdoor cooking.

Pachanga
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 02:18:50 pm by Pachanga »

Offline BareBones

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2009, 07:14:02 am »
That is some great lineage! I have a dog that is part Brittany, part Setter and probably a few other things as well... While his lineage is "questionable" :) he has many of the same qualities of your family members. He goes with me everywhere and is amazing. I could only imagine having 3 of him around. Thanks for all the info!

BillC

Offline dbrown1

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2009, 08:34:32 am »
Thanks for the tips Pachanga I appreciate it, thanks again and love your pooches

squirtthecat

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2009, 07:00:56 am »

Thanks Pachanga.

My wife had a pair of Brittanys growing up..  Beautiful dogs.

Offline DjSaneR

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2009, 12:55:08 pm »
OMG that looks absolutely delicious! 

I just read your writeup and I think I'm already off to a bad start.  The brisket I bought does not have the fat cap.  As you stated I purchased mine from a local supermarket.. It seems certain that I will end up with a dry hunk of meat.  What else can I do with this brisket?  I don't want to waste it and I don't want to smoke something that's bound to be dry.  This will be my 1st brisket ever and I'm very new to the smoking world.
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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2009, 01:05:06 pm »
Well...

You could try a bacon wrap where the fat should be. I've not done bacon on beef, but bacon makes everything better...

You could cure it and make pastrami, but I'm not sure I would tackle that as your first brisket. It's not that complicated, it just requires supplies that you probably don't have or may have trouble getting locally ( I know I can't buy curing supplies in South Florida)

or....

maybe talk to the butcher at your (super)market and see if you can buy some beef fat and make your own cap.

Good Luck.
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Offline ArnieM

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2009, 01:19:31 pm »
Dj, I wouldn't worry too much yet.  Granted, I'm not from Texas and as such may not be qualified to give advice.  ;)

Mu first brisket came from a supermarket.  They had whole brisket on sale.  The 'regular' which was about 13 pounds and an Angus, for twice the price, that was about 9.5 pounds.  The latter must have been much more trimmed but I went for it anyway.  Cut it in half, more or less, and did it on two racks.  It took about 2 hours per pound at about 210 with a few hours of oak.

The general consensus was that it came out good.  Next time, I'll get the cheaper one.
-- Arnie

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Offline Pachanga

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2009, 03:06:14 pm »
Saner,

I do not wish to confuse or complicate the issue.  Smoking should be fun.  It sounds like the brisket in question is a trimmed flat (?) and as such it lends itself to braising or foiling which should not be confused with Authentic Barbeque, however, after smoking well over 150 briskets in the Bradley and hundreds more on other pits, I can safely state that there are techniques that can be used to still truly barbeque the flat and not finish it in the oven if the wish is to produce Authentic Texas brisket with a tasty and unique bark.

FlBentRider and others have some accurate and admirable suggestions which I will include below.

Do not be discouraged.  What I describe below is not hard or arduous. It is a learning experience and one which will help your future Qing.  This is going to turn out fine.

I start my briskets at night but this flat should be started early in the morning so that you can monitor it.  Use a probe as I describe in my recipe.  Make sure you have an adequate water source in your Smoker like a half size steam table aluminum pan.  Fill it and refill it with boiling water laced with beer, apple juice etc.  Temperature should be a little lower than normal, around 210 to 215.  Stay below 225 degrees. My six rack digital does not register accurately so I recommend a chamber probe on the meat rack.  Low temperature is critical.

Inject the brisket with butter or canola oil mixed with strong beef broth and a little Worcestershire if you feel comfortable doing so.  This will help but is not absolutely necessary.

Buy some beef tallow or pork fat at the butcher shop for a few pennies or buy bacon and place on a shelf a few inches above the brisket.  This may need to be changed or added to during the smoke.  This will baste the brisket.  You are in effect replacing the fat cap so use plenty.  I would not lie this tallow or pork on the brisket because it will inhibit the bark formation.  Do not throw this fat away; we may use it later for chopped brisket.  Another alternative would be to smoke another fatty meat above this brisket.

Use a mustard slather and go a little heavy.  Go a little lighter with a low salt rub.

Place the brisket a couple of shelves up from the bottom and make a foil pan on the bottom shelf to catch drippings and keep direct heat off the brisket.  Add a little water to this pan; continue to add water throughout the smoke and save any liquids left for later use.  

After the slather has firmed up, baste with the following concoction.  Remember that oil replaces fat so go heavy on the butter.  I cut and pasted this from my personal recipes and I adjust it according to my needs. Adjust according your rub ingredients.  You will want to omit the tomato juice and jalapeños until the last third of the smoke and omit the salt completely until almost finished.  When you first taste this, you may wonder about the flavor, but you will find yourself going back again and again for another taste.

Pachanga’s Basting Sauce
Use this Basting Sauce over meats as a marinade or a basting sauce, especially when grilling meats that dry out. This is a good dove, quail and duck baste.  This also adds a lot of flavor to brisket and chicken.  The amount of butter, beer and tomato sauce is a matter of taste and application.  Experiment with these three ingredients to get your desired results.  Start with half the butter and beer with no tomato sauce and add to suite your taste.  The tomato sauce will burn if basting long term.  Add this at the last of the cooking for a change of flavor and layering of flavor.  

1 or 2 sticks butter or olive oil equivalent
2/3 Cup Worcestershire
2 cloves fresh minced garlic or 1 teaspoon granulated
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
Juice of one lemon or lime
½ to 1 can dark beer
4 to 16 ounces tomato sauce
½ diced onion
1/3 cup brown sugar or apple juice
3 large jalapenos seeded and finely minced

Melt butter in sauce pan, and when hot add onion and sauté to just turning brown.  Add remaining seasonings and cook for 30 seconds.  Slowly add beer and remaining ingredients.  Simmer for 10 minutes and keep hot while in use.  This sauce keeps well in the refrigerator.  

You can actually baste through the smoke vent to preserve heat with a dedicated Pump sprayer, a good squirt bottle and a keen eye or dribble through a funnel and copper tube but only a crazy old baster would think of that.

I normally do not flip my briskets but about halfway through, flip with silicon mitts or put another Bradley basket on top of the brisket and flip.

When you baste, gently press the meat like you would when cooking a steak.  There should be some jiggle and spring.  If the meat starts to firm up and you are past 185 degrees, pull go to the next step.  I would prefer to keep smoking up to fork tender which can be anywhere between 185 and 195 degrees.  

When finished barbequing add 2 or three tablespoons of apple juice to top of the brisket, wrap the brisket in foil and a towel, place in a cooler for about two hours where the brisket will continue to cook.  

When you slice the brisket, if it is not moist, pour any juices that have settled in the foil and the caught juices in the Bradley along with a little melted butter over the sliced meat.

This is all off the top of my head and I may think of more later or I am sure some members more qualified than me will add to this.  Read the following posts and recipes and they may help answer other questions about wood, smoke time, etc. but feel free to write back.

If this still does not work out and things are a little dry, get back with me and we’ll make burnt ends (a real delicacy) or chopped brisket sandwiches which will not be forgotten or brisket beans.  Above all, don’t fret about it and just have fun.  

To those that are interested in Authentic Texas Barbequed Brisket, I write about my experiences with brisket in the following posts.

A Recipe along with tips and tricks.
http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?t=532

Slathers for brisket, ribs, etc which will improve bark, tenderness and moisture.
 http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=12112.msg137563#msg137563

Let me know how it turns out.

Good luck and slow smoking.

Pachanga



« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 12:10:34 am by Pachanga »

Offline ArnieM

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2009, 04:37:08 pm »
Pachanga, you're just a fountain of information.  Please keep up the posts.

I'd go for more beer in your basting sauce recipe; I'll take care of the excess.  ;D  Seriously, I'd probably up the cumin too.  I just love the stuff.

I've bookmarked this thread.  I'm going to have to try this out the next time I can get some brisket on sale.

Again, thanks for your info.
-- Arnie

Where there's smoke, there's food.

Offline westexasmoker

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2009, 05:43:54 pm »
No mustard on brisket!!...Pork yes, beef no, but to each their own....and I rarely do pork!   ;D

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Offline JGW

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2009, 06:20:03 pm »
I'd have to go with WTS on this one.   ;D   Course, other than his use of Mesquite and my use of Oak....I don't think we differ much when it comes Brisket.


Offline DjSaneR

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2009, 08:04:40 pm »
Pachanga, thank you for this extensive amount of information you have provided us with.  I will load up the rack above the brisket with bacon to substitute the natural fat which mine is missing.  Thanks again and I will post my results.
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Offline DjSaneR

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Re: Authentic Texas Barbecued Brisket
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2009, 05:03:25 pm »
Ok, the wife decided to make some sort of roast out of the "fat free" brisket I had, which solved my problem.  I went out and bought myself a proper brisket.  So am I smoking this fat side up?
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