Thursday, August 26, 2010

brisket: 3rd time's the charm?

We're coming up on a year since I got into all of this.  It started with a brisket. Most stuff that I've put in my mouth that comes out of the Egg is highly satisfactory.  With the brisket I still simply can't tell if I'm doing it right, or if it's supposed to be a little dry and a little chewy.  Here goes the 3rd attempt.

Millionaire Brisket with Coffee Mop Sauce:
(recipe from Steven Raichlen's BBQ USA)

  • 1/4 cup kosher or sea salt

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika

  • 2 tablespoons pure chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Mop Sauce:

  • 1 cup beer

  • 1 cup apple cider

  • 1 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 cup coffee

  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, (recommended: Tabasco sauce)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • The brisket was on at 7 a.m. along with some mesquite chunks.  By noon it was time for some refreshment.  Labon showed up with some big beers and when I saw them I could hardly believe my eyes.  He had grabbed two half-liter bottles of Wurzburger Hofbrau Hefe-Weiss.  What he didn't realize is that Wurzburg was the city in Germany where I studied for a while when I was in college.  Score.  What a swig down memory lane.

    The bacon was getting hard to resist.

    Wit about an hour left to go, it was all looking pretty good.  Those aren't baked beans down beneath.  That's the drip pan and its roiling goo.

    Out of nowhere we got one of those summer downpours.  I used a sheet of foil to try to protect my remote thermometer from getting soaked.  It worked.  Whew!

    Finally, after about 8.5 hours the internal temp was up to 195f.  I gotta say.  Awesome flavor, nice smoke taste.  But dang if it wasn't a little dry and a little chewy.  What am I doing wrong?  My co-worker from Texas assures me that even when you do it right, it can wind up being a little dry and chewy.  And that's part of my frustration.  I don't know exactly what good brisket is supposed to taste like. 

     I've had it in restaurants where it's all tender where you cut it with a fork, but that's almost like they take the slices after they cook it and stick 'em in a crock pot with barbecue sauce.  Surely that can't be the way you're supposed to do it.  Any help?


    1. Brisket is tough... noway around it.

      two things... Do a foil wrap, once it hits temp, do a few squirts of honey on the brisket and wrap it in foil and sit that inside a cooler. I let mine sit for about tow or three hours before I cut into it. All the juices are absorbed into the meat. no drippings when I unwrap the foil.

      Finally, I have resorted to doing an injectable marinade. Like a Cajun injector for turkeys. Little creole butter in the injector and mine finally does come out like the restaurants.

    2. I've heard that about letting it sit before. That rub/mop sauce looks awesome, I think I'll try it out this weekend.

    3. I have only done 4 briskets myself and have been pretty successful, although I think that is a matter of being lucky, not good.

      I foil mine with some broth at 160f until it hits the finishing temp. I pretty much follow Chris Lilly's process with good results.

    4. I have done a couple briskets, but none that looked that sexy covered in bacon. I have never gotten the juicy tender brisket either, but that is the fun of getting to try new things until we get it right.