Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Smoked Brisket: Revisited
So its been a while since my last post, and even longer since my last brisket post! So my BBQ team, Red Ryder BBQ, is entered into an upcoming KCBS BBQ competition this September and that means I need to practice! So I decided to revamp my brisket recipe and methodology and go with a more Central Texas style brisket which focuses on the simplicity of salt and pepper to season. But with this brisket, I would like to add a little bit of a spice note so to do that we will impart some science! The science of brining, but I don't want corned beef so I will use dry-brining. For this I rubbed the brisket with a very low salt rub consisting of paprika, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, and garlic powder. I don't know exact measurements because I kinda threw it together. So I let that sit on the brisket over night and mingle together in the fridge.
Alarm goes off at 4am, time to BBQ! Take the brisket out and let it start to get to room temperature and go outside to get the fire started. Now in comes the science. First I put on a layer of salt, kosher please. Now this will use osmosis to pull that layer of spice into the meat. On top of the salt put on some lemon pepper and coarse pepper. Now check on the fire. We are shooting for 225 to cook it low and slow. I have bounced around with a bunch of different woods, and the wood of choice for today's is hickory. For brisket I also like pecan and oak, avoid using sweeter woods like apple and cherry and save those for the swine.
So the meat has been thoroughly rubbed, the smoker is chugging away, its time to pop the thermo probe in and throw it on the smoker! The brisket was on at 5am (getting faster and faster at prep) and now nothing to do but monitor it and sit around, because isn't that what BBQing is all about anyway?
Side note, we got a new toy that is awesome! It is the iQue110, and is a pit controller (the smoker type not the arm type) In essence what it is is a thermostat that is connected to a probe thermometer. You set your desired temperature, 225 for the brisket. And it monitors the temp. If the temp falls below 225, a fan kicks on and blows air on the fire to increase the temperature. Once it recovers to 225 it turns off. It works like a champ and would recommended it to any other smoker.
Back to the meat. Check it! hows it doing? is it happy? good....
So once it reaches anywhere from 140-170 it has reached the "plateu" where the fat inside the meat begins to melt and cool the meat. Just have patience, your brisket will eventually get out of this stage and get to the desired doneness. This brisket didn't reach the plateu until 170. So when it gets to about 185,190 it is time to start checking for the "butter" stage, which is when you poke the probe in the meat and it goes in like butter with no resistence. Regardless of temperature. I put the probe thermo in there to get an idea of when to start probing.....
So eventually, 14 hours later, the brisket decided to be done. So pulled the brisket off, rested it in a cooler wrapped in foil and beach towels. Once it was fully rested, it was pulled out and sliced. Serve simply, with just meat. No bread or sauce needed.