Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Brisket Wednesday


After my wife and Scott sampled my ribs the other night, my Mrs was nice enough to point out that brisket was on sale for half price ($1.49 a pound) and asked if she should pick one up for further experimentation.  Well after my success with ribs, of course!  She came home with a 10.6 pounder, smallish, but a nice size because it would not need cutting to fit in our little bullet smoker.

It took me a couple of days to finish off the ribs and I decided to do an overnight smoke starting late Tuesday night. I put the coals on about 11:15 and gave the brisket a good rub down with salt, pepper, a few spices, and my secret liquid.  I didn't trim a thing, just rubbed it down and slapped it on the top rack of the smoker.

The brisket went on about 11:45 pm, with lots of hickory and pecan wood which had been soaked in water for 24 hours.  I added additional wood every hour or so til about 2:30 am when I decided it was time to leave things alone and let the magic happen. 

I got up about 6:15 am to check on things and found the temperature gauge just on the low side of the ideal range.  Perfect timing.  Here's the yummy sight that greeted me.
Ah yes, that's a great sight to wake up to early in the morning and a sure sign of a great day ahead!  Here's what it looked like as I prepped for wrapping.
After another liberal salt, pepper and spice application, plus a bit of secret liquid in the foil, I closed everything up tight and slipped it in the 225 oven for another 7 hours.

About 1:30 I pulled the brisket from the oven and set it on the stove to rest while a ran some errands.  I didn't get back til about 3 pm, but it was still plenty hot and here is the delicious sight I unwrapped.
I started slicing at the tip and those delicious smokey bits went away almost as fast as they were sliced. I noticed early on it was a bit too long in the oven as it was difficult to slice except in thicker chunks.  I guess if I had to choose, I would rather it be a bit too tender than too chewy.  It was close to just right, but just a tad too tender.

As I got deeper in it became even more tender and the smoke flavor was definitely less pronounced.  However I remedied that by making sure to drizzle lots of pot liquor over the slices.  The fat was perfectly rendered and the meat was moist and juicy throughout. 

I think my wife's brisket usually has a bit more smoke flavor than this one had, but she spends more time tending the fire.  I know we will enjoy this meat over the next few days, even if I do need to add a bit of sauce now and then.  A larger brisket, cut in half to fit our little bullet smoker, would cook a bit faster and would provide even more smokey bits.  That's still my favorite part, by far!  

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