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Monday, November 15, 2010

Smoked Beef Brisket......A Failure??

You are NEVER going to guess what I found at the store the other day.....go ahead, you can still try....give up???  BRISKET!!  WOO HOO!  I have been wanting to smoke brisket, but I know I've told you of my dilemma with the amount and the cost.  Well, someone was watching out for me because I just happened upon this 2lbs beauty!!  I was actually on the hunt for some trout and could not find it, so I started scouring the meat section to see what I could smoke instead....and what do you know..  a wonderfully small and reasonably priced beef brisket! THANK YOU!!!

With all that said, I have some disappointing news... I don't know what went wrong actually, I don't know if it was the cut of meat I bought or if I just didn't let it smoke long enough.  What I do know is that it was tough as hell!  Now, don't get me wrong, the flavor was FAN-FRICKIN-TASTIC...but since it was almost too tough to chew, that flavor was sort of wasted.  At first I think I cut it the wrong way - with the grain and not against it - and once I figured that out, it was a little better..BUT... I have had brisket before, I know how melt in your mouth tender it can be.  Either way, I am still posting this recipe, because this is my journey, right?  Good, bad, or indifferent, it needs to be document.  I liked the rub and the mop so well that I might use it again, just on a different cut of meat... maybe I'll do the Tri-Tip again, now THAT turned out WAY better then the was I supposed to know???

Smoked Beef Brisket
Printable Recipe 
2lbs beef brisket
For the marinade -
12oz beer (I used Bud Light as that is what we have in the fridge)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the rub - 
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
For the mop - 
4 oz beer
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Frank's)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix all the marinating ingredients together in a small bowl.  Place the brisket in a resealable bag and pour the marinade over it.  Let marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours.

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the rub.  When brisket is done marinating, remove from bag, discard marinade, and pat dry.  Rub the spices over all sides of the meat.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours.

Preheat smoker to 220 degrees.  Remove brisket from fridge and allow to sit at room temperature while the smoker is preheating.  I used apple juice in my water pan and Texas roadhouse wood chips.  Mix together your ingredients for the mop and set aside.  Place the brisket on the top shelf of the smoker and allow to smoke for 4-6 hours (this is where I think I failed.. I read that it's standard to smoke for 1 1/2 hours for every pound of brisket, so that's what I did, but I think I should have done it a tiny bit lower heat and for much longer of a time), mopping with the sauce every 30 minutes.  Remove from smoker and allow to rest a few minutes before cutting into it.  Eat as is or make delicious sandwiches with them.....if yours is more tender then mine, that is :)


Big Dude said...

Jenn - A couple of suggestions if I may. I would not cook any lower than you did and a little higher is better. Brisket is very finicky and heavily dependent on the cow, so time can only be used as a guide. Generally 195-200 internal temp is right but still just a guide. The only way to tell for sure is to slip in a probe thermometer or something similar and it should go in as it would room temp butter. It just takes a little practice. Hope this helps.

Michael Toa said...

all the seasonings sound great and no doubt the flavours must had been fan-frickin-tastic. :)
I cook my brisket slow and low in the oven normally. I never tried using a smoker.

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh no!!! I still need to learn all about the smokin'. Glad the taste was good though. Maybe you could shred it all up and toss it with some BBQ sauce and make sandwiches out of it?

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's for Dinner

Mary said...

What a perfect recipe! The Silver Fox has really been into beef since we returned from our travels. I'll have to make this for him. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

You've got some great tips from other readers here!! From what little I know about brisket there's 2 cuts: point and flat. One is fattier than the other (and therefore cheaper) and not as tender. I've bought both kinds when doing corned beef (which is just a pickled brisket). the more expensive cut (can't remember which it is) was way more tender. The seasonings and mop on this sound incredible!! I have GOT to get my smoker up & going soon. This sounds way too yummy :)

Yenta Mary said...

I love that you posted something that wasn't a complete success because, as you say, it's a journey. And look at everything we've now learned as a result! It still sounds fabulous; and if you put some of the meat into a crockpot with some bbq sauce, maybe that would tenderize it for shredding ...?

Cranberry Morning said...

Of course, in my long experience of cooking, I've NEVER cooked a brisket, so I have NO idea what is supposed to be done, but I do know that any tough piece of meat seems to get tender if I leave it in the crockpot long enough. :-)

Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) said...

Awww, poor brisket! I did one just a few weeks ago, rubbed it with spices, wrapped it tightly in foil and baked for 6 hours at 250 degrees - Magnifique! Best of luck next time, Jenn!

StephenC said...

Gosh, I don't know what went wrong.

Pam said...

I've never made brisket so I am no help... sorry it didn't turn out as good as you hoped.

Debbie said...

I've never made brisket before but I do know that when I make something that doesn't turn out well and I've used tons of ingredients I get sooo ticked off!!!!! Sounds like you've gotten some good tips in the comments and just keep trying! The flavors all sound delicious together. I've learned that what I make the most often I cook the I guess practice makes perfect!

Karen said...

To bad about the toughness!! It's always so disappointing when your mouth is watering for something only to have it not be what you hoped for!
But the rub and sauce do sound delicious. Definitely good for use on another cut of meat.

Melissa said...

I'm not sure what area you're in but I work at a restaurant where our featured item is smoked beef brisket.
John, the owner, always tell me slow and low is the trick. In the end it ends up so tender, after you remove the back strap (eww)

Jean at The Delightful Repast said...

Jenn, I don't have a smoker so can't offer you any tips on this. I always braise my brisket in the oven. If I had taken it out of the smoker and found it to be tough (but tasty!), I probably would have thrown it into the Le Creuset with a little liquid of some sort and let a slow oven work its magic.

Jennifer said...

Even the most experienced smokers can have trouble with brisket - I agree with a previous poster that it can be very finicky. I think your big problem is the short smoking time. We've never smoked ours for less than 8 hours, and it's usually longer. Brisket is a real time commitment. (We do, however, cheat a little and start it in the oven overnight)

Chris said...

I agree with Larry. If it is tough, it is likely not cooked long enough.

Plus that brisky was on the small side and it just doesn't cook the same for me. I have found (don't freak out) that briskets are best cooked whole (packer brisket which contains both the "point" and "flat").

But briskets are the hardest bbq meat to master, IMO.