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Brisket disaster - help


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I do not ascribe to the 'brisket is hard to cook' mantra. However, a flat alone can be a challenge. Then cut that flat into the size of a decent ribeye, then for extra difficulty, strip it of it's fat cap and yes, it's going to be a nightmare. My vote is to stop calling them brisket. :-D

 

Anyway, +1 on the pork butt recommendations. If you can find the USDA equivalent of plate ribs, they are also extremely forgiving- though much pricier. Also, don't sleep on turkey breast or just a nice spatchcocked chicken. All excellent opening salvos.

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Mate, here's my advice for the UK.....

 

As you say, what you want is a pork shoulder. To be precise, you want the neck end with the blade bone in, but the spine removed. You want the skin off but the fat cap on - and you also want to keep the skin as you can make pork crackling with that separately.

 

I would advise getting a big piece. Don't go small. Get at least 4Kg, if not 5Kg+. This way, you'll get the best part, plus it will be much easier to cook having more thermal mass. It won't dry out on you. Do make sure to find a good butcher and buy quality pork. You're in the lakes so you should have easy access to quality free range pork.

 

Yes, you will have too much. But it freezes great after you have pulled it. Divide it up and use for weekday meals. We just had Boekumbap this evening (Korean fried rice) with added pulled pork fried up in Gochujang. Then there's pulled pork tacos, or you can use it in a chilli, etc, etc.... don't be afraid to buy a big piece of meat as it will make like easier for you in the long run!

 

You also will not need to wrap a big bit of pork shoulder. Cook it low and slow overnight. Get your Kamado to 110C, put it on around 10pm and then just go to bed and relax. It's going to be much easier than putting it on in the morning and worrying about whether or not it will be ready for lunch. *Hint: if you need it to be ready, it won't be. Your wife will be standing there drumming her fingers and explaining to the kids why Daddy has ruined lunch again.

 

Use the iKamand if you like - but make sure to do a test cook on an empty grill or just throw in some big spuds or something) so you know how it works before you need to use it in anger!

 

Take it out when the internal temperature is around 85-90C. Your best test is to see how the blade bone feels in the meat - just give it a bit of a twist while it is still on the grill and if it feels like it will come out nearly clean, then it's done. The internal temperature will rise quite a few degrees after you take it off - so don't wait for it hit 95C (203F)

 

If you do a big piece of meat and it is done before you want to eat, just wrap it tightly in a few layers of foil, then in a few towels and put it in a cooler if you have one. Leave the temp probe in so you can see what temperature it is at while you are in the pub for Sunday drinks. It will stay hot for hours and hours and hours - and will taste even better after a few hours resting.

 

Oh - also, if you can, apply rub to it the night before you want to cook it. So if you want to eat it on Sunday, wipe some mustard or oil on it on Friday night, sprinkle rub all over and leave in the fridge until Saturday. Take it out on Saturday evening, cook overnight, you'll be done by mid morning Sunday, foil it, towel it, stick it in the cooler. Go to the pub for a few lunchtime drinkies then come home to perfectly cooked pork.

 

Just my tuppence worth, but I've done a few of them over the years!

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1 hour ago, Mozartova1 said:

FYI I called another butcher asking if he could get a Boston butt ready for me to pick up and he thought it was a prank call. Fortunately I googled it before I called him so I knew I needed the top part of the shoulder suitable for pulled pork.  Turns out in England Boston butt is just known simply as pork shoulder. 
PS I am struggling a bit with doing the overnight cook if I have to wrap at 160. Can’t see myself getting up to do it. So will probably cook at higher temperature (300?) and start in the morning. Asked the butcher for 7lb butt so should hopefully be done cooking within 6hrs maybe 7hrs max? Does it sound ok? Can have it resting whilst we go for a walk and a cheeky pre-dinner drink down the local.


I always plan for 2 hours per pound which includes rest time in the cooler, and factors in any unforeseen delays which always happen at the wrong time. I always try to shoot for a couple or 3 hours rest in the cooler - Minimum 1 hour if you are in a rush but the rest is as important of not more than the cook. You will not be eating a 7 pound shoulder in 7 hours if you shoot for 250°. 300 yes maybe it will go under an hour a pound and will likely still come out ok  Wrapping will certainly help speed things up 

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 Bro, everyone is telling you to try chuck. I am here to agree with all of em. Easy. Tasty. Still love brisket...but chucky is a cant fail.

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8 hours ago, prowe said:

 Bro, everyone is telling you to try chuck. I am here to agree with all of em. Easy. Tasty. Still love brisket...but chucky is a cant fail.

Oh I will. Won’t be trying a brisket for a while now so chuck it is. But hubby wants pulled pork plus the general consensus is that it’s the easiest meat to cook for a complete novice like myself. Decided on baby steps after all :)

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9 hours ago, KamadoChris said:


I always plan for 2 hours per pound which includes rest time in the cooler, and factors in any unforeseen delays which always happen at the wrong time. I always try to shoot for a couple or 3 hours rest in the cooler - Minimum 1 hour if you are in a rush but the rest is as important of not more than the cook. You will not be eating a 7 pound shoulder in 7 hours if you shoot for 250°. 300 yes maybe it will go under an hour a pound and will likely still come out ok  Wrapping will certainly help speed things up 

Sorry meant 7hrs just smoking time then take it off whilst we go for a walk and drink. Don’t want it resting too long. Read that 5hrs is about the max safe time. Don’t want my guests leaving with food poisoning ;)

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On 7/21/2020 at 4:20 AM, Mozartova1 said:

......... With hind side there was no marbeling going through the piece.

 

i disagree with all of the comments about how tricky, cook other things 1st, etc when it comes to brisket; it is a long cook in the lower temp range, but there is no "mystery" to it.

 

you've answered your own question, the marbled fat is what is going to keep your brisket (or ribs, butt, etc) from drying out and is going to give it incredible flavor.

 

there is a reason that prime-grade costs more.... marbled fat.  Try to get your hands on the point muscle if you are able, my butcher will separate the point from the flat and sell to me.  give it another try with a fattier piece of meat and you'll see.

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On 7/23/2020 at 12:01 AM, adm said:

Mate, here's my advice for the UK.....

 

As you say, what you want is a pork shoulder. To be precise, you want the neck end with the blade bone in, but the spine removed. You want the skin off but the fat cap on - and you also want to keep the skin as you can make pork crackling with that separately.

 

I would advise getting a big piece. Don't go small. Get at least 4Kg, if not 5Kg+. This way, you'll get the best part, plus it will be much easier to cook having more thermal mass. It won't dry out on you. Do make sure to find a good butcher and buy quality pork. You're in the lakes so you should have easy access to quality free range pork.

 

Yes, you will have too much. But it freezes great after you have pulled it. Divide it up and use for weekday meals. We just had Boekumbap this evening (Korean fried rice) with added pulled pork fried up in Gochujang. Then there's pulled pork tacos, or you can use it in a chilli, etc, etc.... don't be afraid to buy a big piece of meat as it will make like easier for you in the long run!

 

You also will not need to wrap a big bit of pork shoulder. Cook it low and slow overnight. Get your Kamado to 110C, put it on around 10pm and then just go to bed and relax. It's going to be much easier than putting it on in the morning and worrying about whether or not it will be ready for lunch. *Hint: if you need it to be ready, it won't be. Your wife will be standing there drumming her fingers and explaining to the kids why Daddy has ruined lunch again.

 

Use the iKamand if you like - but make sure to do a test cook on an empty grill or just throw in some big spuds or something) so you know how it works before you need to use it in anger!

 

Take it out when the internal temperature is around 85-90C. Your best test is to see how the blade bone feels in the meat - just give it a bit of a twist while it is still on the grill and if it feels like it will come out nearly clean, then it's done. The internal temperature will rise quite a few degrees after you take it off - so don't wait for it hit 95C (203F)

 

If you do a big piece of meat and it is done before you want to eat, just wrap it tightly in a few layers of foil, then in a few towels and put it in a cooler if you have one. Leave the temp probe in so you can see what temperature it is at while you are in the pub for Sunday drinks. It will stay hot for hours and hours and hours - and will taste even better after a few hours resting.

 

Oh - also, if you can, apply rub to it the night before you want to cook it. So if you want to eat it on Sunday, wipe some mustard or oil on it on Friday night, sprinkle rub all over and leave in the fridge until Saturday. Take it out on Saturday evening, cook overnight, you'll be done by mid morning Sunday, foil it, towel it, stick it in the cooler. Go to the pub for a few lunchtime drinkies then come home to perfectly cooked pork.

 

Just my tuppence worth, but I've done a few of them over the years!

Wow ADM thanks. I went to the butchers yesterday and got the shoulder BUT noticed when I got home he left the spine bone it. Annoyed about it because once I have removed it the piece will be really small. It’s 3kg with the the spine bone in! Fortunately the trial run is just on the 2 of us so if it’s a disaster it won’t matter as much. Will call the butcher today to see if he would swap it but doubt he will for health and safety reasons. Not doing very well so far...

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Mozart Hope your butt goes well for you i reread the posts here and i forgot to add the recipe web site lots of good recipes in it. It's just the 2 of us here so when i do a butt i plan on 32 days of left overs.

 

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11 hours ago, Mozartova1 said:

Wow ADM thanks. I went to the butchers yesterday and got the shoulder BUT noticed when I got home he left the spine bone it. Annoyed about it because once I have removed it the piece will be really small. It’s 3kg with the the spine bone in! Fortunately the trial run is just on the 2 of us so if it’s a disaster it won’t matter as much. Will call the butcher today to see if he would swap it but doubt he will for health and safety reasons. Not doing very well so far...

 

 

Don't worry about it. It will be just fine with the spine bone still in. Once you get it cooked, it will fall off the bone anyway. It's only a convenience thing having it removed.

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1 hour ago, adm said:

 

 

Don't worry about it. It will be just fine with the spine bone still in. Once you get it cooked, it will fall off the bone anyway. It's only a convenience thing having it removed.

Well I removed it and kept the fat cap. Will be looking up suggestions for just how to make crackling on its own next. Will be trying it tomorrow with my ikamand ( I am around to monitor and it’s just for the 2of so good trial run b4 nxt wkend). The pork has been duly rubbed and is back in the fridge. Fingers crossed it will be ok. 
 

ps. What brisket do you get from your local uk butcher? Do you just ask for the point? Thanks 

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On 7/21/2020 at 10:24 AM, GRIMGOR said:

2.9lb brisket cooked for 7 hours sounds like a long time.

 

Also brisket like to stall around 160.

Agreed. My last one hung at 166 or over an hour.

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On 7/24/2020 at 9:50 PM, Mozartova1 said:

Well I removed it and kept the fat cap. Will be looking up suggestions for just how to make crackling on its own next. Will be trying it tomorrow with my ikamand ( I am around to monitor and it’s just for the 2of so good trial run b4 nxt wkend). The pork has been duly rubbed and is back in the fridge. Fingers crossed it will be ok. 
 

ps. What brisket do you get from your local uk butcher? Do you just ask for the point? Thanks 

 

On the crackling, I normally make home made Pork Scratchings. What I do is to cut the skin up into rectangles about 1 inch by 2 inches, then I put them into a pan with a really small amount of water (couple of tablespoons) and put them on a low to medium heat. The fat attached to the skin renders out and the skin cooks in the fat and they bubble and puff up (if you have no fat on the back of your skin you may need to add some).

 

It takes a bit of time - about 30 minutes or so and you need to stir frequently and make sure they don't get too hot. But the result is worth it. When they are done, drain them off, sprinkle with some good sea salt and enjoy with a cold beer. Ten times better than the bags of Pork Scratchings you get in the UK!

On the brisket, it depends.....I normally go and have a chat with the butcher to see what he's got. It's best to get a big bit with both point and flat, but if he only has flat without much marbling I would typically pass and get a pork shoulder instead.

 

I recently found this page - which looks like the Holy Grail of brisket supply in the UK. Haven't ordered from them yet, but I will do soon. I'm thinking of ordering one of the Australian Wingham Reserve briskets to try them out.

 

https://www.johndavidsons.com/pitmaster-bbq/brisket-love

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11 hours ago, adm said:

 

On the crackling, I normally make home made Pork Scratchings. What I do is to cut the skin up into rectangles about 1 inch by 2 inches, then I put them into a pan with a really small amount of water (couple of tablespoons) and put them on a low to medium heat. The fat attached to the skin renders out and the skin cooks in the fat and they bubble and puff up (if you have no fat on the back of your skin you may need to add some).

 

It takes a bit of time - about 30 minutes or so and you need to stir frequently and make sure they don't get too hot. But the result is worth it. When they are done, drain them off, sprinkle with some good sea salt and enjoy with a cold beer. Ten times better than the bags of Pork Scratchings you get in the UK!

On the brisket, it depends.....I normally go and have a chat with the butcher to see what he's got. It's best to get a big bit with both point and flat, but if he only has flat without much marbling I would typically pass and get a pork shoulder instead.

 

I recently found this page - which looks like the Holy Grail of brisket supply in the UK. Haven't ordered from them yet, but I will do soon. I'm thinking of ordering one of the Australian Wingham Reserve briskets to try them out.

 

https://www.johndavidsons.com/pitmaster-bbq/brisket-love

Thanks ADM. I have saved the fat cap so will try your recipe. Sounds simple enough - famous last words. Will check out the link also although I really like using local butchers. One of them has his dairy farm in the next village so they don’t come much fresher than that. ;)

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