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Help for a rookie brisket mistake?


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Saw the local Albertsons had brisket on sale, so trotted over first thing this morning to get one. They had a single whole brisket out, and it was real thin along the edge of the flat.  As consolation, grabbed a piece labelled as point, without thinking about it, or examining it more closely. Upon getting it home, I realized this was not going to be as simple as I'd thought.  

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The size of the package should have been a warning,I guess.  Anyway, the meat was a folded up, thin piece without much fat.

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So I salted it, folded it back up, and put it into the fridge for tonight. 

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The thought was to season with Meatheads Memphis Dust, then fold it back up pretty much as in the last pic, tie it with butcher twine, and put it on the kamado at 250 F.  

 

Any thoughts for different approaches, agreement that this would work, or suggestions for improvement?  Also, not sure how long this might take to cook - I'm just guessing it might take a while, but don't know if that's going to be 7 hours or 17.   I know you can't say with confidence, but looking for ballpark if possible.  Hard for me to believe it would take THAT long to cook a 2.6 pound roast.

 

I'm looking at this as a learning experience, not a memorable  brisket feast.  Again, really appreciate any pointers (unintentional pun, but it stays).

 

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I would have a tendency to head back to the store and present it to the manager for a refund.  If refused, I'd tie it to a rock and throw it through their front window.  I think that my wife might steal my keys away before I got to the car.  It’s a shame that they try tricks like this for the amount of money that is taken…

 

That said, perhaps a sous-vide treatment might allow a good tenderIzation, followed by a quick fry or char to finish?  Good luck with it!

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My instincts at this point tell me that if you "tie it up," and then put a remote-reading meat thermometer into the middle of it, you should be able to come away with a satisfactory cook.  The thermometer will tell you authoritatively what to do.  Cook it slowly, e.g. 250ºF.

 

And, if "the lack of fat" seems to be a problem, consider layering the folded pieces of meat with a thin coat of bacon fat before cooking, and poke it well with a fork as you do so.

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I would season that with whatever rub you might like well in advance of the cook.  I'd put it on the smoker at 225-250 for an hour or 90 minutes... then I'd put it in a dutch oven with some chopped onions, smashed garlic, a splash of beef stock and guinness beer.. put the lid on it and leave it in there until it's fork tender... I'd estimate 2 to 3 hours in the dutch oven.... 4 at the outside edge....

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Thanks, all.  Those all helped. @John Setzler, I was coming to something like that combo approach.  No stout beers in the house, but do have the other ingredients.  My oven can hold a 225 F temperature, so I was thinking of running it longer at that temp.  Just trying to let it go as slow as possible, to get as much breakdown as possible of the meat.

 

Similar to what @MikeRobinson suggested, I wrapped a few pieces of bacon with the meat, for added fat.  

 

So the plan now is to smoke it tonight for an hour or so, then let it run in the Dutch oven for a few hours and see how it is coming, play it by ear from there.

 

I'll report back on results, if it don't come back a lump of coal :-D

 

 

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Of the many issues you might have cooking a legit point, moisture (aka fat content) is not going to be one of them. Anyway, good luck with the cook. This is by no means a suggestion for you. My approach would be to simply season it and smoke it until tender. But, I'm a simple guy living in a complicated world. :-D

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So, cook done.  Not the greatest brisket ever, but MUCH better than I expected.  Took @John Setzler's advice, did a couple hours on the kamado at 200 with a chunk of hickory.

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  No picture of that at the end, but was beginning to pick up some bark, and smelled great.  Then put it in a Dutch oven with some onion and a couple glugs of white wine, at 225.  The smell woke me up around 2 a.m. (4 hours in the oven), at which point the meat was very tender, and measured around 210 on the instant  thermometer.  Turned the oven down to 150, went back to bed. About an hour before lunch, turned it back to 225.  

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The pot had almost 2 cups of very tasty drippings, but very little fat in that.  Maybe a half-inch in the measuring cup.  

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Not a nice presentation - but this was a folded up slab, not a typical brisket.  But texture was very good and flavor OK.

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Served with some mashed potatoes, mashed turnip (trying to keep up with garden production), and sauted Swiss chard.  Mrs Boater said I needed to stop cooking like that for a while, that it was too good. Which is pretty good for an $11 piece of beef these days.

 

Thoughts on the cook -

- One reason for not letting it ride on the grill, as suggested by @CentralTexBBQ was concern over drying out that small roast.  Also, it kept me from getting up regularly during the night to check fire and meat temps. Going outside disturbs the dogs, who want to go along.  

- Having the Dutch oven hold the juices may have helped with retaining the moisture.  It certainly was not dry.

- May have overdone it with the bacon.  As you can see in the pic of the whole cooked roast, the areas where there was bacon protected the meat from the smoke, so not as much smoke flavor as i'd have liked got into the meat.  Still good, though.

- The low temperature oven did a great job of letting the meat rest. While the meat didn't come from the kamado, I'll try this again rather than an ice chest and towels, for a long rest.

 

Thanks again to all who made suggestions - I felt a lot more comfortable making the cook with that help.  

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Good job Boater, I'm too new at this to have given you any suggestions but I was definitely watching with interest! Again, nice outcome! 

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One of the great secrets of cooking, especially for long and complicated cooks, is that all of the sustained heat doesn't have to come entirely from your kamado:  it can come from your kitchen oven, if you take the hot food from the grill and put it in a (cast iron) Dutch Oven.  The grill has already contributed the smoky flavor, the bark, and so on.  And of course, the Kamado-style grill has done that with very precise temperature control which you can continue or vary in the oven.  (If you like, "searing" can also be done on your stovetop in a (cast iron) skillet, usually before the main cook.)  As long as the food is exposed to the right temperature for the right time in the right way(s), it will come out delicious.

 

Glad the meal came out so well!  Ummm... what time's dinner?  B)

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7 hours ago, MikeRobinson said:

what time's dinner?

Unfortunately, dinner was Saturday:|.   

 

I did the oven part of the cook in an old Magnalite Dutch oven that does a great job of holding moisture (does a good job browning for a stew as well).  Got a cast iron griddle and a few pans that do indeed do a nice sear job (as well as cornbread, chili, etc), but no specific CI Dutch oven.  The Lodge deep fry pan sits nicely in the accessory rack for the KJ Classic, and does double as a Dutch oven, but I've just used the Magnalite so much longer, I don't think of the Lodge when I'm doing a Dutch oven dish, other than on the Kamado.

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9 hours ago, A.O. said:

watching with interest!

Thanks, @A.O..  Having a challenge like this one as a rookie on the kamado (and slow cooking in general), it sure was great to have some input from more experienced hands.  Went from struggling on the approach to having a game plan, alternative options, and a very decent outcome.  Might not have happened without that support!  

 

Glad it was of interest.

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12 hours ago, Boater said:

Thanks, @A.O..  Having a challenge like this one as a rookie on the kamado (and slow cooking in general), it sure was great to have some input from more experienced hands.  Went from struggling on the approach to having a game plan, alternative options, and a very decent outcome.  Might not have happened without that support!  

 

Glad it was of interest.

Yep, I was glad for the input last week with that Tomahawk steak I did also, lets us rookies learn a thing or two!

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