My First Brisket- Need Help
Hey guys and girls. I'm making my first brisket on Christmas Eve for my parents and my fiance. While I"m sure this will be frowned upon, I'm making it in the oven, as I live in an apartment complex with absolutely no access to a grill, smoker, etc. So while i understand this may not be the optimal way to make a brisket, that's what I'm dealt with.
Now, some questions.
Can someone please check out this link and advise if this sounds like a good plan/rub/recipe for an oven brisket: http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-oven-baked-brisket.html
Although the recipe doesn't state this, I plan on wrapping the brisket completely in foil, and then putting it in the pan. I hear this should be done to retain the maximum amount of juices.
When I went to the store last night to get one, I noticed that the smallest they had was 7 1/2 pounds. Since there are only 4 of us, I asked the butcher if he could cut it down to about 4.5 pounds, which he did. However, I noticed that the brisket he gave me is now "thinner," and there's not much of a cap of fat on top. While it's certainly marbled, it definitely doesn't have a layer of fat on top, unless its on the bottom and I can't see it due to how it's packed. Will this affect things?
Because the brisket is "thinner", how should I adjust cooking time? Will the fact that it's thinner have negative effects on the finished product?
Really looking for some help on this so I don't screw it up. I can certainly take pictures of the current brisket if need be, as well as any measurements needed :)
What I've learned from Pitmasters (Netflix) you want to trim all of the excess fat from a brisket anyway. So, you're good there. Other than that, not sure I'm much help...
Look up 'beer braised brisket' recipes... :D I can't locate the recipe I actually use (it's around here someplace) but it always comes out good. Use your own beer, a decent sized brisket (they shrink like man-parts on a cold winter day :eek:) some potatoes, carrots, etc... Sear the brisket in a dutch oven first, then you load it up and put it into the oven (so sear on the cook top). BTW, no matter what the recipe calls for (beer wise) you can easily use what you have on hand (of your own).
Did the butcher give you the flat, the point, or both? If you're not sure which is which, a brisket has two parts that over lap each other, the flat and the point. The flat is the leaner of the two and is generally used for sliced brisket. The point has more fat throughout the muscle and is generally used for chopped BBQ sandwiches.
As for trimming the fat, you actually want a good layer of fat on there. As the brisket cooks the fat will melt and baste the meat. If you have one side of the brisket that has more fat than the other, cook the brisket with the fat side up. When the brisket is done you may even want to drain all of the drippings into a jar and stick it in your fridge. As the drippings cool the fat will congeal at the top. When reheating leftover brisket you can scoop a small amount of fat and paste it on top of the leftover brisket for reheating. As you reheat the brisket the fat will melt and help keep the brisket moist.
The flat will usually cook faster since it is leaner and has less fat. This is the part of the brisket that runs the risk of drying out. If you have the flat you will want to cover it with foil to keep it from drying out. Usually when smoking a brisket you would smoke it uncovered until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, as it is during this time that the smoke ring develops. After 140 degrees the meat has pretty much absorbed as much smoke flavor as it is going to, so we cover them with foil after that to keep them from drying out. Since you are not smoking yours you might as well just cover it up from the start.
The most important thing you should do with your brisket is to use a thermometer to determine when it is finished cooking. Roast it in your oven at 250 degrees in a shallow pan covered with foil. When the internal temperature of the brisket is between 195-200 degrees it's done. Do not use the method of a certain amount of hours times the weight of the brisket. Each brisket is different even if they weigh the same. Only the internal temperature will tell you when it's done.
Most briskets will stall out at 160 degrees and stay there for a few hours. Don't panic, this is normal. Depending on the size of the brisket, you can expect it to take anywhere from 10-18 hours or more to cook.
After the brisket is done cooking let it rest for 30-60 minutes. This will allow the muscle to relax and distribute the juices throughout the brisket. When a brisket is done I usually wrap it up in foil, then towels, and throw it in a cooler for an hour to rest. Since you're cooking a smaller cut, 30-60 minutes should be fine.
Once it has rested, slice across the grain. This will keep your guests from having to tear the meat with their teeth when they bite into it. Cutting across the grain will cause the meat to break apart easy when biting into it.
That's about it. Enjoy!
imho leave the fat on there while cooking. It will add flavor and moisture to the meat.
My opinion: You want it marbled, and a small bit of excess fat. Not much though. The marble really is what keeps the meat moist. To each their own, I suppose!
if your doing it in the oven a simple rub of kosher salt, cracked black pepper, granulated garlic, and onion powder is perfect IMHO
cooking wise Richard is dead on
Here are some pictures of the brisket that I have.
It's 4.75 pounds
It's 11 inches long, 9 inches across, and 1 1/2 inches thick
So you guys are saying that I should (after I put the rub on it), wrap this completely in foil, then put in a pan and cook it at 250 until it registers 195-200, then let it sit for 30-60 minutes and slice against the grain, right?
Should I position it so the fatty side (see the 2nd picture) is facing up?
How long would you assume this will take? Ballpark of course...
Looks like you have a "flat" only there. Yes, cook it with the fattiest side up. Being just a flat I would expect it to be done somewhere in the 6-10 hour range. If you're in a rush to get it done you can bump the heat up to 275 if need be.
As far as seasoning it, I'm not much help there as I primarily rely on smoke from pecan wood to flavor my briskets. I do apply a rub to mine, usually a mixture of whatever I happen to find in my spice cabinet. However, I do recommend a marinade that will add some "smoke" flavor to your brisket, especially since you're not smoking it. It's called Allegro's Hickory Smoke Marinade. If you can find a bottle of this I suggest you put your brisket in a large ziploc bag and dump the entire bottle of Allegro in there. Let it sit overnight the night before you cook your brisket. IMO this alone will add more flavor than a rub will.
The recipe I linked in my original post had me using the following ingredients. I'm thinking this will come out fine, and "neutral," to allow for the dipping sauces...thoughts?
1 four-pound untrimmed brisket
2 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion cut into slivers
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup liquid smoke plus an additional 1/4 cup.
1/4 cup black coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 fresh jalapenos, sliced
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