My first go at smokin’ a brisket is documented below.
It is summertime and we are stuck at home in isolation, might as well find a new hobby. I was blessed to get an electric smoker for Father’s Day. It was from my mom, so not sure how much of a Father’s Day gift or just her buying me something.
I am trying to research and learn about smokin’ meats. My first attempt was a smoked chicken, with mixed results. I ate it and it tasted like a salty brine, but my wife would not touch it because she thought she saw pink juice. Even though I showed her the temperature she was ooged out.
I had four days off for the July 4th holiday, so it seemed like the right time to have a go at the low and slow brisket smokin’.
First things first I bought a smaller piece of might for my initial go a this hobby. Carving this sucker up was intense. Cannot say that I have ever gone so butchery on a piece of meat. So much waste for a piece of meat or at least how I did it. While trimming the fat and other pieces I felt like it would never end as I kept going and going. It is crazy to see what goes in to making something I usually just stop in to a restaurant and order. Especially in this Texas heat, I have a new found respect for those smokin’ warriors.
The two pieces were trimmed, seasoned and comfortably resting in the refrigerator overnight.
So the morning of the cook, I got up early to take the meat out of the fridge at 5:45 am to get to room temperature. Then around 8:00am I got the smoker prepped and ready to start preheating to a nice 250 degrees.
The smoker was at temperature and the meat was loaded, now it is time for some smokin’. Hickory wood was the flavor of choice and water was put in their proper trays. I crossed my fingers and hoped the next three hours at 225 degrees does it’s thing as the research has told me it would.
We have made it to the first checkpoint, the three hours is here. The brisket is getting some color and the fat is melting away. Now the real work started. I had to babysit every thirty minutes for the next couple hours, while keeping an eye on the temperature.
30 minutes had passed and it was time to spray some water on the brisket. The bark was getting darker. The temperature is going up and looks like we might have another couple hours. At just the right time it would be a go to put the “Texas Crutch” on the brisket. That just means put it in foil for a while.
Every 30 minutes it was the same procedure. Look number three is showing good progress. The “bark” was getting more and more of a dark color. The temp was slowly rising. I feel as though after the sixth check that I may have hit the “stale” I have read about so much. After the next check it was time to wrap that sucker in foil and let it go for the remainder of the time until we hit the magic 203 degree goal.
Ok seven hours in and I think we were close enough to throw the crutch on the meat. Now the meat smoked in foil for its final journey to the goal temperature. The internal temp was slowly rising and that was a good thing.
It’s time, it’s time. After 8 1/2 hours of babysitting and watching the temperature on my brisket we hit 203 degrees. The cooking part of our journey was complete. Now the meat needed to rest before cutting in to this bad boy and seeing how I did.
The meat is out and resting. Next time I will have to do a better job of wrapping it in foil. Somehow the foil got ripped or was not big enough and juices went everywhere and I am afraid it did not work as expected. Smells great and it will be hard to wait for it to cool and rest.
Finally it was time to do some carving. I opened up the foil to find a pretty descent color on the brisket. It smelled good and was tender to the touch. I got my fancy meat cutting knife and started to cut against the grain as the instructions say. It cut smooth on the edges with a small fat layer that seemed moist. There was not really a noticeable smoke ring you see people talk about. And as I kept cutting the texture began to change from a nice brisket to a roast texture. I had read that is a con of the Texas Crutch. The meat seemed a little over done but that fat layer makes it seem moist.
I think the time it took and understanding of the temperature and timing was a good learning curve. We got a good smoky flavor and it actually taste good and was edible.
On to the next journey, maybe ribs.