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#7377865 - 04/05/12 10:18 AM Brisket - Fat up or down?
Holzer Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 4972
Loc: Boerne, Texas
Me and my neighbor have been experimenting with a smoker he recently purchased. It looks like a small refrigerator, has several racks and a electric heating element in the bottom with a tray for the wood chips.

We discussed cooking a brisket in it. When we place the brisket on the rack to cook, should we put the fat up or down? Foil the rack to help the brisket sit in it's juices or no? This will be our first attempt at cooking a cut of meat this big (10 - 12 pounds).

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Holzer
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#7377902 - 04/05/12 10:28 AM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
fishslime Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 2164
Loc: mckinney
I smoke them open with mesquite and charcoal for 4 hours fat up with a rub or just salt and pepper Then wrap in foil so juices stay in the foil and smoke for 4 more hours. They always come out very tender and tasty. You can also trim some of fat out of them before cooking but leave some because this makes the meat tender.


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#7377919 - 04/05/12 10:32 AM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: fishslime]
Holzer Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 4972
Loc: Boerne, Texas
Thanks for the tip. I didn't think about pulling it off the heat and wraping up before continuing the cooking.

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Holzer
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#7378065 - 04/05/12 11:12 AM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
Ox190 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 6101
Loc: Grapevine,TX
If the heat is coming from directly underneath I'd go fat side down.

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#7378246 - 04/05/12 11:51 AM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
sport188 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 96
Loc: Shreveport, LA
Fat side up is the way I cook it. 1 to 1 1/2 hours per lb. @ 220 deg., 4 to 5 hours in the smoke then wrap.

food


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#7378322 - 04/05/12 12:03 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
saltwaterjunky Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1156
Loc: Ft.Worth,Tx.
Had good luck with bagged jack daniels mesquite marinade 2days in fridge then wrap in foil and cook fat side up then maybe last hour open top part of foil and finish cooking food...Bill


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#7378355 - 04/05/12 12:12 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: fishslime]
wupbass Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 1702
Loc: DFW, Tx
Originally Posted By: wholmes
I smoke them open with mesquite and charcoal for 4 hours fat up with a rub or just salt and pepper Then wrap in foil so juices stay in the foil and smoke for 4 more hours. They always come out very tender and tasty. You can also trim some of fat out of them before cooking but leave some because this makes the meat tender.


When you take it out put on a tray and in a old fashion paper bag and let it rest 30-45 minutes before you cut it. De-fat the dripping and use some of them in your BBQ sauce.


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#7378425 - 04/05/12 12:25 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
scott01 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 12654
Loc: Bedford
I coat the brisket in a good dry rub (use it liberally too) and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I always do fat side up but know other who do fat side down. I do similar to above, smoke for about 5 hrs open, then wrap in foil (I like the heavy duty foil) and smoke another 5 hrs or so, depending on size of brisket. Normally it takes 1 hr per pound, depending on outside temps and such but I try to keep the smoker around 225 to 240 degrees (cooking in cold /damp conditions might require slightly monger cook times). After it's done, I pull it off the smoker, set it on a tray and let it sit for 30 min or so before slicing. I also make sure to cut cross grain, not with the grain. You will notice you have to "change directions" a couple of times to accomplish this but it makes a difference.


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#7378450 - 04/05/12 12:30 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
Holzer Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/09/03
Posts: 4972
Loc: Boerne, Texas
Thanks all for the help and tips. I'll try fat side up.
thumb

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Holzer
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#7379266 - 04/05/12 03:43 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
Roller22 Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/30/04
Posts: 5712
Loc: Justin, TX
There was a discussion on here that now I am unable to find. It is a bit of a long read, but here is what I copied from the discussion:

I also trim pretty radically for a standard packer. That big white piece of fat on a typical packer will get soft but it won't give you much benefit through rendering. The fat and collagen between the fibers of meat makes it tender as it renders. You can trim nearly all that outside fat off and get the job done a lot quicker since a smaller hunk of flesh takes less time to finish. I also trim nearly all the fat from between the two pieces of meat (deckle and flat). That allows you to get extra flavor (mustard, rub, etc) on the meat at these inside surfaces. I'll trim a big old 13 pound packer down to about eight pounds. For contests, I buy Certified Angus Beef packers from Brookshire Brothers. They seem expensive, but they are real value because you're not paying for five bucks' worth of worthless fat. They are perfectly trimmed right out of the cryo bag, so you are really getting value for your money and you're pretty much guaranteed to get a quality and flavorful brisket. These briskets are high-Choice quality meat; not the lower Select grade you'll buy most places.

As for wood, I have pretty much settled in with hickory. I'll burn oak after the meat is foiled since I can usually get Oak cheap or for free. I was really in a pecan mode for briskets for years...and I like it, but for general appeal, folks just seem to like the taste of hickory best overall. I really do too, and I love it for pork.

Pit temperature- I got "low and slow" out of my system. This took me ten years. I really enjoyed all the beer I'd drink when it took me fifteen hours to cook a brisket...and I know that the mere suggestion of cooking brisket fast can get you into serious trouble in certain areas...I know, I know. Be that as it may, I have been gradually doing briskets hotter and hotter over the years. I have done them up to 350 and I do find they're slightly tougher at that temperature, but the real key is to get them to an internal temperature of right around 200 degrees F where the collagen breaks down...and then it's done. If you go much longer, it will be overdone. When the meat probe first pushes into the brisket like it's butter, you're done. 200 deg F is a good rule of thumb and should be within a couple degrees of about perfect. I really like 275-300 for about six to seven hours for a huge brisket (and also for bone-in butt for that matter). Temperature control doesn't really matter that much either...this is probably a big paradigm-breaker for many too, but I find it to be true. A great big hunk of meat like that isn't really sensitive to temperature swings. Even a runaway to 400 degrees for a few minutes when the wind decides to change and blow directly into your intake vent...that's not going to really hurt your brisket.

On the smoke...less is more. It sounds crazy to say it, but most people don't like smoky tasting brisket. Thick billowy smoke coming out the chimney means a poor tasting brisket. Open that inlet vent when this happens and learn to control your burn by looking at the quality of your smoke. Don't put so much wood into your pit that you need to cut way back on the intake air and poison your meat with too much smoke. Use bigger pieces of wood for milder smoke. Chunks or logs are what you want. Not chips- they produce a lot of smoke quickly, which doesn't give you the subtle smokiness you want. Oh, yeah...never mess with the outlet vent. That stays open all the time.

Finally...for every person that says "you have to do it this way or that way", there's another person doing it pretty much the opposite and winning trophies doing so. But this is what is working well for me. I ruined a lot of briskets learning. If you're really, really serious, go to a bbq school. I wish I'd done so years ago.
A major tip I learned from Konrad Haskins' bbq school last year is to smoke your brisket for two to three hours and then braise it to finish it. Big-time secret- helped me get grand champion and reserve grand champion in the cookoffs I entered last year. Finish the brisket by braising it in liquid in a foil pan with foil wrapped over top. A variety of liquids can be used ranging from dr pepper, beer, etc...even water.

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#7379371 - 04/05/12 04:12 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
karaider00 Online   content
Angler

Registered: 07/25/10
Posts: 446
Fat down so the meat doesnt burn on the rack....


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#7379406 - 04/05/12 04:17 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
Bandit 200 XP Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 03/03/11
Posts: 4917
Loc: Ray Roberts
Fat side up to keep everything juicy and moist


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#7379791 - 04/05/12 05:49 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: karaider00]
Retired Guy Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 229
Loc: North Zulch, Tx
Originally Posted By: karaider00
Fat down so the meat doesnt burn on the rack....


If you are getting burning on the rack then you have the brisket way to close to the fire. Fat side up at between 185 and 225 Degrees. for 12 hours for a 12 Lb. brisket, wraped in foil half way through cooking.

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#7379899 - 04/05/12 06:28 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Holzer]
Longeye Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 10337
Loc: Little Elm
Fat side up, fat side down....yada yada yada. Best thing to do is learn how your smoker cooks and use it ALOT. Every smoker cooks different. It's all personal preference. Experiment, and then do it how you like it - if you can tell the difference. Once you get the internal meat temp above about 180, let it set for about an hour and then learn how to slice it. As stated earlier, the grain changes throughout the meat. Always cut across the grain. If not, just chop it all up and make chop beef sammiches out of it.

Even if you cook it perfect, if you slice it wrong, it will be all stringy......

Also, if you wind up with a bunch of chopped beef, put it in a pot of beans or chili.....


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#7379960 - 04/05/12 06:52 PM Re: Brisket - Fat up or down? [Re: Bandit 200 XP]
fowlplayr Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 149
Loc: Prosper/Athens
Originally Posted By: Bandit 200 XP
Fat side up to keep everything juicy and moist

x2. ALWAYS.

Even when smoking at 215 - 225 - the grease will flow down through the meat keeping it moist. No need for the 'Texas Crutch'. The only time you need foil is during the rest period.


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