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Prime Brisket "hot and fast"

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OK, so I'm going to try my first hot and fast (or at least semi hot) tomorrow.  

It's a prime packer cut brisket from Wild Fork.  Started at 15.9 lbs and I trimmed just over 4 lbs of fat from her.  She's salted and peppered and waiting in the fridge.  

My plan is 275 and with the new weight of 12 ish lbs, I figure I'll put in on at 8am for 5:00 dinner call.  

Fat side up or down?  All thoughts and advice are welcome.  




Edited by PaulW
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Well, this is one of the most often asked questions ever. I believe fat down, towards the heat source so the rest of the brisket is protected. I believe this even more so cooking hotter. Btw, I’ve cooked 275° many times, I can’t tell any taste difference from 225°. I’ve actually cooked at 325°, brisket was done in 3.5hrs..it was delicious.

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More important to wrap in pink butcher paper after it exits the stall, somewhere around 165F. 

Butcher paper is ready.
Thanks for that. I wasn’t aware it needed to exit the stall prior to wrapping it.
It’s currently at 160, probably just entering the stall.

I was under the impression that wrapping helped power it through the stall.

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So the thermometer read 170 and I decided to wrap.
I was somewhat surprised at the lack of bark, but I wrapped anyway.
I put her back on, reinserted the temp probe and it read 162.
I must have had poor initial temp probe placement and that would explain the lack of bark.
I think I’ll just keep it wrapped and forgo the bark at this point.
Hope it still turns out well.
Lesson learned.


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It turned out fine, but it didn't blow me away.  Fair smoke ring and the meat was moist.  Next time I'll leave wrap later. 

The people a the party were used to a braised brisket so this was fine for them.  I served the flat last night and kept the point for myself for leftovers for the next few days.  😈



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On 4/30/2022 at 2:39 PM, KK787 said:

Looks good!  What do you use for smoke generation? Foil pouch, Harry Soo's method, cast iron pot, etc?

Actually for smoke generation on this cook, I just used the standard "throw some post oak chunks on the charcoal" technique - which might be why the smoke ring wasn't as wonderful as I would have liked.  I often use the cold/hot smoker attachment but didn't allow time to set it up that morning.  

funny story though, when I lit the grill to start the cook, there was WAY too much smoke being generated when it was heating up to and stabilizing at my cooking temp.  It was billowing out of the chimney and there was no way I was going to put that prime brisket on the grill looking like that.  I needed to remove the grates and pull off one or two of the pieces of smoldering took chunks in order to bring the smoke back under control.  

Lesson learned - I think it's time to build the cast iron pot.

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On 4/16/2022 at 1:02 PM, PaulW said:

It turned out fine, but it didn't blow me away.

In Bordeaux, winemakers think they're geniuses, blending multiple grapes to form a human-designed concoction they consider the pinnacle of winemaking.

In Alsace, winemakers are profoundly religious, and believe their purpose is to reveal God's purpose, applying generations of skills to avoid screwing up His work.

I don't believe cooking is all subtraction; there's clearly alchemy in favorably combining ingredients. Nevertheless, cooking starts with ingredients. As the "dumb end of the board" helping a neighbor install a structure on the old French Laundry grounds, I saw the ingredient deliveries. They may have some of the best trained chefs on the planet, but they start with ingredients of a quality we can only imagine.

In my experience, brisket is all about not screwing up the best meat one can find. I'll travel an hour to San Francisco to buy brisket that costs twice as much as any I can find closer, because the difference is obvious. If you've been invited to bring brisket to a party, and you want jaws to drop, this is what it takes.

As for the cast iron pot, I am the original inventor, and I say proceed with caution. Try it once when no one important to you can also taste the results. The smoke effect is more refined, and this is a matter of taste. I enjoy a mescal that tastes like it was aged in an old tire, every bit as much as I enjoy a fine armagnac. I'll never again be able to make the corresponding comparison for barbecue, because my wife insists that I always use the smoke pot.

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