Brisket

This is a Dave story that ends in a question.

For those who have watched Big Bang Theory you’ll remember that Mrs. Wolowitz is famous for brisket. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDuEa27Qio0 I can roast a turkey or a chicken and beef or pork loins. My experience with monolithic chunks of beef muscle is minimal.

I can Google for step-by-step. What are the steps between the steps? What are the things shared from generation to generation making brisket? I have two ovens, a slow cooker, and a gas grill.

Here are two high-ranking returns from my search on Google:

What’s right? What’s wrong? Help me over the learning curve!

Thank you all in advance.

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Jewish Brisket or Barbeque Brisket is the first question.
I’m assuming Jewish due to your Eastern location.
I can eat the first; I can cook the latter.

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When we make any brisket we focus on either braised in a crockpot or low and slow in the oven. Braised, we use a stew like base. In the oven, brisket gets the same dry rub treatment as ribs or pulled pork. Brushed with wet rub before serving. I leave smoked brisket to my brother you will tend a pit endlessly.

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I suspect this may be one of those things where the same word means something different, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on. In the UK, a piece of brisket is almost invariably pot roasted. I’d generally follow this link. https://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/international/european/british/english-pot-roast

Occasionally, I do come across brisket in the sense of American barbeque brisket - but only in restaurants trying to mimic the food at an American BBQ chain restaurant (not a “proper” pit place). By the by, on my various travels to America, since 1980, I have never visited a part of the country where brisket is king of the BBQ - it’s always been an occasional addition to the mainly porky offerings (which suits me fine).

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I have tried to cook brisket a few times, and a few ways, and just once did I get what I was shooting for. I seem to recall thinking the actual piece of meat being important; marbling might be important. As much as I like smoking meat ( I have an electric smoker), it seems like it was a braised that worked, and I seem to remember cooking it in a sauce after slicing thickly.

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Where I grew up, in beef country, pot roast meant 7 bone roast. We had a specific deep pan that was only for pot roast as I look back , and always with potatoes and carrots :carrot:.
Pretty ritualistic.
:cowboy_hat_face:

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I suggest Lockhart, Texas.

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A little web searching suggests that although it seems to be commonly sold rolled and tied in the UK but not in the US, the name identifies the same actual cut of meat in the US as in the UK (somewhat unusually :wink:). As bbqboy’s comment alludes to though, there’s a bigger variation in cooking method here, which I think is largely regional. Here on the East Coast (and I suspect throughout much of the Central/Midwest), I think it’s most commonly pot-roasted, while in other places - iconically in Texas, but also probably parts of California and other “barbecue”-heavy areas - it is often barbecued/smoked.

And while I suspect this is true mainly in areas that historically have had large Jewish populations, pot-roasted/braised brisket is  often identified specifically with (Ashkenazi/European) Jewish culinary tradition… I have no idea of knowing the actual percentage of Passover Seder meals here that center on braised brisket for example, but it’s largely equivalent to a roast turkey at a US Thanksgiving dinner.:slightly_smiling_face: (I don’t celebrate Passover per se, but I’ve been to quite a few Seders of varying levels of religious observance in my life, and I can’t recall a single one that didn’t feature brisket, though at a couple of particularly big ones, sometimes with a second and even third “main” dish as well…)

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No luck with smoking brisket to our satisfaction, even leaving it on the smoke for 10 hours, and another 2-3 hours in a low oven. Big fail. Now, we will either slow cook in the crockpot, or wrap tightly in foil and cook low and slow, finishing on the grill. Use any dry rub, and wet sauce you like. I’ve been known to get a good sear on both sides on the grill, then slow roast. At great bbq places, half fatty brisket is our favorite menu item, by far, but hard to find really excellent stuff.

Little Miss BBQ near SkyHarbor International A/P in Tempe is fantastic. Need to get there by about 11:00 am, due to long lines and brisket getting sold out. All else good too, including sides.

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The single time I went to Nashville, decades ago, I asked two police officers where to eat, and what. I had never heard of burnt ends but I followed their advice, ordering it at Jack’s BBQ. It’s the corners of a pit-smoked beef brisket, which is “meat candy”. One of the best meals of my life. Since then, pit Q has come to New England and can be quite good, but it pales in comparison. A peripatetic friend once told me that if you want the best of local cooking, ask a cop or look for trucks in the parking area. She was right!

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I’m the opposite of @bbqboy and cook the first but eat the second. I made this recipe for Passover. It was the best brisket. It takes 3 days put they are easy days.

And here is mine

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Not to hijack the thread, but has anyone cooked a brisket sous vide? I have one in the freezer and am thinking of trying Kenji Lopez-Alt’s sous vide then smoked method. https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/08/sous-vide-barbecue-smoked-bbq-brisket-texas-recipe.html

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I find it hard to believe I haven’t tried that, but as they say, if there’s no picture…Maybe I commented.

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Nope…but here’s my Chowhound brisket thread.

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Definitely Jewish brisket. If I wanted to barbecue I’d just have sent you a private message. grin

Am I bad because looking at those hard-cooked eggs my mind leaps to deviled eggs?

Ooohhh, you’re pastrami on that thread looks pretty righteous, shrinkrap. Yum.

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Cue the deviled egg thread!

Here’s my grandmother’s brisket recipe. It always turns out perfectly. Feel free to ask any clarifying questions!

My Grandmother Bebe’s recipe

Make this the day before you plan to serve it.

1 3-4 lb. brisket (a nice one – not too lean, not too fatty)

Salt, pepper, paprika

2 onions chopped

1 lb. bag baby carrots

Ketchup (the secret ingredient - Heinz only please)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Oil a large baking/ roasting pan.

Put onions and carrots in the pan to make a bed for the meat.

Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Season meat with salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides and lay in the pan, fat side up.

Spread a liberal amount of ketchup on top of meat.

Cover (lid or foil) and cook for 4 1/2 hours.

Uncover and let cool. (At this point you may have to taste a little piece to make sure it’s done…)

Refrigerate until the next day.

Take meat out and put on cutting board.

Slice into thick slices AGAINST THE GRAIN. If you slice it with the grain, you’ll end up with shoe laces.

Remove solidified fat from gravy. If there isn’t as much liquid as you would like, you can add some water and a little ketchup.

Reheat sliced brisket in the gravy. You can serve the carrots and onions as a side dish.

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My notes tell me that Mrs H had a brisket sandwich at Jack’s during our 2013 visit to the city We liked Jacks. Which was more than we can say about Mission BBQ on our 2016 trip, where Mrs H also had the brisket (she’s not a big fan of piggy which really is the way to go in part of the world)

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold