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Apr 4, 2009 08:55 AM

smoked beef brisket

I'd love to make a smoked beef brisket like they serve at Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, MI. Anyone have recipe ideas?

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    1. By "smoked"I am assuming you mean barbecued which is more about technique than recipes. Here's a link to a good resource:

      1. You can get 'close' to true Q by roasting in an oven, and adding a touch of liquid smoke into your wet mop mixture. You won't get a 'smoke ring' but you'll get good brisket. Wrap in tinfoil and roast for 4-5 hours then uncover and continue roasting. Low and slow is the key -- 225F and 6-10 hours...

        1. When I say smoked, I mean in a smoker with wood chips, not a barbecue, not an oven.

          6 Replies
          1. re: momskitchen

            Apply a rub and smoke at 225-250 until it hits an internal temp of around 195-200f. You can foil it after it hits 170 then continue to cook it until it is near 190 then unfoil and finish to retain a firm bark. Foiling it will help to cook it faster and some like the moisture it adds. It can make the bark soft so if you like a hard bark finish it uncovered.

            There are those that like to sear the brisket first on the grill and char the fat well blackening all over then finish in the smoker. They like the flavor that the grill gives the meat. Either way, don't cook by time. All meat is different and it's done when it's done. Go by internal temperature. Just remember that the meat will go through the stall or plateau and the internal temperature will stall. This is where the connective tissue is breaking down. When it's through the stall phase the temperature will start rising again and often at a good clip. A wired thermometer with an alarm is useful.

            You can also start it on the smoker and finish it in the oven. There are many options and they all work well. Just depends on what you are after.

            How big of a brisket are you smoking?

            Once it hits an internal of around 140 the bark will inhibit some smoke so you don't have to keep giving it wood but it will continue to take on some smoke beyond that point. All depends on how smoky you like it. I would stay away from mesquite as it has a very strong flavor and use woods like hickory, oak, maple or pecan.

            If you are doing a full brisket leave the point attached. Remove it after it's done and slice the flat and pull the point.

            1. re: scubadoo97

              I don't know what size it better to smoke a whole one? I making it for Easter and we'll be having ham, too, but we're going to have about 20 people over....

              1. re: momskitchen

                An excellent resource is folks are WILDLY knowledgeable and exceedingly helpful. Try it!

                1. re: jokeiii

                  For some reason the link was mangled. It's and it has more details on smoking a brisket than you'd think possible.

                2. re: momskitchen

                  Several benefits of a whole brisket. One is cost. I can get whole briskets for ~ $1.39-1.59/lb. Flats at our grocery store run $4.99/lb. The point although quite fatty is full of flavor. When you pull it you can remove any large chunks of fat and clean it up. The large cut of meat has not been cleaned to the point of being too lean which leads to a dry product.

                  You will remove about a pound of pure fat but should leave somewhere around 1/4 inch of fat on the flat. Leave the fat that connects the point to the flat. A lot of this will melt off during cooking.

                  Remove the point from the flat once cooked as it's grain runs different from the flat. This will allow you to slice the entire flat portion against the grain. You can then slice the point but I like it pulled. You should figure about 1/2 lb per person so one large packer brisket in the 13 lb range is just perfect. With the ham you will have leftovers as the amount of beef will be more like 1/4 lb per person but they will be really good leftovers and you can freeze it if you want for a quick BBQ beef sandwich in the future.

              2. re: momskitchen

                By definition(at least from those in the south that know real BBQ) a smoker is Barbecue, defined by low and slow coooking, A grill cooks hot and fast. I am also guilty of calling this barbecue even though it is technically a grill, I cook a 15 pound packer cut brisket in my smoker at 225 for a final meat temperature of 195f and it takes about 18 hours, very tender and flavorful.

              3. If you are doig a full brisket, you should be fine smoking at 200-215 for 10 hours. If you are doing a smaller brisket cut, (3-4lb lean cut) you need extra fat in the way for beef fat from the butcher or bacon wrapped around. For a 3-4 lb, 8 hours at 210-220 should work.

                Temperature control and patience.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wallyz

                  I will guarantee that a full12-15 # brisket will take more than 10 hrs at that temperature. I've had 4 lb chuck roast take over 8 hrs to get to 200* at 225*. You can cook at a little higher temperature and not loose the qualities you look for in low and slow.