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Dec 31, 2009 08:49 AM

What to do with a lean piece of brisket?

For the past couple of days, I've been dithering over what to do with a 2.5-lb, 1 1/2" thick slab of brisket I have thawed. The meat appears to have hardly any fat or connective tissue running through it, so I'm a little worried that a low-and-slow approach will result in a dried out chewy hunk of meat.

Just wondering if y'all have any thoughts about how to deal with this.

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    1. re: fourunder

      So, it sounds like you're suggesting that I smoke it.

      1. re: hohokam

        No, not at all. You could dry roast low in the oven or use a crockpot. I actually like BBQ Beef Sandwiches on occasion. The BBQ sauce will take care of any dryness or flavor issues......No fuss, no muss....easy. Lean meat is tough to slice and falls Shredding takes care of that problem. Just use your favorite bread. Mine would be a large sesame bun or kaiser roll.

        1. re: fourunder

          Ah. Thanks for the clarification--some people are very particular about how the term BBQ is used, so I wanted to be sure I understood what you were suggesting.

          Perhaps I'll try putting some rub on it today and dry roasting it tomorrow.

          1. re: hohokam

            what about curing it in brine for a corned beef or pastrami.easy and comes out better than store wont have dry out issues with the brine

            1. re: howlin

              I had considered that, but my travel schedule could interfere with that process.

              Definitely wanting to try it soon, though, even if not with this particular piece of meat.

              1. re: hohokam


                Personally, I would only smoke a full packer cut if I was going to put the effort in necessary to watch the grill for such an extended period of time.

                With regards to corned beef or can brine and season for a month if not mistake. CH (woodburner) has some suggestions for a recipe.


    2. mix
      1/2C semi-cracked coriander seed
      1C semi cracked black peppercorn
      1C coarse salt
      1/4C sugar
      1tsp ground clove
      1tsp ground bay leaf
      1/2tsp instacure#1 (you could skip the instacure, but the end result will be grey rather than a rosy color).
      Rub into brisket, wrap with plenty of plastic wrap, weight down with a 12pack of beer in the fridge for 7 days, turning once per day.
      Remove, rinse off cure.
      Soak in cold water, change water every 30 minutes for 3 hours.
      Pat dry
      Mix 1C coarse ground peppercorn with 1/2C coarse ground coriander seed. Rub this mixture into the meat, wrap, weight in fridge overnight.
      Next day smoke low and slow for 5 hours, drink 1/2 of th 12 pack of beer.
      Remove, let cool, wrap tight, into the fridge overnight.
      Next day, steam for 4 hours, slice thin and enjoy on kimmel rye with remaining beer.

      But thats me.

      1. Braise it. Braised brisket. Just google that. Delish.

        1. Thanks for the thoughtful replies, y'all. Last night, I decided to go the corned beef route. I'm using the corned beef brine formulation from Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie", but with a 14-day cure time, rather than the 5-day soak they recommend. Guess I'll see how it turns out in a couple of weeks.

          [fingers crossed]

          2 Replies
          1. re: hohokam

            Good luck with the corned beef. For future reference you might try this.
            Trim, rub, indirect grill (or smoker) @ 325 until internal temp is 160. Then double wrap in foil and continue cooking until internal is 190-195. Rest is a cooler for 30 mins, then carve. Only the best can tell it wasn't cooking all night.

            1. re: hohokam

              I've cured 6-8lb briskets in 9 days. Cured through and through.