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Sep 10, 2010 09:06 PM

Steaming a Schwartz's Smoked Meat Brisket at home [moved from Quebec]

The instructions for heating up a brisket are useless. Steam until the fork comes in and out easily. No inidication of real time.

I have steamed a brisket for 2 plus hours, with the result that it is still fork fork resistant and the meat itself loses its taste. Zapping a piece in the microwave actually works better.

Any advice out there?

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  1. VivreManger
    I would cook it as a roast: low heat for 2 1/2 hours, check with fork for tenderness, return to oven and estimate how much more time it would take and set timer again.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sylvan

      Thank you for your suggestion. However it may not be appropriate to my question.

      Are you Montreal-based or is your comment generic? Unfortunately the powers that be moved this whence it originated in Quebec to an inappropriate part of the site. Schwartz's Hebrew Montreal Smoked Meat is only sold in Montreal. For most participants in Home Cooking, the product is probably unfamiliar.

      This is not a personal comment by any means, but based on your previous posts - - none of which deal with Quebec - - I suspect you may not know the precise form of smoked, cooked meat I am discussing. This is not a raw brisket, but one that is already cooked by the delicatessen that sells it.

      Your suggestion would make sense for a different product, but I do not think it would work for this peculiar beast.

      We should all informed the powers that be that this question should not be in Home Cooking, but in Quebec.

      1. re: VivreManger

        Don't steam it
        Tightly wrap this beauty in aluminum foil (can double wrap) and place in oven at 250 for 40 minutes more or less depending on size. This way it self-steams and you keep more of the juices and essence in this slab of already cooked meat


        1. re: VivreManger

          I see this is an old thread but I would put some boiling water in a pan,, about 1-2 inches, put a rack in and put the smoked meat on top and would gently steam it covered for an hour or so.

          1. re: Ruthie789

            That's exactly right, though an hour is never enough to completely soften and relax the meat. Don't be afraid, you can't easily over-steam it. The fork test is infallible.

      2. I steam my smoked meat for about 45min to an hour max. in a makeshift steamer on the stove top. Over simmering not boiling water. You don't want to cook it, you just want to warm it through. so the fat and collagen loosen up. It should yield a bit when you poke it with your finger.

        6 Replies
        1. re: SnackHappy

          Again, this thread should be moved back to Quebec where it originated and belongs.

          "Yield a bit" is not what hot old fashioned smoked meat should feel like, it should be soft and tender. I am afraid that simmering an hour on top of a steamer basket or other device as you suggest is not enough time.

          1. re: VivreManger

            If you want to communicate with the moderators, you should use the Report button. They don't always read all the threads.

            As for the smoked meat. When I steam it for 45min to an hour, it doesn't fall appart when I poke it, but it does when I slice it. It comes out pretty much perfect. I'd be afraid to steam longer as it would start rendering fat and lose its flavour.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              i concur with snack happy
              i've done it before on the stove and it was good
              i've also put boiling water in a pan and a slab of meat over it on a rack and covered the whole thing with tin foil and put in oven

            2. re: VivreManger

              Montreal is well-represented on the Home Cooking board. The mods always move cooking requests here, no matter how local they are, and they DO get answered. I have had smoked meat AT Schwartz's on several trips to your city. Since smoked meat sandwishes are so popular, perhaps the folks who wrote the instructions were referring to steaming enough for one or more portions but not a whole brisket. Wrapped meat, nuked briefly on low power, sounds like a good method to me. That's what I'd do with any sliced brisket or other sandwich meats I wanted to heat up. Probably 30 seconds on 50% power for 3-4 ounces of sliced meat arrayed on a plate and covered with plastic wrap.

              1. re: greygarious

                If anyone stumbles across this thread, I have answered here:


                Basically, two hours in a steamer or until a fork comes out with no resistance. No flavour is lost and the fat will not render out any more than it has during the smoking process.

                Two slices of rye and pile it high !

              2. re: VivreManger

                I am from Quebec VivreManger. I have cooked smoked meat in this way, I suggested an hour or so but do not know what is the size of your brisket. After all this time have you found a way to cook it to your satisfaction? I am also sending you a link on a popular deli in NYC and a cookbook link with particular references on smoked meat.

            3. The original comment has been removed