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Basting braised brisket??

Does anyone think its necessary? I usually don't because its tightly covered and I don't want to disturb it. I just had the Passover brisket discussion with a friend and she bastes her brisket every 1/2 hour! Thoughts?

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    1. Look at the underside of your Dutch oven's lid. If there are concentric circular rings, or a pattern of bumps, they are meant to collect condensing droplets of steam, which them drip back down onto the meat to keep it moist.

      Rather than basting, rest the meat once it is done, until you can hold it long enough to slice it up. You can turn off the burner but leave the pot there, covered. Then return the slices to the pot, spooning sauce over them and nestling them down into it, return the cover, and leave it alone until time to either serve or to pack away in the fridge (it's better the second day).

      2 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        "Look at the underside of your Dutch oven's lid. If there are concentric circular rings, or a pattern of bumps, they are meant to collect condensing droplets of steam.."
        So, the lid is dripping pure water on the meat, but not flavored liquid?

        1. re: BangorDin

          There's no gravy raining down onto the meat, but it's not pure water, either. It is aromatic, as is any steam rising from a soup or stew. It's keeping the surface of the meat from drying out, and since no water is being added to the total in the pot, it's not diluting flavor. Once the meat is near donw, you remove the cover to reduce the liquid to the desired intensity of flavor.

      2. No, that's a waste of time and heat.

        1. Thanks for the replies. Just for the record…its not in a dutch oven. I'm braising in a roasting pan in the oven at 325. Its covered tightly with heavy duty foil. Do these revelations change anyone's opinion?

          16 Replies
          1. re: lisaud

            No, but I'd spoon sauce over the top, but not baste.

            1. re: monavano

              Spooning sauce over the top, during the braising process, IS basting.

              1. re: greygarious

                That's not what I meant. When I place something in the oven for long cooking, I make sure to spoon sauce over top.
                Once and done.
                Not basting in my book, but if you want to split hairs, have at it!

            2. re: lisaud

              Nope. Just make sure it is tightly covered. I put some sliced onions on top.

              What I do sometimes for the best brisket ever is slice the meat about two hours in and return to the pot with the meat arranged like it is still of a piece.

              1. re: magiesmom

                I sautéed (but stopped short of caramelizing) a bunch of sliced onions and dumped them over the top. I would take it out and slice but I'm concerned about the amount of fat. I bought one that was still in the shrink wrap and had about 1/2" of fat still on most of it (I HATE when the remove 90% of the fat). But if I slice it then then it will be hard to remove the fat. I guess I could remove the fat at 2 hours but I'm not sure how it would change the outcome.

                1. re: lisaud

                  I wouldn't slice it- just would be afraid it would dry out.
                  Maybe it works out just fine, but I've never heard of this.

                  1. re: monavano

                    It does not dry out, on the contrary it allows the inside of the meat to be in the braising liquid.
                    Everyone who has ever eaten this brisket at my table has taken on this method.

                    I always make brisket the day before, chill and skim fat on the day I serve.

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      Good to know. I'll still cook mine through and slice after. I think what most agree on is slicing the meat and heating it back up in the sauce, so the effect of getting flavor into all the nooks and crannies is the same.

                    2. re: monavano

                      I've done it with great results in the last hour. But the best is to cook it til done, cool, slice and rest in the liquid overnight, skim and reheat. Absorbs more flavor all the way through rather than losing it.

                      1. re: mcf

                        Gawd, I need to go to Costco soon. I'm drooling just reading here.

                      2. re: monavano

                        This is a well-accepted, traditional method in braising brisket and pot roast.

                        ETA: This is in response to your reply to lisaud, but it landed further downthread.

                          1. re: monavano

                            And I learned it from any number of cookbooks and cooking shows....herewith a trail of breadcrumbs which you've apparently never before encountered: http://search.aol.com/aol/search?q=re...

                            1. re: greygarious

                              I can cherry pick information, too.
                              We disagree, and that's not changing.
                              Thanks for the breadcrumbs, though.

                  2. re: lisaud

                    i'd use a reynold's oven bag -- they are terrific in keeping meats moist and tender.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Especially if you don't have a heavy lid DO.
                      I have a few oven bags and maybe I'll give that a try next brisket.

                  3. Agree with all, no need to baste. Here's my brisket for tomorrow night. Cooked all the way, cooled, sliced and arranged back in a dutch oven ready to go into the refrigerator. I will take it out around 12ish and let it come to room temp and then I will reheat for about an hour.

                     
                    1. I didn't even realize it was "recommended". Much less necessary.

                      1. I usually flip mine over once at the 2 hour mark. I wouldn't check it every half hour.

                        1. I do mine the way MagiesMom does -- a positively obscene amount of onions on top, but no basting is necessary.

                          Then the whole cool, slice, refrig, reheat process. Works great.

                          Here's how I do it:

                          http://youtu.be/IofTwVezSe8

                          http://youtu.be/86ZBwn-sZQU

                          Flipping at the halfway point isn't a bad idea, at which point you could re-pile the onions on top and I guess that's sort of a baste.

                          If you haven't bought yours yet, here are some tips:

                          http://youtu.be/6FxCKgcVMso

                          Spoiler: I prefer the point if not using a whole packer brisket.

                          1. I can't be bothered to baste. However, I do place a crumpled sheet of parchment directly on the surface of the contents of a braise. Baked, slow-cooker or stove-top; always w/ parchment inside the lid.

                            1. if it is braising, why baste it -- i'm missing something?