Smoking Meat Questions and Discussion

Jer

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One tip for beginners that I was glad I learned early: before you coat your brisket in rub, take a knife and make a prominent cut (like 1/4" deep) in one corner of the flat 90 degrees to the grain of the meat.

When you slice the flat, you want to be able to cut across the grain. This little cut will take all the guesswork on how to slice it when you are done with the cook.
Just don't do what all the pros do on BBQ Pitmasters and cut off half the sides and end to make it "content show worthy". I find that lets too much juice out and you lose some of the really flavorful part.
 

dmclone

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Last week when I looked

Costco
Just flat $3.99/lb
Whole brisket $1.99/lb

Fareway Grimes
Whole Brisket $4.99/lb
Now I'm questioning if I remember this correctly. $1.99 seems super cheap. I do know that that the brisket flat I was looking at was around $60 and so was the whole brisket.

Around $60, I bet it was the whole brisket that was $3.99 and the flat was something like $5.99

Sorry about that
 

JCity

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Now I'm questioning if I remember this correctly. $1.99 seems super cheap. I do know that that the brisket flat I was looking at was around $60 and so was the whole brisket.

Around $60, I bet it was the whole brisket that was $3.99 and the flat was something like $5.99

Sorry about that
Generally Costco choice whole brisket is 2.99 to 3.29. The choice flat is 7.99. The prime whole brisket is 3.99 to 4.29. A prime flat is not typically available.
 
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JCity

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This is very intriguing for me. I consider myself somewhat of a rookie with smoking, and I did just get a pit boss pellet grill within the last year. Most "experts" say to do fat cap up, so thats what i have always done. What made you decide to try cap down?
It depends on what type of smoker you use. If using a pellet or something where the heat is coming from below fat cap down helps protect the meat. If using a traditional offset fat cap up tends to be the preferred method.
 

Gonzo

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This is very intriguing for me. I consider myself somewhat of a rookie with smoking, and I did just get a pit boss pellet grill within the last year. Most "experts" say to do fat cap up, so thats what i have always done. What made you decide to try cap down?
 

tm3308

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Just don't do what all the pros do on BBQ Pitmasters and cut off half the sides and end to make it "content show worthy". I find that lets too much juice out and you lose some of the really flavorful part.
I've never noticed any loss in moisture when trimming aggressively. But if you don't have a meat grinder, a conservative trim is fine. I do have one as an attachment to my stand mixer, so I save the trimmings to either render down for tallow or grind into burgers.
 

tm3308

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I don't brine pork, just dry rub and rest like you say. I've never tried it to be honest (that I recall) but I get results I'm happy with, without the extra prep work. I do wet brine chicken every time, then use a light-flavor rub after rinsing and drying it. I just don't trust chicken.

Fat cap: with my setup resting on a pan+grate in the smoker, I'm pretty protected from the heat by the tray and grate to begin with. However I still always put fat cap down because:

1) I'm not sure if rub really does much through even a light or trimmed fat cap anyway (I still put a little on that side)
2) I want to be sure the bare meat is as exposed as possible to the airflow of smoke
3) when doing a pork butt, the bottom (fat) sometimes sticks a little bit to my butcher paper -- if it's mostly fat I don't care and it's maybe 5% easier to yank out the meat and pitch out the fat layer
4) I nearly always inject marinade to be 100% certain I have all the liquid I need to end up with a juicy result in the end (plus some savory flavor)
5) there's so much marbling in a typical pork butt in particular, worrying about how the fat cap interacts seems redundant

I probably agree with Meathead that it's a quibble that largely doesn't matter at all. You can get a great result putting the meat in any orientation. It's several other variables that have much greater impact that determine success.
The best pork loin recipe I have uses a wet brine overnight, followed by a wet rub that I let penetrate in the fridge all day before throwing the loin on my rotisserie. Just absurdly delicious.
 
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Al_4_State

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I’m fed up with the price of brisket, and we had a couple of chuck roasts in the freezer so I tried smoking those in a similar fashion to brisket.

The big difference is when it got time to wrap, I placed them in a grill pan with some broth and wrapped the whole pan. In one of the pans we dumped pepperoncini and Italian seasoning in with the broth.

It turned out spectacular and a fraction of brisket’s cost.
 

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cycloner29

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The best pork loin recipe I have uses a wet brine overnight, followed by a wet rub that I let penetrate in the fridge all day before throwing the loin on my rotisserie. Just absurdly delicious.
100% on this. It takes it to a whole new level. It’s super moist and I will take it to around 150 just to try and get it more color on the outside without drying it out.
 
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cycloner29

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I’m fed up with the price of brisket, and we had a couple of chuck roasts in the freezer so I tried smoking those in a similar fashion to brisket.

The big difference is when it got time to wrap, I placed them in a grill pan with some broth and wrapped the whole pan. In one of the pans we dumped pepperoncini and Italian seasoning in with the broth.

It turned out spectacular and a fraction of brisket’s cost.

I don’t buy brisket until it’s on sale. Chuck roast seems more expensive than brisket.

I will smoke a couple of chucks at 275 for 2 hours, pan, add a packet of Au jus, packet of ranch, pepperoncini and the juice, and a stick of butter. Cover, 275 for 2 more hours, shred and eat.
 

Al_4_State

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I don’t buy brisket until it’s on sale. Chuck roast seems more expensive than brisket.

I will smoke a couple of chucks at 275 for 2 hours, pan, add a packet of Au jus, packet of ranch, pepperoncini and the juice, and a stick of butter. Cover, 275 for 2 more hours, shred and eat.
I often see chucks for $2.99/lb and brisket at like $4.99.

I had these ones from a 1/4 cow I split with my brother
 
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Gonzo

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I’m fed up with the price of brisket, and we had a couple of chuck roasts in the freezer so I tried smoking those in a similar fashion to brisket.

The big difference is when it got time to wrap, I placed them in a grill pan with some broth and wrapped the whole pan. In one of the pans we dumped pepperoncini and Italian seasoning in with the broth.

It turned out spectacular and a fraction of brisket’s cost.
I've smoked chuck roasts too and agree, it's a great option. I've also straight-up grilled chuck roasts before and that's another great option that takes a fraction of the time as smoking. I used the following marinade/recipe for grilling. Turned out great.

 

SouthJerseyCy

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I often see chucks for $2.99/lb and brisket at like $4.99.

I had these ones from a 1/4 cow I split with my brother
I am freaking jealous of all of you complaining about brisket being $4.99/lb. Just checked local butcher here is $8.04/lb. Grocery store was running $9.99/lb for the flat. That's pretty typical around here. I can get a whole choice for around $4.98/lb from Wild Fork, but it's a bit of a drive for me and it comes completely frozen, so add a few days to prep for thawing.
 

BACyclone

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Yes I feel like chuck roast is so popular, it's typically the same or more per lb compared to a whole brisket. But sometimes you can get chuck on sale for a reasonable price.

I've totally smoked a chuck roast and turned it into burnt ends when I didn't have a brisket available, and it was OUTSTANDING, so that's another great option if you just want some meat candy for a gathering or anytime you just want some burnt ends, but don't want to smoke a whole brisket to get them.
 

JP4CY

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I often see chucks for $2.99/lb and brisket at like $4.99.

I had these ones from a 1/4 cow I split with my brother
I get 1/4s and will use arms in the crockpot during the winter and save the chucks to smoke as well.
 

ScottyP

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I do chuck roasts all the time. instead of wrapping like a brisket, I'll put in a foil pan with some beef broth and cover with foil. I end up with a great smoke ring and my initial investment is only $20 instead of $60+ for a brisket. Yes, I know it is about the same or more per pound, but it works better for my situation.
 

Al_4_State

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I do chuck roasts all the time. instead of wrapping like a brisket, I'll put in a foil pan with some beef broth and cover with foil. I end up with a great smoke ring and my initial investment is only $20 instead of $60+ for a brisket. Yes, I know it is about the same or more per pound, but it works better for my situation.
This is exactly what I did. It's not identical to brisket, but it was really, really tasty and quite a bit faster of a smoke too.
 

Agclone91

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Going to try a brisket over Memorial Day weekend for the first time - Problem is that the wife wants it done for lunch. Most of the information I've checked out says to throw it on early evening , let it run all night and it should be about time to wrap first thing in the morning, but that is for a dinner time finish. Any suggestions on timing for a lunch brisket without staying up all night long?
 

MustardTiger

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Going to try a brisket over Memorial Day weekend for the first time - Problem is that the wife wants it done for lunch. Most of the information I've checked out says to throw it on early evening , let it run all night and it should be about time to wrap first thing in the morning, but that is for a dinner time finish. Any suggestions on timing for a lunch brisket without staying up all night long?
Beautiful thing about brisket is it only NEEDS to rest an hour or two after finishing, BUT it can rest much longer than that. Just time it so its done in the morning and let it rest in a cooler until lunch.