Joey Dreams of Barbecue

As I mentioned last time, I was able to procure a full packer brisket from Restaurant Depot for the first time (without completely destroying my bank account). The whole thing ended up weighing just under 17 pounds.

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I forgot the banana for scale.

My boning knife finally got to see heavy use this time around. In the past, I’ve been mostly getting just brisket flats, which come pre-trimmed. It was a bit intimidating at first. A part of me was crying over potentially wasted meat.

Most of the trimming is actually just fat off of the point, however. I think I ended up cutting a surprising large amount of fat off the top; I accidentally cut a little too deep in one or two spots. I also rounded out the edges and cut off the fat from the bottom. One casualty was a chunk of the point that I lopped off because it was awkwardly hanging at the end. I somehow ended up spending around an hour chopping things off, though I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was nice to have some help for once.

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How appetizing.

I had some initial concerns that I wouldn’t be able to fit the entire brisket into the Weber. I measured the length of the meat, which turned out to be roughly 22 inches – the diameter of my grill. It ended up fitting fine though.

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Best investment ever: the oven rack I appropriated from Stuart.

The plan was to finish around 2 p.m. and then rest until 6; I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to start the grill and put the meat on around 4:30 a.m. I then took about a half dozen naps.

Ever had a dream where you “wake up” and do ordinary stuff? I had several of those where I would get up, look at my wireless thermometer and proceed to freak out about how high/low the temperature was before realizing it was impossible — and then actually waking up. Barbecuception.

I wrapped the brisket around 170 degrees. I ultimately took it off at 199 degrees, some naps later. The temperature had gone up to 201 before dropping again for no apparent reason — I figured it should be fine at that point and I desired more sleep. That was around 2:15 p.m., so I managed to the timing down.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I bought the wrong kind of butcher paper. I ended up getting freezer paper (which has a lining on one side) as opposed to normal paper. That means that for the next few months, I’m going to be coming up with every possible excuse to use the absolutely massive roll sitting in the living room. Say goodbye to actual plates, paper towels, and toilet paper. And maybe hello a new, updated and badly hand-drawn map of the European Union (the one in the dining room is technically dated thanks to Russia and the U.K.).

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From now on, all beers must be consumed out of butcher paper containers.

We had a comfortable number of people come this time around. There was just a little bit of leftover point that I chopped into cubes.

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A not-so-subtle Cusinart advertisement.

Some of the thinner parts of the flat were actually falling apart. This makes sense since it likely took on some more heat than the rest of the brisket. Still good and moist though.

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Moist. Moiiiiist.

The next day, I took the cubes and made burnt ends for the first time. To do so, I took some of the leftover fat that I had trimmed off and rendered it in a pan; fried the meat for a bit; and then smothered it in the sauce I made.

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As I said, no more plates.

Turned out pretty nice.

I’m think the next cut of meat I’d like to try is beef short ribs from the plate, but I haven’t gotten a good look at the other cuts at Restaurant Depot. I’ll probably head over there again next week and take a longer look around.

One comment

  1. Although I applaud your commitment to your meat (3:30 a.m.?!?), no banana for scale = brisket ruined. You must redo the entire process. Remind me to take some leftovers next time so my cats can have a midnight snack.

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