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Thread: Does anybody brine brisket?

  1. #11

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    The reason people cook brisket here in Texas for 18-24 hours is because it's easier to manage a small amount of heat and keep it there than to turn it up and manage the brisket. At least you can see what's going on inside the fire.

    Allow me to illustrate. You can cook a perfect soft-boiled egg in boiling water then standing hot water, and if you are talented/precise/lucky you will get a perfect soft-boiled egg. You can also monitor the water temp and keep it well below boiling for a LONG time, and the timeframe for doneness becomes much more forgiving.

    My brother cooked a well-chosen brisket that wasn't even seasoned over coals for 22 hours, and it was hands down the best brisket I've ever had, to this day.

  2. #12
    Senior Member rockbox's Avatar
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    Eamon,

    I don't agree. Its much easier dealing with a 5 hour brisket than 18 hour brisket. Brisket is one of the easiest things to cook. The problem is there is so much misinformation out there by people that don't know how to cook that it gets confusing. People like to embellish the cooking experience. The guys that essentially invented smoked brisket here in central Texas use 400+ degree smokers and cook their briskets for less than 5 hours.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." --Albert Einstein

  3. #13
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    I thought a wet brine brisket that was then smoked was a pastrami?

  4. #14
    Senior Member rockbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemac View Post
    I thought a wet brine brisket that was then smoked was a pastrami?
    Pastrami is smoked only for the flavor but is actually steamed to cook. Montreal smoked meat is brined then smoked until its done. The texture is quite different.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." --Albert Einstein

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbox View Post
    Pastrami is smoked only for the flavor but is actually steamed to cook. Montreal smoked meat is brined then smoked until its done. The texture is quite different.
    Hmmm.... How did you come to that conclusion?

  6. #16
    Senior Member rockbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Hmmm.... How did you come to that conclusion?
    Which part?

    Most of recipes I've seen for for Pastrami requires boiling for a few hours after smoking. The smoking does cook the meat but the boiling is what give Pastrami the different texture.

    The Montreal smoke meat I learned while I was Montreal last month.

    The texture part I learned from eating both.

    Edit:

    I saw some recipes for pastrami that did not require boiling. I forgot to add that pastrami usually has longer brining/curing period than smoked meat, which also effect the texture
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." --Albert Einstein

  7. #17
    Senior Member rockbox's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, there is a wikipedia entry comparing Pastrami, Smoked Meat, and BBQ Brisket.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoked_meat
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." --Albert Einstein

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbox View Post
    Which part?

    Most of recipes I've seen for for Pastrami requires boiling for a few hours after smoking. The smoking does cook the meat but the boiling is what give Pastrami the different texture.

    The Montreal smoke meat I learned while I was Montreal last month.

    The texture part I learned from eating both.

    Edit:

    I saw some recipes for pastrami that did not require boiling. I forgot to add that pastrami usually has longer brining/curing period than smoked meat, which also effect the texture
    I make Pastrami quite often and start with beef that I fully cure (corned) before rubbing it and BBQ'd/smoked it until it at least 195- 205 internal. I will hold it in a steam bath to serve. The famous Pastrami joints in NY do it this way.

    My understanding, which I freely admit is limited, of Montreal meat is that it is only partially or lightly corned then smoked/BBQ'd.

  9. #19
    Senior Member rockbox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I make Pastrami quite often and start with beef that I fully cure (corned) before rubbing it and BBQ'd/smoked it until it at least 195- 205 internal. I will hold it in a steam bath to serve. The famous Pastrami joints in NY do it this way.

    My understanding, which I freely admit is limited, of Montreal meat is that it is only partially or lightly corned then smoked/BBQ'd.
    I think you are correct. I think the biggest difference is the brining period. Montreal smoke meat tastes like corned beef with a BBQ texture. Very strange to me but delicious none the less.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." --Albert Einstein

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbox View Post
    I think you are correct. I think the biggest difference is the brining period. Montreal smoke meat tastes like corned beef with a BBQ texture. Very strange to me but delicious none the less.
    Whats that old saw? "BBQ is like sex, even when its bad, its still pretty good!"

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