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Thanksgiving Brisket

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Time for a very COVID-19 Thanksgiving, and that means a break with family, a break with friends, a break with tradition.  That means - Thanksgiving brisket!

I’m not sure why but almost everyone I ask is doing brisket instead of turkey.  Ok, I am sure why…  If nobody is coming over that expects turkey, then why make it?  I don’t love turkey.  I love chicken.  I love ostrich (no joke, ostrich steaks are great).

I love brisket!  My wife loves brisket!  Let’s make that!

Ok.  This is a Costco brisket at 15 lbs, $3.49/lb.  I bought it a few days in advance in anticipation of everybody buying them.  I’ll use 4 Tbsp salt, 4 of pepper, 2 of garlic powder, smoke at 225℉ until about 165℉ internal temp, then in the morning bump it up to 275℉ to finish.  Aiming for a 1500 finish time, and I’ll let it rest for an hour or more.

When trimming the meat this time I went ahead and separated the flat and point.  That made both into thinner hunks of meat than usual.  I think it’ll make slicing easier, because the grains are always different between point and flat, but also separating them allowed me to remove the large hunks of fat more effectively.

The flat is actually slightly wider than the smoker.  When putting them on, I’ll put the point on top, with the fat cap up on both.

2020: going on the smoker!

0730, Thanksgiving: alright wait just a dern minute.  Who came out and heated up my meat?  Flat is at 202℉ and point at 207℉.  It’s done already!

I took it off, wrapped it in foil, and put it in a cooler.  We’ll have to reheat this for dinner, but that’s ok.

So, I guess the meat was thin enough when separated that it cooked much quicker.  Same amount of meat, faster.  Everything felt extremely tender when removing the meat from the smoker, so I’m thinking that it really did cook sufficiently, but much faster because it’s thin.  Taste and mouthfeel will tell.

This may end up actually being better and faster.  The meat was a more even thickness, and I think as a result the temperature was fairly even throughout the meat when I probed it.  I bet that normally, since I wait for the center of the thickest parts to get up to temperature, the thinner parts get too hot and dry out more than this time.  They do normally dry out a bit, but the variation is not terrible usually.

AFTER: This brisket was fantastic and this is how I will do it going forward. Different parts will get done at different times - that’s fine.