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Brisket: Oven...Then Smoke???

Talk about Steven's television show, Primal Grill
Post Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:56 pm
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
What's your experience, Board? Can you cook meat...and THEN smoke it?
Seems counterintuitive to us, though we haven't tried it. It seems like the
meat tightens as it cooks, and would block out much of the smoke that it could have absorbed when the fibers were raw.

This, from Pete and Jan:


"I've seen lotsa brisket recipes where you smoke the meat for 6-8 hours outdoors (we use a Brinkman Gourmet), then finish it in the indoor oven at 210° for 2-4 more hours. My question is this: Can you reverse that process? That is, put on the rub, wrap or cover, and oven bake the brisket for several hours (how long?), and THEN put the mostly-cooked meat on the smoker (or over coals) to finish it? This would allow for a much more controlled method. Possibly even oven-cooking & refrigerating overnight, then hickory-smoke it outdoors for a few hours the next day to finish & smoke-flavor the brisket in just a few hours. Your opinion will be much appreciated."

Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:13 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7612
Location: Stoughton, WI
Agreed, and based on anecdotal evidence 140 degrees seems to be the cutoff for smoke absorption and smoke ring formation.

But the idea of oven-cooking, refrigerating, and finishing with smoke has me thinking. I don't know if the cooked meat fibers would relax very much but if there's enough bark and it softens I wouldn't be surprised if it absorbed at least a little bit of smoke.

Brad

Post Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:17 pm
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Interesting thought, Brad. Sounds like an experiment might be in order!

Nancy Lou

Post Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:56 pm
QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1961
Location: La Grange, Kentucky

It does seem counterintuitive doesn't it? I would suspect that the exterior would get a smoky flavor, but there would be little smoke ring if any. I guess my second question would be why would someone want to reverse it? If we know you can smoke for a few hours, hold and finish later in the oven then why not just do that. I, like many others, have finished brisket this way. Once in particular when it was barely above freezing in March.

That being said I have talked to a friend who insists that was the way her father did it and his was the best brisket around. She never had my brisket :wink: but she seem convinced it was the only way to go.

I would say if that was the need then it would be worth a shot... I mean it would still be brisket with a good rub.
Image

Post Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:28 am
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
I haven't had your brisket yet either, but I bet it's fabulous! :D

I have also finished brisket in the oven with good results--I underestimated my charcoal needs and ran out before the brisket was tender. Am still not convinced the oven then smoking route is worthy...

Nancy Lou

Post Fri Dec 17, 2010 12:27 pm
QJuju well done
well done

Posts: 1961
Location: La Grange, Kentucky

Nancy Lou wrote:
I haven't had your brisket yet either, but I bet it's fabulous! :D

I have also finished brisket in the oven with good results--I underestimated my charcoal needs and ran out before the brisket was tender. Am still not convinced the oven then smoking route is worthy...

Nancy Lou


Oh I am sure you have had brisket better than mine... especially if Steven was cooking! That being said... next time he is here I would love to make some Q for y'all. It was a real pleasure to spend a few minutes talking to him at William Sonoma this past summer.

And I agree with... I would need more convincing. :)
Image

Post Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:10 pm
bajamike560 well done
well done

Posts: 359
Location: Vancouver WA
I have put large pieces of meat in the oven to "warm up" before I smoke them but never "cook" then smoke. Found that the smoke time is about an hour or so is less. (I was running out of time and did not get the meat out of the ice box to take the chill off.) :roll: Things turned out well though.

Mike

Post Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:54 pm
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
In all the years I've been working with Steven, I have never seen him warm meat to room temperature before smoking or grilling. So I never do, either. Does it add time to the end? If you're doing something low and slow, I imagine it does. But something that is direct grilled...I doubt it makes any difference. As Steven points out, good steakhouses never leave their meat out at room temperature...

Have a Merry Christmas, Mike!

Nancy Lou

Post Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:10 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5918
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Nancy Lou wrote:
In all the years I've been working with Steven, I have never seen him warm meat to room temperature before smoking or grilling. So I never do, either. Does it add time to the end? If you're doing something low and slow, I imagine it does. But something that is direct grilled...I doubt it makes any difference. As Steven points out, good steakhouses never leave their meat out at room temperature...

Have a Merry Christmas, Mike!

Nancy Lou


Nancy Lou - I'd have to agree with you and Steven 100%. I never leave meat out at room temperature for extended periods of time - everything I cook goes from the fridge to the grill. That's also the way I was taught way back when I was a line cook for a year or two, and back when I apprenticed as a chef (for a short period of time).

With steaks, the time the meat takes to warm up is usually a matter of a minute or two. With low 'n slow cooking, however, the meat can take a lot longer to get out of the "danger zone" of 40° to 140° F. If that meat is slowly warming up on the counter, it will stay in that danger zone a lot longer than if it goes straight from the fridge to the oven, and that increases the chance of spoilage bacteria multiplying considerably.

Oh and if you think the heat will kill those bacteria anyway, keep in mind that a lot of those spoilage bacteria release nasty toxins even after they are killed off. Those toxins are also pretty heat-stable so sometimes they stick around on the food even after it 's cooked. Staphylococcus Aureus is a well-known and common culprit here, and I once had a bout of Staph food poisoning that laid me and half of my 400-person dorm out for a whole week. Nasty stuff (but at least it wasn't Salmonella)!

I've always cooked by temperature as well, not by time. Cooking times often have the time for the meat to warm up already factored in, and they're also usually given in ranges of time rather than specific, down-to-the-minute times.

Temperature is a much better measure anyway. For example, I've often cooked 2 or more pork shoulders that were all the same weight, and after the same amount of time and the same amount of heat, one will get to 190° F much quicker than the other(s). In other words, one butt will be at pulling temperature after 5 1/2 hours, and the other may take 6 hours or more to get to the same temperature.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:10 am
Nancy Lou BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 64
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Excellent points, CanadaBBQ guy. You took me back to my HCAAP days--a 16 hour program that was a requirement of my chef's training, and it scared me straight as far as leaving anything perishable in the danger zone for longer than necessary.

Before the holidays, we received several letters from people who were planning to smoke HUGE turkeys--i.e., 24 pounders--which doesn't sound safe to me.
It would just take too long to get those babies cooked at temps between 180 and 225 degrees. Someone should do a study on that. (Wouldn't want to be the taste-tester, though!!!)

Thanks for your thoughts.

And Happy New Year to you!

Nancy Lou

Post Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:29 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5918
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Nancy Lou wrote:
Excellent points, CanadaBBQ guy. You took me back to my HCAAP days--a 16 hour program that was a requirement of my chef's training, and it scared me straight as far as leaving anything perishable in the danger zone for longer than necessary.

Before the holidays, we received several letters from people who were planning to smoke HUGE turkeys--i.e., 24 pounders--which doesn't sound safe to me.
It would just take too long to get those babies cooked at temps between 180 and 225 degrees. Someone should do a study on that. (Wouldn't want to be the taste-tester, though!!!)

Thanks for your thoughts.

And Happy New Year to you!

Nancy Lou


Slow smoking a huge turkey certainly wouldn't be a great idea, but smoke roasting would work. On something like my CharGriller Outlaw or another horizontal smoker, all they'd need to do is keep the firebox stoked up and add a couple of charcoal baskets to the main chamber as well. This would keep temperatures in the main chamber above 300°F, so while the turkey would take some time, it would still be safe.

This is how we sometimes cook small whole hogs and huge briskets on the CG. Admittedly it will push a CG to the limit of its functionality, but nevertheless it works. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.


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