The Smoker Thread - recipes, techniques, ideas

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TimF
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#451 Post by TimF » May 31st, 2018, 8:27 am

Joe Dulworth wrote:Do you want to continue with charcoal and wood fuel sources or are you looking to switch to more set it and forget it sources like propane and electric?
I'm willing to go propane or electric. I'd also like to keep it under $1,000.
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#452 Post by Joe Dulworth » May 31st, 2018, 10:01 am

Check out the Camp Chef 24 Smoke Vault. Be sure and read the review of it on amazingribs.com.
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#453 Post by Scott G r u n e r » May 31st, 2018, 10:18 am

True set and forget is really only in electric AFAIAW. Unless some of the higher end propane ones have actual digital heat controls.... I have the 24 inch camp chef smoke vault and it takes some tweaking and management to keep consistent temps as the wood smokes through. And for long smokes you do need to add more wood. I like the product and think it has very good value, but would not consider it a true set and forget.
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#454 Post by Joe Dulworth » May 31st, 2018, 10:44 am

Agreed. It does require some tweaking, particularly during longer smokes but it is about as close as you can get in an LP in my opinion.
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#455 Post by TimF » June 13th, 2018, 9:20 am

For the Camp Chef Smoke Vault, considering the heat source is on the bottom, do you guys cook fat side up or fat side down?
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#456 Post by Joe Dulworth » June 13th, 2018, 9:26 am

Generally fat side up. Thicker, longer cooking cuts towards the bottom, thinner, quicker cooking cuts towards the top. Generally.
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#457 Post by TimF » June 25th, 2018, 6:49 am

Joe Dulworth wrote:Check out the Camp Chef 24 Smoke Vault. Be sure and read the review of it on amazingribs.com.
Did a packer brisket as my first smoke. Thanks for the recommendation. Was much easier than tending a fire for 10 hours. Taste was excellent. I don't remember ever having brisket this good.
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#458 Post by TimF » June 25th, 2018, 6:53 am

I've got an 11 pound pork belly that I want to smoke. Some recipes look like they go low and slow. The one from Momofuku intrigues me. It cooks at 450 for an hour and then 250 for another 1:15. The Momofuku recipe isn't for a smoker but I figure it might translate well. Since my plan is to eat the belly on bao, I figured it would be good. Any thoughts?
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#459 Post by Brian Tuite » June 25th, 2018, 7:13 am

10lbs of ribs over applewood for 4+hrs. Should have gone longer but the Wife was getting antsy saying we needed to serve dinner. So what’s another hour? I’ll open more wine.

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#460 Post by Joe Dulworth » June 25th, 2018, 8:10 am

TimF wrote:
Joe Dulworth wrote:Check out the Camp Chef 24 Smoke Vault. Be sure and read the review of it on amazingribs.com.
Did a packer brisket as my first smoke. Thanks for the recommendation. Was much easier than tending a fire for 10 hours. Taste was excellent. I don't remember ever having brisket this good.
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Good deal. Glad it worked out. Did you smoke in butcher paper after X hours?
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#461 Post by TimF » June 25th, 2018, 8:34 am

Joe Dulworth wrote:
TimF wrote:
Joe Dulworth wrote:Check out the Camp Chef 24 Smoke Vault. Be sure and read the review of it on amazingribs.com.
Did a packer brisket as my first smoke. Thanks for the recommendation. Was much easier than tending a fire for 10 hours. Taste was excellent. I don't remember ever having brisket this good.
brisket.jpg
Good deal. Glad it worked out. Did you smoke in butcher paper after X hours?
Yeah, I pulled it out after about 8 hours and wrapped it. I followed Aaron Franklin's instructions pretty much exactly. I had never cooked a full packer before. Such a shame as I liked the point much better than the flat (even though the flat was really good).

I really like Franklin's sauce recipe too. I made one bottle of that and a second with added cayenne.

The one criticism I have of this smoker is that the pan that catches the drippings is super close to the flame. So you've got the ingredients for a really nasty grease fire. I'm going to put a sheet pan on a rack under whatever I cook next. I think ideally the grease should exit out the back of the smoker somehow.
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#462 Post by Joe Dulworth » June 25th, 2018, 8:51 am

Did you use pellets, chips, chunks? Soaked or not? Just curious what you used and how long you got good smoke.
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#463 Post by TimF » June 25th, 2018, 9:50 am

I used oak chips and chunks. Not soaked. I filled the wood tray with lava rocks and then put the chips on top. Seemed to get pretty good smoke.
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#464 Post by Joe Dulworth » June 25th, 2018, 11:36 am

I've never done the lava rock thing. Does it help burn slower/longer or something?
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#465 Post by Scott G r u n e r » June 25th, 2018, 2:10 pm

Joe Dulworth wrote:I've never done the lava rock thing. Does it help burn slower/longer or something?
Indeed. Very interested in this..
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#466 Post by TimF » June 25th, 2018, 5:13 pm

Joe Dulworth wrote:I've never done the lava rock thing. Does it help burn slower/longer or something?
I think that’s the idea. I’ve read it in a bunch of places. Also helps with temperature swings. I added a couple of patio bricks on the very bottom rack as well. The unit would be a bit better if it was built with some heavier guage steel. It’s pretty good for the price. I’m thinking of getting a needle valve as the controller they use isn’t very precise.
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#467 Post by Linda Baehr » June 25th, 2018, 5:47 pm

TimF wrote:I've got an 11 pound pork belly that I want to smoke. Some recipes look like they go low and slow. The one from Momofuku intrigues me. It cooks at 450 for an hour and then 250 for another 1:15. The Momofuku recipe isn't for a smoker but I figure it might translate well. Since my plan is to eat the belly on bao, I figured it would be good. Any thoughts?
Maybe do it in reverse? I've read that the first hour of cooking/smoke is what really gives you the smokey flavor. My smoker only goes to 250, so it would have to be partially in the oven. It seems like doing high heat first might make the outer layers more resistant to soaking up the smoke.
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#468 Post by TimF » June 26th, 2018, 7:51 am

Linda Baehr wrote:
TimF wrote:I've got an 11 pound pork belly that I want to smoke. Some recipes look like they go low and slow. The one from Momofuku intrigues me. It cooks at 450 for an hour and then 250 for another 1:15. The Momofuku recipe isn't for a smoker but I figure it might translate well. Since my plan is to eat the belly on bao, I figured it would be good. Any thoughts?
Maybe do it in reverse? I've read that the first hour of cooking/smoke is what really gives you the smokey flavor. My smoker only goes to 250, so it would have to be partially in the oven. It seems like doing high heat first might make the outer layers more resistant to soaking up the smoke.
I watched a video of David Chang making this on Martha Stewart's show. At that time (must have been about 10 years ago) he said to cook it at 300F for about 2 hours and then bump it up to 450F to get the skin crispy. I think I'm going to try that route.
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#469 Post by Stefan Blicker » June 27th, 2018, 10:32 am

Been smoking a lot lately. Catching up on this thread, good stuff.

Trout, pork chops, white king salmon (and one regular), halibut, shrimp and artichoke hearts. Also a tenderloin smoked then reverse sear. So good.

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#470 Post by MitchTallan » June 27th, 2018, 12:20 pm

I've got a 20-25 lb "suckling pig" coming to me by the end of the day Friday from this source https://www.strykerfarm.com/pig-roasts.html
I have never used them before so I will report on the perceived quality both before and after the smoke.
The fact that the pigs are heritage and from a small farm is promising. I put "suckling" in quotes because technically it should be a piglet and not a suckling at over 15 lbs. I don't like killing babies.
Price was fairly reasonable to me at $160 inclusive of shipping. ~$6/lb shipped-not bad in my book.
So far I am impressed-the farmer traded a bunch of email with me instantly when I just inquired about the shipping status.
My 270 isn't designed to cook at much over 320 so it will be a low and slow cook. Probably 275. Might have to wait until next weekend as much as I hate to freeze it. My family will be out of town this weekend.

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#471 Post by TimF » June 28th, 2018, 6:24 am

I smoked 11 pounds of pork belly yesterday. I got it at Costco and cut it in half for easy handling. I followed David Chang's instructions for the most part. I coated both sides with a 50/50 mix of kosher salt and cane sugar. I let that sit in the fridge overnight.

I cooked it at 300F for about 2 hours with a mix of oak and hickory. Then I cranked the smoker up as far as it would go, which turns out to only be about 380, until the internal temp got to 190 -- another hour or so.

I served slices of the pork on steamed pork buns coated with hoisin. It was very tasty. These things are *extremeley* rich. I could eat so many of them but I'm pretty sure I would hate myself aftward.

Overall I was pretty happy with the first time results. I think in the future I might just cook at 300 until it gets to 185 and then finish under the broiler to get a crispier skin.
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#472 Post by MitchTallan » June 29th, 2018, 8:38 am

Well, while at work Fedex delivered my baby pig referenced above. My wife opened the box and cried at the sight of fresh dead baby piglet and my 25 year old son refused to touch it or place it on ice declaring the sight to be ghastly and inhumane. Both my wife and my son have eaten suckling pig at restaurants and enjoyed it. It is amazing how many of us just don't have a firm grasp of where our food is coming from. Perhaps it is inhumane to kill a baby pig. Like raising and slaughtering the baby calves for veal and the production of fois gras, I understand the issue and feel uncertain myself as to the ethics involved. I know the farmer I bought from raises his animals humanely and at some point, all animals raised for food meet a violent and hopefully quick death.
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#473 Post by TimF » June 29th, 2018, 11:34 am

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#474 Post by Scott G r u n e r » June 29th, 2018, 2:59 pm

Nothing like meat with a face to drive the point home.
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#475 Post by Travis Fantz » July 26th, 2018, 4:35 pm

I love this thread and enjoyed everyone’s thought on smoking meat. For years I have done ribs and think I have that down to a science. Saying that, I am going to start branching out to Brisket based on an article I just read.

My question pertains to cooking time. How much difference in smoking time for an 8 pound flat versus a 12-13 pound packer? Thanks in advance.
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#476 Post by mseeber » July 27th, 2018, 6:11 am

Travis Fantz wrote:I love this thread and enjoyed everyone’s thought on smoking meat. For years I have done ribs and think I have that down to a science. Saying that, I am going to start branching out to Brisket based on an article I just read.

My question pertains to cooking time. How much difference in smoking time for an 8 pound flat versus a 12-13 pound packer? Thanks in advance.
Many variables including method, smoking temp, Etc. but I will overgeneralize and you can adapt based on your goals. A full packer in the size you mentioned can take anywhere from 12 - 18+ hours (at 1 - 1.25 hours per #). A hotter temp (275 F) and wrap around 150 F will help speed things up but you will lose the bark, a lower temp (225 F), excessive stall, no wrap may cause cook time to exceed 18 hours.

Another note is every brisket is different so two identical weight packers will take different amounts of time, especially if the ambient environment is different (hot, humid, rainy, cold, cloudy, etc).

I usually smoke on a UDS at 250 F +/- and that size brisket takes me around 12-15 hours but the heat is a little more direct than an offset style smoker.

An 8# flat is probably less than 8 hours at 225 - 275, especially without the fat to keep things moist.
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#477 Post by Travis Fantz » July 27th, 2018, 8:39 am

Thanks. The flat has the fat in it. Just limited fridge space at the moment.

If put on sausages or a rack of ribs for fun, does that change the time required?
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#478 Post by Scott G r u n e r » July 27th, 2018, 10:01 am

On a whim I decided to see if there were any good calculators to determine optimal smoking time/temp/etc.
Came across this one-
http://meatsmokingcalculator.com/

And this..
http://wyntk.us/smoking-times-and-temperatures

Curious what the pro's think of them considering I am still pretty much n00b
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#479 Post by Joe Dulworth » July 27th, 2018, 10:10 am

I use WYNTK as a basic reference point. Obviously I check every so often with my Thermometer and cook to temp.
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#480 Post by Andrew Kotowski » July 27th, 2018, 12:25 pm

@Mitch - makes me think of this prank video


Will start posting now that I'm back stateside and have my kamado up and running. Cooked up a tri-tip last night, but was more of a grilling session (indirect heat for ~45 mins) than a smoking one, although I did use half a bag of hickory chunks :D

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#481 Post by Rob Isaacs » July 27th, 2018, 5:41 pm

Travis Fantz wrote:I love this thread and enjoyed everyone’s thought on smoking meat. For years I have done ribs and think I have that down to a science. Saying that, I am going to start branching out to Brisket based on an article I just read.

My question pertains to cooking time. How much difference in smoking time for an 8 pound flat versus a 12-13 pound packer? Thanks in advance.
I get the best results from separating the flat from the point. They are two very different muscles and for me are best when cooked to different temps. I try to smoke each as long as I can until the desired temps are reached. 155 for the flat and 204 for the point.

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#482 Post by Travis Fantz » July 27th, 2018, 6:09 pm

Rob
Do you mean you pull the flat at 155 to rest? I was going to let it go until around 200.
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#483 Post by Chris S p i k e s » July 28th, 2018, 11:23 am

Travis Fantz wrote:Rob
Do you mean you pull the flat at 155 to rest? I was going to let it go until around 200.
I have to think he meat 195 on the flat.

155 is about where you hit the stall normally and you're a LONG way from being done time wise.

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#484 Post by Travis Fantz » July 28th, 2018, 11:53 am

Thanks Chris.
When I was at my butchers, I ended up getting one of those beef plate ribs. 3 ribs was just over 10 pounds. They seemed more excited about it than brisket and after that previous post, I was like what the heck.
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#485 Post by mseeber » July 28th, 2018, 7:32 pm

Travis Fantz wrote:Thanks. The flat has the fat in it. Just limited fridge space at the moment.

If put on sausages or a rack of ribs for fun, does that change the time required?
Unless the ribs or sausages are frozen I can’t imagine it would change much. As long as they don’t restrict air flow too much it shouldn’t be a problem. I have had good results with a pan of baked beans on a rack under the meat rack so all the drippings (especially when bbqing pork butt) flavor the beans without impacting time. If anything the ribs or sausages might take a tad longer but since the brisket gets a head start (assuming you want it all done at the same time) it will have enough temperature inertia (if that’s how to describe the half-cooked meat temp) that a modest amount of side-meats won’t change things.
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#486 Post by Scott G r u n e r » August 21st, 2018, 2:45 pm

Couple of questions on wood.
1) what do you get your smoking wood? I am still experimenting with types and sources- Amazon has a bunch of options of course for chunks/chips, but curious if there are better sources.

2) Is there a difference between kiln dried and air dried or is this marketing BS from the air dried camp?
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#487 Post by Andrew Kotowski » August 22nd, 2018, 8:07 pm

@Scott - I pick up mine from Golden Steer in Redmond. They sell bags filled with logs - oak, pecan, apple, cherry and hickory for $19.95 to $24.95. Will generally use a maul to break it down and the sawzall it down into chunks. Happy to go in on something locally if you find a better quality deal.

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#488 Post by scamhi » August 23rd, 2018, 5:48 am

Travis Fantz wrote:
July 27th, 2018, 8:39 am
Thanks. The flat has the fat in it.
the flat is the bottom leaner piece of the brisket. the point on top is the fatty piece.
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#489 Post by Scott G r u n e r » August 24th, 2018, 8:19 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
August 22nd, 2018, 8:07 pm
@Scott - I pick up mine from Golden Steer in Redmond. They sell bags filled with logs - oak, pecan, apple, cherry and hickory for $19.95 to $24.95. Will generally use a maul to break it down and the sawzall it down into chunks. Happy to go in on something locally if you find a better quality deal.
Thanks!
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#490 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » September 14th, 2018, 3:52 pm

Pobega’s forthcoming trip to Austin has inspired me for tomorrow.
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#491 Post by Mark Mason » September 14th, 2018, 4:03 pm

Bill, you get great deals on your beef. I pay three times that.
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#492 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » September 14th, 2018, 4:13 pm

Mark Mason wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 4:03 pm
Bill, you get great deals on your beef. I pay three times that.
That’s downright Communism
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#493 Post by mseeber » September 14th, 2018, 4:14 pm

Mark Mason wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 4:03 pm
Bill, you get great deals on your beef. I pay three times that.
The Costco prime beef ribs are a great deal. I’ve cooked them many times to great results. The pricing here in Colorado is pretty much the same as Texas it seems...must be the same territory for buying.
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Re: The Smoker Thread - recipes, techniques, ideas

#494 Post by MitchTallan » September 14th, 2018, 6:28 pm

I think a dirty little secret of the beef industry is that there is really no such thing as "choice" vs. "prime" brisket. The USDA does not officially grade the brisket cut. I am going to get a lot of blowback here but I have a reliable source in the beef industry who has told me so. Beef producers are pretty much free to use "Choice" and "Prime" as if they were so graded by the USDA when in reality it is just the producer's choice of label. This does not mean that some briskets are not more finely marbled than others. They certainly are. But it is not a matter of some USDA inspector making the differentiation. Flame away. I can take it. I man a smoker. FWIW, Costco "Prime" is not as good as the "Choice" brisket I get from a local Italian specialty store that has a really good meat department (Carfagna's in Columbus, OH). In fact, this brisket, though small, is perfectly trimmed and far better than any brisket I have bought from Costco; https://www.amazon.com/Nebraska-Star-Be ... ds=brisket. For special occasions, I have a source for Waygu brisket. True Waygu raised in the US and not a cross-breed as is the usual domestic "Waygu". If you go over to BBQ-Brethren.com and do a search, you can find the source that I am referring to. I pay about $100 each for a 12lb Waygu.

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Re: The Smoker Thread - recipes, techniques, ideas

#495 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » September 14th, 2018, 7:33 pm

The carcass is graded at the rib level. If the brisket is attached, then it is Prime.
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Re: The Smoker Thread - recipes, techniques, ideas

#496 Post by Chuck Miller » September 14th, 2018, 9:28 pm

Mitch, I think you are wrong on several levels, but I am not the expert that Tex is. As he mentioned, the grade is at the carcass level, not the individual cut. The is no question that there are situations where a cut labeled choice has more marbling than one labeled prime. That is why I love Costco, where you can easily look at the marbling in individual packages and ‘grade’ them yourself.

BTW, it is spelled Wagyu, not Waygu. I am under the impression that ALL domestic Wagyu was indeed crossbred to build volume quickly. Other than when the first breeding stock was brought over, there are no purebred Wagyu cattle in the US, to my knowledge. But I’m sure Tex could correct me if wrong.
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Re: The Smoker Thread - recipes, techniques, ideas

#497 Post by MitchTallan » September 15th, 2018, 7:27 am

Yes, I have a bad habit of misspelling it Chuck, based on how most people pronounce it. Correcting my spelling is something of a jab, intimating that if I can't spell it I don't know what I am talking about. That's fine. I can take it. I've been cooking 20 briskets or so a year for 40 years. That's about 800 briskets unless you wish to correct my math. As to the cross-breeding, I can only repeat what my inside source tells me-he is an executive at a stockyard company (I believe-he is a bit secretive about it) and states that what he sells are purebred Wagyu unlike anyone else's. He explains that the problem with purebred Wagyu is that they grow slowly and don't have large breast meat. The market likes size. But to Tex's comment, that is the key-the grading is done at the prime rib. The grading is primarily based on marbling but there are many other aspects of the ribs that are examined having to do with the ossification and shape of the bones. The point being that the brisket quality will not always correlate with the appearance of the prime rib. Again, anyone who thinks that the USDA specifically examines and grades the briskets is mistaken. The producers themselves don't normally apply grades to their briskets. The distributors and and retailers do sometimes. Call the folks at Nebraska Beef who provide those briskets for Whole Foods/Amazon and ask them what grade that brisket they offer is and they will tell you the same thing I stated above.

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Re: The Smoker Thread - recipes, techniques, ideas

#498 Post by MitchTallan » September 15th, 2018, 11:15 am

My other beef with Costco briskets marked prime is that every one of 5 I have tried (add 5 more bought by friends who asked me lend a hand) have had large quantities of hard fat around them. I have trimmed close to 5 lbs of hard fat from an 18 pound Costco "prime" brisket in the past. Virtually every great raw brisket I have purchased has come well trimmed and the remaining fat is soft with the exception of the notch of fat in between the point and flat which is often hard. I believe there is a direct relationship between the quality of the brisket and the amount of hard fat surrounding it. Hard fat never renders down. Why the character of the collagen in the brisket and the nature of the fat surrounding it are connected would be pure conjecture for me.

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Re: The Smoker Thread - recipes, techniques, ideas

#499 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » September 15th, 2018, 4:04 pm

Ribs
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Re: The Smoker Thread - recipes, techniques, ideas

#500 Post by scamhi » September 15th, 2018, 5:33 pm

I'd like to see a rib sliced pic Tex.
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