Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Recipes and techniques using brine.

Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:11 pm

I'm going to be smoking up a couple of briskets for a party and decided everyone loves my venison pastrami, so I'll do a beef pastrami so it's hot and fresh out of the smoker. But I've never done a beef. Do folks normally separate the point and the flat before curing?

The briskets I get typically have a generous fat layer between the two muscles (at least 1/2" up to 1-1/4" in areas) which I've learned to trim a lot of before smoking but leave the muscles attached. I'm thinking to ensure penetration I'd be better off to just separate the two muscles to get a more uniform thickness before curing.

Comments?
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Re: Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby NCPaul » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:58 pm

Personally I like the fat of a whole brisket but it's not for everyone (my wife for instance). Here's three options:
Split the brisket and do a dry cure (my first choice)
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=12263&hilit=corned

Do a combination cure; works on either whole or split brisket

Phil's recipe:
http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/?e=162

Oddley's recipe for corned beef, which can be found part way down on this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=3297

After curing I apply a generous coating of cracked black pepper, coriander, with small amounts of garlic powder and paprika before hot smoking.
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Re: Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:13 pm

Thanks Paul. I figured the cure would be more uniform with them separated but figured I'd ask for input.

I remember reading somewhere that brisket is tight enough that the fat on the outside and between the point and flat won't penetrate so if you don't trim it before smoking it just ends up rendering into your smoker. (Granted, the fat that's left behind might be worth its weight in gold, they didn't speak to that...) I'll experiment this time and trim the pastrami and leave the brisket au naturel.
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Re: Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby wheels » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:19 pm

It's nice of NCPaul to include mine, but it's very much a mild corned beef. For a beef pastrami you'd need to increase the spicing by a considerable amount.

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Re: Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby NCPaul » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:40 am

Whatever you do, don't forget to bring us some photos. :D
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Re: Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:15 am

As much as I'd like to say "Of course!" the farthest I'll go is "I'll try!" My memory is terrible. Hopefully someone else is so impressed that they take a few pictures and then I can forward those :wink:
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Re: Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:47 pm

I'll have to get some of the carving photos from my brother, but here is the smoker part way through the run. I staggered the start times so things came out at the same time.

Because you can get pulled pork anywhere I had lots of that leftover. And the brisket was good, but they'd all had that at the last party. This time the fresh pastrami was the star of the show. I had about 6 slices left was all. So that's 2 whole briskets separated (I figured I'd keep all the cook times the same), 1 whole brisket separated and cured to pastrami, 1 porkbutt. But if you're going to fire up the smoker, you might as well fill up the smoker (although I had a whole other shelf, I could have done takeout orders...) So tonight's task is portioning and foodsavering the leftovers.

Actually got a compliment from a guy who used to run a rib shack "if I had known you could cook like that I could have taken a day off once or twice!!"

Image
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Re: Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby NCPaul » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:40 am

Looks great. :D What did you do for spicing the pastrami? Given the options, I would have gone first for the pastrami as well.
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Re: Separate brisket point and flat to cure?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:55 am

I used my venison pastrami recipe. Some purists will complain because it's based on Morton Tenderquick, but it was one of the first cured meats I ever did so I never bothered to convert the recipe (plus that bag lasts forever).
Fresh cracked black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cracked coriander, and allspice in the EQ dry cure for a week.
FCBP, OP, GP, ground coriander for the crust before smoking.
I'd have to look up the recipe for the seasoning ratios in the cure. For the crust I was pretty willy nilly just making sure there was enough of each mixed in - it tends to separate by size anyway (pepper and coriander vs GP and OP).
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