The brisket is a cut of meat that comes from the lower part of a cow’s chest; the part that sits between the front legs. This cut can be tough because it is comprised of a pair of pectoral muscles that do a lot of work when the animal moves around. There isn’t a whole lot of fat marbling inside these muscles. These pecs are full of connective tissues which mean the brisket will require a long and slow cook at a low temperature. Treat your brisket properly and you’ll end up with meat that is moist, tender and full of flavor. You can count on the Memphis Wood Fire Grill to get the job done. I’s Intelligent Temperature Control System will keep your brisket cooking at an even and low temperature throughout the entire smoke (which can take 12 – 16 hours depending on the size of your brisket).
Brisket will often come whole in a cryovaked (sealed and vacuum packed) plastic wrap and is called a Packer’s Brisket when presented this way. The two pectoral muscles that make up a whole brisket are called the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. A vein of fat runs between these muscles and sometimes they are separated and sold separately as either a brisket flat (the pectoralis major) or a brisket point (the pectoralis minor).
If you have to choose between a flat and a point, the point is definitely the way to go. The point is a thicker cut and this chunk of beef muscle has better fat marbling which translates into a tender juicy piece of meat.
The leaner muscle tissue of the flat will be slightly tougher but really, a long and slow smoke in your Memphis at a low temperature will take care of that issue!
When brisket is on the menu we usually prefer to smoke a whole packer’s brisket that includes both the point and the flat. It takes a long time to smoke a brisket, up to 16 hours, so it’s not something we do every day. When we set time aside for this endeavor we want to make sure there is some smoked brisket left over.
Here’s our favorite way of preparing and smoking beef brisket: Memphis Low n’ Slow Smoked Beef Brisket
Now for the Leftovers
On rare occasions we have some leftover smoked brisket, and when this happens we know it’s time for a big pot of chili. For this recipe, we use pre-cooked canned beans and stewed tomatoes so everything comes together quickly. A long slow simmer on the stove-top, the occasional stir and with very little effort the chili is ready. Add the left-over brisket towards the end of the simmering process. This meat has already been smoked for a long slow period and will fall apart and become stringy if left to simmer in the chili for too long. Serve the chili with cornbread on the side and you have the perfect meal for a cool autumn night.
We usually have individual 1/2 C sized portions of left-over brisket on hand in the freezer. When pressed for time at lunch or dinner pop a few portions in the microwave for quick brisket sandwiches.
Try piling the thinly sliced re-heated brisket on a Potato Roll then add a bit of Tomato Based BBQ Sauce. Finish the sandwich with a daub of Smoked Garlic Aioli to add another layer of flavor. Easy-peasy and oh so delicious!