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Quick Look_______________I had another post on BBQ brisket sandwich, but recently I have been experimenting with high heat to cook faster. This is a very easy recipe and it produces good results. It's an easy way to mimic the principles behind my 4 hr BBQ sauce with minimal work.
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 4 hrs
- Difficulty: Easy.
- Labor Intensity: It would be good to have an extra hand.
- 30 servings, adjust by 1.5x if your group tends to eat multiple servings.
- 25-30 lb Beef Brisket [$1.89/lb at smart and final on international/42nd]
- Seasonings (optional)
- Brown sugar (white will do)
- 48 Buns [12 pack for $2 at smart and final or costco, I think costco quality is a bit higher]
- BBQ sauce [cattlemen smoky, $8 for a 2pack at costco]
- Total: about $60.00
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Place the meat fat side up in an aluminum tray. You may need 2 aluminum trays for this.
- Pour 5 cups bbq sauce on each slab of meat. (about half of an 80oz costco bottle)
- Sprinkle on any seasonings you want (rosemary, paprika, black pepper...etc)
- Cover tray with foil and place in oven
- Check on it after 3-4 hours. Pinch a side and pull, it should tear off easily.
- Pull it out and allow it to sit with foil still covering. Allow it to rest for 1hr (this is important)
- Scrape sauce off meat and pour everything into a large pan(s) and add 2 cups brown sugar for every slab -(add sugar to bbq sauce to taste). You may have to do batches and combine all the sauce
- Heat sauce on pan on medium/high until it gets to desired flavor and thickness (about 10-20 minutes) Stir as it boils off to prevent burning. If it starts popping, turn down heat.
- After sauce is thicker and concentrated to taste, skim off oil on top and discard.
- While one person attends to the stove, the other person can slice the meat into 1/8 inch slices.
- Pour sauce over meat and serve over warmed buns
Tom's Tips and Tricks_______________
Beef brisket is a cut of meat that you want to cook all the way. The tough nature of the fibers requires it to be kept at a high temp long enough to become tender. It's better and actually more flavorful when well done. The high collagen content makes it unique in that it protects it from drying out as it cooks. It remains juicy even when fully cooked.
Letting the meat rest for 1hr allows it to cool and reabsorb the juice. Cutting it immediately will lead to drier meat. For more info click here.
Allowing the sauce to cook with the meat breaks down the tomato flavor as well as evaporate the vinegar. The resulting sauce is off balanced and needs sugar. Meat loses about 20-30% of it's weight in water loss. This means the water escapes and dilutes the sauce. After letting the meat rest and reabsorb the juice, you can pour the sauce into a pan and boil it off to concentrate it to the right flavor. It should have thick bubbles as it cooks (after about 15-20 min). A large pan works well because of the larger surface area to evaporate the water. Stir well so it doesn't clump and burn on the bottom. Skim the oil off at the end once it thickens (brisket is a fatty meat)
I strongly recommend cattlemen's bbq sauce. It produces much better flavor than some of the other sauces out there.
One way to do this is to cook the meat, allow it to cool and then refrigerate it overnight in it's own juice. The next day you can slice the meat and then reheat in the oven at 400F for 1 hr while reducing the sauce. Then mix altogether before serving. This allows it to absorb more juice, develop stronger flavors, and cut down on prep needed on the day of.
[Possible side dish] salad
The number one preventable thing is to not overcook the meat. For beef, cook it until it is just pink with a little brown (internal temp of about 135F). Chicken needs to be cooked to 165F. When it overcooks, the fibers shrink and its ability to hold water is lost.
One technique is to brine meat before cooking. The salt solution causes the meat to absorb some liquid. More liquid to start with hopefully leads to more liquid in the end product.
Another crucial tip is to allow meat to rest. The fibers rearrange themselves when hot and liquid is squeezed out, usually towards the center. When the meat cools, it regains some ability to absorb liquid and it gets reincorporated into the fibers. Think of it this way: you throw a sponge into a wet bucket and then onto a tray. As it “cooks”, you press lightly on the top of it. Water drips out and makes a small puddle near the sponge. You can cut it right there on the spot, but it will be a little dry. If you release your hand from the sponge, it recoils and reabsorbs some of the liquid it lost as it “cools” When you slice it after, it retains more juice.
When you make a steak, take it off the grill and place a foil “tent” (or blanket) over it and allow it to cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving. This means you will have to factor that into the schedule. You will have to allow a roast to rest a little longer than a steak due to its larger size. Another tip is to allow it to rest in its own juice rather than alone on a cutting board. It can soak up liquid from outside as it rests.
In addition, keeping it covered keeps the steam from escaping, preventing it from drying.
There’s tons of scientific reasoning why this works, but in practice, it really does make a difference when you allow meat to rest. Keep it warm however, you don’t want to serve cold meat. A foil tent, or placing it in a cooler would help keep it warm and moist.