4.120 Barbecued Beef Brisket

Cycle 4 – Item 120

5 (Sun) May 2013

Barbecued Beef Brisket


by me

at the cabin

-Changchon, Seowon, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea-

with the Family, Mom

My second attempt at brisket barbecue (see most recently 4.070 Barbecued Pepper Brisket).

I was happy to find that Costco now offers whole(ish) beef brisket.  It’s Australian beef, which is generally kinda crappy, but I was keen to try cooking such a large chunk of meat.  At 889 won per 100 grams, 31,560 won for 3.55 kg, it was 4 times larger than before yet 1/6 the price – compared to 5,400 won per 100 grams, 45,900 won for 850 g of grade 1 hanwoo.

Concerned more with the barbecuing technique, I didn’t put too much effort into the seasonings, which comprised a predictable combination of salt + pepper + onion powder + garlic powder + cayenne + paprika, etc., a Texas-style dry rub from an on-line recipe.

At 0900, I started the cooking process in the kettle grill, intending to do a low-and-slow roast on indirect heat, around 100 C, about 10 hours.  But by 1100, when the temperature began to dip as the coals died out, I realized that I wasn’t really ready for the level of commitment that would’ve required me to fire up coal briquettes on the side, remove the lid of the kettle, lift the grill + meat from the kettle, dump in and arrange the coals, replace the grill + meat, replace the lid, and do it all over again a couple hours later, four times in all – no thanks.  Anyway, we had plans to go away for the afternoon, so I didn’t have a choice.

When we got back at around 1500, I wrapped the brisket in foil and popped the package in the oven at 150 C for 3 hours.  Doing it in the oven was easier by about a million.

The result was a hit and a miss.  Texturally, the meat was perfectly juicy and tender, no doubt thanks to the Texas Crutch.  Furthermore, in contrast to the crumbly mess last time, the meat here retained a nice bit of chew, mostly because I didn’t overcook it and partly because Australian beef is inherently leaner/tougher than Korean beef, which might be too fatty/delicate for this kind of thing.   On the negative side, the meat didn’t taste very good, partly because it was under-seasoned and lacked smoked flavor, but mostly because Australian beef is inherently tasteless.  I look forward to trying this again with American beef, and a touch of liquid smoke.

Ultimately, the brisket wasn’t good enough to eat on its own, though BBQ sauce helped a bit.  Instead, I improvised a wrap by chopping up the meat and placing it in a warmed flour tortilla, along with a leaf of red lettuce, sliced cucumbers, and yogurt-lemon dressing, making it vaguely reminiscent of doner kebab.  Onions would’ve been nice, but we were out.  Anyway, it was a good save.


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