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Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:09 pm
by bruno994
As we near the beginning of the 2014 comp season, I thought we could start a series of "Roundtables" discussing each of the 3 main IBCA / Texas comp meats beginning with brisket. Not necessarily to give away any secrets, but give enough ideas and tips to help some of the newbies and maybe teach an old dog or 2 a new trick. I'll post the first question below and maybe we can just go from there...
Let's get it started...
What kind of brisket(s) are you cooking? I am currently cooking IBP Prime that I'm getting from a local meat supplier. I have only cooked them for 2 comps since switching from HEB Choice, but I have been extremely happy with the finished product, plus I'm getting them for $2.49 a pound.
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Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:24 pm
by Swamp Donkeyz BBQ
Generally HEB Choice.

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:01 pm
by jtilk
Depends on the size of the comp, (as in the $$ at stake) and what I can find. Larger comps I buy prime... only makes sense to spend an extra $20-30 for the purse that is available. But thats the exception.... usually it's a choice cut or a good looking select, in about the 12 lb range. The cut is alot more important if you're not injecting as it will help the brisket stay moist due to the marbling content, however if you're injecting you'll be adding alot more moisture into the meat that other wise wouldnt be there.

Things I look for: good marbling, even flat from left to right and if possible one with not too much variation from the point to flat, I try to find them as level as possible with consistent thickness, to me this aids in a consistent cook throughout the cut. Things I like to avoid: alot of hard fat, briskets that are stiff and discolored meat.

The CAB label virtually means nothing to me personally. Simply because a cow labeled as "angus" at the sale has to meet the following criteria: "black". So unless the black ones taste better than the red or white ones I see no need for that. Just my .02

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:53 am
by BigDave
upper choice grade, Cab natural fed, no antibiotic, flats weighin bout 5 to 6 pounds. Well marbled with no thin edges. Aint cheap at $5.99 a pound but no waste or trimmin needed.

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:39 pm
by Mr. Orange
I generally pick up an IBP from Sam's. Good selection, looking for good fat content and a thick flat.

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:01 pm
by NPayne1
Don't care about the grade, that's based on the cow as an overall and doesn't guarantee the brisket will be good. I hand sort thru the packers every time I go to the store. Look for good marbling, consistent thickness, and easily flexible. Also, 12-15 pounders only, any bigger and they are tough, any smaller and they are hard to cook.

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:48 pm
by allend23
I cook choice or prime excel from Costco in the 15lb range.

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:07 pm
by Big Ed
Been cooking 5 to 7lb CAB flats from Sams, There about $4 a pound but like Dave said its all meat!!

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:40 pm
by egghead
Not a competition guy here - only judge I have sleeps in my bed. :D

Considering Bid Ed's success, I am now a 5-7# CAB flat from Sam's Egger :D

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:08 pm
by limey
Sams flats as well, :thap: For home use HEB is the place.

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:09 pm
by jtilk
egghead wrote:Not a competition guy here - only judge I have sleeps in my bed. :D

Considering Bid Ed's success, I am now a 5-7# CAB flat from Sam's Egger :D


You act like this Big Ed fella can cook :wink: (a lil sarcasm there) :laughing7:

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:43 am
by bruno994
On to the next question...
Are you injecting? And if so, what? I am currently using Kosmos Reserve and did for all of 2013, as well as starting off 2014. I mix by the directions included on the bag of injection, 3/4 cup mixture to 2 1/2 cups liquid (half and half beef broth and water). I do recommend mixing the injection up about 2 hours ahead of time, refrigerate, then inject. In my experience, the 2 hours really help with the thickness and potency of the injection to me.

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:53 am
by NPayne1
No injection for me. So far I have found I don't need it. I'm not opposed to it, just believe in the saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

Re: Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:57 am
by erbeman
Good thread Bruno. I like it. So for those of you over here in the Frisco/Plano/McKinney area, where are you buying flats from. I can't find them anywhere. I even recently got a Costco membership thinking I would be buying briskets from there. They have no selection, at least every time that I've been. They only carry choice packers, big ones. Never seen a Prime or a flat there. It pretty frustrating. One time I went and they didn't even have briskets!

Competition Brisket Roundtable...

Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:11 am
by Swamp Donkeyz BBQ
We've been using Butchers Prime. Mixed a little stronger than half strength, according to the directions. At full strength it seems to be a little thick.