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Name:   Tall Cotton - Email Member
Subject:   Competition Style Brisket
Date:   10/16/2012 5:07:57 PM (updated 10/16/2012 5:08:58 PM)

One of my suppliers who cooks about 5-10 competitions a year brought me some of his brisket today. It was Wagu beef and came from a brisket that placed 11th out of about 100. He asked for my opinion. I thought you might find it interesting. The meat was sliced in 1/4" strips and had the obligatory "stretch" to it. The smoke ring was very pronounced and about 1/8" deep. He had trimmed all the fat before presentation. I was expecting a special, smokey, flavor with the rub and injection flavors in the background. My first impression when I bit into it was, he has copied my mother's pot roast recipe. I got little if any flavor other than the beef. The tenderness was lacking as it took some tearing to get a bite. I tasted no smoke at all and no spices from a rub. Mostly it confirmed what I have said when people ask if I cook in competition, I don't cook to, nor appreciate, the standards of competition style cooking. What are your opinions and experiences?




Name:   Ulysses E. McGill - Email Member
Subject:   Competition Style Brisket
Date:   10/16/2012 5:33:20 PM

I'm in agreement...never  could quite understand competition cooking. From my experience and for my taste, most back yard enthusiasts deliver a better product.



Name:   Mack - Email Member
Subject:   Competition Style Brisket
Date:   10/16/2012 5:34:38 PM

Why bother with the smoker at all? Sounds like he could have gotten the same result in a 350* electric oven for about 2 hours. Never sampled competition meats. But if this rated 11 out of 100, maybe the bar was set too low?
What was his opinion of the brisket?



Name:   Tall Cotton - Email Member
Subject:   Competition Style Brisket
Date:   10/17/2012 9:13:52 AM

Mack, He thought the flavor was good but that he was marked down for tenderness. He cooks at 275 for 4 hours, fat side down in a Traeger with a Guru attached.



Name:   roswellric - Email Member
Subject:   Competition Style Brisket
Date:   10/17/2012 10:29:46 AM

Way to hot for brisket.Need to be near 200



Name:   roswellric - Email Member
Subject:   Competition Style Brisket
Date:   10/17/2012 10:31:37 AM

Missed fat side down...that's a new one on me.



Name:   Summer Lover - Email Member
Subject:   Cooked with a Treager?
Date:   10/17/2012 3:52:28 PM

I thought that with a Treager you load up the kitty litter, plug it in, put your meat on it (not your wood), then go get wasted so the finished product tastes like it was cooked on a kamado..



Name:   Tall Cotton - Email Member
Subject:   Cooked with a Treager?
Date:   10/17/2012 5:14:11 PM

RR Yep, fat side down. He says there is plenty of fat marbled through the lean and cooking fat up just makes it greasy.

I have the same opinion of the Traeger now that I've tasted food cooked on one. You may as well cook in teh oven and be inside.  (No offence Cat) While I don't like overwhelming smoke, I do like some. He has spent LOTS of money insulating his and putting the Guru temp control on it, but still has to babysit it to keep the temp stable.

By many standards I cheat with an electric smoker, but I do get smoke flavor. I cook briskets at 215-225 for 4 hours unwrapped and then 4 more at the same temp wrapped. He does not wrap his at all. 275 sounds WAY too hot to me.

I guess when it's all said and done, we each have a cooking method and flavor profile that fits us and our friends. Now I know what I like will never be a competion winner. As long as I enjoy cooking, and my family and friends enjoy eating what I cook, I will feel like a Grand National Champ. I hope we all feel that way.




Name:   Mack - Email Member
Subject:   Competition Style Brisket
Date:   10/17/2012 5:15:15 PM

The proof to me is always in the final product. Flavor, texture, tenderness, the way it looks on a plate, etc.. And that cut of beef is primo as I understand it. To me, it really does not matter which smoker, which fuel, how long, fat up/down, as long as it is good enough to repeat the process for my family and guests.
(I am 7 hours into smoking a pork shoulder roast and 4 hours on a crockpot beef stew as we speak. Most of which is headed to the freezer for those cold nights ahead)



Name:   Ulysses E. McGill - Email Member
Subject:   Cooked with a Treager?
Date:   10/18/2012 2:03:11 AM

I've not had a lot of experience with a Traeger, but  the few times I've had something prepared on one I've also thought the smokey flavor was lacking. As for cooking time, I can't imagine a normal sized brisket being smoked for only 4 hours and coming out tender and properly flavored.





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