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rkduggins
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This Friday, my parents will meet my +1's mom and sister for the first time. Six people. One small condo. Not a good time to have the oven cranked. I'm looking for advice on oven cooking a brisket overnight. I've read a couple of recipes from Nigella for overnight cooking of lamb shoulder and pork. Both recommend an initial sear, then the recipes diverge. Lamb says add water, cover and cook in 250 degree oven overnight. Pork says hike up the temp as high as it can go, put roast in for 30 minutes, then lower temp to 250, leave overnight, then crank up again to crisp up the skin.

I'm planning to put a rub on the brisket that includes brown sugar, so the scorch-ola pork method seems ill-advised. DR.com, I need help!

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Perhaps brisket has special significance for your family. Otherwise, I'd do something that could feed a crowd that doesn't involve turning on the oven for a long time. If it's got to be red meat and you don't have the option of grilling outdoors, flank steak or London Broil on bed of spicy, raw greens and a simple potato salad.

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Perhaps brisket has special significance for your family. Otherwise, I'd do something that could feed a crowd that doesn't involve turning on the oven for a long time. If it's got to be red meat and you don't have the option of grilling outdoors, flank steak or London Broil on bed of spicy, raw greens and a simple potato salad.
Sadly, this menu item is not optional. Thanks for the alternative suggestions, though! :lol:
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What is the flavor profile that looking to achieve? Will it be something akin to an unsmoked texas brisket?
Yes, that's exactly where I'm going with this. I'm looking for a solution that will allow maximum flavor an minimum actual time in the kitchen. I only see my dad once a year, and this is the first time he's been to visit me in about 8 years. I want to spend time with him, not my stove.
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Yes, that's exactly where I'm going with this. I'm looking for a solution that will allow maximum flavor an minimum actual time in the kitchen. I only see my dad once a year, and this is the first time he's been to visit me in about 8 years. I want to spend time with him, not my stove.

Is a crockpot not available, and that's why the oven is needed for the long cook? The overnight brisket in the crockpot is a pretty standard kosher meal.

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The issue with using the water directly with the brisket is that your rub would not stay with the meat. I would suggest finding some smoked paprika to give it a little bit of a smoke flavor. Also the searing with the rub will be problematic, I suggest rubbing the meat, placing it uncovered in a 250 degree oven and cooking it until the surface dries and gently browns on its own. For the rest of the cooking introduce some moisture, either by placing a pan with water under the pork and covering the meat with perforated foil, or even better would be to elevate the meat above the bottom of a pan (I would use a small cooling rack if you have one) and add some liquid so that it is not touching the meat and then wrap with foil, this will help create a moist cooking environment without washing away the rub.

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I'm planning to put a rub on the brisket that includes brown sugar, so the scorch-ola pork method seems ill-advised. DR.com, I need help!
You don't need to brown the brisket, is my opinion, but if you do, brown it on the stove top.

Keep the oven temp at 250 all the way. No reason at all to raise to 450. In fact, we set at 225.

Conventional wisdom is to not serve guests anything you have never cooked before. I violate this rule all the time, myself.

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I rarely bake brisket in the oven (I normally smoke), but I do not recommend using brown sugar. My default rub is salt, sugar, black pepper, coriander and garlic. Combine with little neutral-flavored oil and rub the brisket the night before. Btw, the source of brisket I've found is the Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Hunt Valley - it's grass/silage-fed beef and is usually $3.69/lb. Anyway, forming a crispy "skin" is really not possible, but I do recommend either an initial oven temp of 450, for perhaps 20 minutes, or searing in a hot pan to induce browning. Then tent with foil and bake or braise(with water, broth, beer, or other flavored liquid if you wish) at 300 until the internal temp reaches 190. When it reaches 190, bake for another hour, then wrap in foil, then in a towel, then let it rest preferably in a cooler. Should take about 4 hours total cooking, much preferable to leaving your oven on overnight, in terms of both temp and energy. Also, don't trim the brisket and cook it fat side up.

I don't think leaving it cooking in an oven overnight is a good idea, because then you risk cooking it too long and making the brisket too tender. I happen to prefer a brisket that is tender, but with enough structural integrity to slice easily without shredding apart.

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I rarely bake brisket in the oven (I normally smoke), but I do not recommend using brown sugar. My default rub is salt, sugar, black pepper, coriander and garlic. Combine with little neutral-flavored oil and rub the brisket the night before. Btw, the source of brisket I've found is the Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Hunt Valley - it's grass/silage-fed beef and is usually $3.69/lb. Anyway, forming a crispy "skin" is really not possible, but I do recommend either an initial oven temp of 450, for perhaps 20 minutes, or searing in a hot pan to induce browning. Then tent with foil and bake or braise(with water, broth, beer, or other flavored liquid if you wish) at 300 until the internal temp reaches 190. When it reaches 190, bake for another hour, then wrap in foil, then in a towel, then let it rest preferably in a cooler. Should take about 4 hours total cooking, much preferable to leaving your oven on overnight, in terms of both temp and energy. Also, don't trim the brisket and cook it fat side up.

I don't think leaving it cooking in an oven overnight is a good idea, because then you risk cooking it too long and making the brisket too tender. I happen to prefer a brisket that is tender, but with enough structural integrity to slice easily without shredding apart.

So how do you know when your brisket is done when doing it in the smoker? I've done brisket only once before and it came out tasty but a bit tough.

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So how do you know when your brisket is done when doing it in the smoker? I've done brisket only once before and it came out tasty but a bit tough.
I use an infared thermometer. Or an old fashioned meat thermometer might work, if you want to go that route.
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That's right, an IR thermometer only measures surface temp, which has limited value when BBQing. A probe thermometer is essential. If you get a digital, avoid the cheapest of the cheap since they tend to take a long time to display the accurate temp. The most convenient device is a probe that will alert you when a certain temp is reached, either via audible alarm or page, depending on how fancy it is.

As far as smoking a tender brisket, it's hard to put a time on it, since brisket these days come in many configurations, i.e. whole, flat, point, first cut etc. I address it briefly in my pastrami treatise. It's better to go strictly by temp, and is actually quite simple. I do employ one trick that purists may deem heresy. Most ppl tend not to trim the brisket of its fat cap, since it acts as a self-baster during smoking. I do however, into several large slabs, and reserve them.

Apply your rub of choice (simpler the better for beef, as far as I'm concerned) the night before. When you're ready to start, your cooker should be at around 270, but anywhere between 240 and 290 should be ok. Transfer meat directly from fridge to cooker, since cold meat takes smoke better apparently. Then take your reserved fat trimmings and place on top of brisket. This way, you get the self basting benefit, and the rub gets into all the meat surfaces. While cooking, reposition occasionally to achieve even browning (another benefit!).

Smoke until internal temp reaches about 175, usually about three hours or so for me. Then, wrap tightly in heavy duty foil and cook using coals only, but still maintaining cooker temp, until internal temp reaches 190. Though beef is well done at 175, you need this extra time and heat energy in order to convert the tough collagen in the hard-working brisket muscle into melty gelatin.

Finally, there is the essential resting period, wherein the hot, volatile juices can redistribute and become more stable within the beef. To ensure maximum juiciness, let it rest in a cooler for at least an hour. Note that there will still be a lot of juice in the foil, which you can make into a sauce or whatever. I always end up with a significantly dense and tasty "bark", but after resting you can reintroduce the brisket to a hot cooker briefly for a chewier "bark".

As with BBQ in general, it's all about feel, which comes from trial and error. But I've found this template to be pretty effective. Fall-apart tender is easy, just cook it for 12 hours. I always assume chopped brisket is just a salvaged fail brisket. What I look for is brisket that can be sliced easily, hold its structure, and still be tender. Also, though I never use it for pork, I settle for hickory with beef, just to preserve my dwindling stash of apple and cherry. And of course, thin blue smoke at all times!

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Some pics:

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Briskets in the cooker - the wood is in there because it was cut very recently, and this is a fast way to season it a bit. Note the re-positionable fat pieces.

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Double hook-up of the thin blue! The smoke on the right actually is blue, just looks white in the shot. You want to avoid thick, white smoke at all cost - this is what causes that acrid taste and sometimes that thin, black residue on meat. Keep intake vents at least half open and exhaust wide open. Control temp via amount of fuel, not venting. Never soak your wood!

P3300797.JPG

Finished product.

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Transfer meat directly from fridge to cooker, since cold meat takes smoke better apparently.

When meat hits the point where the proteins set (I think this is around (140 degrees F), it stops taking smoke flavor and the smoke ring won't develop any further according to one of my many smoking books. The idea of transferring directly from the fridge is that you get more time for the smoke flavor to be absorbed and the ring to develop as the range from fridge temp to 140 degrees is much wider.

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(Note the strips of fat on top of the meat - this is a trick I started using on smoked brisket last year. Instead of leaving a thick cap of fat on the meat, I trim it and then use the fat to self - baste. Since the meat surface is exposed, it gets more smoke and browning, while still retaining the benefit of increased moisture from the rendering fat, which I reposition periodically.)

Awesome. I guess I had always assumed the fat cap basted due to the attachment to the meat, but it makes sense that it's just due to the fact that it's on top of the meat. Well done. (quote is from Henry's pastrami blog post here)

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When meat hits the point where the proteins set (I think this is around (140 degrees F), it stops taking smoke flavor and the smoke ring won't develop any further according to one of my many smoking books. The idea of transferring directly from the fridge is that you get more time for the smoke flavor to be absorbed and the ring to develop as the range from fridge temp to 140 degrees is much wider.

Hmm, this is an interesting point. There's a lot of conflicting info out there. I don't have my McGee in front of me, but I do know that the smoke ring results from a reaction between myoglobin in the meat and nitrogen compounds in the smoke, similar to curing meat with sodium nitrate or nitrite. I do not think that smoke ring = smoke flavor though. The smoke ring does contribute a flavor of its own, but I'm not sure it's smoky necessarily. Indeed, if you ever have ribs cooked in a high-speed, self contained device such as a SmokeChef (prevalent in Baltimore City due to environmental codes), you will note a good smoke aroma and flavor, but no smoke ring. Thus I think that though cooked or "set" proteins may not be amenable to a smoke ring, smoke flavor penetration is still possible. Also, for ribs I've found that smoke flavor pretty much maxes out at around 3 hours, and the ribs reach 140 way before that. There is also the less respectable technique of par-boiling ribs first, then smoking them, which does still imbue them with smoke flavor, though perhaps not as much. So perhaps it's a combo of density and myoglobin damage as a result of cooking.

So why start the meat cold? Basically because that seems to be the consensus of those that smoke meat far more often than I. I don't believe it's due to the muscle fibers being more "open" when cold, although I guess that could be possible. In any case, it probably takes less than 10 minutes for the surface to get back to room temp in the cooker, so maybe it's just more convenient than letting it rest. I guess it's worth investigating the difference - next time I will!

Also, for anyone interested, I'm going to be on the Dan Rodricks show on Tuesday, June 24 (1:00 pm 88.1 WYPR) talknig about BBQ.

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Then tent with foil and bake or braise(with water, broth, beer, or other flavored liquid if you wish) at 300 until the internal temp reaches 190.
Why tent with foil? Why not use a Dutch/French "oven" with a heavy lid? Keeps all the moisture in.

Unless you don't have an oven-safe pot big enough?

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Why tent with foil? Why not use a Dutch/French "oven" with a heavy lid? Keeps all the moisture in.

Unless you don't have an oven-safe pot big enough?

I guess I assumed most folks don't own a dutch oven large enough to accommodate an entire brisket, but if so of course use it. My thought was that it's far more likely to have a roasting pan available, which when tented with foil, provides sufficient cover and easy access for temp checking. Btw OP, how did the dinner go?

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I just made a 5 pound brisket yesterday. Seasoned it only with salt and pepper, then seared it outside on the grill. Placed in a roasting pan on a rack. Slathered with house made barbecue sauce (blackened tomatoes, cider vinegar reduction, mustard seeds, cloves, toasted cumin, bay leaves, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, ketchup) and covered pan with foil tightly. 8 hours at 250 and it was perfectly done. Tender, but not fall apart tender--it still had enough resistance to lend itself nicely to being carved.

I've made this plenty of times in the past and have never had anything but rave reviews from friends and family.

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Thanks to all for the suggestions! Dinner turned out very well and the brisket got many compliments. The method I ended up with was as follows:

In AM coat brisket with dry rub (ground chipotle, paprika, cayenne, cumin & white & brown sugar) wrap in butcher's paper, sit in fridge 'til PM.

At 9:30 PM, heat oven to 225, unwrap brisket and set on rack in roasting pan, fat side up, then in oven.

Go to sleep and dream of roasting meat, because that 's all you'll smell.

Wake up, insert probe thermometer in brisket and leave until internal temp equals 170-175.

Once internal temp is achieved, turn off oven. Wrap brisket in double foil, place back in roasting pan put two layers of "don't care if they get drippin's on" bath towels over all. Place pan back in oven, and go on about your day.

At dinner time, pull out brisket (still slightly warm) carve into thin slices and place on serving platter.

Listen to chewing at the table, because all mouths are occupied eating, not talking. :lol:

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So I'm doing a brisket this weekend on my smoker and I wanted to see if any of the numerous BBQ snobs we have here on the board ( :D ) have any good recommendations for rubs, mops, smoking times/methods, etc. I've done brisket several times now and it has come out pretty good but it pales in comparison to the other grilled/smoked meats I have done in the past.

A little help?

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What kind of smoker do you have? If you have a Weber Smoky Mountain this is a good resource: http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/

For me the keys has been top grade Brisket (lots of marbling), baste/mop/spray more often than other meats, and a reliable thermometer. For about a year, I had been using a thermometer that was 50 degrees off.

Always calibrate before starting. A dip in some boiling water to verify high temp is easy and quick.

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I have a really crappy smoker that I got as a gift from my company for my 5 yr. anniversary, so I have nothing close to a Weber Smoky Mountain. Some day, maybe....

xcanuck, thanks for that link, that's exactly what I'm looking for. It's similar to a recipe I used a little while back but that one didn't call for cooking the brisket in foil for the last couple hours, so I'll have to see how that turns out.

Any other suggestions are welcome, I know Dave and Antonio probably have some opinions on the subject.

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What kind of smoker do you have? If you have a Weber Smoky Mountain this is a good resource: http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/

For me the keys has been top grade Brisket (lots of marbling), baste/mop/spray more often than other meats, and a reliable thermometer. For about a year, I had been using a thermometer that was 50 degrees off.

Great resource website for all things smoking. And good comments by chaofun.

Have fun cooking it, hope it comes out fantastic!

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There is a mop involving apple cider , beer and a small amount of coffee along with some other ingredients in Steve Raichlen's BBQ USA that I have used repeatedly for my smoked brisket with excellent results. The key thing is to use a cut no smaller than 5-6 lbs, and to wrap it in tin foil after about 3-4 hours (depending on your temp and size of cut) for the last 3 hours of smoking. It should come out as tender as butter with that nice red ring on the outside of the meat.

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Love bbq brisket but mine tends to be a little dry due to the rather lean brisket available at Costco. Smoked boneless short ribs today that were incredible. Treated them like brisket with a rub for 24 hours, smoked for 3 hours, wrapped in foil and back in the smoker for another 3.5 hours, let rest on the counter for 1 hour before slicing.

My only regret is that I only smoked 4 lbs of short ribs. I did learn that Costco will sell you Cryovac'd packages of boneless short ribs if you ask. The pieces they have in the case are cut up into 1.5 inch thick pieces which were thin for what I wanted to do.

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I need some guidelines for cooking a beef brisket. I made a recipe about 15 years ago; the only details I remember are a pepper-intensive dry rub, a day or two rest in the refrigerator, and several hours in the oven. The whole time the meat was wrapped in several layers of foil. The meat was sliced thin and served cold - a good buffet kind of dish. Any help? I rarely do this kind of cooking and I'm not familiar with brisket, so I don't think I can improvise.

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I need some guidelines for cooking a beef brisket. I made a recipe about 15 years ago; the only details I remember are a pepper-intensive dry rub, a day or two rest in the refrigerator, and several hours in the oven. The whole time the meat was wrapped in several layers of foil. The meat was sliced thin and served cold - a good buffet kind of dish. Any help? I rarely do this kind of cooking and I'm not familiar with brisket, so I don't think I can improvise.

I swear by this recipe: My Mother's Brisket from the pre-Reichel editor of Gourmet who appears blonde in a white suit and thick gold jewelry on editor's page--a last name beginning with Z. Never made it, but consumed it blissfully 3-4 times.

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Bumping on account of today's Washingtonian blog post. Brisketheads: are these the places you pick up your product? Is $5/lb at Wegman's as good as I can get? I want to play with smoking briskets (and not the lean cut obviously) but it would be easier to justify if I'm not making a $50 mistake every time...

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Bumping on account of today's Washingtonian blog post. Brisketheads: are these the places you pick up your product? Is $5/lb at Wegman's as good as I can get? I want to play with smoking briskets (and not the lean cut obviously) but it would be easier to justify if I'm not making a $50 mistake every time...

Unless you are catching a sale at Giant first cut brisket $5 pound is a good price.
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A bit confusing re. prices, since the Washingtonian article purports to be reporting kosher meat options. Unless you need the brisket to be kosher, which is always more expensive, you should be able to find a brisket for less money. If you are looking for higher quality non-kosher meat, like grass-fed or local, sustainably raised meat, I would suggest checking at (Jamie) Stachowski's shop in Georgetown, or The Organic Butcher of McLean.

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A bit confusing re. prices, since the Washingtonian article purports to be reporting kosher meat options. Unless you need the brisket to be kosher, which is always more expensive, you should be able to find a brisket for less money. If you are looking for higher quality non-kosher meat, like grass-fed or local, sustainably raised meat, I would suggest checking at (Jamie) Stachowski's shop in Georgetown, or The Organic Butcher of McLean.

This may be better placed in the Stachowski topic:

One thought on Jamie that may not be current any longer. I spoke with his son about a month ago about buying pastured/grass-fed meats. He explained that, because his dad is such a fiend (in the best of ways) about flavor and quality, he wasn't a big fan of grass-fed. Small, local, humane producers? Yes. Grass-fed? No. At least not then though I think his son told me that they might be looking for a source or two. And, of course, as Julien reminded us earlier this year, true grass-fed is exceptionally difficult to procure relative to many more that are "grain finished." I love Stachowski Market and buy there regularly. But would be cool if there were a truly grass-fed option or two.

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And, of course, as Julien reminded us earlier this year, true grass-fed is exceptionally difficult to procure relative to many more that are "grain finished." I love Stachowski Market and buy there regularly. But would be cool if there were a truly grass-fed option or two.

Locally "grain-finished" meat means that the cattle spend most of their lives eating only grass and then during the last few weeks have their diet augmented with grain. In one notable local case (Roseda in Monkton, MD) the grain they are fed is the byproduct of a local brewery, recycled. It does not mean that the cattle are shipped to feedlots to live in horrific conditions. I don't quite understand the concern, since the grain-finished meat does taste much better to most people.

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I think the concern is in the labeling, since they are getting some grain at the end but still referred to as grass-fed.

There's other ways to fatten up an animal :wub: . My favorite passage from Heat:

"The lardo was from a pig that, in the last months of its seven-hundred-and-fifty-pound life, had lived on apples, walnuts, and cream ("The best song sung in the key of pig"), and Mario convinced us that, as the fat dissolved, we'd detect the flavors of the animal's happy diet — there, in the back of the mouth. No one that evening had knowingly eaten pure fat before ("At the restaurant, I tell the waiters to call it prosciutto bianco"), and by the time Mario had persuaded us to a third helping everyone's heart was racing.."

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Locally "grain-finished" meat means that the cattle spend most of their lives eating only grass and then during the last few weeks have their diet augmented with grain. In one notable local case (Roseda in Monkton, MD) the grain they are fed is the byproduct of a local brewery, recycled. It does not mean that the cattle are shipped to feedlots to live in horrific conditions. I don't quite understand the concern, since the grain-finished meat does taste much better to most people.

We really should organize some of the wild food/grass fed/wheat posts (now in several threads) into one with a clear headline. The topic will only be of increased interest in the years ahead I'd guess. This thread is like some others where the discussion went off track from the OP.

Anyway...Big caveat here that, while I know a bit about this, I'm no expert and there are others on the board (Julien among them) who really do have deep expertise.

So unhindered:Labeling is a secondary issue since, if there's no reason to care about grain vs grass finishing, then less important how labeled. While true that calling a cut of beef "grass fed" when it's really mostly grass-fed but still grain finished isn't entirely transparent, I'm not sure there is clear FDA regulation directing that. I'm a big transparency hound so would like to see much more clarity and comprehensiveness in all kinds of labeling but, tangential to the question of why we should care (if at all) if we buy and eat grain-finished vs grass-finished.

The big issues around livestock diet (pork and poultry as well as beef) are typically 1) environmental, 2) animal welfare and 3) human health.When talking about small, responsible, local, humane producers, the first two issues go away near entirely imho. Absolutely no cafo or related issues there. And definitely true for many (most) people that a grain-finished ribeye tastes better than one finished on grass. Some of my favorite steaks locally are from Martin's in VA. Their bone-in ribeyes have amazing flavor and everything about how they raise the cattle and produce is encouraging. The owners have decades of experience and treat the animals very well. I've wanted to visit them to learn more--maybe a future DR event?

Anyway, the only possible "drawback" to operators like Martin's, Jamie's suppliers, Roseda and others is the grain-finishing. Why? I don't think there's a definite answer to that but, if there is one, it's about health and an increasing body of research pointing to issues with grain consumption. We have other topics here on dr.com on that with citations to different peer-reviewed and more general work about grains/gluten and their possible connections to obesity, diabetes and a host of other diseases. But the research isn't conclusive and leading researchers and prestigious institutions disagree.With quality beef like we can get locally, grain finishing may reduce healthy Omega3 levels while increasing bad cholesterol but the degree to which that's true isn't clear. Put differently, it's not totally clear how much we should care. To be ultra clear here: I'm NOT making a case for CAFOs, hormones, additives and the like associated with massive scale beef production. Rather, just addressing the question about grain-finishing vs grass-finishing when all the other, more agreed upon requirements (local, humane, largely pastured) are met as they are with Roseda, Stachowski, Martin's and many others.

Personally, I'm with you, Zora. The grain-finished products do taste better to me and I'm encouraged by how the animals are raised in every other way. At the same time, I'm always on the lookout for grass-finished also since, depending on the application (maybe a stew, burger or whatever) and the source, it can satisfy preferences and maybe be even better for us. I've had grass-finished beef in South America that was wonderful but have never found anything like that in the US. At the end of the day, like politics and religion, this stuff comes down to personal judgment. If you spend hours and hours reading all the research, there isn't a definite right answer applicable to everyone. There are many people who swear by grass-finished beef but also many who don't. I'm in the Michael Pollan camp on this so far. Pasturing is better. Local is better. Small scale production better. I'd like to find a good source for excellent quality (flavor) grass-finished beef but, so far, no luck. If something appeared at Stachowski's, I'd ask about it and try it. In the interim, I'll stick with the others but, again, all a personal (albeit informed) choice.

References:This is an article from a blog popular with the growing Paleo/Primal community which discussed (in some detail) the differences between grass and grain fed generally. It is educational but it doesn't specifically address the question of grass fed/grain finished beef.

Here is an article defining "grass fed" (something the USDA has not yet done). This does get more into the pros/cons of grain finishing with one key quote:

During those few months of grain finishing the levels of important nutrients like CLA and Omega 3 decrease dramatically in the beef animal’s tissues. It is in the finishing process that those levels and ratios drastically decline because of the grain feeding, and that is why it’s so important to make sure that the beef you eat is not only grass fed, but grass finished.

Finally, good piece here about the health benefits of grass-fed/finished beef with respect to fat, cholesterol and Omega 3 levels and their connection to lower incidence of heart disease and other diseases.

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I understand your precision and appreciate your passion, darkstar. My take on the health issue of 100% grass-fed, versus I-dunno-maybe 80-85-90% grass fed is that we should eat beef--especially beef fat--only occasionally. For someone who eats burgers or steaks several times a week, maybe the issue of "is this beef 100% grass fed?" may be relevant to personal health concerns. But maybe just eating less beef might be the healthier decision. If someone eats beef once every couple of weeks and is still concerned that the short amount of time that a locally, sustainably raised animal has its grass augmented by grain is having a negative impact on their personal omega 3 levels, my jaded opinion is that the subject is really fanaticism and not a rational approach to a healthy omnivorous diet.

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Meant to also reference Joel Salatin in the above. Joel of course is the SW VA farmer made famous by Michael Pollan. His Polyface Farms provide produce and beef/chicken/pork to restaurants in our area including Restaurant Eve and others. He writes a standing column in Foodshed (formerly Flavor) Magazine. And, he has become one of the leading voices nationally about traditional, natural farming.

Can click here for more about his thoughts on grass finished ("salad bar beef" as he calls it) beef.

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I understand your precision and appreciate your passion, darkstar. My take on the health issue of 100% grass-fed, versus I-dunno-maybe 80-85-90% grass fed is that we should eat beef--especially beef fat--only occasionally. For someone who eats burgers or steaks several times a week, maybe the issue of "is this beef 100% grass fed?" may be relevant to personal health concerns. But maybe just eating less beef might be the healthier decision. If someone eats beef once every couple of weeks and is still concerned that the short amount of time that a locally, sustainably raised animal has its grass augmented by grain is having a negative impact on their personal omega 3 levels, my jaded opinion is that the subject is really fanaticism and not a rational approach to a healthy omnivorous diet.

I agree. It's a very reasonable view that I share.

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I find a good method with smoking, since I only use a webber kettle, which needs much attention and is leaky like a sieve, is to smoke for 1/4-1/2 of the time the meat needs total.

I then finish it in the oven over night, low and slow, about 215-220 deg. on a raised cooling rack over a sheet pan to simulate the dry heat that smoking provides. A good smoke flavor can be achieved within a few hours, although this method won't give you the best smoke ring. Sometimes I end up smoking too hot and it can really dry out the meat.

I know the BGE is almost completely sealed though, so temperature fluctuations should be minimal. Let us know how it turns out!

By the way this book is an ABSOLUTE must for beginners into the world of smoking and true bbq. I use those recipes as the temperature guideline for my oven finishing.

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