Montreal Smoked Meat (Flavor Brine Cure Pumped)

Alan Corey

New member
Hi Kevin, You mentioned that I should steam the smoked meat to make it more tender. I assume you meant the entire roast. How long would you recommend or do you steam it until a certain internal temperature is reached?
Also, does the steaming remove the smokey flavor and the seasoning?
Thanks again.
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
No. It doesn't remove the flavors.

Yes, I usually steam whole. Not required though. You can slice first and then steam if you'd prefer; quicker. In any event, steam till the meat is fork tender, not to a specific temp nor for a specific period of time.
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Alan try steaming just the portion you intend to eat instead of the whole cooked brisket (unless you intend to eat the whole brisket, in that case, my hat's off to you
)
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
I updated the recipe at the start of this thread with a new flavor brine cure pump method & pics.
 

Alan Corey

New member
Strain brine with fine mesh strainer. Chill below 40ºF, inject 15% of brisket mass in milliliters.

Just trying to understand this part:
For your 12 pound brisket, does this equate to 1.2ml?
12pounds*15%= 1.2
Thanks
Alan
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Originally posted by Alan Corey:
Sorry, Bad Math today..... 12 pounds*15% is 1.8.
Is that the calculation?
I didn't explain that well, srry.

Take 15% of the weight in grams (mine was about 5500g so 825ml, I used 900).
 

Alan Corey

New member
Tried the Brining and injection recipe this week. I got nervous 1/2 way through when I thought it might be too salty. When I tried it today it was PERFECT. I cooked to 140 in the smoker and then to 190 in the oven wrapped in foil. It was a tad dry but great flavor and color. I am going to try a lower finish temp next time. maybe 170 or 150 like Shawn recommended. Thank you for this great recipe. Now I do not have to trek from California to Montreal to get great sandwiches.
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
That's great to hear Allen, glad you like it.

Question for you, what temp did you cook at in foil in the oven?

I mentioned upthread it appeared to me Schwartz's kept briskets in a steam table for many hours. That would be around 200ºF I think. I haven't had the opportunity or tried that with a whole brisket yet but it might be the key to that super soft scrumptious fat and improved tenderness.
 

Alan Corey

New member
I had the oven temp at 325 degrees.
When I removed the meat there was a lot of liquid in the foil. I left it in the liquid until it was completely cool then removed it and placed in refrigerator over night. The fat was super tender and was almost the best part of the sandwich. Good thing fat is good for you.

Do you thing steaming it would be better? I always thought wrapping in foil in the oven was a steaming method. If anyone finds a better way, let me know.
Do you think cooking to lower internal temp would be better?
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Do you thing steaming it would be better? I always thought wrapping in foil in the oven was a steaming method. If anyone finds a better way, let me know.
Do you think cooking to lower internal temp would be better?
Foiled with liquid at 325ºF seems more like braising to me but what do I know. I think you'll do less evil to it if you foil wrap it and warm it at 225ºF and it *might* tenderize before it dumps it's liquid. There should be a lot less residual energy drying it out after it hits temp if nothing else. The half I took to only 150ºF was clearly more moist this time but tenderness was about the same.

I'm trying to figure out if curing brisket is somewhat at odds with tenderizing brisket like cooking an uncured brisket through to 190ºF or so. Seems to be the case so far. Connective tissue doesn't seem to be breaking down as well after curing (not untender, yet seems like it could be more tender), but maybe I haven't found the best approach yet. Like smoke it much longer at 160ºF or steam it low for a number of hours.

So I hope you keep us posted as you experiment.
 

Alan Corey

New member
Well, did my second smoked meat yesterday using the brine/injected method. It did not come out very well. Not much redness on the inside and it is not tender. I destroy the bread trying to eat it. Not sure if this can happen because of the cut of meat or what I did wrong?
I buy my brisket at Smart and Final. What makes the meat tender? Is it the curing process? I cooked it on electtric water smoker for 4 hours (150 degrees). The last one did i cooked to 165 and was pretty good.
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Originally posted by Alan Corey:
Well, did my second smoked meat yesterday using the brine/injected method. It did not come out very well. Not much redness on the inside and it is not tender. I destroy the bread trying to eat it. Not sure if this can happen because of the cut of meat or what I did wrong?
I buy my brisket at Smart and Final. What makes the meat tender? Is it the curing process? I cooked it on electtric water smoker for 4 hours (150 degrees). The last one did i cooked to 165 and was pretty good.
Not much redness might mean a couple things ... the cure (prague powder in particular) wasn't strong enough, injected unevenly and/or the brisket did not cure long enough.

When I cure pork loins for back bacon I only take them to 145ºF or so. Curing changes the texture of the meat, you might say tenderize but it's certainly different than uncured. Given you said it didn't have much color inside I'd have to guess that's the reason why it's also tough.

It was pretty clear to me on my last attempt higher finish temp wasn't the answer to tenderness on cured product ... perhaps being held longer at a lower finish temp is.

I took a big flat out of the freezer and I'll do it up in two halves again, both to 150ºF. I'll get one there in a couple of hours, the other I'll hold at 150ºF for a few hours and see if that makes a noticeable difference.
 

Alan Corey

New member
How long can we leave the brisket in the brine solution? If we leave it too long, would it affect the texture or flavor?
Thanks again for the help.
Alan
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Originally posted by Alan Corey:
How long can we leave the brisket in the brine solution? If we leave it too long, would it affect the texture or flavor?
Thanks again for the help.
Alan
If you don't inject, go for about 5 days per inch of thickness at the thickest part. 3 days was plenty for the one I injected.

I'm sure eventually the flavor would go funny ... sort of a wet 'flat' rather than a 'sour' due to the nitrites and salt spoilage bacteria should be kept at bay. So in practical terms I wouldn't worry about it developing a bad flavor.

Can the texture suffer from too long in cure? Not sure, but again I don't think so, kinda one of the main reasons to cure in the first place.
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Can the texture suffer from too long in cure? Not sure, but again I don't think so, kinda one of the main reasons to cure in the first place.
I asked Kevin about this and his answer was yes, curing too long can make it tough.


I made another attempt at this and smoked it yesterday, another 12lb flat. Brine cured and pumped for 72 hours. I smoked it sub 200ºF for about 12 hours and it was 140ºF internal when I removed it.



I then steamed the whole brisket, checking hourly for tenderness. It started feeling more tender about 4.5 hours in, about 180ºF internal. In total I steamed it for 6 hours.





The results were significantly more tender than previous attempts, the color was improved (looking for red here rather than pink) on the down side the product was somewhat dry and as you might expect it lost a lot of flavor in the 6 hour steam bath.

It didn't get as tender as non-cured brisket can so I have to keep that in mind when checking for tender. This one loosened up a bit and felt more tender but by the end it still didn't feel as tender as non-cured brisket can.



Conclusion from this trial, to try next time is smoke hotter, like 250ºF - 275ºF foil around 160ºF and carry on at the same temp, start checking for tender around 180ºF (settle for improved tenderness, can't seem to get 'probe sliding into room temp butter' feel with cured brisket). That should take the place of the steam bath, help it retain more flavor and I think the higher finish temp is responsible for the improved color in the meat.

Inching closer to perfection.


Thanks again to Kevin Kruger for his valuable input.
 

Larry Wolfe

Closed Account
Shawn there's only one way to determine if that really turned out that good.........SEND ME A SAMMICH!!! Man that looks great!!

Thanks for the bagel recipe as well, I meant to thank you when you originally sent it.
 

K Kruger

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Looking good.

Try what you're thinking - cooking hotter then foiling. If you're able to do two, foil one at ~165 and remove the other and steam it. (Alternatively, vac this one and finish it sous vide, in a water bath of 180? water.) Compare the two.

If some meats are 'overcured' one can see the lacking-tenderness potential more readily realized. It's not the length of the cure alone but, rather, the cure time combined with the cooking process. Not a factor for fatty cuts smoked to low internals (like bacon), when less fatty, more loosely structured meats (like most beef cuts) are cured too long, the salt can denature proteins to the point where moisture/fat retention doesn't work so well. Diminished moisture/fat reads as drier/tougher in the mouth.

To combat this potential one can: shorten cure time; cook to a lower internal (not usually possible with tougher cuts); cook at higher (but not too high) temps to shorten cook time and the potential for more moisture loss; cook more efficiently by increasing the efficiency of heat transfer and minimizing evaporative moisture loss, such as by using foil, steaming, or cooking sous vide.
 

Jack L

New member
I have been lurking in this thread since it began in hopes of getting some info for awesome Montreal smoked Meat and i have: brine's, etc..
I have been smoking food for over 15 years, Primarily beef briskets, pork butt, ribs, turkey, chicken,etc.Sorry for not having a webber as I use a traeger and a Fast Eddy depending upon the amount of meat I'm doing.

When I smoke a whole brisket 12 pounds or so I smoke it at about 180-225 for 12 hours..then I foil wrap and bring the temp up to 225-250 until an instant digital thermometer says 195-200. It is always tender.. and this never fails to produce a great piece of BBQ. Will this not work on the Montreal smoke meat too?
Brisket in the 170-180's is a bit tough..just my 2 cents
 

Shawn W

TVWBB Emerald Member
Originally posted by Jack L:
I have been lurking in this thread since it began in hopes of getting some info for awesome Montreal smoked Meat and i have: brine's, etc..
I have been smoking food for over 15 years, Primarily beef briskets, pork butt, ribs, turkey, chicken,etc.Sorry for not having a webber as I use a traeger and a Fast Eddy depending upon the amount of meat I'm doing.

When I smoke a whole brisket 12 pounds or so I smoke it at about 180-225 for 12 hours..then I foil wrap and bring the temp up to 225-250 until an instant digital thermometer says 195-200. It is always tender.. and this never fails to produce a great piece of BBQ. Will this not work on the Montreal smoke meat too?
Brisket in the 170-180's is a bit tough..just my 2 cents
Welcome Jack

certainly, it should work with uncured meat, but with curing the meat the challenge I've been facing is to get simultaneously tender AND moist results ... so far going for tender the results have seemed dry, it seems like when the meat is cured it starts dumping liquid at lower internal temps than uncured meat

I'll back up a little bit, the Montreal Smoked Meat I had in Montreal was pink (dark, bordering on red) through and through, not pink smoke ring only like an uncured brisket. So it would seem it's cured brisket with nitrites/nitrates. However, you can cure without nitrites/nitrates, but you can't cure without salt.

I'm starting to think Schwartz's isn't salt cured but does have nitrites/nitrates in it. That might explain why Schwartz's says 'marinated for 10 days' and their brisket is moist AND tender, perhaps it isn't salt cured but they they do use nitrites/nitrates.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like the results have been inedible, far from it, it's very good ... just not perfect yet


I'm going to try curing again, only cooking it differently (described above). If that doesn't do it I'll move on to uncured with nitrites/nitrates.
 

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