Thanks for all the nice compliments on my brisket. It's been very successful this year. I won over $10,000 on my brisket entries in the contests I entered this year!
First of all you must start with good meat. The 99 cent a pound brisket just wont cut it. Always start with USDA Choice or better, I use Prime because of my meat sponsor (Beef America, Omaha Neb) but most of that is shipped overseas to Japan because they are willing to pay the price! Use Choice or better!
Next I start with a good rub that's heavy in garlic and pepper, ("Top Secret" brand) not yet available but I'm working on it for this Spring! Seasoned about three hours before smoking.
Smoke for at least 8-10 hours at 225 until the internal temp is in the 165-170 degree range. I like 4 chunks of Oak. 2 chunks of Cherry and 1 Hickory, with mostly white hot charcoal.
After the internal temp is 165+ I put the brisket in foil and cook at 300 degrees (oven or smoker temp) until the internal temp reaches 205 degrees. When that's done I just put it away in an insulated environment (I use a sleeping bag at contests) still wrapped in foil for several hours to allow it to still cook until I ready to serve.
What you have when you open it up is a brisket that you'll need to slice 1/2" thick to keep in slices and I then top it with a sweet, but still a distinctive whang,BBQ Sauce (again "Top Secret" as of this date!) to serve to the judges.
Most of the time it'll be up there with anyone for taste, tenderness, and appearance. Those are the three aspects we are judged on at BBQ contests!
To recap, use good meat, seasoning well, get the final ultimate temp. and top with just the right sauce, present it well. and you'll be a Blue Ribbon Winner!
Mike Scrutchfield - RE/MAX is Cookin' Now
Sat, 27 Jan 1996 13:33:35 -0700
You know I never told you this last year, (you know how big your head gets), but you
were a major factor in helping me accomplish winning the National Championship. In 1994 my
worst category of the four majors was chicken so last winter I set about to change things.
In one of the early issues of the Bullsheet in 1995 you was generous enough to share your
chicken do with the group. Part of your process involved marinating the chicken in Wish
Bone Italian dressing, I tried it with my newly developed rub and the rest is history. 1st
place overall in Chicken KCBS for 1995! I now use the Wish Bone "Robust" and I
find it does even a better job.
One thing I've learned from competition experience: Don't be afraid to share! You can
put two different cooks side by side with the same cookers, same meat, same marinades,
rubs, and sauces and the finished products will be completely different. I see too many
really good cooks, whose meat tastes much better than mine, (which is not hard to do) not
score as well because they didn't concentrate on the other two aspects of competition
cooking (tenderness and appearance).
You got to have the whole package right to win. You got to practice a lot and learn
your cooker intimately. Once you've won a ribbon in a category, don't change the flavor
ever again, then start concentrating on the other aspects of tenderness and appearance and
the ribbons will start changing from yellow and browns to reds and blues. That's my tip of
the day for all, and not necessarily you Coach. As I know all too well you've whipped my
butt on more than one occasion. You've a really good cook and a super nice guy.
Thought for the day: Where the Hell is Lincoln Arkansas? Oh I remember, it's just south
of Kansas City, bout a day and a half!
No good air down there either!
Sun, 28 Jan 1996 12:25:33 -0700
Thanks for the kind comments. I love to compete against good cooks and you are one of the best. when you can win in many different locations like you have the past couple of years it proves you are a good cook. I have NO secrets when it comes to BBQ. What good is it to have lots of knowledge if you don't share with it somebody else. Cook-off are just like football games. No matter how you do one week will not say how you do the next week. (good or bad). I'm looking forward in competing against you again this year. I can always learn from you and anybody else. I found some sauce recipes with corn syrup but not both corn syrup and molasses in them. Which ones do you want.