An Archeological Dig Through the Freezer and a Foil Boat Life Raft

There’s something comforting to me about a full refrigerator, a full bar and a full downstairs freezer. There are probably a lot of people like me in this way.

Stuff gets lost, though, and every so often it’s worth using what’s oldest to play down the inventory until I have only the meat supply of a small grocery store.

That’s how I happened upon a brisket point from 2019, now nearly old enough for Kindergarten. I took one look at it and realized why I’d never used it — it was probably the fattiest piece of meat I’ve ever owned. I’d wrapped it in plastic wrap, then into a freezer bag, so I didn’t think I’d ruined it.

It looked slightly the worse for its cryogenic vacation, but I was in the mood for brisket so I defrosted it over three days and put it on the Big Green Egg. I trimmed a lot, and it went on at about seven pounds, rubbed with kosher salt, coarse black pepper and garlic powder.

I had been wanting to try the foil boat method of finishing a brisket, championed by Bradley Robinson, whose YouTube videos are fun and instructive (to me, anyway). You can see his whole explanation and a demonstration here:

I just did the point this time, but I thought it would be a good test of the method. The method turned out pretty great, even if the beef itself was well past its, well, prime.

I smoked it at 275F for about 4 1/2 hours until it hit 165 degrees, then I put it in its boat. Three hours later it was at 203 and I pulled it, let it cool down to about 150 and then put it in the toaster oven at 150 for another 90 minutes until we were ready for dinner.

The bark was great, as you’d expect because it had been uncovered, it was nicely moist and the fat rendered very well. But I have to say it didn’t taste like much except for the smoke and rub.

It’s going to get cubed and turned into burnt ends tonight, which I think will improve it.

So if the purpose of a science experiment is to gain understanding, I would say that for me, foil boat seems to be a good way to deal with brisket, and I might try it on pulled pork butt, too.

But there is a right way to age beef, and it’s not four years in the freezer.

This entry was posted in Barbecue. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply