Damn Fine Brisket
Brisket in Texas is an art that takes many years to master. Here's what I do to get a tender cut of meat that packs a flavorful punch! Keep in mind that this recipe's servings and cook time depend on the size brisket you buy. I count on 75-90 minutes per pound on the initial smoke, and another 2-4 hours after the smoke before you are ready.
From: captbrando — May 11, 2010
Barbecue Rub (I use John Henry or Texas Choice Beef)
Chipotle or Ancho Chile powder for color and kick
Brisket cooking is an art. Googling “How to Smoke a Brisket” will get you TONS of results. Everyone will get to their own rhythm and style, from choosing the meat to the type and quantity of wood used during the smoke. I will tell you how I do it. You should consider the prep work of others, but I try to keep it simple.
I pick up my brisket from a supermarket that is known for good quality meats. I would get the packer’s trim as it will have a good balance of fat-meat.
Between 12 and 24 hours before your brisket will be smoked, you need to prepare your brisket. After you have rinsed and patted dry, trim the fat cap to be 1/8”-1/4”.
Now brush a thin coating of plain yellow mustard on the brisket. This does two things. First, it helps the rub to stick, and second, it adds to the tangy crust you will want around the edge of the meat.
Next, generously coat your meat with the rub of your choice. Feel free to go heavy on the fat cap side as you will remove that before serving.
Put the brisket back in the refrigerator to soak up some of those flavors.
When you are ready to smoke it, the rule of “low and slow” applies. Smoke between 215-235°F for 75-90 minutes per pound. Get your smoker or Egg stabilized at around 225°F, and add your smoking wood. I use Mesquite or Hickory. Don’t overdo the smoke. In the egg, a handful of chips works. In an offset, go with 2-3 chunks of wood for each load of charcoal you put in, but stop adding wood after 6-7 hours of cooking.
Your mileage will vary on each brisket, but that is a good benchmark. Before placing the brisket on the smoker, insert a remote thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your cut. You will want to smoke it until the internal temp hits 188-190 degrees. Most cuts of meat will plateau anywhere from 150-170 degrees while connective tissue is converted to gelatin. Don’t be alarmed, just ride it out.
After you hit 190, take the brisket off and wrap it in foil, then wrap that in a heavy beach towel, and place the whole thing in a cooler. Let that sit for 1-2 hours to let the juices redistribute throughout the meat.
Now here is a trick I accidentally stumbled upon. I had a brisket finish smoking a good 4 hours before I wanted to serve it. Meaning, I had 2 hours after my resting time that the meat needed to be warm. I put it in the oven at 160°F until my guests arrived (a good 2-2.5 hours in this case). The resulting brisket was amazingly tender.
Slicing is another key technique. Once you are ready to slice, cut the fat cap off. Now you will be able to see the grain, and you can easily separate the two sides of the brisket (by the direction of the grain) and cut AGAINST the grain. I use an electric knife to get super thin slices.
The next step? ENJOY! Freeze any leftovers. A tradition at my house is brisket/egg tacos the morning after a nice BBQ dinner.