I made this last night it it came out AWESOME!
BRISKET STEP BY STEP
Shop, Trim, Marinate, Inject, Rub, Smoke, Rest. Carve. Serve.
Purchase a "packer cut" whole brisket, Choice or CAB if possible. At the
very least try to get better than Select grade. If you've got a selection
available to you try to buy between 9 and 11 lbs, with white fat, as marbled
and pliable as possible. (After cooking, anticipate 40% waste of untrimmed
If you've got a butcher you trust have him trim the fat cap to 1/8" to 1/4",
but tell him not to trim down to red meat. If you're reasonably proficient
with a large knife go ahead and trim yourself. Try and leave the thinnest
possible, but fully intact fat cap. If that sounds like it might be too
difficult, forget the trimming.
(30 minutes - 24 hours)
In a pan just large enough to hold the brisket, make a marinade of 3 tbs
each of red wine, Worcestershire sauce and extra virgin olive oil. Slosh the
brisket around in the marinade, making sure all surfaces are moistened.
Allow the brisket to marinate at least 1/2 an hour at room temperature, or
as long as overnight in the refrigerator. During that time the marinade will
mix with the beef juices and partially coagulate into a syrup. This is
desirable. Turn the brisket over occasionally during the marinade period.
1 cup beef stock or broth
1 cup wine
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 tbs salted butter, very cold, cut into 4 pieces.
Reduce the stock by half. Add the wine and garlic. Reduce by half again.
Strain through a tea strainer or cheesecloth to remove any solids that might
clog your injector's needle, return to heat, bring to a simmer and remove
from heat. Add the butter 1 tbs at a time, whisking each piece in just as
the previous piece has melted from the residual heat. Mixture may thicken
as the butter forms an emulsion.
Fill an injecting syringe with the mixture and inject the brisket. Make many
small injections, rather than a few small ones, as large injections will
puddle rather than disperse. No matter how careful you are when you inject,
the injecting fluid will squirt out from the meat in totally unexpected
places. Hilarious but messy. Less clean up, if you clear a large area on
your counter and work in a large sheet pan.
1/2 cup Morton Kosher salt
1/4 cup sweet paprika
3 tbs coarsely fresh ground black pepper
2 tbs smoked paprika, or mild chili powder, or 1 tbs ground chipotle chili
1 tbs granulated garlic
1 tbs granulated onion
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Mix all thoroughly. Remove the brisket from the marinade. Pour a little
extra virgin olive oil on it and spread it to cover. Cover the brisket
generously with the rub. If the fat cap is untrimmed, don't bother using rub
on that side.
(9 to 14 hours) Depending on smoker/cooking unit
Prepare your smoker to run between 225 and 275. I prefer 250, but your
relationship with your smoker is what it is, and it will do what it will do.
Don't make yourself nuts by trying to make it do something that's too much
trouble for you.
When the smoker is prepped, place brisket in the cooking chamber, fat side
down. If you have one, insert the probe from a digital thermometer to keep
track of internal temperatures.
Smoke over red oak if possible, but nearly any of the usual smoke woods will
turn out well.
Do not open cook chamber door for three hours. After three hours, flip the
brisket over fat side up. If your cooker runs uneven temps from side to
side, rotate the meat as well.
Figure total cook time according to average chamber temperature and weight
of brisket. 225 deg - ~1.50hrs/lb. 275 deg - 1.25 hrs/lb or a bit less. Stop
adding smoke wood chunks or chips at one half of estimated time or when meat
reaches internal temperature of 145, whichever comes first. If you're burning
sticks or logs for heat, don't worry about it. You're cool.
Some like to wrap when the meat hits 150. If not sure whether or not you
should, you probably should. If so, wrap in aluminum foil. Before sealing
packet add a little bit of the injection mix to the pack plus a rough
chopped onion. Return the brisket to your
When the brisket hits an internal temperature of 185, remove the wrap and
return the brisket to the smoker, continue cooking until brisket reaches an
internal temperature of 195.
It's likely that during the cooking process, somewhere above 150, continuing
until up to 185, the internal temperature increase will slow or stop. This
is called "the stall." It's common with whole butts or picnics and almost
universal with brisket. It's normal. Don't worry about, be patient.
Temperatures will rise.
When brisket reaches 195 (or 190 if it's still stalling) remove it from the
cooker, wrap it in saran wrap (not aluminum foil) and set it in an insulated
cooler just large enough to hold it. Pack the cooler with wadded newspaper
to fill the remaining air space. Cover the cooler and make sure the cover is
(2 - 6 hours)
Rest for at least 2 hours, and up to 6. The extended rest is part of the
cooking process. Don't shortcut it.
Separate the point from the flat. If you have a substantial fat cap, trim
it. If the flat splits into two pieces with a layer of fat between them,
separate the pieces and completely remove the fat. Cut one of the flats in
half, cutting against the grain. Carve an interior piece, about 1/4" thick
and taste it. If it wants to fall apart or is very, very tender you'll be
carving thick slices. If it's tough, you'll be carving thinner slices. 1/4"
is usually just right.
Carve the flat into slices between 1/8" and 1/2" thick, depending on
tenderness. Always cut across the grain. If you're good with a knife, try a
20 degree bias to get some width.
Carve the point into slices as well. Plan on carving the slices roughly
twice as thick as the slices you took from the flat. (The point may be so
tender it falls into chunks. If so, mix the chunks with hot barbecue sauce
and serve on buns as "sloppy joes." REAL SLOPPY JOES by the way. The point
is substantially fatter than the flat.) Some people prefer the point, some
the flat, some a mix.
Serve with your preferred tomato based barbecue sauce. Texas, Memphis, Cajun
and Kansas City styles are good. Beef and Carolina style sauces are not good