Barbecue Beef Brisket in Carolina
I live in the Southeastern US of A where the mighty swine is the king of barbecue. Now I know there is a constant debate between the Texas and Western Q-hounds and us here in the Deep South. I personally do not care. Smoked meats done properly are a great thing no matter where you come from. I do have access to more pork and have spent most of my time perfecting my skills at smoking butts, shoulders and ribs. However in order to be good pit masters you have to know how to cook anything slow and low. I can do just about anything on the grill but the elusive beef brisket has always been my toughest challenge.
I finally nailed a beef brisket that did not favor shoe leather when finally done. Brisket is one of those dishes that you have to ruin a good ten to twenty of them before you start to get it close to being right. So I am pretty proud that I finally got one right and so is my family.
Traditionally smoking a brisket takes a long time. We're talking eighteen hours or so. You have to wake up pretty early in the morning to get one of these on and have it ready to eat at supper time. Anytime I have done these before I have tried to smoke them the traditional way and it was tasty but always tough. Brisket is a tough piece of meat anyway and needs to cook at low temperatures long enough for the fat to render yielding flavor and tenderness. So here's how I cooked this. I am journaling this more for myself than anyone else so I can repeat.
I started with a market trimmed brisket. Although this is normally not used for smoking because they tend to have all the fat cut off we have a local butcher and got the half brisket with the fat cap still on there. I prepped it with a commercial brisket rub that my wife found at some gourmet shop. The brisket was covered in the rub and put in a plastic bag overnight in the refrigerator.
Next morning I prepped up the grill. I use a Big Green Egg style smoker/grill to do all my outdoor cooking. I have an attachment so that I can setup for indirect smoking. I also have a fan and thermometer combo that will measure the temp on the grill level, cutting the fan on or off to keep the temps steady. Whatever your setup you want to cook with indirect smoking. I used mesquite wood chips soaked a half hour in water for smoke.
Grill prepped and up to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the chips on the fire I give it ten minutes to get the temp up after the soaked chips go on.
- The brisket goes on the grill fat side down for an hour at 250.
- After an hour the brisket is flipped and stays on the grill at about 225 for another hour.
- Put a thermometer in the meat and continue cooking till meat reaches internal temp of around 160. Put the thermometer in the meatiest part of the brisket.
- When temp reaches 160 on the meat pull the meat and double wrap it in heavy duty tin foil and add some moisture. I used a cup of beef bouillon, a tablespoon of Worchester sauce, teaspoon of garlic powder and teaspoon of onion powder. Pour this over the meat, close the foil and put it back on the grill. You will cook it this way at about 225 until the meat reaches 200 degrees then pull.
- Take the meat and put it in a cooler with crumpled up newspapers and leave it for two to three hours, still in the foil.
Now it's done. Slice it across the grain not with or you will wind up with some chewy meat.
All together this took between 7 and 8 hours and was outstanding. The smoke ring was beautiful and the meat was incredibly tender. I cannot wait to try another. Now if I can just get to Texas to try the real thing!