I've been smoking brisket for years, feeling that finishing it off in the oven was heresy. No telling how much carbon monoxide I've huffed, and so I have given in and developed a process that works well for me, and should for the novice brisket cook.
I recommend buying an untrimmed, large brisket. Cook it, serve what you want and freeze the rest. Small cuts are always trimmed, and subject to drying out with a charcoal/wood fire.
I notice that in many of the other brisket recipes they say to use mesquite wood, which is primarily a grilling wood. Because it is so pungent, it's better for burgers, or things that grill quickly, but I do use it in a ratio of 3 parts hickory to 1 part mesquite wood chunks with regular charcoal.
Also, I buy Kingsford's Mesquite Charcoal and then just use hickory chunks.
- One 8-10 pound, or larger, brisket. Figure one hour cooking time per pound.
- 1 cup your favorite bbq rub for beef, or mine (see link)
- 6-8 chunks of mesquite wood
- 18-24 chunks of hickory, or more as needed, all soaking in water
- E-Z BBQ Sauce: your favorite bottle sauce, plus the meat drippings (see directions)
- Start your charcoal fire in a smoker box, or on one side of a large grill (for indirect heat) by stacking the briquets in a pyramid. You will need anywhere from 20-25 briquets at first. Put on charcoal fluid and light.
- Let coals burn down to where they are getting greyish/white ashes on the outside, then spread them out a bit.
- Rub all sides of the beef with rub, then place it fat side up on the indirect heat grill grate.
- Add some chunks of wood to the charcoal. Close the cover. Smoke will begin to come out soon.
- Every half hour or less, add some charcoal and more wood. A continuous stream of smoke is optimal.
- Smoke your brisket a half hour per pound, so 8 lbs. equals four hours, etc.
- Heat oven to 250 degrees. Place the brisket in a large pan and cover with foil. Bake.
- After the brisket has smoked/baked combined an hour a pound, take it out and check for tenderness. It is done when a knife goes easily through the flat part.
- It will have a blackish crust. Not to worry, it's supposed to.
- Let cool for several hours. Remove from pan.
- Pour excess fat into a container for disposal.
- Place brisket on a carving board, cut between the fatty point part and the flat, put back in the pan, cover, let rest another hour. Juices will collect at the bottom of the pan you'll want to save for your bbq sauce.
- Take the flat and put it back on the carving board. Cut it against the grain to serve, trimming the fat. (There are net videos to instruct you how to do this, such as how to carve bbq brisket, which will come up on this site beneath the recipe.) The flat is generally what is served for sandwiches, dinner, etc.
- You can do three things with the fatty point. Make burnt ends with it, pull the meat from the fat and chop for sandwiches and other things, or discard it (never). You can add the point meat to bean recipes, or make brisket hash, etc.
- The process I use with the fatty point is to don plastic gloves while it's still warm, and pull the meat from the fat. Ugh.
- Frankly, after pulling beef from several points, I don't care if I ever cook another brisket, but my customers love my brisket.
- Your best bet if you are using a grill is to make a concerted effort to have the brisket properly be on indirect heat. If you have a small grill, cut back on the size of the brisket you purchase.
- This is not a recipe for bbq purists, (pitmeisters will squawk in outrage at this method) but a practical one to help encourage people to attempt making this great bbq dish.
- Remember one thing: no brisket with good seasonings ever turns out inedible, unless you overcook it on the indirect grill or the smoker.
- This is a dish you have to get the hang of, so err on the side of the oven being your best friend, and experiment a few times with what works with the equipment you have.
- E-Z BBQ Sauce: 2 cups your favorite bbq sauce, plus meat drippings from pan. Refrigerate an hour, skim any fat from top. Reheat and serve.
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 0g|
|Recipe makes 8 servings|
|Calories from Fat 0||0%|
|Total Fat 0.0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0.0g||0%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 0.0g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.0g||0%|