After months of being intimidated contemplating, I decided it was finally time to take on the brisket. I have built this up in my mind as the Mt. Everest of barbecue: the true test of preparation, patience, and execution. I decided I needed to do this with an expert, so I enlisted the help of my buddy Brandon. He has been the Jedi to my padawan, the Obi-Wan to my Luke, the Mr. Feeney to my Cory Mathews.
Meat: brisket (packer, aka-“full brisket”)
Ingredients: beef rub, spicy brown mustard
Finish Temperature: 195°F/90.6°C
With brisket, I’ve learned there’s two main types: flat and packer. The flat is the more lean part of the cut and consists of the flat muscle while the packer has both this and the point muscle, which comes attached to the flat and is surrounded by fat, which makes this part of the meat quite juicy and flavorful. For this smoke, we went with the packer cut.
We let the brisket rest on the counter for a while so it wouldn’t be so cold when we put it on the smoker. That way, it takes a little less time to smoke and we let the rub settle in. Prior to that, we cut some fat from off of the top, cutting it down to 1/4 inch. Then we applied the spicy brown mustard on both sides, which adds some flavor and helps the rub stick. Once the mustard is on, the rub gets applied. Since beef is rather bland, we put on a generous amount of rub to flavor it. We let it sit like this for about an hour before putting it on the smoker.
We put it in the offset smoker on Friday evening at 250°F and left it untouched for six hours, occasionally putting in more coals and cherry wood. Since it was 1:00 a.m. and we aren’t in college anymore, we decided to pull the brisket out, double-wrap it in heavy duty foil, and then put it in the oven at 250° overnight while we got some much needed shut eye.
All in all, the meat was on for 15 hours before it reached the internal temp of 190°F and we left it wrapped on the counter to cook a little more. Then we unwrapped it and let it rest so the muscles can expand and let more juices in. The outside of the meat will look burnt, but that is supposed to happen. While I’m not a fan of eating anything burnt, an exception is made for brisket (and those burnt ends. Mmmm…)
When cutting the meat, make sure you cut against the grain. That way, it is more tender to the taste and easier to chew. Once this was done it was time to chow down! If you’re like me, you like to eat as you cut because you need to make sure it is as awesome as you hoped it would be for all of those hours of waiting…or because you want to hog the best pieces for yourself.
The brisket was fantastic! I’m so glad I tried it and had the help of a friend. I’m excited to do this on my own next time and tell you all about it.
Do you have any tips, ideas, or suggestions? Please leave a comment.