RECIPE: Awesome Smoked Brisket

My hubby is really the star of this post. We have been trying to nail the perfect brisket for 3 years now. He is an amazing cook, griller and smoking guru, but brisket has alluded him. the nice thin about brisket, is that it's a pretty inexpensive cut of meat, that if you can get right, feed a lot of people affordably. The amount of smoking and grilling cookbooks in our library could flatten a horse. But though all the reading, trial and error, we finally enjoyed a "life-changing" brisket last week during the warm spell in Chicago. I had to stop my self from gorging on it, and I am not a huge meat eater. I love a good little filet mignon..I'm spoiled like that.

Anywhoo....back to brisket.

Some key insights from the hubster:

1: Get Prime. The best place to get prime here is Costco. This 16 pound brisket was 50 bucks-great bargain. We fed ourselves, two neighborhood families, some friends of ours, and still had leftovers for lunch the next day. We are SO doing this for our next summer party.

2: Want to do a half brisket? Do the flat cut. The flat cut has some of the point and the flat combined, and gives you the variation in meat texture. Flat gives you a fall-off-the-bone crumbly beef texture. The point gives you more of a steak experience.

3: Start insane-o-clock 4 a.m. early, and go low and slow all day.

4: Add more coals every two hours as you baby it.

5: Only use wood in the first 4 hours for smoking. We used a mix of hickory and pecan wood, about 5-6 quarts total.

6: Patience is what wins the day. And boy did we win.

Awesome Smoked Brisket
this 16 lb brisket takes about 13 hours total, but go by the temperature which is 200˚

Beef Injection and marinade:
1 quart of hot water
4 tsp roast beef base
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp dried minced onion

Brisket rub:
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 Tbsp ground pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/3 pork rub

16 lb PRIME brisket (Costco)

- The evening before, wash brisket. Trim fat to 1/4 inch all over. Score fat cap criss-cross 1 inch apart. 
- Create beef injection and brisket rub. Inject brisket, opposite side from fat cap. 1 inch apart injections of beef marinade. Place brisket in a marinade bag and pour remaining marinade over brisket and refrigerate over night. 
- 4 am ; Remove brisket from refrigerator, take it out of bag and place on a tray. Rub brisket rub on both sides of brisket and rest for 45 min.
- Start coals for grill. Soak wood chips. Add water pan to bottom of smoker by the heat source.
- 5 am ; Add wood chips to coals. Place brisket’s large/thick flat side 6 inches from heat source on grate. 
- 7 am ; Add more coals and wood chips. Baste if you wish.
- 8:45 am ; Add more coals and wood chips. Baste if you wish.
- 10:45 am ; 140-150˚F double wrap in foil place wrapped brisket on a metal tray. Place back on the smoker. Bring an empty bowl to smoker to pour juice in as you go. 

After 2 hours, pour juice into bowl that accumulates in tray. * Note, you do not want juice to accumulate under the brisket, it will boil it. So drain it off and reserve it as you go.

Keep smoking it until.....
- Remove brisket at 200˚F. Pour the remaining juice into bowl.
- Place brisket in an oven warming drawer at 140˚F for 1 hour to rest. (if you don’t have a warming drawer, wrap brisket in large towels and place in a cooler to keep warm.)
- Place brisket on counter and rest 30 min.
- Open foil and place brisket on cutting board. Rest 10 minutes.
- Start cutting at the point to the middle of brisket where the flat section starts. Pick up brisket vertical and separate point from flat along fat line. Finish cutting point meat. Turn flat meat 45˚ and cut pencil thin to the end.
- With a separator or ladle remove most of the fat from juice. Ladle juice over meat.
- Enjoy!

Note: the flat part of the brisket will fall apart while cutting and the muscle grain is perpendicular to the point meat. Adjust time for smaller brisket or half brisket. If making only half brisket I would suggest using the flat part and not the point. Point meat is not as tender as flat meat.



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