Spoiler alert – there is no big reveal – no “money” shot. After spending about 22 hours actively attending this cook, I flat out forgot to take pictures after making the first, beautiful, moist, tender, and flavorful cut.
I am calling this smoked brisket my personal best. It is SOOOO good! Just no finished pics. Sorry, Homer.
I used our Old Country, wood fueled, BBQ smoker. I really love this smoker, although it does require constant attention in order to keep the temperature where you want it. At some point I may try to find an electric fan assembly that would fit over the smoke stack – for the purpose of keeping the temperature a little more regulated. But I do love using good firewood as a fuel source.
The brisket was used smoking a combination of oak and pecan that I had sourced from my buddy Coco Ortega (Coco’s Firewood). Turns out having good wood to burn is a must for getting great results.
And the meat. This was a 14 pound “packer cut” beef brisket (comes with both the point and the flat). You need to find a place where you can get these – in my case Whole Foods did the trick (and BTW was priced the same as what I would have gotten at a regular supermarket). But plan ahead – not always available.
After trimming the brisket (I would guess I cut about a pound away), I applied a 50/50 mix of kosher salt and cracked pepper as a rub. I learned this rub for meats is magical as a result of reading, listening, and tasting the results of my hero, Aaron Franklin (Franklin’s BBQ – Austin).
I smoked at between 250’ – 275’ for what amounted to an all-in cooking time of about 22 hours. I put the meat on the smoker at 11pm, smoked it until it reached about 160’ (around 3pm the following day), then wrapped it in butcher paper and continued smoking it until about 9pm when it reached 180’. My goal was to get the temperature to about 201’, but time and exhaustion got the best of me.
After removing it from the smoker, I let it set for about an hour before unwrapping. I could have let it go two hours before unwrapping, but again I was pretty much smoked myself at this point.
The first cut into the flat and I knew I had a winner. Actually, I was pretty pleased when I unwrapped it and smelled the amazing flavors! Oh my goodness! Well, Karen had already moved upstairs to go to bed but I had to bring her a taste. She would tell you herself this was spectacular.
Karen expects to stuff some poblano peppers with some of the brisket, and I so look forward to that. While a 14 pound piece of meat sounds like a beast, after carving off some for friends and neighbors, and serving ourselves a few meals, this brisket will end up having a shorter life than one might expect. Or maybe it’s us that will have a shorter life. It’ll be a good one, though.