Recipe: My Brisket Recipe, Revisited

My brisket recipe

My brisket recipe

After the writeup on Texas barbecue, several folks asked if I would repost my brisket recipe as text, not an image, for easier reading. Here you go. I’ve added a few thoughts on technique, in italics. This recipe came to me in a package of materials purchased through some kind of multilevel marketing exchange back in the 80s. You would pay the sender $1 for the packet and then send it on to 10 new people, each of whom would send $1 to you. For whatever reason, this did not make me rich, but the recipe is worth all of $1 and more.

5 Easy Steps to Delicious Brisket
(8 to 10 lb. Brisket)

  1. First – Rub salt, pepper and brown sugar on both sides of brisket. Leave the fat side up thru entire cooking time.
    Unlike some, I recommend lightly trimming away the fat while still leaving a good layer over the meat. If you don’t trim at all you are going to end up with a lot of tasty smoked fat.
  2. Second – Put on smoker “fat side up”. Remember not open flame, just hot fire with smoke. Charcoal broquett is fine.
    Smoking is cooking with indirect heat, in which the fire is in another part of the grill and the smoke and heat are drawn across the food by the way you manage your airflow. The good smoky flavor is going to come from chunks of hickory or oak (I find mesquite and apple too light in flavor) that you will soak for 30 minutes or more before adding to the fire. Also, you need a source of moisture, such as a pan of water inside the cooking vessel, to humidify the cooking atmosphere and concentrate the flavor.
  3. Third- Leave on smoker for 3 hours checking fire every 45 minutes so bottom of brisket won’t burn.
    During this time you should be steadily replenishing the charcoal and wood chunks for a constant smoky fire. I like to leave the smoke vents open at the beginning to build up a good fire, then shut them completely to grab all that sweet smoke, then open them a little just before the fire is about to go out and leave that way for duration of cooking.
  4. Fourth- To finish for perfect tenderness wrap in foil, put in loaf pan, and finish in the oven at 325 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. The last hour of cooking in oven, test by sticking a fork in brisket at both thick part and thin part. When fork goes in easily without force it’s done.
  5. Fifth – Unwrap; let cool slightly before slicing. Remember: Never put B.B.Q. Sauce on brisket while cooking. The smoke gives the flavor and the oven gives great tenderness.
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