Snows-style BBQ brisket for 4th of July

Brisket Leftovers

Pretty much all that was left over from my Snows-style BBQ brisket made with USDA Prime meat. Note the deep mahogany bark and the lacy tendrils of pudding-soft flesh.

For the 4th of July meal, I decided to try Snow’s BBQ brisket technique as described by pit boss Kerry: rub the meat all over with salt with some pepper mixed in (I used about a 1/5 ratio) and let it cure for 24 hours. I put the meat on a rack inside a roasting pan then covered the pan tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerated; I figured this would approximate the big plastic tubs Snow’s has. The meat gave off surprisingly little moisture after the cure so I just paper-toweled it dry and smoked it according to my usual method.

The result was magnificent. Great bark, sublimely tender meat, and enough salt to bring out the best in the brisket. It helped that this was USDA Prime, rather than Choice, grade. The H.E.B. grocery chain in Austin had a freezer case full of these smaller briskets (averaging 5-6 lbs) at less than we pay per pound for choice in my neck of the woods, if we can even find it. So unfair.

Prime Brisket from HEB

My Prime brisket from H.E.B. in Austin. I brought two of these home in my carry-on. The TSA guy recognized what they were on the x-ray and gave me no problem.

The meal was served with Vincent’s Cole Slaw, German Potato Salad, beans and Buttermilk Pie for dessert. The beans were the only disappointment. I followed Snow’s method using Tone chili powder, but didn’t have any bacon ends so I poured in some of the brisket grease. It was a one-dimensional, uninteresting result. Also, I typically smoke a brick of cheap mozzarella along with my meat but this time tried American cheese in homage to the smoked prep at Chester’s Smokehouse. With mozzarella, the whey leaches out and keeps the cheese from sticking but because American isn’t real cheese it stuck like crazy.

Live and learn. But that brisket… oh man. Next time I’ll add my usual rub of brown sugar, which I left out because I wanted to do it exactly Kerry’s way. But I’m not sure this prep can be improved on.

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