|Finished Brisket from Today's Cook|
I picked up a 5lb USDA Choice Brisket Flat at Costco. The quality is a notch above what you can typically find at Sam's Club and the cost is about 1/2 of what you will pay at your local grocery store. There are a couple of things to consider to make sure you are getting the best possible cut of meat.
|What You Will Need|
The real trick to cooking a brisket is to keep in the moisture during the cook. Some people will tell you that you need to leave all the fat on the bottom side of the brisket and that you need to mop it or spray the brisket to keep it from drying out. I will let you in on a little secret. There is a much better way - injection!
For this cook I will be using an injection and a rub commonly used on the competition circuit, both of which are available from online retailers. The injection is the key to keeping the moisture in the meat throughout the cook. I use a Brisket Injection developed by David Bouska of Butcher BBQ. David's product unlike others has moisture holding capabilities to keep the brisket moist even after slicing or reheating. The only drippings I get during the cook are from the rendered fat on the bottom on the brisket. The injection locks the remaining juices inside and keeps the brisket moist and tender. For the seasoning, I am using a competition rub called "Wow Up Your Cow" from The Slabs BBQ Team. I have heard nothing but good things about this rub from fellow competitor's so were giving it a try. I bought the rub online at the Kansas City BBQ Store.
Set up your Weber for 2-zone indirect cooking. The target smoker temp for the cook is 225°F. I am using both the cherry and the oak/pecan combination mojobricks for this cook. Cherry is my favorite wood for brisket. I am using the oak/pecan combo to impart some flavors that I think will go well with my chili seasonings. Once the smoker is up to temp, on with the brisket!
We are going to wrap the brisket in aluminum foil when it gets to an internal temp of 160°F. For a 5lb brisket cooking at 225°F, we should get there in around 4 hours. After 4 hours, check the internal temp with an instant read thermometer. If it's still below temp, check back every hour. It's OK if we go over 160°F. Brisket strangely enough hits a wall at around 160 - 170°F. It could take a couple of hours to push through that wall. The reason you wrap the brisket is one, to help it push through the wall and two, to help tenderize the meat. The foil locks in the heat and keeps the juices from any fat that still hasn't rendered locked inside as well. You want to double-wrap it very tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.
|Off at 195°F|
|1/2 cubes for Chili|
After you hit temp, remove the brisket and rest it for about 30 minutes before slicing. Resting will allow the brisket to firm up and soak in some of the moisture that has rendered out. You want to slice the brisket against the grain at a width of a pencil or about 3/8 inch. Since I am making chili, I sliced at a width of 1/2 inch in order to make 1/2 inch cubes (picture at right).
So there you have it - a proven method for cooking a tender juicy brisket that will have your friends and family wanting more. Please give it a try and let me know how it turns out!