My First Attempt at a Smoked Brisket
This past weekend I made my first attempted at smoking a brisket – two of them simultaneously. They both turned out very well, with a small but visible smoke ring. We used them for BBQ brisket tacos with lettuce and onions, as well as BBQ brisket sandwiches on buns with a little BBQ sauce. Each one was approximately 6 lbs. I started smoking them at 225 degrees at around 7 AM and they were done around noon. I let them rest for 45 minutes, and my new Miyabi Kaizen II 8″ chef’s knife went through them like butter. Here’s now the brisket looked when it was done, and here’s the recipe I followed.
Recipe / Methodology
I prepared the briskets the night before with a rub. I combined the following ingredients in a bowl.
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1/3 cup ground black pepper
I coated the briskets on all sides with the rub, and massaged it in to the meat. After both were thoroughly covered, I wrapped them both in clear plastic wrap and put them in the refrigerator.
To smoke the briskets I used my Cabela’s wood pellet grill/smoker with their brand of hickory wood pellets. I fired the smoker to 350 degrees F to burn off any nasties from the last smoke per the instructions in the manual, and then backed it down to 225 degrees F and waited for it to stabilize at that temperature – which took around 30 minutes. After the grill was stabilized at around 225, I unwrapped both briskets and placed them directly on the cooking grate, fat side up.
After reaching 165 degrees internal temperature, I removed both briskets and double-wrapped them tightly in aluminum foil. This is called “the Texas crutch” and is a very hotly debated way of finishing the cook in regards to briskets. The argument is that at this point the meat is finished absorbing smoke, and just needs to cook. Wrapping them in foil ensures that the meat doesn’t dry out and that they cook in their own juices until fully cooked. This worked wonderfully, as when the briskets were done and I unwrapped them, I poured about 1/2 cup of juice out of each aluminum foil wrapper.
After they were wrapped, I placed the briskets back on the grill and cooked until the internal temperature reached 205 degrees. After that, I pulled them off, unwrapped them, and let them rest for an hour.
When the hour was up, it was time to cut and serve. The result is what you see in the picture above.