Perfecting a Smoke Brisket
If you’ve never cooked a big cut of meat before, it can be tough to know what to do, and how to make sure you don’t waste quality meat and time.
Lets us guide you through the process of creating the perfect smoked brisket recipe.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when you select your brisket at the butcher shop or grocery store.
Smoking a whole brisket, also know as Packer Briskets can range in weight from 10-15+ pounds and can feed a crowd of people. The whole brisket consists of two separate muscles, that have distinct feel once they are smoked. You’ll hear these two muscles mentioned as the “point” and the “flat”. The point has a higher fat content and is often chunked up to use for burnt ends. The flat is a little leaner, but still equally delicious.
There are different grades of meat available for brisket. The Grades are ranked according to the marbling quality of the meat. The higher the Grade, the more marbling, which will benefit the outcome of the cook.
You’ll want to trim most of the larger fat deposits off of the meat. Leave at least a quarter-inch of fat on the meat. You want to keep some fat on the Brisket to help moisten the meat during the cook. The rule of thumb is that if the fat is hard, remove as much as you can without affecting the meat. If it’s soft, leave it!
Adding the Rub for Smoked Brisket
After you’ve trimmed the fat, rub the entire surface with about 2 tbsp of Olive Oil. You can use garlic-infused olive oil for a little extra flavour if you like. The olive oil acts as a binder to hold the rub on the brisket. Other binder options include avocado oil, mustard, or BBQ Sauce.
Once you have your rub, make sure you apply it liberally. 1 Tbsp of BBQ rub isn’t going to adequately season a large hunk of meat like this! It’s really hard to over season a piece of meat like this, so go big!
Wood Selection and Temperatures
Set up your smoker to smoke at 107℃ degrees using indirect heat. You can use oak or mesquite for this recipe mesquite adds some bold smoky flavour to the meat. Once your smoker is up to temp, place the brisket on the smoker, fat cap down. The cooking time is determined based on the pound of meat an estimate of 90min for every at 107℃ degrees.
After 4 hours put a temperature probe into the centre of the thickest part of the flat. Monitoring the temperature remotely using a Thermoworks smoke, or your smoker’s app is best – the less you open the lid on your smoker the better.
When the temperature gets up to 71℃-73℃ degree you’ll experience a “stall” where the temp doesn’t go up at all. The stall could last hours. Don’t panic! The stall is normal. Do not panic and increase the temperature of your smoker. Just be patient. It will be ok.
MINIMIZE THE LENGTH OF THE STALL
Once your brisket is at the 71℃-73℃ degree point, peek on the meat every 40 minutes or so. When the surface of the meat has a dark mahogany “bark” pull the brisket off the smoker, and wrap it tightly with butcher paper.
After the brisket is wrapped, put back in the smoker. Push your temperature probe through the wrap into the meat, and check the temperature every hour until the internal temperature gets to 200 degrees. This wrapping technique is called the “Texas Crutch”.The Texas Crutch is a method to help push through the stall and retain more moisture in your meat. In some instances, you could lose some bark quality. If you’d prefer not to wrap that’s fine, you can plan for extended cook time.
When the brisket hits 71℃ degrees, pull it from your smoker. Wrap over the butcher paper with foil, and put it in a cooler with a towel or two on top of it, and close the lid. Let it rest in the cooler for at least 60 minutes. Let them rest for a minimum of two hours, which helps the moisture in the meat redistribute and results in more flavour in every slice of brisket.
After 4 hours put a temperature probe into the centre of the thickest part of the flat. Monitoring the temperature remotely using a Thermo works smoke, or your smoker’s app is best – the less you open the lid on your smoker the better.The built-in temperature probes are great for keeping track of what the internal temperature is but we don’t recommend using those to find out if your meat is finished.
When the temperature gets up to 160-165 degrees you’ll experience a “stall” where the temp doesn’t go up at all. The stall could last hours. Don’t panic! The stall is normal. Do not panic and increase the temperature of your smoker. Just be patient. It will be ok.
Start smoking meat early in the day. It’s ok to start at 4 or 5 am and then go back to bed. If it finishes two or three hours before you are ready to eat, that’s ok. You can hold briskets in a cooler for up to 5 hours. The longer they rest, the better the juices distribute. Just be sure to not let the internal temperature of the meat get down below 150.
When you’re ready to serve, slice against the grain of the meat, in pencil-thin slices. The flat will have a grain running in one direction, and the section of meat on top (the point) will have the grain running in a different direction.
We hope you’re hungry! A whole smoked brisket can serve a ton of people! Enjoy with your friends and family. Share your briskets with us on our Socials muscatlivestock .