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Here is a cook I did back in August of 2018.
When I cook brisket there is one master that comes to mind, Aaron Franklin! If you follow BBQ like I do, then you know he is the defacto master of brisket. The style he uses in Texas style (salt and pepper) and just applying smoke to keep it simple. If you’ve never read his book and enjoy all things BBQ, I recommend picking it up here.
Back to the brisket. I shoot for a cook temp of 250 F and try to find a cut of meat which is at least USDA choice. In the North East (just outside of Philadelphia, PA) brisket is expensive, so if you can find a deal at costco, giant or Sams club pick it up while it’s on sale! For a good cut of meat it costs me $50-$75 for a whole brisket, it ain’t cheap! So I can’t afford to mess it up.
Cook temp: 250-275F
Slather: Yellow mustard
Rub: 60% course ground black pepper, 40% kosher salt
Cook time: Varies, could be 10 hours, could be 16 hours.
Here are my tips for cooking a solid brisket:
- Cut excess fat from the fat cap, aim for 1/4″ thick fat cap, anything thicker and the fat won’t render down when you cook it.
- Use a slather.
- Use salt and pepper, course ground pepper is best and kosher salt.
- Don’t open the cooker and lose heat, this is a big deal! You lose 1/2 hr of cook time by looking at what you are cooking when cooking large pieces of meat!
- Wrap brisket in butcher paper, this helps keep the bark well formed. If you use foil it will cook quicker, but the bark will get soggy.
- Use an oven after the stall to get some sleep! I used to stay awake all night long and use my smoker the whole cook, now that I have 2 small children I need sleep, so after the stall I wrap the brisket and put it in my oven on 225F until it’s finished.
- Use a thermometer in the meat you can check remotely (I use a maverick, you can find it here).
- Only apply smoke until the meat reaches around 150F, after that the bark should be formed nicely.
- Let the meat rest for 2 hours if possible after pulling it out of the cooker. This allows the meat to pull the moisture back into itself that was being pushed out from the stress of the heat on the meat.
- I normally wrap in butcher paper right after the stall. The stall is when the meat will actually drop in temp as it’s cooking and then it’s over when the temp rises once again, normally I find this to occur between 165 and 175 degrees.
- Pull the brisket when it accepts a probe like butter all around. Push your meat thermometer into the meat, if it goes in like butter and comes out with no resistance, it’s ready to pull from the heat and rest.
- Slice the meat against the grain, this allows the muscle fibers to break down and makes for a more tender chew.
Enjoy the video!