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    Monday
    Apr132009

    A Killer Smoked Brisket Recipe

    Bacon gets all the love, and I understand that. Hell, I love bacon too, and the fact that it can be thrown on a skillet for a few minutes and come out delicious every time probably makes it the best tasting 'easy' thing to cook.

    But there is something really special about taking an inexpensive, less sought after piece of meat and through time, attention, and tender loving care, transforming it into a really special meal.

    Keep your bacon, I'll take brisket. That's right beef brisket.

    Most folks from the Northeast, where I'm from, only know brisket from a once a year St. Paddy's Day corned beef and cabbage meal, or the occasional Reuben sandwich from the diner. Those are good, but not the best way to enjoy brisket.

    I prefer brisket done the only way that matters, smoked, low and slow, over Hickory. Texas-style.

    Here is the recipe I follow when I make brisket, it is inspired by brisket from the Dinosaur Bar B Que, a great BBQ joint in New York.

    I don't do everything exactly according to this any more, but in the beginning I did and got good results.

    Rub

    1/2 cup paprika
    1/2 cup kosher salt
    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    1/3 cup granulated garlic
    4 tbl onion powder
    1/4 cup chili powder
    1 tbl black pepper ( I use more)
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tbl cayenne pepper
    1 tbl cinnamon (you can leave this out if it does not seem appealing to you, I like it)

    Mix it all up good and you have a nice all-purpose rub, I use this on everything really, brisket, pork shoulder, ribs.


    I'll give you the 'real' recipe, then add a comment or two that I do differently

    Supplies

    Charcoal
    Hickory Logs if you can get some, or Hickory Chunks (I get them at Lowes)
    A barrel smoker, or even a Weber kettle grill could do the job

    Brisket


    1 beef brisket anywhere from 4-6 lbs
    All purpose rub (from above)
    Olive Oil
    Your Favorite BBQ sauce (when I have time, I make my own, but not really necessary)


    Fire up the smoker. I am not sure what kind of smoker you have, but you want to get the temperature around 200-220 give or take. I have a Char-Griller barrel with the side smoker box, so I layer the bottom of the smoker box with about 1 1/2 chimneys of hot charcoals, then I drop the hickory right on top of that to get the smoke going. If you are doing this on Kettle grill, then you want to get the coals and hickory over to one side, and leave space for the brisket on the other side.

    I will add more hickory as needed throughout the cook time to keep up the heat and smoke. I like more of a heavy smoke flavor, so I almost never add more charcoal if I don't have to, I rather would just keep adding hickory. Anyway, you want some decent smoke going before you put the meat on. I will sometimes put a foil pan in there filled with beer as well to get some more moisture in the barrel. Not all the time though, depends if I have one to spare.

    Next, needle the brisket on both sides with a fork. Then rub some Olive Oil on the meat on both sides. Liberally rub on the dry rub all over the meat, the oil should help it cling. Don't be stingy with it either.

    Put the meat on the grill/smoker, fat side up, close the lid and walk away for a bit. Keep an eye on the internal temp of the smoker and that you are generating enough of that good hickory smoke. I try to stay as close to 220 as I can.

    I don't do anything else at this point except add hickory, toss back a few beers, and wait. The 'real' recipe calls for wrapping the brisket completely in foil after it gets to an internal temperature of 120 degrees or so, but I don't do that. I keep it cooking on the smoke until it is done. I shoot for about 155, but it is kind of a preference thing, more than 160 I think it is too dry, I'd even think 150 is ok. There's a lot of variables to guess at cook time, for me on my barrel about 4 hours is normal. But you have to go by temp not time.

    I usually nip off the end with a buck knife to taste it, then if I think it's ready pull it off, cover it, and let it sit 15-20 minutes before slicing. Slice as thin as you can across the grain, douse with some BBQ sauce, serve just like that.

    Man you will think you have died and gone to heaven.

    Anyway, that is how I do it, I hope that it made sense, and let me know how yours turns out.

    Viva Meat!

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