This weekend I tried out a new process for smoking a brisket. In the past, I’ve generally followed this process:
- Prep the brisket the night before. So…injecting it w/ some kind of marinade and rubbing it down, then sticking it in a garbage bag and letting it sit in the fridge overnight.
- Cook at 200°-225°.
- Cook with the fat cap side facing up.
Now, for the most part, I think my brisket normally comes out pretty decent, but I don’t think I’ve ever turned one out that I would claim was amazing. Brisket is a challenge to slow cook correctly, and more often than not, you’ll read about folks that are struggling with it coming out a bit tough. I would say that probably 50% of the briskets I’ve cooked on the WSM have come out a bit tough, with one or two being not good at all…So…, I’ve been reading a lot about how other people cook their brisket and came up with the following four changes to my process:
- I prepped the brisket just one hour before throwing it on the smoker, so essentially I skipped the whole throwing it in the fridge overnight step. I also injected with just plain ol’ beef broth this time instead of some store-bought marinade I normally use.
- Cooked it at 275°. I read where w/ brisket, you don’t want to cook too long at a low temp b/c it can dry the brisket out. Total cooking time was only about 5:15-5:30 hrs. Some guys refer to this as the “hot and fast” method.
- Cooked with the fat cap facing down. I read where some “pro” guys talk about how on vertical smokers (like my 22.5″ Weber Smokey Mountain) it helps to have the fat cap facing down to act as a heat shield and helps keep the brisket more tender.
- Once the brisket had reached an internal temp of 175° (about 3 hours), I foiled it in a a pool of beef broth and let it braise (with the non fat cap side facing down) until it hit an internal temp of 200° (about 2 hours). I then wrapped the foiled brisket with a towel and set it in a dry cooler to rest for a couple of hours.
Allow me to say this: now I can finally claim what I consider to be a perfectly cooked brisket! Woo hoo! It was unbelievably tender and if I was a comp guy, I serious think I could have had a chance with this one. This “briskie” was so tender it literally pulled right apart, kinda like a butt does. In the pic below, I tried to show how tender it was. The slices in the foreground where about 1/8″ thick and my slicing knife cut through it like butter. Needless to say, I’ll be trying this method out again and will let you know if I see any inconsistencies.
Here is the video from start to finish