Sunday, March 19, 2006

Brisket Preparation

I was asked on a bbq forum yesterday to detail the step-by-step method I use for preparing bbq brisket. By no means am I the definitive authority on cooking brisket, nor are my steps for preparing and cooking brisket the exclusive or only way to do it, but they have served me well and my results in competition have improved using these steps consistently.

1. I start out with a Certified Angus Brisket (CAB for short) and trim the excess fat from the meat. At my local butcher these briskets average between 11 and 13 lbs. and cost between $35 - 40. If I buy two of them, I receive a 30% discount. The actual price of the briskets vary according to the going market price from week to week. I used to purchase the brisket "flats" at Sam's, which are more affordable, but I have found that my results with the flats do not equal the results I receive from the whole briskets.

2. I puncture the brisket with a sharp object like a fork or a Jaccard meat tenderizer prior to seasoning the brisket with my spice rub mixture.

3. Prior to applying the rub, I spray it with cooking spray. The cooking spray gives the rub something to help it adhere to the brisket.

4. Apply liberal amounts of my brisket rub on both sides of the meat.

5. Place the brisket in a plastic bag and let the brisket marinade overnight in the refrigerator.

6. Pre-heat my Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM for short) to about 190 degrees using lump charcoal. I've had good results with Royal Oak brand.

7. Put the brisket on to cook.

8. Maintain cooker temp as low as possible near 190 degrees for as long as possible. I've found that the slower I can cook the brisket, the more consistent my results are.

9. I foil the brisket after about 5 hours, or once the bark begins to form.

10. I spritz with apple juice a few times during the cooking process as well. This seems to help with bark formation.

11. I continue cooking until the brisket temperature reaches 192 degrees.

12. I let the brisket set in an Igloo cooler for 3 - 4 hours before slicing it up.

13. After slicing, I sauce with my favorite bbq sauce.

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