A working muscle from the front of the cow, brisket requires low and slow cooking in order to break down the muscle and render the fat, making it super tender and tasty. It’s one of those cuts that you have to cook a few times to try and nail, but these tips should help you on the way to cooking great brisket.
First up, a little education on where it comes from, from our friends at Mr Baillie + Co.
Trim the brisket
Before it hits the smoker, you want to trim any large deposits of fat off the brisket to help the rub and smoke to penetrate the meat. Don’t take all the fat off it, as it’s the fat breaking down that gives it the amazing flavour and tenderness (and also stops from drying out), but you want it to be no more than 1/4 inch thick anywhere on the meat.
Keep your rub simple
Beef is one of those cuts that has such a rich flavour on its own that you don’t need a rub with a million ingredients for it to taste great. Salt and pepper are important to beef, and perhaps two or three other key flavours in there should do it. Our beef rub has only 5 ingredients, but if you want something really special, try our brisket rub. Some also include sugar to aid in the all important bark.
Cook at 275F until the internal temperature is 205F
You’ll want to maintain your smoker / oven / BBQ at 275F in order to cook the meat consistently and not too fast. The meat will be done at 205F, which you should check with a thermometer probe. You’ll also be able to tell if the tenderness is right by how easily the probe goes in, it should be like butter. This will all vary depending on the size of the brisket you start with, so use internal temperature as your guide to doneness.
Brisket should be wrapped when the internal temperature hits 160F. Roll out a double thickness, long piece of heavy-duty foil, or peach paper, pop in the brisket and be sure to seal it tightly so there are nowhere for the heat to escape. Pop it back on the smoker and bring it up to 205F internal temperature.
Slice against the grain
Once cooked and rested, it’s time to eat. Slice 1/4 inch slices against the grain of the meat. This will allow you to have beautiful tender slices (if you’ve nailed it, you should be able to bend a slice over your finger without it breaking). Slicing with the grain will create a much more shredded kind of meat.
There you have it!
Got some more tips? Leave them in the comments!