Wednesday, August 12, 2009

brisket recipe


  • brisket: 6 - 8lbs, fresh or frozen
let it come to room temperature and slightly cut the fat layer into 1/2" x 1/2" squares

dry rub:
  • salt - 3parts
  • pepper - 2 part
  • mustard seeds - 1 part
  • garlic - 2 part
mix it all together and rub deep into the brisket from all 4 sides. Wrap the brisket in serano wrap or fail and lets rest for 12 - 24h in the fridge.

  • 3 cups pear cider
  • 5 TS of lime juice
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • oregano
  • 5 TS of honey (use to much and the sugar burns off!)
  • some pickled ginger
combine everything, seal it and store in fridge for at least 5 hours, better over night.


I prefer to use hickory wood (since it's the only I can find in chunks...) and the minion method. The advantage is you fill up the smoker in the morning with coal, light enough depending on conditions and let it slowly burn down. On average I use 1 chunk of hikory for 2 pounds of meat, so you need 3 - 4 chunks. If you have a water pan fill it with water, to keep it easy.

Let the smoker settle at 225 - 230 degrees Fahrenheit and put the meat on the grate, fat layer on top. The reason for this is that the fat drops throw the meat for the first couple of hours and keeps the meet moist.

After 2 hours mop once an hour and adjust the temperature so it stays in the desired range. Once you reach for hours, flip the brisket once an hour and mop it on the flipped side.

Temperature to reach

sliced meat:

if you want to slice the meat, let it reach an internal temperature of 185 Fahrenheit and wrap it afterward in aluminum full. Once it's wrapped let it rest of an hour or two. Best would be in a cooler, so it keeps the temperature.

pulled meat:

let the meat reach an internal temperature of 200-205 Fahrenheit and take it off the smoker. Let it rest for like 30 minutes, put it into a large dish and use 2 forks to pull it apart.

How long does it take

it needs ca 1 hour a pound at 220 Fahrenheit. But can take up to 2 hours a pound, depending how long the smoke plateau is. This depends on the meat quality.

Why do you have to smoke brisket for such a long time and not just boil it in the pan quick or smoke it at high temperature for an hour or two?

brisket is a very tough cut of meet with a lot of tendons and so collagen. If you just smoke/cook it at higher temperature for 1 - 2 hours you have a very chewy texture with a smokey flavor. A standard mistake.
You want to smoke it for a long time (even if the smoke does not really go into the meat after 2 - 3 hours anymore) to give the collagen time to break down. Your meat plateau is basically the most important phase, because during this time the collagen breaks down and makes the meat nice and tender.
The good thing is that this long smoke time is also the reason that brisket is cheap at 2$ a pound. Since not many people are willing to put up with this.