I’m sure most of us love a good beef brisket. The secret behind cooking this all American delicacy lies in the hunk of meat, its quality and lastly in the way it is prepared. For the best results, choosing the right cut of meat is most important. Working with a prime grade untrimmed brisket is ideal as you don’t require investing in an expensive free range. While smoking a beef brisket, remember that the two vital ingredients that can make it a success are timing and patience.
The whole process is a labor of love that can take as much as 20 hours to smoke. The cardinal rule of preparing all beef recipes, especially beef brisket is “low and slow”. The time required to smoke would depend on the quantity of the meat. For instance a 10-pound brisket that is smoked at a temperature of 225 F will take about 15 to 20 hours. In this article, we have included everything you need to know to help you prepare a perfectly succulent BBQ beef brisket.
What You Will Need to Make The Magic Happen
First things first, let us start with the raw materials you would need. They are – a prime cut of meat and good pieces of wood for the smoke. The most suitable brisket meat is procured from the tough underside of the animal. The high collagen content present accounts for the toughness of the meat. When cooked on the low, the collagen gets converted into a gelatin and gets absorbed by the meat. This accounts for the delectable taste and smoked flavor of brisket. Hence, a low temperature is ideal as it prevents the meat from drying out and becoming tough.
While procuring the brisket, go for a prime cute that has a layer of white fat and a deep coloring of meat below it. The “Packer’s Cut” as it is known would have an evenly displaced content of fat on it. This would produce the adequate moisture required during preparation as the fat would melt and grease the other layers of the meat. Before you smoke the meat, make sure that you give it a nice rise under lukewarm water and pat it dry with paper towels.
Marination of the meat should be done at least 12 hours in a refrigerator, prior to tossing it into the smoker. To tenderize the collagen in the meat, marinate the brisket in an acid based marinade consisting of lemon juice and vinegar. The acids present in the marinade would breakdown the tough fibers in the meat and give it a tangy flavor.
Smoking the meat is the most time consuming part of preparing brisket. You would require a good smoker that would let you cook the meat at a steady temperature for about 10 to 15 hours. Set the fire of the grill anywhere between 200 and 230 degrees F. This is the right temperature that will facilitate the breakdown of the collagen in the meat. Place the meat in the grill with the fat side up, so that the meat below it is kept moist by the lard.
Smoking the brisket for 5 to 6 hours at a stretch can dry even the fattiest meat. To prevent this from happening, you would want to wrap the brisket in foil after the first 5 hours of smoking. Wrapping the meat would also create a subtle smoked flavor that would add to its taste and ensure that the meat is succulent and tender.
Once your brisket is done, it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Remove the meat from the grill and carve it into medium slices. Let it cool for about 10 to 15 minutes and serve with a smothering of hot sauce.