When you hear the word “brisket,” the first thing you think of is probably Texas. Then, you think of big offset smokers, salt pepper, and maybe some dehydrated onions and garlic. The more adventurous may throw in a little paprika and cayenne peppers. But there’s more to mastering a killer brisket than getting the seasoning right.
To prep a brisket, you’ll naturally need to remove some of the fat—but not too much. Then, you cook the brisket in one piece for hours to reach perfection, taking care to wrap it during the cooking process so the moisture stays trapped in the meat. Once perfectly cooked, the brisket is split into 2 parts, use the flat to make slices and the point for burnt ends.
A few years ago, a new cooking method was developed and has since been adopted in BBQ competitions. You separate the brisket’s 2 muscles before cooking them to accelerate the time it takes to reach temperature and thus simplify the cooking process. Personally, I find this method less appealing, but it’s definitely more convenient for those who compete 2-3 times a month and want to get more sleep. Those who cook “traditionally” need to watch their BBQ for hours to reach perfection.
MY favorite way to make brisket is something else entirely. The first time I made and ate brisket cooked on high heat and sliced thinly, I was at the American Royal in Kansas City with the House of BBQ Experts team. Our head pitmaster, Dany “Wally” Tremblay, was prepping a Wagyu beef brisket to cook on the smoker. He was removing a lot of the fat and meat that he would normally use to make sausage but, being out of the country, was just going to throw it out.
As a curious and eco-friendly guy, I decided to season those pieces of meat and cook them at 400°F in “grill” mode. The result was phenomenal and I have to admit that I personally preferred my brisket’s flavor cooked this way to the “traditional” way. The idea came to me when I remembered a discussion I had with Steven Raichlen, The Grill Master, about a way of cooking brisket that he had learned on one of his countless BBQ discovery trips around the world.
Steven Raichlen explained that the method consisted of thinly slicing a raw brisket, vacuum sealing it, freezing it, then grilling it. By freezing the meat, the water inside the brisket turns to ice, breaking down the fibers and tenderizing the meat. This method is particularly useful if you get a craving for brisket on a Tuesday at 5 PM it can be done!
Turn on your BBQ and let it heat up to 400-500°F in direct heat. Once your meat is slightly thawed, season it with your favorite dry rubs (my favorite dry rub and spice mix for a fatty piece of beef like brisket is a combination of 50% House of BBQ Experts X Monette Outdoor’s Appalachian Spice Mix and Rub and 50% House of BBQ Experts Texas dry rub or House of BBQ Experts Montreal Spice Mix and Rub), slice it and set the slices on the grill, directly over the heat. After 1 ½ to 2½ minutes, you can flip the meat and let it cook on the other side for the same amount of time. This method is truly my favorite because it’s quick, easy and most of all delicious!
To all you sauce lovers, I recommend putting some on the meat only once you’ve flipped it, so the sauce never touches the grill and slowly caramelizes on the meat to coat it perfectly. If you’re a spice lover, I recommend using the House of BBQ Experts Dragon Sauce, which will ignite your taste buds and allow your brain to indulge in all its heat and flavor. Otherwise, if you prefer your meals less spicy, the House of BBQ Experts Espresso Sauce must be your choice!! This sauce is an essential for any cut of beef.
So, whether you’re in a hurry, a home cook who likes to take their time or simply curious to try something new, I dare you to make your brisket this way—my favorite way—to ensure you get an incredible result. You’ll see, it’ll be incredibly quick and easy.