Texas brisket: How to make it like a real pitmaster
The brisket cut of beef is becoming increasingly more popular, especially if we’re talking Texas brisket. Future pitmasters and competition masters alike all grill and smoke this delicious cut. Here I’m giving you my own beef brisket recipe for all of you out there so that you can make your guests drool.
Texas brisket ingredients:
-1 whole beef brisket of about 12 pounds
-Your favourite steak rub (personally, I prefer a Montreal spice mix)
-1L of beef broth
-1/2 cup of soy sauce
-1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce
Charcoal lumps (If you’re cooking the brisket on a charcoal BBQ)
Wood chips (for propane BBQs)
Wood chunks (EX : Cherry, hickory or apple, for charcoal BBQs)
Smoker box (For propane BBQ)
Presto Ribs Rack (For propane BBQs)
Texas Brisket Instructions:
Start the recipe with an entire beef breast of about 12 pounds. This is commonly known as “beef brisket”. A beef breast usually weighs between 10 and 16 pounds, but its weight will only influence the cooking time. If you have a piece between 4 to 6 pounds, it’s probably the tip of the chest. (By the way: the tip is the part used to make smoked meat).
Meanwhile, an entire breast contains two parts: the tip of the chest and the rest (separated by a layer of fat). The final result is when the whole brisket is cooked to perfection, and these two muscles will come off very easily from one another.
The one thing that you have to be very careful about is to ensure that the meat doesn’t dry up during cooking. That’s why the injection is much important. Using a rib-like carrier like the Presto BBQ will also help tremendously. For a juicier result, one should cook the whole breast.
You may start by mixing the beef broth, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. You will then inject your breasts with the mixture, pricking well in the center of the meat piece. Each square inch of meat should be injected so that all the meat is saturated with flavour and juice.
Once you’ve injected the brisket quite well, coat your meat with your favourite beef spices. As far as I’m concerned, I like to use a Montreal spice mix designed for smoked meat and steaks. Coat it well. Then, just cover the piece with plastic wrap and let it marinate for two to four hours. The piece being huge, you will not dehydrate your meat. The dry marinade will only create a crust that will help retain the juice.
You really want that perfect smoked Texas brisket? Let’s go then.
Preheat your smoker to 250°F. Place your beef brisket on indirect cooking and cook for about five hours, until you reach an internal temperature of 160°F or until you can see the desired crust (“bark!”) . Once this internal temperature is reached, you can leave your beef brisket in the same place and let it cook for another three to five hours (depending on the weight of the “brisket”). The most important element is to reach an internal temperature of 195°F minimum inside the meat.
If you are in a hurry or do not want to finish with what could possibly turn into a dry beef brisket, wrap it in aluminum foil as soon as it reaches 160°F. This way, the “brisket” will continue to cook and bathe in a high humidity environment, leaving you more room to maneuver. Again when a brisket is wrapped in aluminum foil, a minimum temperature of 195°F must be achieved. Another way to know it’s cooked would be to simply reach a point where the thermometer enters the meat like a hot knife in butter.
Place your beef brisket in the Presto BBQ. It’s the perfect accessory to turn your traditional BBQ into a powerful smoker. I recommend to put beef broth or beer at the bottom of the Presto aluminum dish. It will increase the moisture content in the BBQ and prevent the meat juice from collecting at the bottom, burn and leave a bitter taste. Preheat your BBQ to 300°F, place your wood shavings in a chip tray in the BBQ, and wait for smoke to escape. Once you’ve got smoke, place your Presto dish (with the “brisket”) in the BBQ and close the lid.
Allow to smoke for two to three hours, refilling wood chips as needed. Once the meat temperature reaches 160°F, place the Presto lid over it and close back the BBQ. Continue cooking to reach 195°F. Remember, the poking with the thermometer should be like a hot knife in butter!
Once the meat is cooked well enough, let it stand in a dish or foil for at least an hour. The meat will continue to slowly cook a little more and the collagen in it will melt, making your beef brisket softer and even juicier.
Some tips for a perfect “brisket”:
– Cook your Texas brisket with the fat side down! The fat will protect your piece of meat from excess heat during cooking, while making a final result much more beautiful.
– You can work your brisket to remove excess fat on the surface, leaving a thin coat. However, you do want to lubricate the chest during cooking. Removing fat on the surface allows for more meat to be in contact with spices. Fat chunks covered with spices will eventually sink to the bottom of the BBQ and will not give flavour.
– Make sure you have enough coal or gas! Cooking an entire beef breast can be very long, sometimes up to 12 hours. You won’t be too happy if you’re out of fuel before it’s ready.
– You can cook it between 225°F and 325°F. The lower the temperature, the longer it will take, but the meat will hold more moisture making it juicier!
– Once the meat has had a bit of time to cool, you can brush it with spicy BBQ sauce and enhance it!
– The injection makes it possible to marinate the meat without having to wait. If you do not have a syringe, marinate the meat for at least 24 hours with the marinade.
Have a great BBQ!
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