Texas Beef Brisket
For 14 Person(s)
- 10 lb packer brisket (8-10lb)\
- 1/3 cup fresh ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup fine grain sea salt
- Pink butcher paper (aluminum foil may be substituted)
- Metal cup or small bowl (water pan)
- Aluminum drip pan
- 2 wood chunks of Oak (palm sized)
- 2 wood chunks of fruit wood: Apple, Cherry or Peach (palm sized)
Remove the brisket from the refrigerator one hour before you plan to prep it.
Place the brisket on a sheet of aluminum foil or large cookie sheet. Trim off any silver skin and trim the fat down to 1/4” thickness to allow the rub and smoke to penetrate the meat. Optionally, you can trim off the thinner edges of the flat, but we did not do that.
Mix the salt pepper throughly in a bowl, then apply a light coating to all sides of the brisket. You should still be able to see the meat through the rub. Leave the brisket out to rise in temperature while you are getting the grill ready.
Remove the cooking grates, light the charcoal mound on the bottom left side. You want to the embers to feed across the charcoal from left to right. Heat the grill to 225-250°F (107-121°C). Expect the cooking time to be 60-90 minutes per pound at this temperature range. The 10 lb brisket we smoked took 13 hours to get to an internal temperature of 203°F (95°F) .
Place the wood chunks at different lengths around the lit charcoal, so they will produce wood smoke over the next 3-4 hours and not all at one time. Insert the heat deflector racks and plates, add the drip pan on top of them, then insert the cooking grates.
Place the brisket on the grill “fat side down” with the thickest part of the brisket on the left-hand side. You want the thickest part over the lit charcoal and the thinnest portion of the brisket on the cooler side, since it will finish earlier.
Place a metal cup or a small metal bowl of water on the cooking grate next to the brisket to create a moist environment.
If you are using a remote thermometer, insert the probe into the thickest part of the brisket. Another option is to use an instant read thermometer after 4-6 hours of cooking, then every hour until the target temperature is reached.
Cook to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). The temperature will “stall” at 160-170°F (71-77°C). You will notice that the internal temperature will remain the same or even lower slightly for 1-3 hours. This occurs when the moisture in the meat is forced to the middle of the cut. Do not increase the temperature of the grill.
Remove the brisket and place it on butchers paper (long enough to double wrap). Remove the water bowl. Place the brisket back on the grill and cook to an internal temperature of 200-205°F (93-96°C). Aluminum foil may be substituted for the butcher paper.
Remove the brisket from the grill and wrap with an additional layer of butcher paper or aluminum foil, then wrap it in a bath towel and place it in a cooler.
Allow the brisket to rest for at least one hour to allow the juices in the brisket to distribute evenly. You can rest it 3-4 hours if time allows.
Cut the thinnest part of the flat cross-grain in 1/4” slices. You can remove the point and cut into 1” cubes or continue to cut the remaining flat and point together.
Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce and buns, coleslaw, beans or fries.
“After the Brisket” Tips
When you’re ready to refrigerate the extra brisket, place the flat pieces in the bottom of a storage container and add a little water to keep the meat moist. Point pieces go on top.
Use the leftover brisket for more than sandwiches...brisket and eggs, brisket pizza, brisket stew.