First attempt at smoking a beef brisket

Hello and thanks for taking time to read my latest post.  This post will be a radical departure from my previous topic but I hope it will give my readers a peek into who I am and some of my other interests.   As a regular guy, I have always had a natural curiosity.   I love learning new skills and then in turn, sharing that knowledge with others.

I am not a trained chef my any means and do very little of the cooking in my house.   I am fortunate to have a wife who is an excellent cook.  However, I do have a passion for searching out great BBQ.  For the last 8 years, I along with my best friends, have taken our annual “Mancation” in search of this nation’s best BBQ.   After eating some of the best BBQ in the world, an Applebee’s  rib plate just won’t get it for me.   The next logical step for me was to try smoking my own meat at home.

This past Saturday, I removed a “flat” beef brisket from our freezer to let it thaw.   I estimate that it was 5 – 6 pounds.  On Sunday afternoon, I rubbed the brisket down with a simple rub consisting on fresh ground pepper and sea salt.  20150906_13115820150906_131540

Many of the premier Texas BBQ joints use this same simple formula.

On Monday morning, I woke up at 7am to start my hardwood charcoal burning.  20150907_080634In addition to my charcoal, I also added some Post Oak and Mesquite wood chips that had been soaking in water.  This kicks up the smoke and add so much of the flavor a great brisket should have.   You just can’t get this type of flavor out of a bottle of liquid smoke.   I put the brisket on at 8am and then proceeded on with other household chores.  That is the beauty of dabbling with a smoker, you can still accomplish other tasks while the smoking process is going on.

It’s worth stating, my smoker is just a cheap, $50 smoker from Lowes.  Someday I hope to have a better quality smoker that is easier to control the temperature.  For now, this is what I use.  The smoker did stall once around noon.   I had to restart with a fresh batch of charcoal.   Then my problem was the smoker getting too hot.   I was shooting for 220 – 240degrees with an internal brisket temp of 195.

I removed the brisket at 3:45pm, double wrapped it in foil and then placed it in my cooler for 90 minutes.   I had read that this final process allows the meat to “rest” and become even more tender.  20150907_153038My family all loved the brisket but agreed that it was a little salty.  I gave it a 7 / 10 and overall was pleased.   However, for my next attempt, I will be more precise with my rub ratio of salt to pepper.   I don’t think I will use sea salt next time either.  The granules never really fully melted into the meat so I will use an alternate form of salt.  Lastly, the meat was tender and very moist but I do feel that the brisket could have stayed in the heat for another 45 minutes.  I think there was room for the brisket to “release” ever more allowing for additional tenderness.  I was quite pleased with the smoke ring on the meat: 20150907_162511You will see future posts from me about BBQ especially when I return from my 2016 Mancation in Nashville early next year.


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