When we were creating our menu for this week Matt told me he wanted to barbecue a brisket. Why a brisket I asked, I mean this is a big piece of meat for two people on top of how long it takes to cook. His answer was that cooking a brisket is a rite of passage for a guy, its one of the holy trinity of meats, pork shoulder, beef brisket & leg of lamb, a man must barbecue in his lifetime. Well, he's mastered the pork shoulder so I guess it was time to move on to the brisket.
You must be prepared to spend the day tending the grill to make the brisket the way that he did. We started with a 3 pound brisket. We really wanted one with a layer of fat left on one side but couldn't find one at the local stores. I think next time we'll have to actually order one in advance to get it butchered how we'd like. The night before Matt planned on cooking it he coated the meat on both sides with the Fragrant Chili Rub. He wrapped it up in plastic wrap & let it sit in the fridge until the next day.
11:00 am the next day: He took the brisket out of the fridge & let it sit at room temperature for about an hour. While it was sitting he was also soaking hickory chips to go in our smoker box.
12:00 pm: The grill got preheated on one side only to 250 - 300 F. The smoker box with the wood chips in it got placed over the direct heat.
This is our BBQ Cast Iron Smoker Box which we got at the hardware store. for under $10. Its really worked well for us to get a good smokey flavor in our gas barbecue.
12:30 pm: The grill is hot & the smoker box is producing a good smoke. The brisket now went into a disposable pan which is placed on the side of the grill where the burners are not turned on, indirect heat. If you have a piece of brisket with the fat on it, the fatty side should be up. Matt closed the grill cover & allowed the meat to cook for 2 hours. The smoker box was checked about every hour through the rest of the cooking process & more soaked chips were added as needed.
2:30 pm: Now he started mopping the brisket every 30 to 45 minutes or whenever it looked dry on the surface. The pan helped keep the bottom moist. He used this Fire Beer Marinade for our mop. The recipe called for a habanero chile to be added but Matt left it out for me.
Fire Beer Marinade
from Mastering the Grill: The Owner's Manual for Outdoor Cooking
2 T ground ancho chile
2 t ground chipoltle chile
12-oz beer (we used Summit Pale Ale)
1 c onion, diced
2 T molasses
1 T kosher salt
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c cider vinegar
Combine the ingredients in a covered saucepan & bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer for 5 minutes. Strain to remove the onions.
6:00 - 7:00 pm - Matt started checking the meat for doneness. It should look black & quite well done, about 190 F. Once the meat was done, he remove it from the grill & let it sit for 20 minutes. Slice it against the grain to serve. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or just the drippings from the pan.
Ok, this was an all day project but the results were really, really good, we kept picking at it while it was sitting that last 20 minutes. The meat was tender enough that I could cut it with a fork. It was a wonderful dinner last night & I bet will be even better sandwiches today. Now I'm wondering how much better it could be with the layer of fat left on?
Looking for other grilling recipes?
Dad's Memphis Ribs
Grilled Roadside Chicken Dinner
Shrimp with Honey, Lime & Mint Glaze