Saturday, September 6, 2008

Barbecued Brisket

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.
barbecued 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.
smoker box
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.
barbecued brisket
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.
barbecued brisket
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


Shaheen said...

I can taste the meat. Looks positively delicious!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

The brisket looks juicy, tender, and just plain delicious! I would love them on soft white rolls. Yummy!

I should get out of those grill-top smokers. It's cool!

Anonymous said...

My hat is off to you both!

The chili rub started to make my mouth water, sounds so spicy and I'm sure it worked well with the smokey flavors. I haven't had a good brisket since I moved away from Austin TX.

The brisket looks SO good ... granted, I'm sure the fatty layer would have put this through the roof but now you have excuse to make it again soon. :-)

Nikki @ NikSnacks said...

I've never made brisket (that I know of) I just don't buy too many hunks of meat for grilling or smoking.

It looks as if Matt has begun to master the brisket.


Joe Horn said...

Looks great. I just did a brisket in my Weber Smokey Mountain and it was a crazy day. It did turn out great though. I has also did a pulled pork not long before.

Great job and nice pictures.

outdoorgriller said...

That sounds good I have never cooked with wood chips before I heard it adds a smokey flavor to it.If you left the layer of fat on you could slice the sides so that they dont curl can find some helpful tips and recipes at

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, that is one delicious looking hunk of brisket! Low and slow is the way to cook it, like ribs...Hubs did himself proud with this! :)

grace said...

would you just look at that ooze? good googa mooga. totally worth the time involved, i'd say. :)

MrOrph said...

I'd say Matt passes with flying colors!

Don't wonder about the "point" (the cut with the fat), get urself one. Try Whole Foods or have your local butcher get you one. You really have to try it. The juicy-ness of the brisket triples ten-fold! :-)

Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

the brisket from Costco come with fat on one side

I make my beef brisket in the oven, that'll be next weekend

got pork butt in there today for pulled pork

love it all

giz said...

What a piece of work that was - not so much in the prep but in the tending. WOW!!! Brisket is such an overlooked cut of beef - it's absolutely mouth watering. I have a single girlfriend who is convinced she can find a man with a good brisket. :)

DocChuck said...

Great post and wonderful photos!

It "don't get no better" than barbecued brisket.

Thanks for sharing your success.

DocChuck and wife, Doctor E.

DocChuck said...
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DocChuck said...
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