How to smoke a brisket. There are a variety of ways to smoke a brisket; charcoal grill, gas grill, oven, crock pot, smoker and Dutch Oven(large). I personally prefer the charcoal grill because I do not have to add any artificial smoke to it. The first thing that you want to do is have a grill that is large enough to put the brisket on and have a cool side. You want to select a brisket that is the right size for the number of people that you are feeding. I normally choose one that is around 12 pounds. On most briskets you will have to trim off the fat cap leaving about 1/4 inch fat. I place a pan that has a mixture of apple juice and water on the cool end of the grill this helps to keep the brisket from drying out. I normally put my rub on there and let it set for three to four hours depending upon how deep into the brisket I want the seasoning to penetrate. Since I use charcoal, I stack my briquets in a pyramid base to get my temperature to 250 – 275 degrees. I then sear my brisket on both sides for about 10 minutes before I place it on the cool end of my grill. I will check on my brisket after about three hours mainly to check on the temperature to make sure that it is maintaining the desired temperature, if the temperature has started to drop the I add around ten briquets. I will check my temperature again after about thirty minutes to maintain at 250 – 275. I will then check my temperature again after another three hours to maintain temperature levels. At this point I check my apple water solution to make sure that there is still plenty there and if needed I add more to it. Now we are down to the final three hours, check your briquets one last time but add no more than seven since you are almost there. At the end of the three hours use a meat thermometer to ensure that the brisket is at 165 degrees at the thickest part. Take the brisket from the grill and let rest for about thirty minutes before beginning to slice. ENJOY THE GRILL
Gas grills are another popular form of grilling or smoking briskets. They are generally easier to maintain the temperature for smoking a brisket. As with a charcoal grill, you must select your brisket carefully. You do not want a brisket that has too much fat or to be larger than you need. You need to put your favorite rub on your brisket three to four hours ahead of time so that the seasonings will go deep into the meat. Always remember to refrigerate your meat during this time to keep it spoiling. When you get ready to start the smoking process you need to inject liquid smoke into the brisket if you want the smokey flavor that you get with a charcoal grill. Sear your brisket about ten minutes on each side then place on the cool end of the grill. You need to place a pan with a mixture of apple juice and water beside the brisket to prevent the brisket from drying out. After about three hours check the brisket and your water/juice solution to be sure that your solution has not evaporated. Three hours later you need to check your brisket again, replacing your solution if needed. Three hours later check your brisket one last time. This time use a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temperature is at 165 degrees in the thickest part of the brisket. Let the brisket set thirty minutes to one hour before slicing and serving.
One other method that I am going to cover is in the oven. Select your brisket carefully trimming off any excess fat. Season your brisket with the seasoning of choice. You can either inject the liquid smoke now or just before searing your brisket. Place a small pan in the oven with an apple juice(or any other juice) and water solution. Set the temperature at 250 degrees place your brisket in the oven, check your brisket after about four hours. Check the water level in your pan to make sure that you did not lose too much due to evaporation. After another three hours check your brisket to make sure that the brisket has reached 165 degrees in the thickest part of the brisket Take from the oven and let rest for thirty minutes to one hour before slicing.
All of these methods work well. You have to decide which method works best for you. Most of the experts say that you need to smoke a brisket for twelve hours for it to be done. I disagree because I do not like the “bark” otherwise known as char on my brisket The “bark” has known cancer causing agents to be found in it. Cooking your brisket for ten to twelve hours gets your brisket to the tear test just as easily but without the “bark”. I do not like to waste good food. Try any of these methods, I am sure that you will not be disappointed in the outcome. This is something that you will have to try for your individual taste.
ENJOY THE THRILL OF THE GRILL