smoking a brisket

How to Have a Savory Experience Smoking a Brisket

Smoking a brisket is one of the greatest ways to enjoy this cut of meat where all can enjoy the smoky flavor after hours in the smoker. We all love the taste of a perfectly smoked brisket, with that smoky flavor that entices us to devour it. When the aroma reaches us, of that smoked meat, it brings back memories of great food and even better company.

Learning About Briskets

If you have never smoked brisket, you will need to know about the cut of meat and how to smoke it for a delightful meal. There are several methods of smoking a brisket. Some of these methods are smoking on charcoal, wood, wood pellet, gas, electric, oven, or Dutch oven(large). Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages.

Before you begin to smoke a brisket, have a grill large enough for the size brisket you are smoking. If your grill or smoker is too small, you will not be as successful in smoking a large brisket. You need room for the smoke to circulate in the chamber for cooking.

Select a brisket large enough for your guests but not so large that you will have very much waste. Your smoking prowess will be on full display, the results won’t disappoint.

Trimming Your Brisket

When smoking a brisket, you will need to trim the fat cap to 1/4 inch thickness for it to render into great additional flavor. This is a necessary step in having a savory, tender brisket. With the fat side up, take your filet knife and trim the fat off, leaving 1/4 inch fat. The remaining fat will help you in several ways, first, the fat as it renders down will help flavor and tenderize your brisket. Another way it helps you is by helping your brisket stay moist.  Placing a pan of water or a solution of fruit juice and water will also help keep your brisket moist. I use a solution of equal parts apple juice and water.

To achieve the flavor I enjoy most, I apply my dry rub for a minimum of four hours to allow the rub to penetrate and flavor my brisket. The longer you leave the rub on before smoking helps season your brisket to perfection.

Using Charcoal Or Wood

My preference for smoking a brisket is using charcoal made from hickory or mesquite. I have found the flavors to be to my liking. You have other options as well, people also use wood chips for a flavoring now, some of them are pecan, apple, pear, peach, or cherry.

The fruit woods burn more quickly than hardwoods such as hickory, mesquite, or post oak. As a result, you will use more of these woods than hardwood. A simple trick to lessen the amount of wood or chips is to have a hot bed of charcoal briquettes as a base. Your temperature will stay consistent while the fruit wood or chips flavor your brisket.

You will want to check the internal temperature of your brisket shortly before you remove it from the smoker. If your internal temperature is 195F or higher, your brisket is done, remember it is still cooking when you take it out of the smoker.

Smoking A Brisket On A Gas Grill Leads To Great Flavor

smoking a brisket
Sliced Smoked Brisket

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 a minimum of four hours before placing it on the grill, this allows the seasonings to penetrate the brisket.

Remember to keep your brisket refrigerated when marinating, this helps keep it from spoiling. When you get ready to start the smoking process you need to inject liquid smoke into the brisket if you want the smoky flavor that you get with a charcoal grill.

Placing wood chips and water in an aluminum container is one way to produce smoke on a gas grill. Adding a container underneath your brisket with a solution of water and fruit juice helps keep your brisket moisturized, be sure it remains level. This method will allow you to get smoke for your brisket on a gas grill.

Some people will sear a brisket for ten minutes on each side, before placing it on the cool end of the grill. Placing a pan filled with a mixture of apple juice and water beside the brisket helps to moisturize your brisket. If you have a digital thermometer that uses blue tooth then insert it into your brisket to give you frequent updates on the temperature.

When Smoking A Brisket Watch Your Time

Even though you are smoking low and slow, you will still need to check your water/juice solution, to prevent evaporation. By checking every three to four hours you will prevent your solution from evaporation and keep your brisket tender and moist.

Using a meat thermometer, verify that the internal temperature is at 195 degrees in the thickest part of the brisket. Once you have reached your temperature take off the grill and let it rest. Resting your brisket is important for keeping the juices inside and not running out when slicing. It helps maintain that juiciness you prefer.

Smoking A Brisket In The Oven

The last method to cover is preparing your brisket in the oven. As with any other method of preparing your brisket, carefully select your brisket and trim it properly by about 1/4 inch. For additional flavor, inject liquid smoke now or just before searing your brisket. Place a small pan in the oven with a mixture of fruit juice and water to keep your brisket moist.

Set the temperature at 250 degrees place your brisket in the oven, and 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 195 degrees in the thickest part of the brisket Take it from the oven and let rest for thirty minutes to one hour before slicing.

Each method works well, and deciding upon which method works best for you, some experts say that you need to smoke a brisket for twelve hours for it to be done.

Frequently Asked Question

What is the perfect temperature for brisket?

Once your brisket reaches an internal temperature of 195F, you have reached the right temperature. You may find that when you start to rest your brisket, it may increase by 10 degrees in temperature, due to the brisket still cooking when you take it off the grill. The last thing you want is to overcook your brisket, which results in dry, chewy meat.

Great Tips Smoking Brisket

Smoking a Brisket

My Final Thoughts On Smoking a Brisket

A great deal of having a perfectly smoked brisket comes down to doing the prep. If you do a good job prepping your brisket and maintaining your temperature throughout the smoking process, you will have an amazing meal.




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