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This article will be providing greater insight into the world of Brisket. It is one of the most highly coveted pieces of meat in the barbecue realm, and I will be laying out how to smoke one.
Below is a checklist of items used:
- Offset Smoker (i’ll be discussing the differences of all the types of Barbecue Pits in later blog posts)
- Post-Oak Wood
- Kosher salt and Black Pepper
- Pink Butcher paper
That’s really all it takes. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this amazing piece of meat!
Whether you are worrying about how long it takes to smoke a brisket, what smokers to use, what temperatures to smoke a brisket on, etc. If you follow just follow my recommended list of items that I used above, you will be well on your way to obtaining an award winning smoked brisket, with this recipe.
Now about the technique… How to Smoke an Award Winning Brisket
When considering the technique on how to smoke the perfect brisket, only two things really count:
- Pull the brisket off at the right internal temp
- Hold the brisket a long enough time.
Those two data-points alone can make or break your cook. Seriously. I explained it briefly in my youtube video once I pulled the brisket off the smoker, but you have to realize that brisket is a giant piece of meat. Specifically a muscle.
Not only that, it has effectively been under constant, radiant temperature for the better part of 6+ hours. Yes, it does take a long time to smoke a brisket, and since it has been on for such a long time, the brisket is very tense and prone to losing its’ moisture.
Therefore, it becomes extremely critical to just let the thing rest!
Pull the brisket off at the right internal temperature
What does this mean? You want to make sure that when you are approaching the correct internal temperature (for brisket this is around 200-203 degrees fahrenheit), make sure that you are probing the meat to make sure it is indeed tender throughout.
Basically, it comes down to having a probe of some sort inserted into the brisket and once it ‘comes to temp’ at around 200-203 degrees fahrenheit, you then promptly start probing around the entirety of meat to make sure that it is as tender as a stick of butter.
This is common language used among the barbecue community. You want to make sure the brisket allows you to be able to stick something through it and have absolutely zero resistance. THAT is how you know a brisket is done.
You can also try to figure out your own style and feel free to reach out to me via email. There is a subscribe and contact form available to do so.
Holding the Brisket a long enough time!
Once you’ve gotten to the point where your brisket has gotten to the aforementioned internal temperature of 200-203 AND it is PROBING TENDER, you are ready to pull that bad boy.
After pulling the brisket, you have to decide where to put it. There are many different schools of thought, including just letting it sit on your countertop, putting it in an oven, or perhaps an ice cooler.
This is actually a pretty big topic which I will be delving into in later blog posts (stay tuned!). For this cook, I opted for just placing the brisket in an oven.
It makes for an easy way to not only have it simply rest for a long enough time, but you can even begin to reheat or maintain the ambient temperature if you so need it. As far as I know, there isn’t much of a difference in heat insulation between a cooler or an oven.
The End result? An Amazingly tender, fall apart brisket
The photo above is of the flat part of the brisket. The flat of the brisket is the leaner portion of the brisket, and actually interweaves with the point, which is the fatter part.
Another way to ‘verify’ if your cook came out excellent, is to grab the leaner flat portion of the brisket and see if it ‘bends’ over your utensil or finger. It should look exactly like it does above. Not only that you should be able to hold it at the tip and let it hang naturally, then be able to pull it apart with ease. This will ensure that your cook is now an award winning brisket.
For specifics on how to utilize the equipment above, stay tuned.
How to use an offset smoker
Now that we’ve made it clear the overall technique on how to smoke an incredible brisket, we can begin to explore the aforementioned equipment that I used. Let’s start off with one of the main pieces, the offset smoker.
If you’re wondering how to use an offset smoker, stay tuned to my blog series. I’ll be going into greater depth on all these bolded points. There’s just so much that can go into all these different topics, it’s really exciting!
Before getting ready to use an offset smoker for smoking a brisket, please consider the following questions:
- How to control smoker temp?
- How to increase heat in smoker?
- Where to place water pan in offset smoker?
Controlling the offset smoker temp is another important fact that many seem to think you have to consider when smoking a brisket. I personally am of the belief that truly award winning briskets do NOT need to be complicated. That means you DO NOT need to constantly worry and huddle over your offset smoker to ensure a proper, and consistent flow. Do you want to make sure the fire is burning at all times? Absolutely. HOWEVER, this can be accomplished without stressing, and should be a sigh of relief to you! Now, in case you are wondering, here’s how to control a smoker temperature:
When you approach your offset smoker, I would strongly suggest opening all the grates. That means the main firebox where your charcoal and wood reside, and the main grate where you will eventually place your glorious brisket. This will ensure a proper amount of air current to not only catch the wood on fire, but to actually heat the residual metal. Once you are able to grab your chimney starter, pour some charcoal in there and light it up. Wait roughly 10 minutes for the briquettes to light. Make sure they are glowing red all throughout, then promptly spread them into the firebox.