Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brisket Experiment

Brisket...BBQ bane or blessing?  I will be honest with y'all, I have never really enjoyed my own smoked brisket.  That's not to say the rest of the diners did not like them, but I, the cook, did not.

I've never been totally clear either, on what it is, I am doing wrong, or not doing...  Normally I prefer to smoke delicious dead pig.  I get excellent results on pretty well anything pig.  I also grill a mean steak, but brisket?  Eh, how about a smoked pork shoulder instead, love?

But I love DH, and he really likes brisket.  So when he found the brisket recipe in the latest Penzey's catalog, I found myself on the receiving end of some not so subtle hints.  Thus on our trip this week to said spice store, we acquired the things listed in their employee-tested recipe.  There will be a summary of the recipe at the end of all this.
Right side wet rub. Left side dry rub.
The big brisket was unpacked and trimmed up on the edges, but not for fat removal.  The little tip brisket and its bacon was soaked in Guinness Stout for around 10 hours before the rubs were applied and it was wrapped in bacon.
Big brisket
Beer soaked little brisket
Wet rub application
Cook's prerogative!

After applying the wet and dry rubs to both briskets, I wrapped the small one in bacon.  Then I sprinkled some more dry rub on the bacon for good measure.   Things were then covered and put in the fridge overnight.

06:00 came far too soon for my taste, but DH got up with me to help start the smoker.  The goal is to keep it cooking for 10-12hrs at as close to 275F as I can manage.

On heat at 6a.m.

An hour in...
It was a slow day, basting the meat with mop sauce around every hour.  After about 7hrs on the smoker, I wrapped the big brisket in foil and let it continue, wrapped, until 5pm.    This is the results of my labors.
That's not burnt--that's spiced, blackened bacon, that tastes slightly sweet from the mop sauce.  You can see part of the "smoke ring" where the meat appears pink/red.  It came out tender, and not too dry.  The guys passed verdict on it as Tasty and Fit for Human Consumption!  Though they did think the cayenne pepper needs to be reduced down to a total of 1/2T.  I had already cut it down from the suggested 2T to only 1T, but that proved a little warm still.  I guess it all turned out ok, and the left overs (actually the entire big brisket is left overs...) are making for some tasty sandwiches for lunch today.
Next time, it's a pork shoulder--my personal favorite and probably a slab of ribs.  Perhaps I will try a simple cracked pepper and brown sugar rub.  Or maybe just sea salt and cracked pepper?  Either way, I think the Penzey's rub was good, but too complicated.

For those interested, here is a picture of the Penzey's info.  Enlarge it to read it better.


  1. You're way outta my league now! *lol* I don't cook. My husband is the gourmet in the family. I'm a dandy cleaner-upper though. *smile* The brisket does look yummy. Hope y'all had a happy Sunday. ~:)

  2. We have a smoker and have found it very tricky to use. Glad it turned out well!

  3. We use a big Weber Smoky Mountain for all our grilling and smoking meat. It makes smoking meats easy.

    One day I hope to remember to smoke cheese in the winter--(hard to do and not melt cheese).

  4. It does look good and after a few of those lagers, probably tasted great. Just sayin'...LOL


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