Monday, August 31, 2009

Steve Raichlen's Barbecued Brisket

This is a picture of our grill, though it also has a smoke box on the end. It takes up more than half our deck, but it has a burner, a gas grill, a charcoal grill, and a smoker. We love it. We've only had gas grills in the past, but now we really only use gas when we are grilling for lots of people and need the space in addition to the charcoal side. The smoker is awesome: we've made smoked turkey, brisket, and pulled pork. Pictured above is Steve Raichlen's smoked beef brisket. His book, How to Grill, is a fantastic resource for all kinds of grilling - everything we've made from this cookbook has been 5 stars.

We barbecued Texas-style brisket a couple of weekends ago. It's a great thing to do when the weather is nice and you don't mind being outside all day. Actually, you really are in and out once an hour; it's not that difficult, but for brisket to turn out well you need to cook it low and slow. Brisket is a cheap cut of meat and will turn out tough and flavorless if you rush it. Try to choose a brisket with a layer of fat on the bottom to keep it from drying out. Serve with rolls or toast and barbecue sauce.

Barbecued Brisket

Main Ingredients:

1 trimmed beef brisket (5 to 6 pounds), with a layer of fat at least 1/4-inch thick
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mop Sauce:
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup apple cider/juice/broth/beverage of your choice
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper

6 cups wood chips, preferably hickory or oak
1 aluminum foil pan (disposable)


1.Rinse brisket under cold water, blot dry. Combine ingredients for rub. Rub onto both sides of brisket. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight; if you don't have time, it's okay to start right away.

2.Soak wood chips in cold water to cover for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Combine mop sauce ingredients in a glass bowl; stir well. Set aside.

3.Set up the grill, gas or charcoal, for indirect grilling. Pre-heat gas grill to high, place wood chips in a smoker box or small aluminum pan. Set in lower left of grill under the rack. When you see smoke reduce heat to low. For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-low coals around a drip pan that is placed in the center of the grill. Place 1/4 of the wood chips over the coals. During cooking you will need to add fresh coals and 1/2 cup woodchips every hour or so. Keep the temperature around 250 degrees.

4.Place the brisket, fat-side up, in an aluminum foil pan and place in the center of the hot cooking grate, over the drip pan. Add 1-cup water to pan to start. Cover grill. Open vents slightly on charcoal grill. Baste the brisket with the mop sauce every hour. Plan for 1 hour cooking time for each pound of brisket, but use a meat thermometer for best results. (Cooking time will depend on size of brisket and heat of the grill.)

5.When brisket reaches an internal temperature of 160F on an instant-read meat thermometer (after 3-4 hours), remove it from the grill; double wrap in foil, leaving an opening at top so you can continue basting. Return to grill. It is finished when it is tender and reaches an internal temperature of 180F to 190F. Transfer brisket to a cutting board, let stand for 10 minutes.

6.Thinly slice across the grain with an electric knife or sharp caring knife. Put slices on a platter and pour pan juices on top. For extra flavor, add a little ketchup to the pan juices. Serves 10 to 12.


Alison... said...

That grill is amazing looking - wow.

You must grill a lot to have gotten that thing.

You're a true Southerner now that you know how to make bbq brisket!

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