Marquette, MI – January 6, 2020 – Every January I go on a weight cut after the fall and holiday seasons hit hard. I become very disciplined in what I eat and the amount of calories I take in. That starts today for me, so over the weekend I decided to have a going out feast weekend.
What better way to go out than with your favorite food? That was my mindset, and my favorite food is brisket. If done right, there is no better cut of beef for barbecue than the brisket. I had never done a brisket by myself leading up to this, so it was either going to be a big hit, or a massive fail (spoiler: it was a hit). So here is how I did it, step by step.
Knowing I didn’t want to fire up my big offset smoker, I decided I was going to do this cook in my 17″ Weber Kettle. So I went and picked up a 10lb brisket, which ended up being mostly the point (fattier part of the brisket) and that was OK with me.
Once I got the brisket thawed, it was time to trim. I won’t go into the details of trimming, but you have to do quite a bit of it to cook your brisket properly. I then created my own rub (1.5 parts course black pepper, 1 part kosher salt, 0.5 parts celery seed). I then coated very generously on both the meat side and fat cap side, and well as the sides of the brisket. I then put it in an aluminum pan, covered with wax paper, and let that sit in the fridge overnight to let the rub soak in – it is also known as a dry brine.
So on Saturday I woke up, brought the brisket out, and got my kettle fired up for some smoke. For this cook, I went with the snake method for the charcoal, and added some pecan wood chunks to get good smoke rolling over it. Once the kettle was up to temp at 225, I put the brisket on at 7:30am.
The kettle held 225-250 for a good 3 hours before I even looked at the brisket, and then I decided to spritz the meat with a half parts apple cider vinegar and half part water mixture, and continued to let it roll. Once the brisket reached its stall at 160 degrees internal, it was time to wrap in foil for the Texas Crutch. From here, things got a bit dicey.
It took a while for the brisket to break through its stall, and the kettle was starting to run low on fuel. The brisket finally started to come up to temp, but after about 3 hours after wrapping, the kettle was out. I had two choices, either put in more charcoal (for a 3rd time) and waiting for the kettle to come back up to temp then heat the brisket again, or put in the oven to finish it. I chose the latter since it was wrapped and didn’t need any more smoke.
I finished the brisket in the oven, bringing the internal temp to about 196 degrees. I then cut the top of the foil and put into a cooler to let rest. YOU MUST LET A BRISKET REST. If you start slicing immediately after you will lose all of the juice and the brisket will come out dry.
After starting at 7:30am, it was finally time to eat at around 7pm. The brisket to go along with skillet cornbread, baked beans, and homemade slaw, made for quite the feast. And then Sunday with the leftover meat, you know I had to make burnt ends.