fifty shades of brisket

my dad’s buddy jeff loves smoking meat. so much so that a few years ago, he carted his green mountain grill all the way to my parents’ resort for a week-long stay. (each cabin rental comes with a charcoal grill, but these weren’t good enough for jeff’s plans.)

he smoked a brisket, low and slow, for like 12 hours. still one of the best meals i’ve ever had. my dad loved it so much that he bought a green mountain grill. so did my husband. and my brother-in-law.

as it was super bowl weekend, my husband and brother-in-law decided it was high time to smoke a brisket together. even though the calendar said otherwise, it’s 60 degrees here in st. louis and that means grilling weather.

my husband got a 13-pound brisket from costco and cut down the fat cap to 1/8 to 1/4″ thick; he also removed all hard chunks of fat, saving some of the fat cap to use later. he rubbed it with 1/2 tsp. crushed sea salt per pound, wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it dry brine in the fridge overnight.

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trimmed brisket, post-brine and post-injection.

the boys injected it with a mixture of low-sodium beef broth and room-temp coffee  (3:1 ratio) and transferred it to a clean plastic-wrapped baking sheet and then rubbed it with my husband’s version of the big bad beef rub.



brisket 2

they applied the rub to both sides of the brisket, wrapped it up tightly and chilled it in the fridge for about 2 hours.

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the brisket went on the grill around 10 p.m. saturday night at 225 degrees, fat cap up. cooling racks above it held the trimmed fat to keep the brisket moist throughout the cooking process.

my brother-in-law let it smoke for 1-1.5 hours per pound and wrapped it in foil around 6 a.m. to hold in moisture and help it get through the stall. the brisket was around 160 degrees at that point.

brisket 4.png
getting wrapped up in foil and put back on the grill

it went back on the grill until the temperature probe slid in without resistance. my brother-in-law started checking for this around 190 degrees. he took the brisket off at 9 a.m. and let it rest in a beach towel-lined cooler for a few hours.

when it was time to eat, the boys took it out and sliced it against the grain.

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every piece of meat is different, and it’s hard to know how fast or slow something is going to cook on the smoker. the best rule of thumb is to constantly check it and check it some more.

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andrew's big beef rub

  • Servings: about 1/2 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 3 Tbs. ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. ground coffee
  • 1 Tbs. granulated white sugar
  • 1 Tbs. dried roasted onions or onion powder
  • 2 tsp. mustard powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cayenne

1) mix the ingredients together in a bowl.

2) apply the rub in advance; some people like to apply it the night before, but most molecules in the rub are too large to penetrate more than a fraction of an inch. the rub is mostly a surface treatment for flavor and bark. this means you can apply the rub just before cooking if you want. moisture and oils will mix with the rub, heat will work its magic on them and all will be wonderful. spread the rub generously on beef brisket, and not so thick on other, thinner cuts.

until next time,

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