Brisket – the process

Thanks to Dr. Dave & Saucy Joe’s blog for the guidance (and by guidance, I mean recipe, really) in making my brisket! So, here is my process with pictures:

First, you need to marinade the brisket. I used two bottles of Guinness Stout, one onion and two small cloves of garlic:

Because even the gallon Ziploc bags are too small for a 7 1/2 pound brisket, I opted to marinate in these Reynolds cooking bags.

That sat in the fridge for 24 hours. After 12 hours, I went ahead and flipped the meat over to insure that it marinated evenly.

The next morning, I took the brisket out of the bag, rinsed it off and patted it dry. It’s now ready for seasoning prep for cooking!

Before you go further, open a beer, pour it into a glass and let it go flat. Stir & shake a little to help the process. I know, you’re gasping right now but you’ll see why shortly.

This is part of the seasoning – equal parts brown sugar, dijon mustard & Worcester sauce. I actually made it the night before and let it sit in the fridge in this jar. The jar with lid certainly makes it easy to mix together – just shake!

This is what it looks like on the meat:

Then, just coat that with your favorite beef rub. Since I’ve never done this before, I went with the Fiesta seasoning brand brisket rub that I found at HEB. It’s a little bit spicier than I’d want but it had good flavor.

Once that’s all coated, let it sit an hour.

Next, it’s all about prepping the grill. I didn’t get as many pictures of this as I’d like – I have to admit that I’ve always been weak at building the fire in my grilling practices. But for some reason (maybe because I knew I had the power of Saucy Joe & Dr. Dave behind me), I had no problems this time! I probably had more coals on the grill than I actually needed, though. Regardless, it worked so no complaints here!

First thing’s first, you have to soak your wood chips. They had quite a few options at HEB and I was certainly glad for variety. I got Cherry & Pecan. I soaked those for about 30 minutes while the meat was resting after coating and I was preparing the grill itself.

I have a basic-sized Weber grill. I got a pot that’s made for cooking beans, etc. on a grill and put that on the charcoal grate. You’ll see why in a moment. Around that, about 2/3 of the way around the grill, I put charcoal down.

In the pot, I put in my flat beer (oh, okay), a can of beef broth and water. The pot is about 4″ deep & 4″ in diameter so the beer & broth filled it up quite well by themselves. This is to flavor the smoke & keep the meat moist while it cooks.

Then, using my chimney fire starter (charcoal on top, a little newspaper on the bottom – too much can suffocate the fire, btw), I started a fire but only put it over a part of the empty space I left, touching only one end of the cold coals. This allows the fire to move around the partial ring slowly, helping to control the heat during the cooking process. These are the little things you may not know that having an expert on your side (like Dr. Dave) helps with.

Put plenty of wood chips (I drained them most of the way after around 30 minutes) around both the hot coals and the cold coals. This will create smoke and add flavor to the meat. Once this is going, cover the grill and let the temperature inside get up to about 225 degrees. It took around 20 minutes or so for my grill. I measured it by sticking my meat thermometer (oh yeah, you’ll need one of those for this) in the top vent hole that’s open just slightly and letting the temperature settle. Once that happens, I put the meat on. See all that smoke? That’s what you want.

After 3 hours on the grill, only opening the lid to periodically add more wood chips, check the temperature of the meat, again using the meat thermometer. It needs to be around 160 degrees at its thickest part. Once it’s at that temperature, wrap it in two layers of heavy duty foil with a cup of water over the meat (more moisture) and either put into a 225 degree pre-heated oven or put back on the grill (as long as the grill temp is still around 225). You want to leave it until the meat temperature (still at its thickest part) is between 185-190 degrees. Nice thing about foil is you can test the temperature of meat without opening it (hint, hint).

Once it’s all done, let it rest in the foil for about an hour and you’re ready to eat. Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Brisket – the process”

  1. Cathy! That is a great blog! It looks like a complete success. I bow to your willingness to try something new. Fabulous!

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