When I picture someone that makes Smoked Brisket, typically I picture a 75-year-old, storytelling, overall wearing, toothpick chewing, Southerner, wearing a dirty baseball hat and a big ol’ smile. Can’t say that I blame them. If I could get away with wearing overalls and a baseball hat, you gotta know I’d do it! When you have a big, beautiful, brisket on the smoker, honestly, what’s there not to smile about?
Good things come to those who wait!
In this case, there is no old man, no Southern drawl and no overalls to be found. I am the Pit Master! There is nothing that says a 5’10”, blonde hair, blue-eyed Oma cant be the curator of awesome smoked meat! I don’t typically subscribe to stereotypes, so I don’t know why I waited so long to throw my hat into the meat smoking ring. I can tell you though, my hat is now so far into that ring, there is no getting it out!
One of the first things required of this meat smoking business is to procure a smoker. There are all types, from homemade to high-end store bought. you can chop wood to feed the smoker or use wooden pellets. There are just about as many types of smokers as there are types of wood used to impart flavors into the meat.
I made this Smoked Brisket in my electric smoker, which uses hardwood pellets, heated on a rod to create the wood smoke. The wood is both the heat source and imparts smoky flavor. Once I have chosen my protein, I determine which wood I will use to compliment that meat. Alder is light and good for fish. Applewood is slightly sweet and pairs nicely with pork, fish or chicken. Hickory has a strong flavor that is ideal for red meat or large cuts of pork. Mesquite is a hardy wood with strong flavored smoke, so it can overpower a light meat, use it in smaller quantities or a shorter smoke time.
To end up with a tender, juicy, piece of Smoked Brisket (or any meat), you just need to understand the basics. Smoking at low temperatures (between 212 and 230 degrees), for a long period of time, is actually rendering or melting the fat. The collagen, connective tissues and tough meat breaks down, allowing the fat to be absorbed into the meat fibers, creating a tender, juicy, piece of meat.
One of the benefits of smoking meat is that it is both economical and practical. You can choose, cheap, cheap cuts of meat and because you are cooking low and slow, imparting your own unique flavors, inexpensive cuts are perfect and easily turned into an amazing meal. Smoking a large piece of meat offers you plenty leftovers for other meals and if you prefer, freeze what is left and use it when you don’t have time to get the smoker fired up. I have smoked several different types of meat at the same time, it just requires you to plan ahead and adjust the smoking times for the smaller pieces of meat. I have made Smoked Brisket, but at the same time, smoked whole chickens to make smoked chicken salad, or sandwiches. Smoked salmon to eat on my bagel or in an awesome smoked salmon cheese ball. I’ve done pork butts, for pulled pork sandwiches and quesadillas. Your options are limitless!
- 1 pound 12-14 pound Beef Brisket
- 1-2 cups Sesaoning rub of your choice I used a popular Bad Byron 's Butt Rub.
- Trim cold brisket of extra fat. I typically trim the fat layer down to 1/4-1/2 inch thick, Remove any obvious silver skin.
Liberally coat both sides of brisket with seasoning rub mix
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees using indirect heat and a hardwood smoke.
- Place the brisket in the smoker with the thicker part of the brisket pointing to your main heat source. The thicker part can handle the extra heat. Smoke for approximately 8 hours or until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees.
- Take brisket out of smoker and wrap in foil or butcher paper and seal. Place back in the smoker, maintaining 225 degrees on the smoker. Make sure to put the thermometer back in meat and continue smoking until internal temp reaches 205 degrees (approximately 4 hours).
- Remove brisket and place on large tray and let sit untouched for at least 1 hour. Do not open foil. You need to allow the juices to redistribute or your meat will be dry.
- When ready, slice against the grain with a sharp knife and serve immediately.
Choosing your wood, adding a rub or brining the meat before placing it on the smoker adds additional flavor. After that, it is just a matter of experimenting until you find the perfect combination of smoke and spices to make your Smoked Brisket a show stopper!! I hope you give smoking meat a try, it is easier than you think and no overalls required! Enjoy my friends!!
Have you smoked meats in the past? What is your favorite wood and spice combination?