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real barbecue brisket

Recipe by
Stuart Grifenhagen
Rockmart, GA

It took me 10 years to get brisket right. But now... no body wants anything else off the smoker. Just that brisket. Especially my bride of 31 years.

yield serving(s)
prep time 1 Hr 30 Min
cook time 12 Hr
method Barbecue

Ingredients For real barbecue brisket

  • 10-12 lb
    brisket, packer cut with point
  • 1/2 c
  • 1/2 c
    coarse ground pepper
  • 1/2-1 Tbsp
    crushed coriander, toasted (optional)
  • 1/2-2 tsp
    cumin (optional)

How To Make real barbecue brisket

  • 1
    First things first. Take the brisket out of the fridge at least 2-3 hours ahead of cooking, so it can get to room temperature.
  • 2
    Get your smoker going. I use nothing but seasoned wood - oak, post oak, when I can get it, hickory, cherry, or any combination. Its just fine to use charcoal and wood chunks. Just don't soak them. Otherwise you're steaming the food. You want a bed of coals and a temperature in the smoke chamber of 225-250 degrees.
  • 3
    While the fire is getting ready, in a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients. If you don't want to use the coriander, that's fine. My people like the extra flavor it imparts into the meat, slight tho it may be. If you want to inject your brisket with beef stock or beef bone broth that's fine too. Use 1/3-1/2 cup of the rub on each side of the brisket. When its good and coated, put it in the middle of the smoke chamber. and close the lid.
  • It took me 10 years to get brisket right on my smoker. But now... no body wants anything else off the smoker. Just that brisket.
    Try and keep the temperature between 225-250, adding wood or charcoal (or both) as necessary. I don't normally go by meat temperature, but for those doing this the first time, cook the meat until the temperature gets to 165-175 (see picture). At this point, using your fingers (best tools known to man), press various parts of the meat to get an idea of what the meat feels like during the cook. Once you reach that temp, wrap the brisket. I use pink butcher paper, but you can use aluminum foil, if you don't have the paper (see it here: Put it back on the smoker, and cook until the temp reaches 203-205. Some folks cook it to 195-205. But you want as much of the fat to render as you can get without ruining the brisket (read: overcook). And I like 203-205.
  • 5
    So when its done or up to temp, take it off the smoker, put it in a roasting pan or deep dish (to catch the liquid that inevitably escapes the paper/foil) and let it rest in the oven (DO NOT TURN OVEN ON) with the door closed for about 2 hours. When you can't wait any longer, and the hungry hordes invade your kitchen, take it out of the oven, remove the paper, and transfer very, VERY carefully to a cutting board for slicing. Slice it thick or thin, whatever floats your boat. You can use some of the liquid that escaped the butt to add some flavor to your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce. Or, you can add it to your favorite recipe. Just make sure you taste the sauce after each small addition. A little goes a long way. Serve with white bread, Texas toast, or corn bread, pickles, barbecue onions and cole slaw. Or whatever you like. My family likes it all!

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