Have you tried to cook a brisket at home and it didn’t turn out as tender, juicy, and smoky tasting as you expected? That is very disappointing. But don’t give up and pay $20 or more per pound for restaurant brisket. If you follow these instructions, you can’t go wrong!
In today’s podcast episode, my husband will give you detailed instructions for a real Texas Brisket. But for those who need visual instructions, like myself, I am going to provide that here in the blog.
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AND I share our custom barbecue sauce recipe at the bottom of the post!
My husband has studied the techniques of the pros, watched a lot of videos, including from the famous Franklin BBQ in Austin, Texas, experimented and practiced, and has arrived at a place where he feels confident about his brisket results. Watching a few videos may help you better understand this guide.
Supplies needed: Oven thermometer, Probe-style meat thermometer, Electric knife (optional), cutting board, Extra long, quality, heavy duty aluminum foil, Brisket rub of choice, Brisket, Barbecue pit big enough to place meat away from the fire.
Here is a list of the basic steps.
- Purchase a large beef brisket at a grocery store, meat market, Walmart or Costco. When choosing the brisket, look it over and see if it looks good, then fold it in half to make sure it bends easily. Check the price, and the number of pounds to be sure you get what you want.
- Depending on how much fat trimming you want to do , which can be time-consuming, you can choose different price levels of brisket. The cheapest one has the most fat. The mid range is usually our favorite. The most expensive is usually not necessary and could be overly trimmed. You want some fat for juiciness.
- Cooking time is going to be anywhere from 6 hours for a very small brisket to 10 hours for a very big one, using these instructions. Our time is usually around 8 hours for a 10 pound brisket. Some people cook them longer or shorter using other methods.
- You will need a clear counter or table to prepare the brisket. Trim the excess fat, especially the large hard chunk on one end. But leave a layer of fat so it doesn’t dry out.
- Choose your seasoning rub. My husband prefers a mixture of kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper. You can use any rub or seasoning that you like. Experiment!
- Coat the whole brisket in your rub.
- Prepare your barbecue pit. We use a barrel style pit with Kingsford charcoal and some hickory wood chips for smoke. Place the charcoal on one end of the pit so the meat will not be directly over it. Your fire is going to be at 250 degrees so don’t put tons of charcoal. You will add more briquets as the hours pass to keep it hot enough. You can also use lighter fluid to start the fire . I highly recommend purchasing an oven thermometer to put inside the pit.
- When the pit temperature reaches 250, place the brisket inside the pit and close it. Set your timer for 30 minutes and come back and check the temperature to make sure it’s not too hot or too cold. This is the important key! Keep the temperature correct. If your pit has a little door on the end, you can open it or close it to add more or less air to the fire.
- Be patient! Find something to do nearby so that you can keep an eye on the temperature.
- Watch for THE STALL. This is described in detail in the podcast, but basically the temp will stall out at around 160-170 degrees and not get any hotter. When you reach the stall, you wrap the brisket in two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Then you will need to have a thermometer that has a probe that you can stick into the brisket to check the temperature while it’s wrapped. When it gets to 195-205 degrees, you will do the POKE TEST. This is where you poke the probe in various places to make sure it goes in like a hot knife through butter. If it is ready, you will take the brisket off the pit at this point.
- Wrap the still foil-wrapped brisket in some towels and then place it into a large cooler. Wait for 2 hours while it finishes cooking in the cooler.
- Take out, unwrap, careful it will be hot! Then slice it and eat! You won’t need sauce, but if you want sauce, I’ll put a recipe below.
1 28-34 oz Bottle ketchup
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp minced dried onions
Mix all ingredients in sauce pan and heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes on low.
Leftover sauce can be stored in the ketchup bottle .