Savory brisket slow smoked on the grill, Texas style! All you need is salt, pepper and a big ol’ hunk of meat.
Summer in Texas is usually known by two things: the sweltering heat and the smell of barbecue floating through the neighborhood. Now, I’ll give up the heat any day, but take away the barbecue and we are gonna’ have issues. And while it is most frequent in the summer, I do have some friends that break out the grill weekly (and sometimes daily) all throughout the year. We just can’t get enough of the stuff. So if you are on the fence about buying a grill, go for it! I love mine enough that I’ve posted about it twice now.
Back to this beautiful hunk of meat. On a whim, I bought Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto and have read through it. (Pro-tip: put the book in the bathroom and it suddenly becomes to most-read book in the house) While it doesn’t have too many recipes, it offers a lot of tips for a first-time smoker like myself. Yes, you read that correctly. My very first time smoking and I got the most gorgeous, tender brisket I have ever had. And you can too!
The beauty of this recipe is it isn’t so much of a recipe at all. Like I said, it is literally salt, pepper and a big ol’ brisket. The true flavor lies entirely in the technique. So here are a few tips:
Smoking involves leaving your meat in the heat for several hours at a time, and while slow cooking in a crock pot can be almost foolproof, a grill is less so. First, unless you have a literal smoker, you’ll have to do like I did and offset your heat on the grill. In other words, keep your wood or charcoal on the opposite site you’ll be cooking on. Putting it directly above heat will dry it out and cook it way faster than you want it to.
Second, grab a narrow metal pan that is about 4-6 inches deep and fill it with water. The humidity will help regulate the temperature inside your grill and keep the meat from drying out.
And finally, wrap the brisket in foil and continue cooking for the last two hours. Some die-hard smokers out there may cry foul and say that it’s cheating, but honestly, it’s one of the best ways to keep the juices in. For a first timer like me, it worked beautifully.
So, dig in and keep an eye out for some upcoming posts with leftovers! Brisket is so versatile and I can’t wait to share some of those recipes with ya’ll!
Until next time. x
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- Prepare the grill. Set about 20-30 charcoal briquettes in a tall pile on the grill, near the grate. Keep the grate open slightly, and open more or less throughout cooking in order to keep the grill at a steady 250-275°F. Light about 10 briquettes in a starter or on the other side of the grill, then add to your existing pile. You can add charcoal as the others die down during cooking, but don't light them. They will ignite naturally from the existing charcoal.
- Pull out the brisket and let it sit to reach room temperature, about an hour. Then, begin trimming with the meat side up, cutting any large pieces of fat off the sides.
- Flip the brisket over to the fat side and trim the fat leaving about a 1/4" layer all the way across.
- Season all sides generously with salt and freshly cracked pepper. This will create a nice crust.
- Place the brisket on the grill, on the side without coals, fat side up. Place a narrow metal pan filled with water, about 4-6 inches deep next to it on the grill on the side closest to the coals.
- Cook for 6 hours adding coals and adjusting the grate as needed in order to maintain between 250-275°F.
- Around the 6 hour mark, remove the brisket and wrap entirely with foil. Place back in the grill for another 2 hours.
- Begin checking the meat with a thermometer. The optimal internal temperature will be between 200-210°F, though Franklin Barbecue recommends right around 203°F. Feel the meat with your hands (with gloves, of course) and it should feel soft and tender, almost bouncy.
- Remove and let it rest for 30 minutes before cutting in slices against the grain and serving.