Tuesday, October 30, 2007

World's Best Beef Brisket

Smoked brisket, sliced & ready to eat

This recipe is Greg's masterpiece, and is worth the time it takes-- but most of the time is spent waiting, not "doing," so it's not too much of a hassle. You do want to use a smoker, however. For years, Greg tried substituting a gas grill set on low heat with a smoker box, but the results just aren't the same. For this brisket recipe, you'll want to start it at least a full day before you plan on serving it in order to get the best results. In addition to the smoker, you'll need a crock pot to finish the recipe.

Prepping the Smoker: To really smoke things right, start with a pile of hardwood (oak or hickory, keeping in mind that hickory has a stronger taste). Drop in a starter-chimney full of hot coals and get the wood burning down to coals. This will take about two hours. Now drop on more hot coals and seal up the smoker until you've got the right temperature for your recipe (225°F degrees for this brisket recipe). Only then should you put the meat on the smoker. The key is to not have flame from the wood, because that produces creosote, which has a nasty taste.

1 beef brisket, size depends on how many folks you plan on feeding
A chile powder dry rub or seasoning of your choice
A rich, thick barbecue sauce of your choice, or Ole Ray's Steak & Brisket Sauce

Brisket, hot off the smoker
Liberally rub the brisket with dry rub or seasoning to coat well, and then place the brisket on your prepped smoker (see paragraph above) at 225°F degrees. You'll want to check the smoker periodically and adjust as necessary to keep it at 225°F degrees. Once the brisket is cooked through (when you can stick a fork in it and twist pretty easily), transfer it to a crock pot with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Let it sit, covered, on low heat for at least another 8 hours, but it can go all night and until you're ready to eat. When you're ready to serve the brisket, remove it from the crock pot (carefully, since it will be extra-tender) and slice against the grain at an angle to get pieces that will fall apart. Serve with a brisket sauce or a thick, rich BBQ sauce on the side--but honestly, the brisket will taste so good by itself that you really won't need the sauce!

Note: Because smoking is more of an art than a science, you'll probably want to try this recipe a few times and adjust the cooking time and temperature until you get it just right.  The outdoor temperature and humidity can also affect the smoking time and temperature. But the good news is, all of your efforts will be quite delicious in and of themselves!

Zestfully yours,

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