How to Make Homemade Smoked Brisket
How to Make Brisket
Learn how to make Brisket with Walton's and Meatgistics. Read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
What Is Brisket?
Brisket is the lower chest of a beef. It is a heavily used muscle so if you do not cook it correctly it can be very tough, however, when seasoned and cooked correctly it is a great cut of beef. Brisket is most often smoked in the U.S. but it can also be boiled or roasted. Here at Walton’s, we think the only way to do it right is to smoke it! In a whole entire Brisket, there are actually two cuts of meat. First is the Brisket Flat and second is the Brisket Point. A Brisket Flat is typically thinner and leaner but has a nice fat cap to it. This is what is typically viewed and desired for brisket. The Brisket Point is thicker, fattier, and more marbled fat. Brisket Points are great for making burnt ends but not the sliced brisket that many people think of at the initial word and thought of brisket.
10 lb Trimmed Flat Beef Brisket
1 Bag Pa’s Black Bull Marinade
3.5 lb of water
Or for injecting
1 Bag of Soluble Pa’s Black Bull BBQ Soluble Seasoning
14 oz of water
Cook times will be long. Typically at least 8 hours and sometimes up to 14 or more hours. Cook times are long because we are not just cooking to 160 degrees like many other meat products. We want to cook up to an internal temperature of around 190 to 200 degrees. This is going to help breakdown the tough muscle fibers, collagen, connective tissue, and fat to make a more tender meat product.
When we cook for that long and up to a higher temperature, moisture control and creating a juicy final product becomes more difficult. This is a common point of failure for many people smoking briskets. The way to ensure you end up with a juicy and tender final product is to use a marinade, and particularly one that includes sodium phosphate to help with moisture retention. Using phosphates will greatly increase the final yield and juiciness of the brisket.
Our favorite option for a brisket marinade and seasoning, which also contains phosphates, is Pa’s Black Bull Marinade from Excalibur Seasoning. Hands-down, this is the best brisket seasoning out there. Mix .9 lb of seasoning with 24 oz of water and place in a food-safe container with your brisket and marinade for at least 12 hours. For best results vacuum pack your brisket with the marinade, this will help your marinade penetrate deeper into the meat.
Mix 1.4 oz of seasoning into 14 oz of water until fully dissolved and inject all of the solutions into your brisket making sure that you do so evenly throughout the entire cut. The other way to do this is to mix up the entire bag with a gallon of water and inject as much as the brisket will take and then use the rest of the solution to marinate the brisket in overnight. With a seasoning like this, you are not going to overseason it by injecting as much of the solution as the brisket will take. Once you are done injecting you should vacuum pack your brisket with any additional solution you have and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Once you are done injecting you should vacuum pack your brisket with any additional solution you have and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Since this does not have cure in it you are free to hold it longer in the refrigerator to try to get it to pick up even more flavor.
Thermal Processing & Smoking
Stage 1 - 140° for 2 hours
Stage 2 - 210° until internal temp is 190°
For best results, fully cool the brisket in the fridge before slicing, unless you want to eat hot immediately, then go at it quickly.
Slice across the grain into about 1/4" pieces.
Brisket can be an intimidating thing to cook for the first time but if you keep it fairly simple and use a marinade that contains phosphates or add phosphates it really is not that hard to end up with a wonderfully tasty Brisket!
- Try to get a Packer’s Cut that has “wet aged” for around 30 or so days, this will help with tenderness
- Some people will us a "Texas Crutch” wrap to avoid the stall. The stall is when the meat starts sweating and the evaporation energy keeps the meat from cooking. This is something we are familiar with as it is the exact reason that showering a cooked product for a minute and then letting it sit for a few minutes and then showering again will actually cool your product quicker than placing it in an ice bath.
- Cooking fat side up will give you the best end result as the fat will begin to render, or melt and while it will not penetrate the middle of the meat it will render along the sides.
Our recipe did not use a rub so we are not going to end up with the same “bark” that using a rub would impart. Feel free to add a rub after marinating or injecting.
Watch WaltonsTV: How to Make Homemade Smoked Brisket
I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.