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
Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!
Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…
I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…
On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…
As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…
I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.
I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.
I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.
Thank You Sir: