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
Last night I went through the cleaning procedure and I couldn’t be happier with the ease of the process. Remove grates, scrape the heat shield with a metal spatula and vacuum the ashes and debris underneath. It only took a few minutes and there was an astonishingly small amount of ash. After two weeks of almost daily grilling and going through 20 lbs or more of pellets the total accumulation was around one cup of ash. The pellets burn so efficiently that there is little to no residual.
@Jonathon I have used them many times and I’ve always noticed a distinct cedar character although that depends on the temps you are cooking at. To get the most of it I will soak in water for a bit and cook over pretty high temps…the wood should scorch and smolder a little bit. I’ve had a few catch on fire. lol.
When it came to cooking on the Pit Boss I wanted as low and slow as I could get away with. Due to the the size of the fish I figured the cedar would shield against any hot spots I might have and slow down the cooking process as much as possible. I doubt there was much if any of the cedar that was picked up by the salmon although I didn’t eat much of the side that was resting on the plank. The pellets I was using were apple.
@Joe-Hell Do you often cook on planks? I have tried it a time or two and never noticed a difference. Is it only supposed to be used for heat shielding?