Brisket has always been a challenge of mine. Sometimes it’s too dry or too tough, but I finally found a good technique helping me make the Best Brisket Ever.
To make the Best Brisket Ever, here is what you will need:
- 12-15 pound full packer brisket including the flat and tip
- KosmosQ Reserve Blend Brisket Injection (or another injection)
- Distilled water of beef broth for injection solution
- Unwaxed pink or brown butcher paper
- ½ cup white grape juice
- Croix Valley Foods Cattle Drive and All Meat rubs (or your favorite rub)
- Barbecue sauce of your choosing
- Oak and Apple Wood Chunks
First thing you will need to do is about 36 hours before you smoke your brisket is to trim the packer brisket. I like to trim down the fat to about 1/4” but make sure you don’t over trim the fat in between the flat and the tip. This will provide some much needed moisture.
Once the brisket is trimmed, prepare your injection. For the KosmosQ, I used ¾ cup of the dry product mixed into 2 ½ cups of beef broth. Once the solution is made, use your injection tool to inject the brisket. What works really well is to think of the brisket like a big grid or chess board with one inch squares.
Fill up the injector and inject ever one inch or so diagonally in to the brisket. You will want to go in to the middle of the brisket with each injection and slowly release the solution as you draw out the needle of the brisket. A really good technique is to cover the brisket with a wet paper towel, so that you’re not spraying the injection solution unnecessarily in your kitchen or even your eye.
Once the brisket is fully injected, you will then want to put the brisket to sleep overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning or about 24 hours before your smoke, take the brisket out of the fridge. You will notice that some of the injection solution has leaked out, but that’s okay. It’s supposed to do this. Simply pat dry the brisket with a paper towel.
Next apply your rubs. For me, I fully covered my brisket with the Croix Valley Cattle Drive and then dashed a little of the Croix Valley All Meat on the top of the brisket. Once you think it’s seasoned enough, put your brisket back in the fridge for the next 24 hours or until smoking time.
As for smoking, set up your smoker indirect for 225 degrees. Once your temperature has stabilized, I like to use four parts of oak to one part of apple. Personally, I love smoking with oak as compared to mesquite or hickory. But adding the apple gives it just the right touch. So for this big brisket, I ended up using four large chunks of oak and one large chunk of apple.
Insert your meat thermometer in to the brisket and I typically insert my thermometer in to the flat portion of the brisket as sometimes cook faster than the tip and I don’t want to over cook the brisket.
After perhaps 10 to 15 minutes of letting your wood chunks burn and the “blue smoke” is gone, throw your brisket on to the smoker. You’ll want to smoke your brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of approximately 170 degrees, which should take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours for this large packer brisket. The smaller the brisket the less time.
Once the internal temperature has reached 170 degrees it will be time to wrap your brisket. When it comes to wrapping brisket, some people prefer aluminum foil, but I’m thoroughly convinced that unwaxed butcher paper is the way to go.
The butcher paper will come in a long roll that is about 18 inches in width. Simply take two 4 foot sections and make a “X” or a “+” on your counter. Place the brisket in the center of your butcher paper and begin folding the paper. First with the layer closet to the brisket. But before you completely fold the first layer, take the ½ cup of white grape juice and pour that on top of the brisket. Finish wrapping the brisket entirely and place the brisket on to a cutting board.
Depending on how well you wrap the brisket in the butcher paper, you should not have any of the white grape juice leaking out. But if you do, that’s okay, that’s what the cutting board is for.
Next, bring your brisket back to the smoker and place on the smoker. Take your meat thermometer and inside through the butcher paper in to the thickest part of the brisket, which will be your tip.
You will continue to smoke your brisket until the internal temperature reaches at least 190 degrees. My preference is to have the brisket reach 205 degrees. I’ve just found that 190 just isn’t quite right and 205 is dynamite. While I prefer to hold off on my barbecue sauce, you can open up the butcher paper and apply barbecue sauce to your brisket. If you do so, simply add and wrap back up for the next step in making my Best Brisket Ever.
Lastly, once your brisket has reached 205 degrees, you will then want to wrap your brisket in a beach towel and place the brisket in to a cooler until it is ready to serve. Ideally, you would like to have two to three hours of resting in the cooler. This will really allow for the juices to continue to break down the brisket even further to make the juiciest brisket you might ever have had.
So for me, this technique made my Best Brisket Ever. Once it was ready to serve, I opened the cooler and it was amazing to see all of the steam rising out of the cooler. I lifted the brisket out, unwrapped it from the towel and butcher paper. The butcher paper was soaking wet and the brisket was moist and juicy. Drain off the juices if you can in to a pan or cup as you’ll want to perhaps pour that back over the brisket once trimmed and sliced.
Before slicing and trimming, if you haven’t done so already, here is where I like to put a little bit of my favorite barbecue sauce on top of my brisket prior to slicing. I found that the brisket is so moist and juicy that I really didn’t need the sauce, it’s just a nice added touch.
Finally, you’ll need to separate the tip from the flat. Simply run your knife along the v-shaped notch of where that large fat cap was you should be able to easily separate the tip and flat like a hot knife going through butter.
Slice the flat against the grain for traditional brisket and then I like to trim the tip and cut the tip in to ½” or 1” cubes. You can either put these cubes back in to the smoker with some barbecue sauce to make burnt ends or simply serve them up for your guests right away. My preference is to eat them right away.
So there you have it. My Best Brisket Ever. Total time was 12 hours. It’s oh so good and I hope you enjoy.