Barbecued Beef Brisket!

Yeah, that’s ringing a bell, too.

I was going to say, you must get smaller packer cuts. The one I cooked yesterday was a monster; it barely fit in my 22" Weber kettle grill.

I see your rub is more involved than the Texas-style ‘dalmation’ salt-and-pepper rub. I tend to agree. I went with a simple dalmation rub this weekend because I was sticking closely to the video, but I’ve used rubs with many more ingredients on brisket flats in the past, and I will do so with briskets in the future. Nothing wrong with a little more flavor from garlic powder, cayenne, a little thyme and oregano, etc etc. But I tend to go a little bit ‘mad scientist’ with my rubs, so it was a good exercise to keep it simple this time, I guess.

Two things: 1) My rubs change from smoke to smoke. I have some basic standards, but no set recipe, and I have done straight-up Dalmatians.

  1. There is some controversy over whether the famous brisket places really do just use a salt-and-pepper rub with absolutely nothing else and it seems Texas pit masters are a little cagey about that.

You can come to your own conclusions:

ETA: Oh, and read the pinned comment for a recipe there.

Very interesting video, thanks!

(Also, I was amused that I had just said I’m a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to spice rubs, and the video is by ‘Mad Scientist BBQ’. My kind of BBQ channel!)

I usually start with Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning as a base and add to it, but I definitely want to try the Lawry’s technique now.

Could I do a packer vertically in my electric smoker?

Yeah, I don’t know where that got started. I started helping my dad when I was a tot, and even way back then he was using more than salt+pepper. I’ve used either Angelo’s rub or made my own approximation.

Hmm, the only problem I foresee with that is usually one end of the brisket is ready to fall apart by the time the other end is done. The fat cap slides off easily on my briskets. By the time it’s done, the fat cap has basically got the structural integrity of jello. Do you mean to hang it in the smoker?

This reddit thread discusses the salt & pepper orthodoxy. TLDR: Lawry’s:

The interesting bit for me is the pickle juice. I know that people use it in chicken brines – haven’t heard about it for brisket. Looks like the notes in the Youtube video mentions mixing it in with the mustard for the coating to help the rub stick to it. I guess the dill aspect of pickle juice would impart a reasonable spice/herb accent.

It was a pretty ill formed idea based simply on the fact that vertical is the only orientation a whole packer uncut would fit in my smoker. I could cut it into flat and point but heck I could just buy a flat and a point and smoke them on different shelves at the same time too.

Not sure if there is a gain to figuring out how to do it whole even. Is there?

That said I was at first imagining a stand for it, but yeah, maybe running a skewer a third of the way down and putting that across the middle shelf supports would work?

For the wrap portion I’d switch over to the kitchen oven.

Would you even be able to tell it was there? It seems to me like that would be a homeopathic dose on a smoked brisket.

Yeah…that’s what I’m wondering. For those sensitive to dill – and there seem to be a lot of folks out there I’ve met that are – I suspect it’s enough to trigger their tastebuds. I only do a mustard rub myself.

Jet-Net meat netting and hang it?

Well, when I used to use barrel smokers with a water dish, I would fold the fatty, thick end over the less fatty small end and call it a day. They were delicious. Some of my favorite briskets were done that way.

Yeah, after about 10 hours of tending a fire I’m exhausted and probably mildly drunk. I’ve had briskets rarely take 18 hours to properly finish. After that time, I’ll wrap it in foil and set it in an oven set to 220F and go take a nap until the thermometer says I’m done and throws its alarm (207-210F internally these days) 225F is really my target smoker temp these days, it was 210F when I was young and crazy. The briskets were probably better when I was young and crazy, but that took a bunch of attention and time. I should probably get an electric smoker and see if I can match my old smokes without having to keep an iron hand on the intake/exhaust and fuel.

But then again, would I feel as satisfied at the end? Maybe I’ll borrow someones electric smoker and see how bad it really is.

I typically just get a whole brisket, trim a lot of the fat off, and then put it fat side down in the WSM. I haven’t had it that long, so I’m still learning. I’m using the Minion method, but I’m thinking I may start using that snake method.

Wood-wise, I prefer oak and lots of it. My tastes tend toward the Central Texas/East Texas very smoky. I have a big pellet smoker, and it does a fine job on everything BUT brisket, which it can’t manage to put enough smoke on, no matter how many smoke tubes, etc… I put in it. So I got the WSM, but I’m still in the process of learning.

Cooking techniques… smoke it at 250-300 uncovered until it stalls, then wrap in the pink butcher paper and keep on going until the internal temp is around 203. It’s generally in the 10-12 hour time frame.

Fat side up for self basting!

I tend to find that the underside dries out, even if I’ve got the water pan full, so I put it fat side down.

Yeah, I used to be a ‘fat side up’ disciple too, but in another BBQ thread here on the SDMB there was a debate on which was better, and a pretty compelling case for fat-side down was made. Though I don’t remember the exact details and do not feel like sifting through multiple BBQ threads to find it right now, I think the main points were something like: one, fat running down the brisket interfered with proper bark formation; and two, the fat does not permeate the meat at all well enough to baste it. The interior rendered collagen provides plenty of moistness if properly cooked.

I’ve got a Traeger, like yours it imparts a lighter smoke flavour which I’m not unhappy with.

The last whole brisket I made had a 36 hour brine before going on, using pretty much the same method as yours including wrapping at the stall, was deliciously moist.

I personally found it doesn’t make a lick of noticeable difference. (I usually do up so the fat doesn’t stick to the grates.)

Too hot and too fast for my personal tastes. But, I am absolutely not the guardian of good taste. I shoot for around 225. After it’s had about 10 hours and I’m tired, I’ll wrap it in foil and move it to a 275 or so oven and nap while it finishes. Unless I go overboard with the rub, they’re pretty much my favorite briskets.