One of the required categories at any KCBS cooking contest is brisket, and over the years I have developed a simple method that gives me the top-quality brisket I need to win.
This is a 3 step process – You are going to smoke the brisket, then you are going to tenderize the brisket and then you are going to finish the brisket.
First, you need to start out with a 12-14 lb packer brisket (you can find one at a Wholesale Store, such as Sam’s Club or Cosco)
Next, you want to trim your brisket, remove any large deposits of fat from the point end, trim half the fat vein connecting the point and flat, but don’t trim any fat from the top.
Now you are ready for your injection and seasoning. First you want to season the entire brisket – pepper, salt and garlic will work for this. Next you want to inject the brisket and place it into a 2.5 gallon Zip Lock bag and let it sit at least 4 hours (but overnight is preferred).
For my brisket injection recipe, you can get it from my website – and the link can be found at the bottom of this article.
Once your brisket has marinated, you are ready for your first step – smoking the brisket. You are going to place the brisket on a 250 degree smoker for 5 hours. At this point, you simply need to monitor your temp and keep it at 250 but you don’t need to mess with the brisket. This is where a lot of people over-think the process and make errors. You don’t need to keep opening your smoker to “check” on it or show it off just leave it alone and let it smoke. After 5 hours the internal temp should be between 160 and 170 degrees.
Now it’s time to tenderize the brisket. You want to pull the brisket off the smoker, place it back into the aluminum pan and add 1/4 inch of apple juice or beef stock (or a combination of the two). Apply more seasoning to the top of your brisket, cover the pan with foil and place it back on the smoker for another 3 hours.
After 3 hours, check the internal temp of your brisket, it should be around 200 degrees. If it’s not at 200 internal, place it back on your smoker and re-check it every 45 minutes until you reach that temp. Once your brisket is at 200 degrees internal, take the brisket off the smoker, vent the foil on top and allow it to steam for 15 minutes.
Now it’s time to finish the brisket. You will close the foil back around the pan, wrap a towel around the entire package and place it in a dry cooler to rest for about 2 hours. This process will allow the brisket to tighten back up and absorb some of the drippings from the pan.
And now your perfectly smoky, tender and juicy brisket is ready to slice, serve and eat.