Confessions of a Brisket Junkie
Every year I aim to make the absolute perfect Texas-style brisket. From mesquite to apple and pecan, I’ve experimented with a variety of woods to help get that perfect smoky flavor. I’ve tried all sorts of heat sources, from charcoal to gas and even big hickory logs in the side-box of a huge smoker. Time, temp, and rubs…I’ve tried them all. Always cook it low and slow. Depending on the size of the brisket, it could be on there almost all day.
What I’ve learned through the years hasn’t changed much. A brisket is an unforgiving cut of meat. Try to cook it too fast with even a little too much heat and you’ll dry it out. You can use the “Texas Crutch” (wrapping it in foil halfway through the cooking process) to help keep the brisket nice and juicy. Whether you want to cook it fat side up or down is up to you. Some people even decide to flip it a couple of times. Just remember that every time you open up your smoker to check the meat, you’re adding more time to the back end of the cook. Resist the temptation to open it up at all costs.
I’ve had great luck with my brisket (and other barbeque) with the over-sized Weber One-Touch Charcoal Kettle Grill. It measures about 26 inches wide and it has a lot of great features that you’d expect from a Weber, like almost perfect heat control. There’s room enough for a couple full briskets to be smoked over indirect heat. It has charcoal baskets on each side, so the whole middle area is fair game for ribs, chicken, or pork butt.