Amir has been dying to smoke some brisket for awhile now. When I asked what he wanted to do on his birthday he said, “I really just want to smoke a brisket.” Well, that was easy! Smoking a brisket is a very involved and lengthy process. Amir slaved over this brisket basically all day and the finished product was mouth watering-ly delicious. I mean it. I’ve never had a smoked brisket (being a NC girl we eat pulled pork when we want BBQ), and I about fell out of my chair when I tried this. So much flavor, so moist and so tender. If you’ve got the time and the patience definitely give this a try one weekend.
Here’s what you’ll need:
(For 15-20 people)
1 16 lb. cryovac brisket, cut into two 8 lb. halves
Apple juice for basting
1 C seasoning (Amir likes to use a blend of Clem Mikeska’s, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and paprika)
Wood chips for smoking (Amir likes a blend of Hickory, Apple Wood and Mesquite)
Once you’ve halved your meat, trim the fat cap to roughly 1/4 inch. Then, pat dry the meat and liberally season both sides of the beef with your seasoning blend.
Place your halves on separate racks in your smoker, making sure you have the fat side facing up. If you’re using a vertical smoker, place the thicker of the two cuts on the bottom, closest to the heat. You want the smoke to be between 200 and 225 degrees for a successful smoking. Now, the lengthy process of checking on the meat, basting and measuring the temperature begins. Let cook for about an 1 hour and 15 minutes per pound, checking and basting with the apple juice every hour.
When your brisket reaches an internal temperature of 175 degrees, remove from the smoker. Immediately wrap heavily in aluminum foil and then again in saran wrap and place in oven (not turned on). DO NOT cut the meat or open the oven for at least one hour. This will be very difficult because the smell is intoxicating – wooooooo – but, you need to give your meat the chance to rest and reabsorb all those delicious juices. This will make for a wonderful moist and tender final product. Once you’ve been tortured long enough by the brisket in the oven, take it out and slice thinly (always against the grain).