Tender meat, a crunchy and flavorful bark, and an amazing smoke ring. This BBQ brisket recipe has them all. Follow pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s advice to “wow” friends and family alike!
This brisket cook is the second in a 2-part guide to smoking a brisket. Check out Part 1 for tips on everything from buying a great brisket, to trimming, to choosing the best rub.
Texas Style BBQ Brisket Recipe To Die For
In the previous installment, pitmaster Franklin walked us through the process of choosing a brisket, all the way to rubbing it with a Texas style beef rub. The only thing left to do is throw it on the smoker!
A good rule of thumb is: the more meat you’re cooking, the longer it will take. And since a brisket is quite a large cut, it needs its time. For this purpose, set your smoker up for cooking at around 250ºF. If you cook at higher temperatures, the outside will cook very fast without the core being cooked at all. Plus, cooking low’n’slow results in very, very tender meat!
But how slow is “low’n’slow”? At 250ºF, it will take about 1hr 15min per pound of brisket. Having said that, keep the temperature really, really steady, and monitor the meat’s core temperature with a thermometer probe.
Once your pit is up to temp, throw the brisket on there with the fat side up. Depending on your rig, you might want to position the brisket with its point facing towards the heat source (it has higher fat content, which acts as insulation and prevents burning). Finally, place a small water pan in the cooking chamber to add moisture and prevent dry meat.
Other ways to keep the brisket moist include periodically spritzing (with water, cider vinegar, even wine) and moping (with sauce). If your brisket looks like it’s drying out, you can try one of these methods.
(Keep in mind: when you’re lookin, you ain’t cookin! Keep checking on the brisket at a minimum, because each time you open the lid, you’re loosing heat and smoke)
Let’s talk about “The Stall”. At an internal temp of ~160-170ºF, you will notice that the temperature seems to stop rising. Don’t panic! What is happening is that the meat starts shrinking, while squeezing moisture out. Once done doing this, internal temp will start rising again. You just need to be patient.
To wrap, or not to wrap?
You might decide you want to wrap, at anywhere between 4 to 8 hours into the cook. Wrapping retains moisture and helps the meat cook a bit faster, and is a good way to avoid getting too much smoke into the meat. According to Aaron Franklin, if you can avoid wrapping it, don’t wrap, but if you have to, use paper instead of foil.
Once internal temp hits 190, your brisket should be done!
Pull it off the heat, and let it rest (still wrapped) for about an hour. This will allow the moisture to be reabsorbed into the meat.