The brisket is the section of the beef breast located between the front legs. It is considered to be the toughest cut, but it can be very tender and tasty when cooked properly. Good ways to cook brisket are braising, smoking, or poaching.
There is only one basic rule for cooking brisket: cook low and slow. Whatever method you use, maintain a low cooking temperature, and the cook the beef slowly.
Brisket can be cooked using either the moist or the dry heat cooking method. This article will discuss the dry heat cooking method, which means that no liquid is used in cooking. Smoking or barbecuing are examples of dry heat cooking methods.
Preparing the Brisket
The brisket is prepared the night before it is smoked. Select a brisket which has fat that is about ¼ inches thick. If the fat is thicker, it will prevent the smoke from penetrating the meat under it. You will need to trim it down.
You can either rub the brisket with a sauce, such as mustard, or marinate it.
The marinade can be made using vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, or other acid based liquids. These can help break down the tough fibers in the brisket. If you marinate your brisket, leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
If you decide to use the rub method, massage your sauce all over the meat, making sure that all parts are covered. See to it that the sauce is not too thick. After rubbing the sauce onto the brisket, wrap the brisket in a sealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
Smoking the Brisket
You will need a smoke cooker. There are different types of smoke cookers – propane smokers, water smokers, and charcoal smokers.
A water smoker has three parts: the cooking area, the firebox, and the water pan. The water pan can be found between the cooking area and the firebox. It screens the cooking area from the direct heat and moistens the air.
The smoked flavor that the brisket will acquire depends on the kind of wood you use. In Texas, people favor mesquite.
The average cooking time per pound of brisket is 1 hour and 15 minutes in a 225 degree heat. There are many factors that affect cooking time, such as, how many times the smoker is opened, or how close the brisket is to the fire box. You need to check on the meat every 45 minutes to one hour to check the progress of your cooking.
After brisket is cooked, it needs to be sliced properly to ensure that it will be served as tender as possible. You have to cut across the grain. If you don’t, the long and stringy fibers will be very tough.
You can do this by lifting the layer of fat from the top. Look at the direction of the grain of the meat, and carve against it.