10 Tips for the Best Brisket
Brisket is the white whale for many pitmasters. Difficult to master and very time consuming to cook, brisket is a meat that every BBQ lover wants to learn how to cook well.
We collected some tips and tricks about the craft from our grilling experts and ambassadors, so we can help you learn how to cook the best brisket.
Point or Flat
The choice of brisket is typically up to the preference of the pitmaster. The point offers higher fat content throughout the cut, while the flat is much thinner, leaner and has less fat content. Choose according to your personal preference, in terms of what you'd like your final product to be.
We Want the Fat
A good marbling on your cut of meat ensures it will melt and render throughout the cooking process, creating an overall moister final product as well as a nice, crisp bark, which everyone loves. Consider this when choosing both the grade and cut.
We know, we know, the fat is where the flavor is. Although the fat and a decent marbling is desirable, it's a good idea to trim some off the fat cap on the top of the brisket to ensure that it cooks evenly throughout. We recommend trimming it until it's about 1/4-inch thick.
Many pitmasters agree that salt and pepper is all you need to bring out a brisket's natural flavor, while some add garlic and others use entire rubs. Ultimately, it's your choice, but don't hesitate to experiment with different flavors and find out what you like! Whichever you choose, be sure to generously coat the entire brisket as you prepare it for the smoker.
Low n' slow
There's something so therapeutic about an all-day smoke. Get prepared because that's what you're in for when smoking a brisket. Keep the temperature between 225-250°F. There's no rush, and it gives it time to develop moisture, tenderize and develop the perfect bark. You won't regret it!
To Wrap or Not
Some pitmasters swear by wrapping their brisket to lock in moisture or to stop the smoke intake of the meat, so the flavor isn't overwhelmingly smoky. If you're concerned about the stall elongating your cooking process too much, then we would say definitely wrap it, but if you have time to work through the stall, then it isn't necessary. Just be mindful that the longer your brisket remains on the smoker, the more smoky flavor it will absorb.
Let It Rest
After being in the smoker for so long, the juices in your brisket will need time to redistribute evenly amongst the meat, ensuring tender, moist results. It's a good idea to let it rest for an hour at minimum to ensure you don't lose precious juices from cutting too soon. Some pitmasters will even let their brisket rest wrapped in a cooler with the lid closed. However you choose, keep in mind this step is just as important as the cooking process itself.
Slice it Right
It's important to remember that when you're slicing your brisket, that you should do so against the grain of the meat. This will ensure a nice tender bite. Failure to do so will result in a tough and straggly texture. Pay close attention to ensure you'll reap the delicious benefits of this smoke that you worked so hard to accomplish.
Practice Makes Perfect
If this is your first time smoking a brisket, understand that it's a tough and lengthy process, and all pitmasters were a beginner at some point. Learn from your mistakes and pay attention to what things worked and what things didn't. Your process and technique will only improve with time.
Enjoy and Experiment
The best part of smoking a brisket is of course, eating it! Be sure to bask in those delicious results and experiment with different dishes. We know it'll be amazing on its own, but consider making a classic brisket sandwich. We've also seen brisket hash and brisket mac n' cheese. The possibilities are endless!