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Jul 1, 2007 06:44 PM

First attempt at BBQ Beef Brisket

I need some help with this one. I always see that huge cut of meat at the store and love to cook on my grill. I am going to attempt to make one of these for July 4th along with some ribs. Please share your experience with making this and or some recipe suggestions.

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  1. We used to use an electric smoker because it didn't need "tending" -- you just added soaked wood to keep the smoke going. What kind of smoker do you have, charcoal or electric? You need to smoke it for a minimum of twelve hours, or it will be as tough as nails. No shortcuts will work, just time and keeping the temperature at about 210. Try also subscribing to this newsletter:

    It's called the Smoke N Fire Enquirer -- by Smokey Hale. Great stuff and good tips.

    Dry rub, no dry rub, mesquite, hickory -- there are all ways to do a brisket -- but it just takes a long, long time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGC1982

      I have a barrel type H20 smoker but was thinking of doing indirect heating method with a gas (I know SIN) grill and drip pan and plenty of chips to smoke. Was gonna brine it for a few hours and braise it before direct heat. I have read many methods that is why I ask. I recently tried some from what was suppose to be the best in Texas at a local BBQ Fest and to be honest I would never have tried it had I know how terrible it was gonna be. I figure after having that I can't possible make it worse. Sorry "Cowboys" but you could have done better.

      1. re: Jimbosox04

        Brining doesn't work on beef like it deos for pork and poultry. You can brine beef to cure it like corned beef, but that's not at all what you want, I am guessing.

    2. Brisket is not a grill meat. It's tough and needs long slow cooking to tenderize.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mpalmer6c

        I would have to disagree that you cant do this on a gill because you can indeed slow cook in a grill, I have a 4 burner grill and usually put a drip pan over two of the burners that I leave off. The other side I out on low and crack the cover about an inch or two leaving the temperture in the 225 to 250 range. I add the smoker box in usually the last hour or so and have found great results with items such as smoked shoulder etc....the word grill is very much decieving in this sense...I think to many people think GRILL means to open up but burners on high....and burn away.

        Here is a good resource page describing exactly what I was talking about

      2. depending on the need to smoke the brisket for at least 8 to 10 hours. dry or wet rub....the secret is in-direct heat....if your grill is not big enough to put coals on one side and meat on the may consider doing it in the oven and finishing on the grill. but this is definately something that needs tending, moisture(i.e. drip pan with liquid), a long cook time, and in-direct heat.

        1. brining the meat will give you something more like corned beef, rather than true BBQ brisket.

          I find that unlike pork, beef should be cooked at a MAXIMUM of 225, and I prefer it in the 200-210 range. You simply can't get that low of a temp on a gas grill. If you're doing the whole brisket, it will take more like 16-20 hours. You're going to have to watch the temps, add fuel, and mop the brisket. Brisket is no joke, and I'd recommend sticking to easier fare for the 4th celebrations.

          An alternative would be to smoke a smaller portion of the brisket (the flat cut). The only problem with this is that often all the fat is cut away, so you'll have to get some extra beef fat from the butcher to put on there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Biggie

            How do you figure you can't get that temp on a gas grill ? I have 4 burners, drip pan under the 2 on the left where the brisket will sit on the one on the far right on low, 3rd one also off. I can maintain almost 175 with no problem. Keeping the drip pan full of water at all times helps to keep the temps low also, if needed crack the cover a little since you wont be smoking the whole time anyways. Where there is a will there is a way. Also, it isnt the only fare that I will be serving up for the holiday, My smoker will be full of ribs or else I would use that for the brisket.

          2. Good points made so far. If you go to Sam's or Costco, you can find a flat in the cryo, with a good fat cap, hopefully about 6-8 lbs. That will work. Gas or coals, you need to keep the heat down to 225-250 or so, indirect. The 7-lber will likely take about 8 hours, but it is done however long it takes to get to 200 internal. That's when it will get tender. Your fork will tell you the same thing. If you dry rub with a simple 2 parts kosher salt, 1 part cracked black pepper, 1 part garlic powder and a shake of cayenne, then onto the smoker, with smoke in the beginning (it absorbs best at the start, not at the end), you're on the right path. Some people will wrap in foil when it hits about 165 internal... that can help keep moisture in when the heavy collagen breaks down to liquid. GL.

            If you check out my pics on here, you'll find brisket done this way on a Weber kettle...

            1 Reply
            1. re: woodburner

              I'm kind of a purist, but I agree that brisket wrapped in foil comes out nice and tender. BBQ snobs may not agree, but the brisket has already absorbed more than enough smoke flavor, and you don't want to put half a day's worth of effort into something and have it dry out in that last hour.