Monday, July 20, 2015

Smoked Beef Brisket Texas Style [Zack]

Aaron Franklin is a BBQ God.  People wait outside of his restaurant for 4+ hours, sitting in lawn chairs and tailgating the line.  He has his own PBS show and youtube channel.  I love how he keeps things simple, with both the recipe and the explanations of "why".  He's not one to do things the easy way, but if you own a smoker, I doubt you like shortcuts either.

This was the first time I've smoked a brisket and it turned out amazingly.  I used Aaron's recipe and it was great.  I'm a new user of the Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5" and I must say they've designed these smokers perfectly.  The heat source, water bowl, and meat are vertically aligned so everything cooks evenly and doesn't dry out easily.  I didn't have to wrap or spray this badboy with anything.  And it's super easy to maintain a constant temperature with a low amount of fuel.  I got by with 1/3 a bag of Kingsford and a few hickory wood chunks in the 10.5 hours of smoking.


Process:

Really, it's best to just watch Aaron Franklin on youtube, but I'll give you the high-level.



Pre-heat your smoker to 225F.  I lugged myself out of bed at 5am to do so.  Organize your coals using the "minion method".  This means pour unlit coals into the smoker, organize some wood chunks around the outside, and make a volcano cavity.  Pour about 12 light briquettes into the center.  The coals will slowly light from top to bottom over time, and will therefore keep the temperature constant.


Rub a brisket with a 50/50 mix of salt and freshly crack black peppercorns.  Season liberally so you have a nice bark in the end.  Place the brisket on the smoker once hits an even 225F, making sure you have a water pan to keep everything moist.


Smoke the brisket for about 10.5 hours (for 8.5lbs, times will vary).  Pull the brisket once the internal temperature reaches 190F.  Note, the temperature will "stall" at around 170F for multiple hours.  I hit 170F at around 2.5 hours and it didn't exceed 174F until about 9 hours into the smoke.

Keep that temperature constant and check the meat as infrequently as possible.  I added some home-cured bacon and homemade BBQ beans on the top rack to keep things interesting.

 

Once the beef reaches 190F, pull it off the smoker and wrap it in foil.  Let it rest for around 1 hour.

Slice it against the grain.  The grain switches about halfway through.  Again, just watch Aaron explain it.


Fend off everyone until you are finished with your presentation.  They will be dying for scraps.


Ingredients:
8.5lb of beef brisket (trimmed)
salt
black pepercorns, cracked with a mortar and pestle
however many beers you may need to stare at a smoker for ~10.5 hours

Song: Maya Payne - If Only

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