I had been wanting to do brisket for a very long time, but I couldn’t find anywhere convenient to buy a whole packer brisket. But right before I was convinced I was going to have to go to a butcher, Costco decided to carry them.
Yeah, it was 20 lbs, which is ridiculous for what was essentially going to be just 3 adults, but it was USDA Prime for only $3/lb! I had no choice. I put it in my shopping cart and resolved to deal with the consequences later.
After I got home I realized I had a problem, it was too long to fit in my 18″ Weber Smokey Mountain. So I had to cut off some of the flat. (I ended up using that to make some beef phở).
Then I had to trim the fat. There was a pretty good amount to take off.
I put on a Dalmatian rub and put it into the fridge to dry brine.
The next day I fired up the smoker and got to work on the Texas mop sauce.
Instead of vegetable oil, I rendered some of the brisket fat:
I should have cut it into smaller pieces to increase the rendered fat to fried fat ratio, but there’s a first time for everything. And here’s my completed mop sauce:
The taste reminded me a lot of my mom’s carne con papa sauce or a ragu. I think a bit over 20 hours later, the brisket was finally done smoking:
I used Kingsford coals with the minion method and some hickory as the wood. I always think it’s so funny the smoked food looks burnt until you cut into it and get that delicious food. But first I had to put it in the cooler for four hours.
and then finally was able to bring it inside:
then FIRST CUT!
Here’s a look at the point where you can see muscle grains going in two different directions:
And here was my dinner that day:
A week later this is all that was left:
So, what were my lessons learned from my first brisket? Basically, I was a little too focued on getting to 203 when I should have checked for probe tender at 195 and every few degrees after that. I ended up with an overcooked (although moist, not dry) brisket that just fell apart a little too much. Overall, it was good, but I also realized I’m just not that into brisket compared to other BBQ foods. I prefer ribs or chicken. I’ll make brisket again, but only if I’m cooking for a group so I don’t need to eat 10ish lbs of brisket over the course of a couple weeks.