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There’s something almost magical about transforming one of the toughest cuts of beef into tender, rich, smokey deliciousness. Don’t be intimidated – you don’t have to be a pitmaster to smoke a brisket to BBQ perfection!
It’s finally getting to that time of the year. Fire up those grills & smokers – it’s time to get outside & do some cooking!
True BBQ is indeed an art and in no way am I master of it. I love BBQ – I love smoking & grilling – I’ll call myself a “hands on” enthusiast 🙂
I picked up a beautiful beef brisket on sale. Most people look at the price tag of a big hunk of meat and go into sticker shock. Really, though, when you calculate how many people will be fed from that 10+ pound hunk of meat you realize how little you are actually spending.
Depending where you live, you might not have much of a brisket selection. It’s often said to buy grass fed beef or the best grade brisket, but there are not always choices. I’m sure if you planned ahead, your butcher or grocer would be happy to order you a choice brisket, but plan I did not. I went with a “USDA Select” brisket and it turned out fantastic. There are also “corned” briskets. You’re not going to want that for smoking. Corned briskets are brined – save the corned briskets for cabbage & potatoes or perhaps a pastrami. I have found smaller 3-4 pound pieces of “trimmed” brisket at my grocery store. Sounds great until you look at the price – they were averaging $30 bucks. Eeeek – no thanks! Really, I didn’t spend too much more for a whole 10 pound “packer” brisket.
When it comes to smoking, temperature trumps. Use times as reference, but you’re keeping an eye on the temperatures of your smoker and the meat. There are a lot of factors that can and will effect timing. Starting temp of meat, size of meat, your smoker & setup, outside temperature and the amount of times your poking around in your smoker are a few common examples.
That being said, I’ll keep the rest simple. The biggest rule – start early, start earlier. If you’re planning on 10-12 hours of cook time add an additional 2 hours of wiggle room. I’ve heard of many meals being ruined because a brisket ended up taking 12+ hours to cook instead of 10. It’s easier to get done a little early and keep a brisket warm for a few hours than it is to have no brisket at all. Also account for the resting time. I like to let a brisket rest for an hour before cutting it – some people prefer even longer. Understand that this is an all day event and your best starting at the crack of dawn. It’ll all be worth it.
I use a simple rub on my brisket – salt, pepper, garlic powder & paprika. That’s it. Just salt and pepper will work fine, too. I let the smoker do it’s job of flavoring and serve the brisket with a good BBQ sauce.
Speaking of good BBQ sauces – man, oh man, I found a new one and I am in love. Heinz Kansas City BBQ Sauce. Heinz? The ketchup people? Yup, they make barbecue sauces too and they mean business!
So what does Heinz know about BBQ sauce? Oh, you can trust they’ve done their homework. They’ve hunted down some of the biggest & baddest pitmasters to create a sauce that defines Kansas City BBQ. Heinz Kansas City BBQ Sauce was crafted with Joe & Mike Pearce of Slap’s BBQ in, where else but, Kansas City.
This thick sauce is loaded with authentic sweet, smoky, tangy spice that we know, love & expect from Kansas City. Go ahead and slather down everything with this delicious goodness – this sauce will seriously take your BBQ game to a new level! Even better, Heinz BBQ is 100% Natural. No high fructose corn syrup, no mystery ingredients – just loaded with simple ingredients that you & I would use at home.
I swear, when you make a good brisket, it’s almost life changing. You find it hard to believe that you, little old you, just transformed that big tough piece of meat into this tender, rich, smokey beautiful beef goodness. The first bite into your BBQ masterpiece is an out of this world experience. Wow! They say BBQ is addicting – I totally get it!
Hope you all love this Smoked BBQ Brisket recipe! Enjoy yourselves, your company and cooking out! I adore Heinz Kansas City BBQ Sauce and can’t wait to check out their whole line of regional BBQ sauces!
Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂
What will you be cooking out this BBQ season?
- 10 - 12 pound beef brisket
- 4 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- additional salt & pepper
- Heinz Kansas City BBQ Sauce (approx 2 - 3 tablespoons per slice of brisket)
- Additional supplies - charcoal, wood chunks or chips, aluminum foil, digital thermometer
- The day/night before:
- Dress brisket. Trim fat down to about ¼". Remove any silverskin.
- Mix together salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder in a bowl.
- Rub meat down with spice mixture.
- Wrap brisket in saran wrap and refrigerate. Do this at least the night before - 24 hours prior.
- The day of:
- About an hour before smoking remove brisket from fridge and let rest at room temp.
- About half an hour before cooking - get smoker going and up to temp. You want to cook at about 225°.
- My smoker has a water pan so i fill that with a 50/50 mix of water & apple juice.
- Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt and pepper on brisket.
- When smoker reaches temp, throw brisket in, fat side down.
- I start with a handful of soaked mesquite chunks and add a chunk every hour of cooking.
- Smoke until brisket temp reaches about 150°-160° (approx 3 - 5 hours) Carefully remove brisket, wrap tightly in a few layers of aluminum foil, and return to smoker.
- Continue to smoke at 225° until brisket reaches 195° - 205° (approx 4 -8 hours)
- Remove brisket from smoker and rest for an hour before cutting.
- Cut meat against the grain (pay attention - there's two different muscles on a packer brisket - so the grain will run different directions on each side) Cut just before before serving.
- Slather cut slices with LOTS of Heinz Kansas City BBQ Sauce, serve and enjoy. It doesn't get much better than this 😉
- Cooking times will vary greatly. Monitor smoker temp and meat temp - use a good digital thermometer.
- Estimate about an hour smoking for every pound. Expect to add about 10-15 minutes to cook time every time you remove the lid off the smoker.
- I use mesquite wood chunks for smoking - use whatever you prefer and follow bag instructions (soaking time etc) I added a handful of chunks when starting and added a chunk every hour until I wrapped the brisket in foil. After the brisket is wrapped, there is no need to add any more wood.
- If you're new to smoking you'll find a wealth of information online. Spend a few hours researching & reading - it really makes all the difference!