Brisket! Bob, much like Zoë, likes his meat well done...no pink. Sacrilege to me, and most other healthy meat eaters, but quite normal to a lot of English. Something about funny cows or something...
Anyway, Brisket is one of those things Bob loves. So while on our buy-all-the-meat-you-can-carry trip to Sam's Club, we also picked up a brisket. One of the first things Bob noticed was that our "brisket" looked a lot different than his "brisket". We have already made plans to revisit his butcher store on the Isle of ferret out the differences. Back to matters at hand...
I have blogged about this brisket before. It is a Cooks Illustrated recipe that my friend Dustin passed on to me. Even though CI does a great job in laying out the process, I made a few changes.
Adapted, tweaked, and taken from Cooks Illustrated
5-6 pound beef brisket, flat cut
2/3 cup table salt
1/2 cup sugar
1. Cut a crosshatch spaced 1 inch a part in the fat cap. Be sure not to cut into the meat.
2. Brine the brisket: dissolve the salt and sugar into 4 quarts cold water. Submerge the brisket and let sit in the fridge for 2 hours.
3. While the brisket is brining, soak your wood chips, or chunks, for at least an hour. I choose apple wood.
4. Prep your grill. I used the kettle and followed the same minion technique I always use for low and slow. You can find it here.
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
5. This is my favorite part. Remove the brisket from the brine and pat dry. OK, not that part, this part: Mix together your rub ingredients and then "rub" the "rub" all over the brisket. Be sure to get the rub in between the cuts you made on the fat cap.
6. Your coal is to cook the brisket at 250 degrees for approximately 8 hours. With your grill pre-heated and ready, throw a few handful of wood chips on the hot coals. Close the lid. Once the chips start to smoke you are ready to place the brisket.
7. Oil the grate with a folded up paper towel and your tongs. Place the brisket over the drip pan with the thickest side towards the coals and close the hood.
8. If you are using a traditional Weber grate with hinged sides, it doesn't matter how you place your brisket on the grate because you will have heat on both sides. If you are using a modified grate like I am, start with the thickest side towards the heat. At 4 hours rotate the brisket so that the thickest part is away from the heat. This will help to promote even cooking.
8. Remember, on the kettle you will control your heat by use of the vents. I tend to leave the bottom vent half closed and then use only the top vent for any temperature adjusting.
9. About 1 1/2 hours in I will throw on a few more handfuls of wood chips. After that, no more. I will only open the hood once more to turn the brisket and then one last time when it is done. This is where a grill thermometer is really helpful in monitoring the briskets process.
10. The brisket is done when the internal temp reaches 195 degrees. I had to yank mine off at 190 because I was pressed for time. That will happen.
11. Allow the brisket to rest 30 minutes. Mine sat 10. Once again, I was pressed for time. Cut the brisket across the grain into long thing slices. Also, steal some pieces of bark before you walk inside to serve your work. You will be glad you did.