Classic Beef Brisket
Making brisket is very involved but the steps in this beef brisket recipe are fairly simple to follow. This cut needs a little attention both before and after it is placed on the grill since a lot has to happen to achieve an exceptional result. Firstly, the rub has a curing effect on the exterior of the meat and pulls out some exterior moisture. Furthermore, the flavors from that rub develop as the beef cooks while also forming a crust. Even more importantly, the fat has to render, and connective tissues must break down to achieve tender meat, but the result is well worth it. This brisket recipe features a simple rub consisting of dark brown sugar, cumin, paprika and cayenne which is complemented beautifully by the sharp distinctive flavor imparted by the use of mesquite wood.
- 1 (5-6 pound) beef brisket with a ½ inch thick fat cap, trim if necessary
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- ½ tablespoon chili powder
- ½ tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- You will also need:
- 6 cups mesquite chips or chunks soaked in water for 1 hour
- Aluminum foil pan
- 1. Rinse the brisket under cold water then pat dry.
- 2. Combine the dry rub ingredients in a bowl then apply the rub all over the brisket. At this point, you can wrap the brisket in plastic and let cure for up to 6 hours or cook right away.
- 3. Prepare a charcoal grill for indirect grilling. Preheat to low.
- 4. Add about ¾ cup of the smoked mesquite chips/chunks to each side of the coals.
- 5. Place the brisket into an aluminum foil pan fat side up. The pan will catch all the delicious juices rendered as it cooks.
- 6. Place the pan in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat and cover the grill.
- 7. Cook for 6-8 hours. You want to baste the brisket and add fresh coals every hour. During the first three hours, also replenish the wood chips with ¾ cup of chips/chunks per side. Brisket is done when it easily shreds, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers around 195 degrees F. Alternatively, you can place the brisket in a roasting pan fitted with a rack and roast in the oven for 4-5 hours at 325 degrees F.
- 8. Remove the pan from the grill (or oven) and let the brisket rest for 15-20 minutes.
- 9. Slice brisket flat against the grain then finish with the pan juices and enjoy.