Do not fear the brisket folks. I do nothing special to mine and get rave reviews. But of course there are so many people who speak of brisket as the Holy Grail of meat. I think this is because for the most part, very few people (except on forums like this one) have ever cooked a brisket outside the oven, if at all. As a whole it is an expensive piece of meat, but only due to weight. Choice packers are going for $2.18 per pound here in Texas, 80/20 ground meat goes for $3.00 a pound, I'd be better off buying briskets and grinding my on ground meat! Now of course, trimmed packers go for nearly $4.00 a pound as I am sure Angus and Waygu are much pricier as well. I treat a brisket as just another piece of meat. It has it's time frame, temps and tenderness you need to reach just as any other cut of beef, pork or poultry. I trim mine to 1/4" or so fat cap (this is where I usually start getting pissed off, when I start trimming a full packer and realize how much fat I paid for), pour Worcestshire sauce on it, then rub it the night before at least 12 hours before it hits the pit. As far as needing the fat on the outside of a brisket, I'm not sure you need it or at least all of it, a good brisket has enough marbling and fat on the inside, that this is where you get your flavor from anyway, from the strains of fat internally rendering and giving you the juicy, tender, brisket taste we are all striving for. I get the pit chugging along at a steady 250 degrees and away you go. I have always put fat cap up, but have read just as many success stories with fat cap down. Your preference. Wait a few hours, probe the meat. Once the internal temp reaches 165, put in aluminum pan with apple juice or Coke or Dr. Pepper or Jack or beer (your choice) and cover with foil. Pull off the pit when it reaches somehwere after 190 degrees internal or tenderness check with toothpick and rest in cooler with towel wrap for an hour or so. Then slice and enjoy. There is nothing special to my process. At 250 degrees, a 12# packer wil reach 205 degrees internal temp in 8 to 9 hours in my RF smoker. I have tried with and without water pans, could not tell a difference. Now on my ribs, I can tell a difference in the outer layer of meat with a water pan as compared to without, but not on a brisket.
Do not fear the brisket, enjoy it!
Edited by bruno994 - 5/6/12 at 8:19am