I have only cooked a brisket half a dozen times and I have never smoked a brisket that I feel was "great". Only mediocre at best. Friday night I decided to try a brisket on my Lang 36 Patio Hybrid. It made all the difference in the world. Right tool for the job, as they say. Let's get started with some QView.
Here's what I started with Friday night:
First I removed the fat:
I actually removed more fat than what is shown.
Does anyone have any idea what to do with 3 pounds of beef fat?
Next I made a basic rub from paprika, brown sugar, garlic and onion powder, kosher salt and coarse black pepper. I let it sit overnight in the fridge.
The next morning I was up at 6:00 a.m. and pulled the brisket out to come up to temperature. I then added "Jeff's Rub" in a healthy amount over the top and let it sit until it was ready to put on the Lang. I started the firebox and brought the smoker up to 300F. Then I closed the drain valve and added water in the reverse flow tray. This cooled the smoker down to 250F but within a few minutes the water started producing steam. Time to put the brisket on:
I also made Chef Jimmy's au jus recipe and placed two trays under the brisket. That recipe is outrageous. Thanks Jimmy! Unfortunately, the QView gremlins ate all the photo's of the au jus. :(
Here's a pic after 4 hours of oak, mesquite and apple smoke. It was the first time I opened the lid.
Here's a shot after 5 hours and taken just before I put it in a turkey-sized aluminum pan. The internal temp was 165F at the thickest part and 170F on the flat.
Time to foil. I added 1 cup of the au jus and a 4 ounce bottle of apple juice then sealed it up and put it back in the smoker
Here it is unfoiled after a total cook time of six hours:
First I sliced off the packer from the flat:
Slicing the flat:
Slicing the cap:
Here is the final shot:
The bottom line. This was the best brisket I have ever eaten. It was extremely tender but not over cooked. The pull test was perfect. What I found was amazing is that I started by putting the brisket on at 7:30 a.m. and pulled it at 2:00 p.m.. I let it rest one hour in a preheated oven for one hour at 125F and then sliced. There was not injection or marinade. I only used the rub that I mentioned. I wanted to taste the beef and not some barbecue sauce.
I believe the reason that it cooked as quickly as it did and still turned out moist and tender, had to do with the water being added to the reverse flow tray. It is like Myron Mixon's method of steamming while smoking.
Thanks for all the help on this site. I couldn't have done it without the support and all the wealth of knowledge that this site provides.
Edit - Forgot to mention. I cooked at 225F-235F but the meat was on the upper rack so it was more like 245-250F.