Smoked Brisket – A Texan Classic
Texan smoked brisket is deeply rooted in the history of the Lone Star State. In the mid-1800s German and Czech immigrants opened grocery and meat markets and smoked leftover meat to stop it from spoiling. Since then, barbecue brisket has become synonymous with Texan culture; there are few things that can get people to drive for hours and stand in line quite like a serving of moist, juicy slow-cooked meat. Here are some essential tips for an authentic Texan barbecue to create tender, juicy smoked brisket every time.
Top Quality Meat
Briskets are the pectoral muscles from the chest area of the steer between the forelegs. The key to tender brisket is the quality of the meat. Buy the best meat you can, USDA Choice grade meat or higher and the more marbling on the joint the better as the fat helps to makes the meat tender, flavorful and juicy. Use a whole packer (8-16 pounds) if possible. Smaller pieces, such as the four pound hunk o’ flat (HOF) or hunk o’ point (HOP) lose a lot of moisture, shrink, and risk getting tough.
Juicy Brisket Every Time
Brisket should be hot smoked, foods such as cheese and salami are more suitable for cold smoking. Before the brisket is cooked, pit masters should use a “Dalmatian Rub” on the joint which is large amounts of kosher salt left on the meat overnight to tenderize the meat and enhance flavor. Brisket is best cooked low and slow, it will probably take 12 to 18 hours for a whole packer plus 2 hours holding time, allowing 45-60 minutes per pound to cook. In fact, it is safer to start earlier than you think you need to and if the brisket is ready before the guests are it can be kept warm in foil. A key element in cooking perfect brisket is the temperature it is cooked at so invest in a good digital thermometer to monitor the meat. Once the meat gets to 150°F, wrap the meat in foil to tenderize and moisturize and when it reaches 200 or 205°F hold it in a cooler oven for 2-3 hours to let it rest.
Time To Enjoy…
After the meat has rested, slice it fat side up against the grain, serve with coleslaw, potato salad and pinto beans. Now it is time to sit back and enjoy this classic Texan dish with a nice cold beer while listening to some country music…a real taste of Texas.
Sally Writes Contributing Writer | Country Line Magazine Photo by Alan Labisch on Unsplash