Having trouble making delicious beef brisket? If you are struggling with getting it right, then you have come to the right place. Here, you will learn how to make the best beef brisket recipe. Soon, your beef brisket woes will be a thing of the past. In fact, you will be grilling beef brisket like a champion BBQ chef. You too, can, become the standout grill hero of your neighborhood.
Keep reading to find out the most crucial factors that can make or break your beef brisket grilling session and recipe.
Finally, the Best Beef Brisket Recipe for a Big Occasion
When you have to prepare a beef brisket for the big barbecue party you know that you have to get it right, mediocrity is absolutely out of the question. And ‘good’ is just not good enough. You should settle for nothing but the highest standard.
Despite your best intentions, a lot can go wrong with the beef brisket. Your noble aspirations to become a grill pro and an unwavering resolve to get your beef brisket right are great. However, they won’t bring you any closer to your goal if you are making the same mistake over and over again without realizing it.
Understanding the Beef Brisket
To begin with, the beef brisket is a tough slab of meat. Grilling it perfectly is by extension equally tough. Grill masters use certain tricks to tenderize the tough meat so that it melts in the mouth to give a delightful taste.
The brisket comes from the cow’s chest muscle. This muscle is far more active than other primal cuts. Hence, it is much tougher. You need the right cooking method to disintegrate the tough connective tissue that is behind the brisket’s hardness.
The brisket is further subdivided into two types. One is called the ‘flat’, while the other one is known as the ‘point’.
Since the point is fattier, it has a richer taste and is tenderer. You can make burnt ends from this part. Burnt ends, by the way, is a misnomer because they are not really charred. Rather, they appear as such since a tar-like layer of smoke covers them.
The flat, on the other hand, has less fat content and is, therefore, tougher and leaner. It lies below the point. Brisket slices are made from the flat.
Beef brisket cuts are available in different sizes. The point and flat are frequently available as a whole. The brisket may be trimmed down to just the flat. It is not often that you will find the point by itself. So when you do find some isolated flat pieces, do yourself a favour and buy these delicious cuts of brisket meat.
How to Trim Beef Brisket
The uninitiated might that they can just take the brisket out of its bag, use some BBQ rub and chuck it in the pellet grill. They soon learn the hard way that this approach is less than optimal.
Fat is responsible for the rich flavour not just in brisket, but all other cuts as well. The brisket has plenty of fat within it, so the added fat cap is superfluous. It is a good idea to remove this extra layer of fat so that the exposed meat can soak up the BBQ rub properly. This will create the signature smoked layer of beef briskets.
Injections for Smoked Briskets
The prep phase instigates one of the most heated debates in the barbecue community. The overall opinion regarding this key issue appears to be evenly divided. Some claim that injecting briskets is the secret to getting the most tender texture and best flavor. Others insist that this is not necessary.
You are free to try out both methods to see what works best for you. Ultimately, the issue may boil down to personal taste. But you should definitely try injecting the brisket to taste the difference for yourself. A simple start would be to inject the brisket with good old-fashioned beef broth.
Your beef brisket can use some phosphate since the substance seals in moisture. Your brisket will remain moist, juicy and tender with phosphates.
This is the secret to how competitors cook the most succulent and delectable briskets. All you have to do is add 2 tablespoons of the phosphate formula in a cup of beef broth. If the grains are so small that they can fit through the injector, then you can try adding a little rub to the broth.
An injector is nothing more than an oversized needle. You can purchase high-quality ones over the internet. Using it is easy. First, fill up a narrow and tall cup with the liquid that you want to inject. Dip the injector into the liquid and draw it up by pulling the plunger. You will have a vial full of fluid that is ready for injection into the brisket.
You just need to pierce the brisket with the injector as you would when using a hypodermic needle. You can force the plunger down gently to direct the bone broth and phosphate mixture into the brisket. Keep repeating this simple step all over the brisket at a distance of one inch between the points of injection. You should use up most of your liquid, if not all of it.
Best BBQ Rub for Beef Briskets
Next, cover the brisket in a layer of your favorite BBQ seasoning. Rubs instigate the same level of debate as injections do. If you want something simple, then you can combine ground pepper with kosher salt. An interesting variation is to add some granulated garlic into the mixture.
For an even richer flavor, you can take it one step further with cayenne, smoked paprika and granulated onion.
Once you are done with injecting the brisket and applying rub all over, you can cover it up in a plastic wrap and allow it to rest. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours to give it an extra-strong tangy flavor. Let it rest for half a day so that the injection and BBQ rub thoroughly to permeate the meat for a truly exquisite and delightful taste.
Best Method for Smoking Beef Briskets
You can smoke the brisket in your pellet grill to cook the meat and impart a rich smokey taste to your meal. A pellet smoker is a good choice since you do not need to tend the firebox for the duration of the cooking session.
A pellet smoker is the best way of doing things because most people neither have the time nor the level of focus that is necessary. Even a little carelessness with the firebox means that your hard work will go to waste. So you can set the pellet grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results. Do not let the heat approach 350 degrees Fahrenheit because the results will be disappointing. A reliable pellet grill will smoke your beef brisket over a long duration with minimal temperature swings.
You also need to pick the best wood pellets for the job for the best possible taste. Hickory and smoke wood pellets will work just fine for an exotic flavor.
First, load up the wood pellets in the hopper and ignite it. Having set the temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you should give the grill a few minutes to gradually reach this temperature. Once the grill has approached the required temperature and is stable, you can introduce the beef brisket.
Have the beef brisket lie down in the pellet grill with its lean side touching the grill cooking grates. The fatty side should face upwards and be visible to you. Keep the point towards the hopper. This is the thickest side of the brisket.
How Long Should You Smoke Your Beef Brisket?
The answer to this question varies according to the cooking conditions. It depends on certain factors like the outdoor temperature, the weight of your brisket and even the altitude.
Some briskets can take up to 12 hours, while others can be done in half the time. It is recommended that you start smoking your brisket during the early hours of the morning. You can even start the smoking process during night time.
Here is a general point of reference. An 11-pound beef brisket takes up to 12 hours to smoke if you heat it at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. You must smoke the brisket for 6 hours prior to applying the wrap and for 3 hours while it is wrapped. Let the brisket rest for another 3 hours.
Here is one pro BBQ tip for you. The temperature is more crucial than time. While smoking the brisket, you should also pay close attention to the color, besides following the temperature closely. It is, therefore, a good idea to invest in an accurate and dependable temperature probe. You can, thus, ensure that the beef brisket is cooked within an acceptable temperature range.
Smoked Beef Brisket Temperature
Inserting the temperature at a suitable point in the beef brisket is essential. The point will register a higher temperature compared to the flat. Higher fat content is the reason for this observation. Even after the point is ready, you cannot remove the meat from your pellet smoker. The flat will not be juicy and tender enough yet.
Here is how you insert the temp probe. Find the dividing line between the point and flat. Select a convenient point on the flat part at an inch from this border. Insert the temperature probe into this point to get reliable readings.
During the smoking process, you should sprinkle apple cider vinegar every few hours. Keep following the meat probe reading carefully. Wait for it to register 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When the brisket reaches this temperature, it should have an appetizing well-done crusty exterior that looks akin to mahogany bark. Sprinkle it with some more apple cider vinegar.
Wrap the brisket now between two layers of butcher paper. An excellent butcher roll option is the Pink Kraft Butcher Paper Roll. The paper is uncoated, unwaxed and unbleached. Yet, it has a gorgeous peach color. Keep the brisket wrapped for another 6 hours.
Foil or Paper?
You might be wondering if using foil is a better idea than using peach paper. The advantage of foil is that it is truly heavy-duty and can withstand the toughest conditions and treatment. It does a great job of sealing in the moisture. However, you can also use the butcher paper as it allows the moisture to escape. The beef brisket can, thereby, retain the crispy, firm and beautiful exterior that resembles mahogany. The crispiness is also fantastic.
Keep the temp probe seated at the same spot because it has a key role to play in the next critical phase. Let the temperature keep rising till it is about 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. An 11-pound beef brisket can take up to 3 hours to reach this target temperature.
Besides the temperature, there is another way that you can check how well done the beef brisket is. Pierce the brisket using the probe at multiple locations on its surface. If the probe point pierces with little resistance, then the brisket is ready. It should slide through the brisket as it would through butter.
How Long Should You Let the Beef Brisket Rest?
The resting phase is as important as the cooking process. Don’t be tempted into thinking that the brisket is ready yet. The resting phase will develop the taste further. This is just one last step before your brisket smoking efforts pay off.
Take your brisket out of the pellet grill. Wrap it up using another sheet of foil. Keep it inside a towel and put it in a cooler for 3 hours more. There should be no ice inside the cooler.
Making Burnt Ends
One more step remains until the beef brisket meal is ready. You can cook burnt ends for the ultimate smoked flavor.
Change the temperature of the pellet grill to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the brisket out of the cooler. Remove the foil from it. Cut off the flat end. Wrap this end back into the foil and put it back inside the cooler.
Divide the point into chunks about 1 inch in size. Toss them into an aluminum pan and feel free to add some more BBQ rub. Put this pan inside the smoker. To set the sauce, smoke it for another hour.
Take out the flat from the cooler in the final 15 minutes of pellet smoking. Cut it into thin slices against the grain. Spray more rub onto the slices and brush them with the juice that remains. A nicely done brisket flat is flexible, so, check for flexibility to know when it is ready.
When the flat slices hang limp after you balance them on your finger, then you can pat yourself on the back and rejoice as the job is finally done.
Side Dish Anyone?
Although the beef brisket will taste wonderful on its own, you can try preparing a side dish to go along with it. The right choice of side dish will turn it into a feast fit for royalty.
Although you have several great options to choose from, one that really stands out is the fluffy potato kugel. This tasty side dish looks quite similar to a latke casserole. To prepare this dish, you must fold grated onions and potatoes with eggs and bake it all until it develops an appetizing golden-brown texture. The beauty of this dish is that the exterior is crispy, while the interior is moist and tender. So you are getting the best of both worlds in one mouth-watering dish.
So go ahead and give yourself and your loved ones the regal treatment with the truly delightful side dish, which is an excellent meal in its own right.
The task of preparing the best beef brisket recipe for your pellet grill is not too hard if you practice it a few times. With time, you will become a beef brisket pro and amaze everyone with your culinary finesse.
You will no longer need to visit an expensive grill restaurant to satisfy your beef brisket craving. You and your loved ones can enjoy the best beef brisket recipe at one joyous backyard grill party.