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BBQ Brisket Recipe – Baconized Texas Style

BBQ Brisket Recipe – Bacon-ized Texas Style

OK boys, let’s put our big boy pants on, get down to some BBQ basics and render up some delicious, succulent brisket. A basic BBQ recipe such as brisket clearly illustrates the difference between Grilling and BBQ. So make your choice of What Fires You Up today and if you’ve got a hankering for some BBQ, and want to give your grilling spatula a rest for a little while, you’re found the right place.

Brisket Recipe Cut GrillJunkieBrisket is often called the national food of the Republic of Texas. Like pasta to Italians it is a staple that most people outside of the culture simply “cook” but don’t do it quite right. Doing up a a whole brisket Texas style is a great excuse for a party. A whole barbecue beef brisket is a huge piece of cow that can come off the BBQ smoker or pit appearing almost black, looking more like a piece of outer space material than a meal. But look deeper because it is not burnt. Beneath the crust is the most tender, juicy, smoky meat you may have ever tasted. Much like most Texans, they may seem crusty at first but stick around for a while and get beneath the surface and you will find a warm, complex and tender type willing to unveil their world if you treat them right.

“If you Brisket, They Will Come.”

Before We Dig In: What is Brisket?

Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The beef brisket is one of the nine beef prime cuts, though the precise definition of the cut differs internationally. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue. Brisket is from the chest area of the steer between the forelegs. There are two per animal, and these boneless pectoral muscles get a lot of work, so there isn’t much fat marbling within the muscle and there’s a lot of connective tissue in and around the muscle fibers. That’s why they are so tough but BBQ smoking breaks this toughness down into a very succulent and memorable meal.

Much of the world’s brisket is made into corned beef, pastrami, or pot roast, but it is also the perfect cut for barbecue. In fact, it is required in over 500 nationwide Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) cooking contests along with pork ribs, pulled or chopped pork, and chicken. Now be warned. Corned Beef is brisket that has been corned, which is to say it has been preserved with salt and flavorings. It is not suitable for a brisket recipe! To make Texas brisket you need raw beef.

Your butcher probably offers three cuts of brisket, a whole “packer” brisket, a “flat” (sometimes called “first cut”), and a “point” (sometimes called “second Brisket - GrillJunkiecut” or the “deckle”). Each cut needs to be cooked differently.

Brisket can be cooked many ways. Basting of the meat is often done during the cooking process. This normally tough cut of meat, due to the collagen fibers that make up the significant connective tissue in the cut, is tenderized when the collagen gelatinizes, resulting in more tender brisket. The fat cap often left attached to the brisket helps to keep the meat from drying during the prolonged cooking necessary to break down the connective tissue in the meat. Water is necessary for the conversion of collagen to gelatin.

Popular methods in the United States include rubbing with a spice rub or marinating the meat, then cooking slowly over indirect heat from charcoal or wood. This is a form of smoking the meat. A hardwood, such as oak, pecan, hickory, or mesquite, is sometimes added, alone or in combination with other hardwoods, to the main heat source. Sometimes, they make up all of the heat source, with chefs often prizing characteristics of certain woods. The smoke from these woods and from burnt dripping juices further enhances the flavor. The finished meat is a variety of barbecue. Smoked brisket done this way is popular in Texas barbecue. Once finished, pieces of brisket can be returned to the smoker to make burnt ends. Burnt ends are most popular in Kansas City-style barbecue, where they are traditionally served open-faced on white bread.

Shut Up Already: Get Me Some Brisket!

Alright, let’s get to it and fire up some Texas Style brisket. Below you will find our recipe for brisket done from a Texan’s perspective leveraging some basic spices, smoking methods and all-mighty bacon!

Equipment Needed:

  • Charcoal grill, BBQ smoker or gas grill
  • 6 cups hickory or oak wood chips or chunks, soaked for 1 hour in cold water or beer to cover, then drained
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil (optional)
  • Grilling or BBQ Tongs

Brisket Recipe – Ingredients:

For the brisket and rub:

1 trimmed brisket (5 to 6 pounds) with a layer of fat at least 1/4-inch thick
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugarBrisket Rub GrillJunkie
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 slices of thick bacon

For the mop sauce:

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup lager beer
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Brisket Recipe – Directions:

Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and stir to mix. Rub Brisket Butcher Cut GrillJunkieonto the brisket on all sides being sure to generously cover the entire brisket. Drape with the thick bacon slices. Let the brisket stand in the refrigerator, covered, for 4 to 6 hours. For the more impatient griller who can’t wait the 4 to 6 hours, you will need to smoke the brisket right away.

Combine the mop sauce ingredients in a nonreactive bowl and stir until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved.

Set up the BBQ smoker or charcoal grill for indirect grilling and preheat to low. When using a BBQ smoker you will be using hardwood as fuel such as hickory, mesquite or fruit wood. Your choice. If using a charcoal grill you can use briquettes but a hardwood lump charcoal is best to end up with a smokier brisket. If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to low. There is a big difference between charcoal and gas grilling so choose your method carefully.

WIN_20140104_143302 (2)When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss 1 cup wood chips on the coals. Place the brisket, fat-side up, in an aluminum foil pan and place in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and cover the grill.

Grill at a steady low temperature of 225° F until the brisket is tender, about 6 to 8 hours (the cooking time will depend on the size of the brisket and the heat of the grill). Baste or mop the brisket with the mop sauce once an hour for the first 4 hours. If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 12 fresh coals and 1/2 cup of wood chips per side every hour.

If desired, wrap the brisket in heavy-duty aluminum foil for the last 1-1/2 to 2 hours of cooking time to prevent it from drying out. To test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer; the internal temperature should be about 190 degrees F. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain, using an electric knife or sharp carving knife. Transfer the meat to plates or a platter and pour the pan juices on top.

Brisket with bacon

Enjoy, pound your chest in pride, smile and cherish these precious times with your family and friends.

What are your thoughts? What Fires You Up? We welcome your comments, healthy debate, and the inevitable disagreement. Bring it on! Leave a reply or comment.

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