We have made the infamous brisket several times, each time I said I would never make it again. I guess I am a man who believes that if you have to put bbq sauce on a grilled piece of meat then you did something wrong. I have had this brisket vs. tri-tip argument several times over the years and even had a good old fashion bbq throw down.
You may remember this story:
A few weeks ago we tried bbq beef ribs over a cherry wood fire and it was spectacular. So for the Fourth of July, we thought….lets try brisket one more time! Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. This time we were going to do things different. We were going to try to inject a marinade into the brisket itself.
Take a syringe and start injecting into the meat. Just keep stabbing like Norman at the Bates Hotel.
I generously season, then wrap in Saran wrap and refrigerate over night.
I don’t do anything amazing, the meat and the smoke should do most of the talking here. I simply do what the old grill masters do….Salt, pepper, garlic salt, and I use a wee little bit of Ancho seasoning. I hear guys talk about their brisket dry rub all the time and it makes me laugh. If you are going to smoke it for 12 hours, go for simple.
The next morning, I start a fire at 0600 hours.
You know there is something to be said about enjoying a fresh cup of coffee at day break in front of the fire I find a bit relaxing. Wayne and I bolted the meat in our cooking contraption. Todd G was out of town so he wasn’t able to attend, but when he saw we made brisket he texted back something to the effect “Never thought I would see you guys doing that lame cut of meat again.”
The trick here is getting it away from the flames, getting a good amount of smoke to it, and not so much heat. Slow and Easy…..Slow and Easy.
This doesn’t look slow…we made an adjustment after the photo. The meat looks really low and close to the fire, we sear it then turn it upside down and smoke it. The number one rule about cooking over fire, actually there are two that can really mess up your end result. Drinking booze and not adjusting to the fire all the time. Lets discuss those in detail shall we?
Slow cooking meat on fire requires you to make adjustments at all time. Make sure you have a shovel. You need to move the wood around so you are not getting direct flame to the meat. You also want plenty of smoke, so you are always adjusting coals and wood so the smoke comes up and permeates the meat. This process on brisket should take 10-13 hours. If you start drinking, you are going to forget the fire, and or get too drunk 12 hours later. You also have to turn the meat, so there is some work involved here. Trust me, we used to attempt this and it always turned out bad. There is also a third rule if you are a Northerner. Always have a back up plan in case the brisket sucks. We chose chicken, that we brined the night before.
We have a nice little crust on the outside.
We remove the brisket for the moment of truth. You can see the meat resting here, the oils look great. The bark looks good. We are ready to cut the brisket, Wayne sharpens his blade and I get the camera rolling.
The taste is good, and there is a good smoke ring to it. Moisture was good at first, but almost immediately after slicing the brisket it gets dry. No wonder everyone puts bbq sauce to mask it. It was by far the best brisket we have ever made but in the end we were not impressed with how it turned out. It was like JW from Texas said after trying the tri-tip vs. brisket….tri tip hands down.
I know I am going to get all those brisket people bombing me with how good it is, and that I don’t have a clue on what we are doing up here in Oregon. In fact I just got emailed this one from my friend as he read this post in Georgia. I had to edit this post and add it.
There is nothing on this picture that makes me hungry. The brisket is covered in bbq sauce. The brisket we made, we used NO BBQ SAUCE. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted good. However, the cut of the meat lacks flavor and energy. There is a reason it was fed to the prisoners of the civil war. It was also considered “Prison meat” by butchers standards, because that’s where they sold all of their brisket cuts. The butchers these days get a premium price for brisket which absolutely floors me. They couldn’t give flank steak and brisket away 20 years ago and now they want a premium. I guess that is what keeps me in the woods looking for elk.
Hope you enjoyed the story.
The Hunting Chef
The smoked chicken was absolutely the bomb!