Smoked and Oven-Finished Brisket: A Perfect Recipe for Tender Meat

Interior view of brisket

If you’re a barbecue enthusiast looking for a mouthwatering brisket recipe, look no further. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of smoking and oven-finishing a brisket, resulting in tender, juicy meat that’s packed with flavor. This method, popularized by renowned barbecue champion Mike Scrutchfield, combines the best of both worlds to create a delectable culinary experience.

Buy And Prepare The Meat

To get started, purchase a whole, untrimmed “packer cut” brisket weighing 10-12 pounds. When selecting your brisket, look for a well-marbled piece of meat that will keep moist during cooking. Trim the excess fat, leaving a 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick fat cap to enhance flavor and retain moisture. If desired, you can trim and rub the meat the night before cooking, refrigerating it overnight.

Apply The Rub

After patting the meat dry, generously apply your favorite barbecue rub to all sides of the brisket. If you don’t have a favorite rub, you can try a modified version of Louis Charles Henley’s all-purpose rub. Mix 6 tablespoons of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, 4-1/2 teaspoons of finely ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon of granulated garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of paprika, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of chili powder. Ensure the meat is evenly coated with the rub and then refrigerate while you prepare the cooker.

Fire The Cooker

Light the cooker using the Minion Method. Fill the charcoal chamber with unlit Kingsford Charcoal Briquets, adding chunks of dry smoke wood within the coals. Use approximately four fist-sized pieces of smoke wood for a rich smoky flavor. After lighting about 20 briquettes in a Weber chimney starter, spread them over the unlit briquettes and smoke wood chunks. Assemble the cooker, set the top vent to 100% open, and adjust the bottom vents to achieve a temperature range of 225-250°F.

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Smoke The Brisket

Place the brisket, fat-side up, on the top cooking grate of the cooker. Cook the brisket at 225-250°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 165-170°F. This process will take approximately 8-10 hours. After 4 hours of cooking, turn the meat and baste it several times with Martinelli’s Premium Apple Juice for added moisture and flavor. Monitor the internal temperature using an instant-read or probe thermometer, checking after 8 hours of cooking.

Finish Cooking In The Oven

When the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 165-170°F, remove it from the cooker. Wrap it tightly in two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, insert a probe thermometer into the middle of the flat portion, and transfer it to a 300°F oven. Cook the brisket in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F, which will take approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Hold The Meat For Serving

Once the brisket reaches 205°F, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest, still wrapped, for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. To keep the meat moist, you can also place the wrapped brisket in an empty cooler and hold it until ready to serve. This will maintain the meat’s temperature above 140°F for 2-4 hours, ensuring it remains safe and succulent.

FAQs

Q: What size brisket should I purchase?
A: We recommend buying a whole, untrimmed “packer cut” brisket weighing 10-12 pounds.

Q: Can I prepare the meat the night before cooking?
A: Yes, you can trim and rub the meat the night before, ensuring it is tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated until cooking.

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Q: How long should I rest the brisket before slicing?
A: It is best to allow the brisket to rest for at least 30 minutes after cooking. Alternatively, you can hold it in an empty cooler for 1-2 hours.

Q: How should I slice the brisket?
A: Separate the flat and point portions along the natural seam of fat and slice the flat across the grain, approximately 1/4″ – 3/8″ thick. The fatty point can be sliced or chopped for sandwiches.

Conclusion

By following this smoked and oven-finished brisket recipe, you’ll achieve perfectly tender and flavorful meat that will impress your guests. The combination of smoking and oven-finishing allows for a faster cooking process while maintaining optimal taste and texture. For more delicious recipes and barbecue inspiration, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.