How to Smoke a Brisket
Smoked Brisket Selection:
At your favorite grocery store or meat market, check with attendant for the availability of a boneless fresh beef brisket that has a weight range from 10 - 13 lbs. This boneless brisket is called a packer trim brisket. All this means is that there is very little fat trimmed off of the meat prior to vacuum packing the brisket for retail sales. The average price per pound that you should be paying for this type of brisket is about $ 1.49. Usually they will be found vacuum packed.
As you hold up the brisket you will notice that it is either very stiff without any flexibility when you press on it or very easy to be flexed without much stiffness. The stiffness comes from the fat layer that is around the brisket. The more fat layer on the brisket, the less flexible it is. Don't be afraid to bring home a large brisket. You can always cut it in 2 or 3 pieces and carefully wrap protect it while in your freezer.
Once you get your brisket home, put it under refrigeration immediately. 2 days prior to cooking your brisket, pull the brisket from refrigeration and carefully open it with the confines of a clean sink. Allow the brisket to drain for about 2 minutes. Carefully mix or purchase your favorite bbq seasoning and rub the seasoning on all areas (front & back) of the brisket. Leave it in your refrigerator for at least 2 days to allow the seasoning to run deep into your brisket.
Smoking the Brisket:
If you have an outside smoker that is capable of maintaining a constant temperature of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, put the seasoned brisket onto your smoker bbq pit for about 14 hours. If you cannot control the temperature of your smoker or bbq pit, then we recommend that you place the brisket in your oven at 220 degrees, for about 12 hours and then finish the brisket off on your smoker or bbq pit for about an additional 2 hours. Make sure that your coals or your heat regulator is at its lowest possible heat range, so that the brisket will not over cook. For best results, use hickory or oak wood. You can tell if the brisket is ready to come off the smoker or bbq pit when you place a fork into the center of the brisket and when you pull the fork out of the brisket, it comes out very easily without lifting the brisket off of your smoker or bbq pit. If you have a meat thermometer, the inside temperature of the thickest part of the brisket will need to be about 160 degrees.