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I didn’t realize brisket was supposed to be intimidating. It’s partly my foolishness. But I have only screwed one up once. I’ve cooked both the point and the flat and the packer cut. The packer cut is the whole brisket and it is what I prefer. The recipe below works will all brisket cuts and sizes. You’re going for temperature.
I want to walk you through how I do it. I will say this though. I have started using heavy duty foil instead of butcher paper because I prefer a moister brisket and am willing to sacrifice a crunch bark. But you can use butcher paper to wrap your brisket.
Also, you don’t need the brisket sauce. But I have literally spent five years perfecting that sauce because I think it pairs extremely well with brisket and it has now become my go-to barbecue sauce for everything. But it started out as just a sauce I’d serve up with brisket for people who want sauce.
1 brisket, fat trimmed as desired
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tsp each: black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups beef stock
2 tbs Louisiana or Texas Pete brand hot sauce (don’t use Tabasco)
1 tbs Worchestershire sauce
1/2 can of Dr. Pepper
Trim your brisket.
12 to 24 hours before smoking, combine the dry rub ingredients and lightly rub all over both sides of the brisket. If you have rub left over, don’t worry about it. You don’t want to pack it on like you would with a Boston butt. Place the brisket, fat side down, on a sheet pan and refrigerate until one hour before you’re ready to smoke it.
When you remove the brisket, combine the liquid ingredients and use an injector to inject the brisket every few inches. Let it rest on the counter for an hour.
During that hour, get your smoker up to 225ºF.
Place the brisket in the smoker until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 170ºF. You can, at this point, raise the temperature to 250ºF or 275ºF without affecting the brisket. I try, however, to never increase the temperature above 225ºF unless I have to rush it.
Layer two very large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the brisket on top of them. Fold the edges to seal in the brisket except for one narrow edge. Pour in half a can of Dr. Pepper. Seal the edge and put the brisket back in the smoker until it reaches 200ºF.
Remove the brisket. Keep it sealed and rest it for at least one or, preferably, two hours.
Serve with optional brisket sauce.
Note: I say don’t use Tabasco because it has such a distinctive flavor profile that it interferes with the flavor of the meat.