This is the recipe you come to Meat Church seeking. Texas brisket on an offset smoker. The Texas BBQ cooked the old school way by a Texan. Wood, fire & meat. No shortcuts, no electronics, no gimmicks. Just patience. And maybe a fair amount of cold beer....
There are a lot of ways to smoke briskets. In fact you have probably seen my 275 method which I typically use for a standard sized brisket that I need to get cooked in under 10 hours. However, this recipe is a very traditional Texas style and recipe that is going to take more hours to smoke and will yield and even better brisket.
This process can be replicated as a pellet smoker or kamado style grill (indirect) brisket as well.
- 1 Full packer brisket. Choice grade or higher.
- Meat Church Holy Cow
- Meat Church Holy Gospel
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Unwaxed butcher paper (sub heavy duty aluminum foil)
Prepare your smoker
Prepare your smoker at 225 degrees with post oak. Other good alternatives would be mesquite, hickory or pecan. I prefer "heavy smoke" woods for this cook. Optionally you can place a pan of water in your smoker for additional moisture should you feel your smoker needs it.
Trim the brisket
Trim hard and excess fat off the meat side of the brisket. Also, remove any “hard” pieces of fat as they will not render off during the cooking process. Trim the fat off the fat side of the brisket only leaving ¼ in fat. My brisket trim video will help guide you.
Prepare the brisket
Season the brisket 2:1 Holy Cow\Holy Gospel. I typically slather with mustard as a binder. Oil, mustard, pickle juice are commonly used binders should you choose to use one.
Apply Holy Cow moderately to meat side of the brisket. Then come back across it with about half as much of our Holy Gospel. Allow the seasoning to adhere for 15 - 20 minutes. Flip the brisket over to the fat side. Repeat the seasoning process. Season the sides as well. Allow it to adhere for 30 minutes if time allows.
Alternative to the process - Season simply with our Holy Cow or with equal parts salt and coarse black pepper.
Smoke the brisket
Smoking fat side up vs meat side up is one of the hottest debates in BBQ! As we mentioned in the beginning, we are smoking this brisket the traditional Texas BBQ joint way. Place the brisket in the smoker fat-side up with the point (fatty side) of the brisket nearest the fire box.
Leave the brisket untouched as that beautiful bark develops. Optionally you can spritz a time or two with cider vinegar or water if the brisket appears to dry out. I do not think this is needed with a fat side up brisket. That is more commonly needed when cooking a meat side up brisket.
When the meat reaches an internal temperature of at least 175 (the bark will be set nicely by this point) it is time to wrap.
Wrapping in butcher paper will allow you to maintain your bark. Wrap the brisket in non-waxed butcher paper. Depending on the size of your brisket this could be 6 - 8 hours into the cook. However, the time is no the most important thing to be worried about. Focus on the visual look of the bark and the internal temp. I like to spritz the inside of the paper with liquid to make the paper more more pliable before I lay the brisket on it to wrap. Our brisket cook video illustrates this process. Alternatively, wrapping in aluminum foil is a bit easier to master and will deliver a juicy, delicious brisket.
Finishing the brisket and resting
Continue to smoke the brisket until the meat is “probe tender” in the thick part of the flat. This means when you probe it in the flat (not the point) there is no resistance. Think of sticking a toothpick in a cake. Each piece of meat is different but this will likely be around an internal temperature of 203°F. Wagyu briskets often need to be cooked to a higher internal temp close to 210 internal.
Remove the brisket from the smoker, and rest it still wrapped at ambient temperature on the counter for an hour. Resting at room\ambient temp will stop the cooking process and allow the juices in the brisket to redistribute. It will be the perfect temp to slice and eat in an hour.
If you need to hold the meat longer then rest it on the counter for 15 minutes and then place it in a cooler. An insulated cooler can hot hold a brisket safely for hours.
Unwrap the brisket, slice only what you plan to eat and enjoy!