I’m by no means an expert with brisket, all of my neighbors claim they are! But I’ve found with the Bradley Smoker I can turn out a very consistent product!
- 9-12 pound packer brisket
To prepare this rub, you’ll need 3/4 cup paprika, 1/4 cup each coarse black pepper, coarse salt and sugar. Then add 2 tbsp each chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder and 2 tsp cayenne.
Selecting a Brisket
First we need a brisket. Off to the store or butcher shop, whichever you prefer, for a 9-12 pound packer brisket. If you go much larger you’ll have a hard time making it fit on your rack. If a packer is not available, don’t worry, go with a market trimmed. Now I’ve seen what they call ‘Best of the brisket’. This is just a piece of the flat, less than 2 lbs and completely trimmed of fat. And @ 4.29 a lb, just say no!
On the bottom 10.58 lb packer; on top 7.27 lb market trimmed vac sealed; and on the left 10.02 lb packer for some pastrami (that’s a whole different story!).
You want a nice fat cap on the one side and some nice marbling on the other. Grab your packer on both ends and bend it in half as best as you can. This will give you an idea of how thick the fat ribbon is. The easier the bend, the smaller the ribbon, and this is what we’re looking for.
All right, we’ve flexed and found our perfect brisket! Now rush home get this bad boy into the Bradley Smoker. Not so fast: brisket is not a meat to be rushed during the cook and before the cook.
Aging the Brisket
- If you bought a market trimmed brisket, pull it out of its package and vac-seal it; a packer is cry-o-vac’d and ready.
- Place the brisket in the fridge for at least 2 weeks (3 is better) turning over every day.
Trimming the Brisket
The day before your smoke, pull the brisket out of its package for some fat trimming. If you bought a market trimmed you’re already good to go.
- On your packer, trim off the heavy chunks of fat, but don’t get too carried away on your cap, as it serves as a self baster while we’re cooking it.
- Once you’ve got the heavy parts of fat removed, you’ll see the fat ribbon that separates the flat from the point. Run your knife along this ribbon as if you were going to separate the two. If your flexing at the store was correct, you shouldn’t have too thick of a ribbon and will not have to remove very much.
- Pick your favorite rub and don’t be shy with it. Cover the entire brisket and don’t forget to coat where the fat ribbon was.
- Place the brisket into a 2 gallon zip lock (if you can’t find a zip lock that big just vac seal it) and get as much air out as possible.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Pull brisket out of its bag and place on your rack on the counter.
- Leave the brisket on the counter for about an hour. Once it starts to get a sweat you’re good to go. And the cool thing is, it’s not even cooked and it smells good already.
- Pre-heat your Bradley Smoker to 220°F.
- Place the brisket into the smoker on the middle rack. The cabinet temperature will take quite a while to recover, especially if you have a full load.
- Once the smoker has come back up to 220°F, apply 4 hours of smoke. I use mesquite, but use whatever flavour suits you.
- Pull the brisket from the smoker and you’ll notice they have shrunk quite a bit – this is a good thing.
- Put the brisket into a foil pan with a splash of apple juice.
- Cover the foil pan tightly with heavy duty foil and place into the oven @ 220°F.
- Doing brisket I don’t shoot for any internal temperature more so just low and slow, but if I we’re to guess probably 190-205.
- Remove from pan and wrap tightly in foil.
- FTC for just a few more hours (4-5 hours). Time your FTC for dinner time, if you need a bit more or less you’ll be OK! I’ve learned FTC is a big key, thanks to the folks on the Bradley Forum … Pulls all of the juice back into the meat! Speaking of juice when you pull your pans full of brisket out of the oven, pour the juice into a stockpot. It makes for one heck of a base for sauce!