Since I use this blog to store recipes and cooking tips, I thought I'd summarize my best practices for briskets. I made one the previous night for a party the next evening. Here's what I learned.
Tip 1: Don't cook it at night. Get some sleep instead.
By the time evening rolls around, I'm not at my best. I made one serious mistake, shown below, because I wasn't thinking and didn't take the time to review the plan. Also, briskets are notoriously unreliable with cooking times. The first breakpoint, 165 degrees, should have taken 6 or so hours to reach. This one reached it after 4. When I got up in the middle of the night to check it, I found it had gone up to 180 and I was late wrapping the thing.
Tip 2: Use this rub from Southern Living. It's awesome.
Tip 3: Use this recipe for the mechanics of cooking the brisket from Hey Grill Hey. The paper wrap for the second phase is crucial.
Tip 4: PUT THE BRISKET IN A FREAKING ALUMINUM PAN, YOU IDIOT! I didn't and so I lost all the glorious drippings. Also, the paper stuck to the bottom of the brisket after I wrapped it at 1 AM. See Tip 1, above, for why 1 AM is a stupid time to be wrapping a brisket.
In any case, start it in a pan, wrap it in a pan, store it in a pan. It's the pan part that made me a fraud. I didn't add it until the smoking was done and when I reheated the brisket for our guests, I added some homemade beef stock to simulate the drippings.
Lies, lies, all lies! I feel so dirty!
|The brisket, as carved for dinner. The reddish-pink rings make it look like a proper brisket. Hah! It wasn't. Lies!|
|Look, it's in a pan! There are juices! |
|Here it is, the fulsome, scurvy truth. It's in the smoker with rich, nourishing juices simply running out and burning up in the fire. Horrible! Unconscionable! Inexcusable!|
In all seriousness, the next time I do a brisket, I'll look it up on the 'Post and find these notes and do it right. Our guests raved about the dinner, but I knew it could have been much, much better. Oh well. Live and learn.
I hope you're having a great weekend.