I love eating Brisket when I’m in Texas. I love the one at Rudy’s version (see “Impressions from Freescale Technology Forum 2015“) which has a nice smoke ring and bark:
I would like to get a nice bark, and the same time not drying out the brisket. But with my previous process there was never a good/firm bark: it was too soft.
I did some research, and to my understanding my ‘bark problem’ is because I was basting the brisket (too often?) and this softened the bark (see “Golden Brown and Delicious“). Additionally, I was using the “Texas Crutch” which again softened again the crust. So I want a nice juicy brisket, with a nice crust too 🙂
So here is my process:
- No Salt in the Rub. Salt it the day before, let it rest overnight in the refrigerator (see “Part 1: Barbecue Beef Brisket Texas Style – The Meat and the Salt“).
- No Marinade during the Night. I put on the rub just before putting the brisket into the smoker (see “Part 2: Barbecue Beef Brisket Texas Style – The Rub“): Pepper, little sugar, some onion/chilli/garlic powder.
- Slow and Low: around 110°C for about 3 hours per kilogram (1-1.5h per pound) (see “Part 3: Barbecue Beef Brisket Texas Style – The Fire“) until it reaches a core temperature of 93°C (200°F).
- No Basting. Applying marinade while in the smoker will soften the bark, but I want to have a nice and cruncy bark and crust. The meat gets the rub at the start, and that’s it.
- No Texas Crutch. No wrapping in foil. Instead, I just count in little more time to have it in the smoker. See this article with a comparison between foiling and not.
- Faux Cambro. When the meat hits 95°C inside, I take it off the smoker and wrap it tightly into heavy-duty aluminium foil and put it into a cooler box for 2-3 hours.
- Cut it: taking it out of the (warming) cooler, cut it into thin slices against the grain, and hopefully: enjoy 🙂
During the smoking (slow and low) phase, I constantly monitor the temperature and keep the fire going. Opening the lid of the smoking chamber while smoking a brisket should be avoided to keep the temperature constant. Here is a picture of the brisket after 3 hours when I opened the lid the first time:
I have put an aluminium pan underneath to better to collect the juices lost and to keep it inside the chamber. Looking good 🙂
And this is how it looks after 6 hours in the smoker:
Still more time to go. After 8 hours:
Core temperature is stalling at 75°C. So more time to go….
Nine hours, and it reaches 79°C core meat temperature:
I’m increasing now the temperature from the previous 107°C to around 125°C to hopefully build more bark. After 10 hours it is at 83°C core temperature:
And finally after 11 hours it reached the target temperature of 88°C:
Next: wrapping it in foil and hold it for one hour….
Wrapping into Towels: Faux Cambro
Next, the brisket has to hold for 1 to 3 hours in a cooler/isolation box, wrapped in aluminium foil and towels:
- Put hot water into the box to warm it up, with the lid closed, for say 10 minutes (larger cooling box might need more time).
- Wrap the brisket into heavy aluminum foil.
- Remove the water from the box.
- Store energy in the towels: Soak the towels with the hot water, then wrangle them out.
- Put one towel on the bottom of the box. Or use clean newspaper as isolation. Then put the brisket (in foil) on top of it, then put the remaining towels around it/on top of it
- Close the lid and let the brisket for at least one hour. The idea is to hold it at or about 76°C (170°F).
That cooling box is a great way to bridge the gap until the party starts, and it can be used to transport the meat to an offsite party place. It keeps the meat warm, and allows it to cool slowly. The only disadvantage will be that it might soften the bark. Will see how it turns out.
Let’s see if the result is what it should be. One hour to wait. Stay tuned ….
Happy Cooking 🙂