Sunday, June 3, 2012

Brisket Baby!

Today is brisket day. Sort of like a holiday in my opinion. I love cooking brisket. 

So to start out, I purchased a whole brisket at my local supermarket. I'll have to admit, it's usually not that easy to find a whole brisket, let alone a piece of brisket in the super market. Usually it has to be ordered. So I snatched it up and brought it home. Typically a whole brisket is way too much to eat for the just the wife and I, so I've sectioned it into 3 pieces of meat. Today I've used the best piece and it is a 4-5 pound section of brisket.

Last night, I seasoned it with a rub, some kosher salt and a little chile rojo. Then I wrapped it up in plastic wrap and placed it into a large zip-lock bag and put it into the fridge to sit overnight. This gives it a little time to take in the flavors of the rub.
This morning I've removed the brisket from the bag and the plastic wrap. It's looking good!

Important! I've found that this little gadget is nearly as important as the smoker itself. Do yourself a big favor and get a digital thermometer.

You insert it into the thicket part of the meat and when it gets to temperature you want, you know it and can remove your meat from the smoker.

Alright, let's talk about the smoker a little. I currently have a Bradley smoker. Bradley takes all of the guess work out of smoking. On the left side you see the smoke generator. I have the digital model and it makes it easy to time the smoking period and the temperature separately. Bradley smokers use a small 'puck' or biscuit of wood. Each biscuit last 20 minutes and the smoke machine discards it. So you just stack in the amount of wood biscuits you need for the time of smoking.


So I've placed the brisket into the smoker. Looks kind of lonely in there. No worries. I'll be adding some chicken strips, vegetables and stuffed jalopenos later on. The brisket takes the longest so I try to time everything to finish at the same time. Today I am using a mixture of cherry wood and hickory wood. I've alternated the wood biscuits between the two woods at one hour intervals. That way I can attempt to layer the flavors.

I'm starting the brisket with smoke only for the first hour. This is typically referred to a "Cold Smoking". After that, I will turn on the heat to 220 degrees. This will actually vary a little in this oven from 220 - 230 which is perfectly fine. Slow cooking your brisket is the best way to get the most smokey flavor and avoid drying it out. I keep a mixture of beer and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the brisket about once an hour.



So here we have our Bradley smoker full of meat and stuffed jalopenos.

The stuffed jalopenos have been cut in half and cleaned out. I've got a simple recipe - fill with cream cheese and wrap with bacon. These things are like a party in your mouth.

I remove the brisket when it reaches 180 degrees. Then we let it rest for 20-30 minutes so the juices have time to redistribute, and then perfection. A beautiful delicious brisket is done and let me tell you it was perfect, tasty and juicy.

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