Black Smoke Brisket Feast
“Welcome to The Dark Side: the place where the BBQ magic happens. And that includes this Black Smoke Brisket Feast!“
Welcome to The Dark Side: the place where the BBQ magic happens. At least, only if you are a fan of bombastic flavors and big meat. The Dark Side, and thus this Black Smoke Brisket, is anything but light-hearted. Big chunks of fat-veined meat, intense smoke aromas that invade your low & slow specialty like a storming army for hours, and full, round sauces. This recipe is for 12 real meat lovers, so invite all your BBQ loving friends! Ready, set, FEAST!
- 1 full packer brisket (pointed brisket), 3.5-4 kg, from grain- or corn-fed, well-seasoned beef
- 270 g black pepper crushed (very coarse grinding)
- 30 g coarse sea salt
- Smoker or BBQ for indirect grilling
- 6 oak or beech smokewood chunks
- butcher paper or greaseproof paper (see tip)
- core thermometer
- insulation or thermobox
How to make:
Duration: prep. 5 hours
Cooking about: 5 minutes
MISE AND PLACE
Prepare a BBQ for indirect grilling and heat it until a temperature of 105 °C is reached. With a knife, remove some of the fat until a layer of about 1½ cm remains. On the meat side, remove any membranes and tendons. Mix the salt with the pepper and rub the brisket generously with it. Spread the smoking wood chunks between the glowing coals and the coals below, so that you have at least 5 hours of steady smoke. Place the brisket fat side up on the grill of the BBQ or smoker and smoke for 5-6 hours straight, keeping the temperature at 105°C. After 5 hours, check that a core temperature of 65°C has been reached and that the brisket has turned a nice dark, golden brown. Then wrap the brisket with butcher paper or greaseproof paper and continue cooking for another 5-6 hours until the flat (see tip) has reached a core temperature of 92 °C and the needle of the core thermometer slides in and out of the meat without too much resistance. Remove the brisket from the BBQ and fold open the butcher paper and leave open for 10-15 minutes so that most of the heat can escape and the brisket does not overcook. Then fold the paper closed again and let the brisket rest in a warm place (in a thermobox or preheated oven at 70 °C).
After resting, the brisket is ready to cut. Start by cutting the flat (the thin part) and cut across the grain, front to back, slices 5 mm thick. When you get to the point, turn the brisket a quarter turn and continue cutting. The turning is done because the muscles at the flat and the point run in different directions and in this way you always cut across the grain, which gives the meat a more tender mouth feel.
Serve the slices on a plate or a wooden board with fresh side dishes of your choice.
And there you have it: The Black Smoke Brisket Feast
TIPS FROM THE BLACK SMOKE BRISKET COMMANDER
Quality meat is a must: Not every butcher has the right meat for a juicy, low & slow cooked end result. In about 12 hours in the smoker, the stiff piece of meat becomes a deliciously tender meal, but only if the meat itself is well veined with fat. Intramuscular fat is what we call it. This has nothing to do with the thickness of the fat layer on top of the meat (extramuscular fat) and depends on breed and diet. With corn or grain fed beef you’re always a long way in the right direction, with pure Aberdeen Angus or Wagyu meat you can almost be sure to end up tender and juicy.
Full of whole packer: A full of whole packer is the name for a brisket that consists of two muscles: the leaner, thin flat and the fattier, thicker point.
Butcher paper: While aluminum foil hermetically seals everything and allows the meat to mostly steam, butcher paper (brown paper without a layer of fat like baking paper) does breathe and allows steam to escape. The advantage is that the meat roasts instead of steaming until done, and at the same time the paper protects the meat from too much smoke, which can turn the crust pitch black.
Feel is better than temperature: To achieve the right cooking, the resistance you feel when you insert the core thermometer into the meat is more important than the actual core temperature. The perfect time to take the brisket off the BBQ is when you still feel a little resistance when inserting the thermometer and, when you take it out again, you barely have to apply any force and the thermometer comes out like a warm knife out of butter. If you still feel too much resistance when inserting or pulling it out, then the brisket is not ready yet. If you don’t feel any resistance at all, then the brisket is overcooked and starting to dry out.