May 27, 2017 marked a great day in history…
It was a special day because this was my first official documented post for smoking brisket the way I do it. Honestly it’s probably how a lot of people do it, but it’s really cool this time because…. McTasty did it! 😉
It was Round 2 of McTasty vs Brisket aka 5 Pounder (almost 6 Lb or 5.88 Lb’s for you anal readers out there). I’m calling this “Round 2” because this is only the second brisket I’ve ever smoked… shhh, don’t tell anybody, they think I’ve been doing this for years.
Round 1 was in the summer of 2016 like I mentioned in the intro. That cut of meat was actually a 12 pounder I believe, so sorry I lied to ya but I am getting older and forget things from time to time. After that first cook is when I truly fell in love with brisket.
Let’s get down to business shall we?
You want to make sure the meat is fully thawed out if you bought it frozen (I did not), you need it to be pliable so you can get flavor into all its nooks & crannies. I drizzled olive oil over the entire length of the brisket flats and all of its sides to prepare it for taking the seasoning. Rub that baby down like you intend to get some later. Aww yeah nice and slow, that’s how you do it! Now get your seasonings together and shake a generous portion over the entire slab of meat. Again, massage the season rub into every visible crevice on this bad mamajama. Once you are content that it’s been seasoned to your liking, cover it and place in the fridge overnight. This will allow the rub to penetrate deeper into the fibers of the meat which will result in greater flavor for the end product. Plus, a good piece of meat needs it’s beauty rest just as much as its master does if it’s going to be amazing!
Alright, after a good nights rest in the fridge it’s time to get this love of your life ready for work. I pulled it out and let it warm up a bit and then injected it with an experimental concoction of Mott’s Apple Juice & Ginger Ale. This will help keep the meat moist and prevent dry out while hanging in the smoker for several hours.
Time to stoke the fire (yea fire FIRE… sorry B&B flashback). I used a mix of Kingsford Briquet Charcoal & Frontier brand Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal. You want to be sure to build up enough coals to keep your smoker going for the length of your cook if you can. It’s best to limit opening the smoker for long periods and losing valuable heat as this will result in longer cook times. Keep the heat and smoke consistent. To get my fire going I like to use Frontier brand Tumbleweeds. Those things are great! The tumbleweeds catch fire instantly and get the coals burning fast, just what you want.
While my coals were heating up I got my woods chips picked out and soakin’ so they’d be good and ready to lay down some heavy smoke for the brisket. I used a mix of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Barrel chips & Cowboy brand Hickory chips to get a nice flavor for my bark! What’s a good brisket without a healthy lining of bark?
I added some of the water my wood chips were soaking in into a small tin which I add to my coal basket to keep some moisture in the smoker. Once the coals were white-hot and ready to rock I tossed a couple handfuls of the water-logged chips on top so they could start to smolder and get the smoke in check.
HOLD UP!! This is a quick public service announcement for your safety! When handling the coal chimney you should always wear a glove or you risk burning the sh*t out of your hand like I just did. You’ll only want to make that mistake once, trust me.
Alright, we’re off to a great start, minus burning the sh*t out of myself BUT it happens. Look at that smoke roll… I’m pretty sure this is considered dangerous by the state of California (queue the Proposition 65 warning please!!)
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. It’s time to begin the cook! My smoker rig is a Pit Barrel Cooker, and it get’s the job done well. It’s a very very simple system, nothing super fancy, but it gets the job done and produces a delicious product every time. What more can you ask for? It makes an excellent beginner smoker in my opinion. Now I apply the stainless steel meat hooks into the brisket to secure it for hanging in the smoker and insert my Therm Pro internal temp probe. I’ve found this to be a very handy tool if you don’t want to helicopter mom your baby brisket while it’s in the smoker all day. Let’s you keep some distance but stay on top of your meat temp while you do other things. With the coals burning hot & smoke rollin’ this is the perfect time to get our brisket in the smoker. Quick, get to tha smoka!!
Good deal, our first bout is over and it’s looking like a good clean fight. I’ve double hooked the brisket and hung it from a piece of the rebar in my PBC to get the cook on its way. Now we just monitor the internal meat temp, check for an even bark to form, and periodically spritz our baby brisket with a little Apple Ale to keep the outside wet. Feel free to relax & enjoy a cold one now that our cook is underway!
I set my timer for 7 hours total cook time. I calculated the rest time into this 7 hour window as well. So the entire cook was actually 6 hours in the smoker and then 1 solid hour wrapped in foil & a beach towel while placed inside of a foam cooler so it could absorb some yummy juices. As you can see in the mosaic above, the bark was maturing quite nicely on the tip of the brisket and was well on its way to becoming a delicious meal.
I did get a bit of a shock about 3/4 of the way into my cook when the Therm Pro suddenly reported that my internal temp had jumped to 221 degrees Fahrenheit. Something wasn’t right. I ran over to the smoker only to find out that I had made a total rookie mistake and hooked the brisket by its weak end, the tip of the point rather than in the flat. Soooo, my beautiful brisket had broken free from its shackles and swan dived directly on top of my coal basket. When I opened my PBC I nearly sh*t myself because I thought I had just screwed up the entire thing. Luckily…. thank the meat Gods… I was able to get the brisket removed from the smoker with minimal damage to the meat or bark. I said can I get a witness ha, the brisket’s been saved… ha. Thank ya Jesus!
Let’s survey the damage. I ripped a tad bit of meat from the very tip of the point and broke the skin just a little with my tongs as I life-flighted my precious brisket out of Dante’s Inferno. All in all not too bad and lucky for me because it landed perfectly perpendicular to my coal baskets handle. This heifer must have been a gymnast in its previous life because it nailed the dismount. It was kind of good timing because based on the bark covering it looked like a good opportunity to get into the foil wrapped “let’s suck up some juices” phase. This step is just as important as any, maybe more so on a smaller piece of meat so it doesn’t get too dried out. That would be a sin & the meat Gods do not approve of dried meat, unless you’re making jerky. Not that project today.
After swaddling the baby brisket in aluminum foil and feeding it some apple juice it was time to put it down for its hour-long nappy in the Hercules cooler.
While I had the brisket out to be wrapped in foil the smell was irresistible and two flying ants nearby got a whiff and just felt it was time to make something of their own…
Awww, how sweet!
Tick tock tick tock…. It’s the final countdown!
Well I sure had a good time smokin’ this piece of meat and it’s definitely one of my favorites. Time to dig in and enjoy some!
Yuuuummmmyyyy! Look at that beautiful smoke ring. That’s the shizznit for some McTasty Brisket 😉
Dinner Pairings: Sliced brisket, Corn on the Cob, Potato salad, & a glass of Cima Collina Pinot Noir
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– McTasty –