Kansas-Style Beef Brisket

Kansas-Style Beef Brisket

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Many thanks to Joe Martin, a culinary legend, for this great recipe.

The brisket embodies the essence of BBQ. If you can prepare a brisket that tastes great, has a good, clean smoke ring, and cuts with a plastic fork, you’ve stepped outside the envelope of casual grilling and into the realm of serious barbecue.

The brisket challenges you because it is a pretty crummy cut of meat that handicaps you before you start. It’s analogous to making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Sure, you could boil a brisket to make it tender as a Mother’s love, but the texture and taste would not earn many accolades from people with even a hint of a palate.

So try this. It takes a long while, but if you succeed, you will do it again and again.

Start with one whole brisket – 7-10 lbs. Use Choice grade instead of Select (Standard) so that the meat gets tender without being flaky and dry.

Trim the fat cap to ¼” thick. Then, score the fat in 3/8” squares, like a waffle. This allows the rub, heat, and smoke to penetrate into the meat. Rub with your choice of commercial dry rub such as Montreal Steak seasoning with added pepper, Prime Rib seasoning with added pepper, or Lawry’s with some onion powder. Or make your own with salt, pepper, season salt, onion powder. Massage the rub thoroughly into the meat. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight. Return the brisket to room temperature before you begin to cook it.

Cook the brisket on your Green Mountain grill at 185°, fat side up, for 5 hours. Spritz with an apple juice/Worcestershire mix every hour or so. After five hours, turn it over and cook for 2 more hours. After that, turn it back over to fat side up and cook until the brisket’s internal temperature (check with a meat thermometer!) reaches 165°, usually about another 4 hours. Next, remove the brisket from the grill. Now, mix about ½ cup of apple juice plus 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Wrap the brisket completely in aluminum foil and drizzle the apple juice mix inside the foil onto the meat.

Turn the grill up to 225°. Cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 198-201° (2-6 hours). Lay newspaper or paper towels in a cooler and lay the meat, still wrapped up in the aluminum foil, on the paper. Close the cooler and let the meat rest for about an hour and a half.

Drain the juices and cut the meat in 1/8” slices across the grain. You will be able to cut this with a plastic fork. You may also wish to cool the drained juices in the refrigerator, skim the fat from the surface of the liquid, and then reheat for an au jus dip.