The Perfect Beef Brisket

November 25th, 2017

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My Son, Michael, decided to forego the Thanksgiving turkey this year in favor of a smoked beef brisket.  We are so glad that he did.  The recipe came form Myron Mixon, winner of more competitive barbecue contests than anyone else in the world.  My husband David has smoked brisket before.  See the technique here.  Some recipes for smoking a brisket can take up to 18 hours.  But the recipe suggested by Myron Mixon in his cookbook Smokin’, can be done in 6 to 8 hours after the initial marinating time.

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Instead of cooking the brisket low and slow, the meat is injected, marinated, spice rubbed and cooked at a constant temperature of 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.  The pan is then covered with aluminum foil and put back in the smoker to cook for another 1 1/2 hours or until the temperature reaches 205 degrees. From this point you wrap the pan in a  blanket, put it in a large cooler, and leave it to rest for 3 to 4 hours.

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Our brisket weighed about 6 pounds. Just a note on the cut of brisket you should use.  Butcher shops usually break the meat down into two pieces.  The first cut is called the flat and is what most grocery stores sell because it is leaner.  But the second cut, called the point, is rounder and fattier and has more flavor.  This is the preferred cut.  Also notice in the above photo the toothpick in the end.  There is another one on the other end.  Michael put them in the meat when it was raw to show the direction of the grain.  When cooked it is less obvious. To slice a tender brisket, it is important to slice it against the grain rather than with the grain.

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The recipe below is for a 15 to 20 pound brisket.  Since ours was much smaller, Michael felt the beef injection and marinade should be reduced.  The cooking time may also be less, although the resting time is quite flexible.IMG_0020

Michael served the brisket with a local barrel aged beer from Southern Peak Brewery called Midnight Conductor.  With hints of chocolate and dark fruit, it was the perfect accompaniment.  Next up, some delicious side dishes.

PERFECT SMOKED BEEF BRISKET

Ingredients

For the beef injection and marinade:

  • 1 quart water
  • 3 tablespoons beef base

For the beef rub:

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1.5 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated dried onion

We used a double recipe of the rub to ensure the meat was coated in rub.

For the meat:

  • One 15-20 pound whole untrimmed brisket, preferably USD Prime

Tools:

  • 2 aluminum pans
  • Injector
  • Blanket

Directions

For the beef injection and marinade:

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the beef base and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat. If reserving for a later use, let the liquid cool then pour it into a jug or bottle. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For the beef rub:

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly. You can store this rub in an airtight container indefinitely.

For the meat:

Trim your brisket. Place the brisket, fat side up, in an aluminum baking pan. Inject it by eyeballing 1-inch squares all over the brisket and injecting half of the beef injection in those squares. Flip the brisket over, fat side down, and pour the remaining injection/marinade over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the brisket, heat a smoker to 350 degrees. (You can also use a gas grill, but you’ll need to prepare it for smoking.)

Remove the brisket from the marinade and discard the marinade. Using your hands, apply the beef rub all over the meat. Place the brisket in a clean aluminum baking pan, place the pan in the smoker, and cook for 2 ½ hours at 350 degrees. Remove the pan from the smoker and cover it with aluminum foil. Put it back into the smoker and cook for another 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees or until the temperature in the point end of the meat reaches 205 degrees. Remove the pan from the smoker and wrap the pan, still covered with aluminum foil, in a thick blanket. Let it rest at room temperature for 3-4 hours. Unwrap the pan, discard the foil, and remove the brisket, taking care to save the the accumulated juices. Set the brisket aside. Strain the juices of all grease, and pour the juices into a medium saucepan. Warm the juices over medium heat, and allow them to come to a simmer.

Meanwhile, slice the brisket against the grain; try to make the slices as consistently sized as possible. Place the slices on a warm platter and pour the juices over them. Serve immediately.

Printable Recipe

9 responses to “The Perfect Beef Brisket”

  1. Thank You for this!! Didn’t know what to cook for Christmas with the half of the family that is Jewish coming for the first time. They all love brisket and my husband just bought himself a Big Green Egg….

  2. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says:

    That looks and sounds delicious! We didn’t do turkey this year either. I cooked braised beef short ribs and parmesan cheese polenta.

  3. Monique says:

    Looks fabulous..no smoker here:( My SIL used to have one..maybe he still does:)

    • Penny says:

      I’m sure you will survive without this recipe, but it is darn good. Too cold in Canada to be grilling anyway. Can hardly wait to see all of your Christmas goodies Monique.

  4. Susan says:

    I love brisket! Wish I had a smoker to try this recipe, Penny. It looks wonderful!

  5. Greta says:

    Yummy! My husband spent a weekend with Myron Mixon learning different techniques and recipes. He learned a lot in that weekend!

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