Our local butcher had some great deals on pork and beef cuts that were perfect for smoking, so we loaded up. Here is one of the results. You might also want to check out the Pork Shoulder Roast that was prepared at the same time. Both Instructables were created using a pellet grill/smoker during a rainstorm, so for more information on running your pellet during adverse weather, check out Pellet Smoking in the Rain.
Using a few simple steps, we transformed a flat brisket (here they are called "Short North Briskets") into a beefy spectacle. We used a rare and hard to find sauce, but you can substitute your favorite. The slow smoking in apple wood not only creates an incredible flavor and texture, but also helps to bring out the best in beef.
This Instructable assumes you are familiar with the safe operation of a pellet smoker and have already prepped it for use.
- Flat beef brisket (3-5 lbs)
- Olive oil (not extra virgin)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Ground chimayo pepper (optional)
- CaJohn's 20 Years After Sauce
- Pellet smoker
- Apple wood pellets
- Sharp knife
- Large cutting board
- Aluminum foil
- Oven-safe k-type thermocouple and thermometer*
*NOTE: Brisket is less forgiving in the smoker, so we used a more accurate scientific thermometer and probe to ensure the best result.
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Step 1: Trim and Season
Give the brisket a bit of a trimming to remove the thickest outer fat areas. This helps to reduce flare ups in the smoker while still preserving flavor and tenderness. Rub with olive oil and dust with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you like. We added ground chimayo peppers for a bit of New Mexican flair.
Step 2: Smoke - Part I
Preheat and Prep the smoker for high smoke. One of the benefits of a pellet smoker is you literally just dial it to "High Smoke."
Place brisket directly on grate and insert meat probe into the thickest part.
Smoke for several hours until the internal temperature reads 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This is called the stall point. The stall point is when evaporative cooling overtakes the ability of the smoker to add heat to the meat effectively enough to keep the temperature rising.
Step 3: Smoke - Part II
Since we want our brisket to keep cooking to our desired internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit, we need to get past the stall point. The best way to do this is to wrap the brisket in aluminum foil. It doesn't have to be wrapped airtight, just enough to substantially reduce the cooling effect. Make sure to keep your thermometer or probe in place.
Keep the brisket in the smoker about an hour or two more (based on weight), until the internal temperature gets close to 175 degrees.
Step 4: Smoke - Part III
Open the foil and liberally coat with sauce. close the foil and continue to smoke until around 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Note: Most commercially sold sauces are made to be finishing sauces, that is, used in the final minutes of cooking. The earlier you apply them, the more vinegary the sauces will be in flavor.
Step 5: Rest and Serve
When the brisket reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and keep it in the foil. Remove the thermometer or probe and tighten the foil up.
Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Slice, Serve, and Enjoy!