Texas Brisket for #SundaySupper

 

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When I read this week’s SundaySupper theme was “Low & Slow” I knew exactly what I wanted to make and where I would get inspiration from.  As regular readers of my blog will know, this site has been taken over by a lot of slow cooking – cooking in a smoker to be exact. After returning from South by Southwest in Austin last March, I had a constant craving for barbecue. Smoked barbecue was constantly on my mind since I had my first and so far only taste of the most amazing brisket I’ve had in my life at Franklin Barbecue.

A coworker and I went to Franklin’s pretty late which was quite risky since the line is usually 3 hours and when they run out that’s it. No more and that time today was right around 1:15pm when we showed up and got behind a few people waiting outside the door.  About three minutes after getting in line someone from the restaurant comes out to put a “sold out today” sign on the door telling us they’re out, but they may have some scraps.

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At this point, we are good with scraps.  We waited in line with about 6 other people and when we finally made it to the counter there was one last perfectly cooked brisket just for us. No scraps!  Instead we had some amazing brisket that day.

I still can’t get that meal out of my mind (or is it taste-buds?)  It was an unforgetable food experience similar to the first time I went to Mario Batali’s Babbo Restaurant in New York City back in the early 2000′s. That meal change my perspective on Italian food forever. Franklin Barbecue changed my perspective on Southern barbecue forever and I knew I had to find a way to make that experience come home, just like how I learned to cook a few dishes like Batali’s Mint Love Letters ravioli.

For the next month I research smokers. Wood smokers. Ceramic smokers. Electric smokers. All kinds of options and read a ton of articles and message boards talking about perfect brisket and what it takes to get that great dark, Texas crunch and smoked flavor I had in Austin.

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When it came down to a final decision between a CookShack electric smoker and a ceramic Big Green Egg smoker, I went electric.  Now I knew this sacrificed me ever fully replicating Franklin Barbecue, but I knew I could get close. Heck I’d probably only just get close and that would still be pretty amazing.

So here I am on my second attempt at brisket in my CookShack smoker.  The first attempt was great, but it was a little too complex in the steps and came out a little too dry.  Plus last time I made a rookie mistake when buying the meat and bought what’s called a “flat” brisket.  What you really want is a “point” brisket. The point is that extra flap of the beef shoulder that most butchers cut-off from the brisket. Fortunately, I’ve found a great local butcher who specializes in grass-fed beef and I called them last Tuesday, literally when the cow arrives, and asked for a point brisket that ended up being a little over 9 pounds.

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I also found Aaron Franklin, the owner of Franklin Barbecue, in some YouTube videos talking about how he cooks brisket.

Here it is my second attempt. It was definitely an improvement, but I still have some work.  Mostly I left too much fat on.  Be sure to cut most of the fat off and watch Aaron’s video for some tips. I didn’t completely follow the instructions which I will next time. Basically, you want to remove most of the fat and keep some. Again, watch the video to learn more.

Don’t forget to check out the fabulous line up of recipes for today’s Low and Slow #SundaySupper

Low & Slow Breads & Starters:

Low & Slow Mains:

Low & Slow Sides:

Low & Slow Desserts:

Wine Pairing Recommendations for Low & Slow Food from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Don’t forget to join the #SundaySupper chat on Twitter Sunday to discuss cooking low and slow! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Check out the Food & Wine Conference sponsored by Sunday Supper! Being held July 19th – 21st in beautiful, sunny Orlando, FL. It’s a must for food bloggers. Find out more here ? Food & Wine Conference

 

Texas Brisket

Prep Time: 15 Mins Cooking Time: 11 Hours Total Time: 11 Hours 15 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 9-10 lb point brisket
  • 1/2 cup ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper

Directions:

  1. Trim the brisket removing most of the fat, but keeping some about a 1/4″ thick.
  2. Mix the rub ingredients together in a small bowl or shaker. Coat the brisket and let it refrigerate overnight.
  3. Heat smoker to 225 degrees. Place brisket in smoker.
  4. About 2 hours spray quickly with apple juice in a spray bottle.
  5. Remove brisket in 4 hours and wrap in butcher paper or aluminum foil. Spray apple juice and cover.
  6. Remove foil in last hour of cooking when meat temperature reaches 185 degrees. Spray with apple juice and place back in smoker until meat reaches 195 degree internal temperature.
  7. Serve.
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  • http://twitter.com/littleredkitchn Susan P.

    Oh man Babbo is amazing, although next time you are in NY and want to go for a Mario Batali restaurant I highly recommend Del Posto – one of my favorites. Now on to this, I love barbecue and as I expected this looks amazing. I just want to dive in and rip a piece off!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Will definitely try Del Posto on my next NYC trip.

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  • http://twitter.com/JuanitasCocina Juanita’s Cocina

    LOOK at you bark! I’d say it’s a job well-done!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Coming from you that means a lot. You know a good Texas bark!

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    Food memories are great, and if they involve smoked meat probably better. This looks out of this world! Can I be your neighbour?

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Our neighbors lucked out last night. I had so much meat we invited them over and they went back for seconds.

  • http://twitter.com/wallet_appetite Laura Hunter

    I have been to Franklin’s twice and it is so amazing. I wish we had a smoker so we could give this a try at home.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      So you know. You know. :)

  • Jennifer Drummond

    I love it! I just bought brisket and I want to slow cook it! Great recipe!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Enjoy Jennifer. Look forward to seeing what you do with your brisket.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.kerschner Cindy Kerschner

    We tried smoking a turkey once, we had no patience. They say good things come to those who wait, like your brisket!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks. Yeah it’s not a way to cook for impatient eaters.

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  • http://twitter.com/marocmama Amanda

    Brisket is one of my favorite ways to eat beef, but I’ve never tried smoking it myself. Even with the extra fat I’m sure this is wonderful.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Amanda. The extra fat is great but not if you want what is called “bark” that nice flavorful crust that is smoked brisket nirvana!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tara.noland.5 Tara Noland

    Love your post!! And the brisket!! My hubby sure loves his smoker and trying and recipes!! He really loved the course that I got him for his birthday!!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Tara. I was happy to see you doing a smoker recipe this week too. I never thought of seeking out a course though I’m not sure I’d learn a lot from California barbecue teachers… Maybe a Texan snuck into the state.

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  • http://www.girlichef.com Heather @girlichef.com

    I am dying for a smoker! And this brisket is killing me, it looks fantastic.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Heather!

  • http://twitter.com/HezziD Hezzi-Ds Books&Cooks

    I’ve never used a smoker before but after seeing this piece of meat I definitely need to look into getting one! Your brisket looks amazing!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Yeah a smoker is a lot of fun, plus I find I keep inviting people over for dinner more. So it’s very social too!

  • http://twitter.com/Beatepdx beate weiss-krull

    Another wow – this brisket looks absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! ~ Bea

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks Bea!

  • http://twitter.com/reneedobbs Renee Dobbs

    Apple juice as a spray for brisket – it’s something I never would have thought of doing. Now I’m wishing I had a smoker so I could try this recipe. A good smoked brisket is an awesome meal.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      There are a lot of slower cooker chefs who also use injections, but I find that too wet and people often over inject their meats making it stringy and soggy. I like a good simple spray. Apple juice keeps it moist and adds just a hint of additional flavor.

  • Chef Di

    What an informative post… I’ve always wondered what it would like using a smoker! So glad you got your brisket after waiting so long in line, and that you found the right cut later on (I’ve never heard of a point brisket!) Awesome, awesome… and getting very hungry!!!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com Chris Baccus

      Thanks. Finding the right cut of meat is essential with this dish.

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  • http://twitter.com/TheGabels Growing Up Gabel

    My husband was raised on “Long Island” brisket but we much prefer a smoked brisket! Never attempted one at home but yours looks divine!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com/ Chris Baccus

      I love a good “Long Island” brisket too. Thanks.

  • Erin- Table for 7

    What a great post! I have never used a smoker before..looks delicious!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com/ Chris Baccus

      Thanks Erin!

  • katyabroad

    Wow, so many new techniques and ideas in this post – the smoker, the apple juice spray – it may be too advanced for me, but I admire your work!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com/ Chris Baccus

      Haha. Yeah I’ve been learning a lot and am still learning. BBQ is definitely one of the most complex forms of cooking I know of. And just like a many other forms of cooking, there are a ton of opinions.

  • http://www.webicurean.com/ Webicurean

    That looks SO good! Seems like a good excuse for getting a smoker if you ask me!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com/ Chris Baccus

      Lots of great excuses to get a smoker. Can’t believe it took me 41 years to finally buy one.

  • Martin Redmond

    Pinning! Great looking recipe. Wish I had some now!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com/ Chris Baccus

      Thanks Martin.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tammi.demersforcier Tammi Demers Forcier

    My husband would be all over this! I’ve always wanted to try a smoker!

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com/ Chris Baccus

      Father’s Day is coming up! :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/lizzy.do Lizzy Do

    Oh, man. I’m craving brisket now! Yours looks superb.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com/ Chris Baccus

      Thanks Lizzy. It made great leftovers tonight too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheWimpyVegetarian Susan Pridmore

    Great tips on ensuring a fabulous brisket ! Your photos are absolutely mouthwatering! I’m a Big Green Egg fan, but now I want to check into your CookShack electric smoker.

    • http://www.sustainabledad.com/ Chris Baccus

      Thanks Susan. I love the Big Green Egg too. Came done to two things for me. 1) weight the egg is such a pain to move around and we currently rent so I wanted something more manageable. 2) Didn’t want to ‘tend a fire.’ Instead wanted something I could set and enjoy the rest of my day.

  • Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious

    Wow that looks good! How about I let you cook it and I come over for dinner. Great #SundaySupper choice!

  • http://twitter.com/ssunithi Sunithi Selvaraj, RD

    Your brisket looks lovely ! Never tried this method of cooking low and slow ! Must try !! Welcome back to #SS too :) !

  • Family Foodie

    The brisket looks so good and sounds absolutely delicious! My boys would be in heaven. Definitely need to try this!

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  • http://www.foxeslovelemons.com/ Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

    So cool, love your story of Franklin Barbecue! I’m hoping to visit Austin for the first time sometime in the next few years, so I want to check it out!

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  • Lauren @ HealthyDelish

    Aren’t smokers awesome? We got one two summers ago and we love it! Our favorite thing to make is chicken thighs (we rub them with jerk seasoning and crisp the skin on the grill). I actually haven’t tried smoking a brisket yet, despite it being my favorite when we get barbecue… love those burnt ends!