Whole hog is the preferred BBQ in North Carolina, and Kentucky may be known for its mutton, but in Texas – beef brisket is king! Its smoky, tender flavor lingers on your taste buds long after you’ve cleaned the plate. However, it takes time and patience to perfect this Southern delicacy, and only a lucky few have truly mastered the art of cooking this delicious dish. Join Matt Moore, Nashville-based cook and author of The South's Best Butts, as he explains everything you need to know for conquering the coveted BBQ beef brisket.

To begin, season your cut of meat extremely generously with very coarse kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Because beef brisket is a bulky cut of meat, it’s important to season it well before you begin cooking. Of course, the brisket will absorb a deliciously smoky flavor throughout the process, but coating the meat with salt and pepper really allows for a well-seasoned dish. The key is to cover every portion of the cut, allowing for an even distribution of flavor. Once your smoker has reached 225˚, place your seasoned brisket on the grill, and prepare yourself for the waiting game. The meat has to cook between 16 and 20 hours. Be sure the smoker stays between 225˚ and 250˚; you don’t want to overcook or undercook your brisket.

To finish it off, use a method known as the Texas Crutch; this is simply wrapping the meat in parchment paper, allowing it to remain moist and preventing it from burning. This creates a convection effect that cooks the meat completely through. After another 8-10 hours, check the internal temperature on the thickest portion of beef using a meat thermometer. The finished product should be at about 200˚. This rigorous and challenging process is definitely worth the effort. Throw in a few of your favorite BBQ sides, and enjoy this delectable BBQ beef brisket!

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