SMOKED BRISKET Challenge
Kick Off Summer Right! The Ultimate Smoked Brisket
I smoke my brisket in a foil pan. It’s not something you see a lot, but I swear by it. I’ve been doing my briskets in a foil pan for several years and every time, they come out great. I haven’t had a single complaint! I’ve spent much of my time walking the smoking circuit, and I’ve seen a lot of methods that go into smoking brisket. I’ve seen what goes on behind the scenes and things you don’t see on Food Network or at meat competitions. A lot of guys use foil pans when they smoke. They just don’t like to show that when the camera is rolling or the crowd is gathered around; it’s not as dramatic as pulling a slab of meat out of the smoker. Plus, a lot of those guys on the circuit don’t want anyone to know their secrets to smoking good barbecue. Pitmasters tend to keep their mouths shut. But I don’t want to keep my method of smoking brisket to myself! Even if you have your own way of smoking brisket without a pan, I do encourage you to give it a try. It hasn’t failed me yet. This month, I will tell you how I get it so good. If you take a look at my smoked brisket recipe on Page 3, you’ll see I brush on butter or olive oil before putting on the rub. Some folks say there’s no point to putting on butter or oil and that the rub will melt right off. In my years of smoking brisket this way, that has not happened. The rub stays on just fine. The butter or oil (which you use is completely up to you) helps bring the rub flavor into the meat and will help you get that flavor-packed smoke ring. Let’s talk about the smoke ring for a moment. Again, this is another one of those things folks have strong opinions about. I’ve heard the smoke ring doesn’t add anything to the meat or that it doesn’t really add any flavor. Let me tell you, I’m a firm believer in that smoke ring — and you can test it for yourself. Once you’re done smoking your brisket, cut off a piece of just the ring. It’ll be a thin piece of meat. You don’t want to cut any of the meat below the ring. Give it a taste, and when you’ve got a good taste of the
smoke ring, go back in and cut off a piece of meat below the ring and give that a taste. You be the judge.
If you can get a quarter-inch smoke ring around the meat, you definitely know your game. But with practice, anybody can achieve that ideal smoke ring. It’s what you get after a slow smoke with a medium amount of rub. And that’s something to keep in mind when it comes to the rub. You don’t want to put on too much. That’ll leave you with a muddy or dirty taste to the bark. Brisket already has an earthy flavor, and the herbs and spices in the rub work to complement that, so you don’t want to go overboard. Here’s another thing to keep in mind: Sometimes when people add mustard to the rub, the meat will taste dry. This is why I usually stay away from putting mustard in a rub. I’ll just stick to mustard as a condiment on my sandwich.
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