BBQ Brisket, on the Big Green Egg.
I love good brisket. I also love uninterrupted sleep. In the past cooking a big packer brisket, usually 12 pounds and up, meant an overnight cook, which meant getting up a handful of times to make sure the temps on the smoker were still in range. Well those days are over, almost. Because I have a new toy, a Big Green Egg which holds the temps so much better than my other smokers. Meaning I get more uninterrupted sleep during long, overnight cooks.
This brisket was a whole brisket, or packer cut brisket. The whole brisket has the flat, which is your normal brisket, and the point, which is a great cut of meat for making burnt ends. More on those in a later post.
Its a big cut of meat. This one tipped the scales at 14 pounds. Normally you give an hour to an hour and a half per pound of meat, depending on cooking temp to finish this up. You can also go with just a flat, usually about 5-8 pounds. A flat can easily be started in the morning and enjoyed later that day. I have cooked a few brisket flats up in the past, they are pretty good also.
Preparation is simple. Cut off some of the really thick fat, leaving a decent layer to keep the meat juicy. A 1/4 inch is probably plenty. I then dry rub the brisket, wrap it in foil, and stick it back in the fridge for a few hours.
Pull the brisket out a half hour or so before you put it in the smoker. I normally pull it out and put it on the counter and then go start my smoker and get the temps adjusted and stabilized.
Once the temps are all adjusted and stable I add the brisket into the mix. I have the Egg set up with a plate setter for indirect cooking and I also put a drip pan under the brisket. The drip pan is a necessity because a huge amount of fat dripped off this brisket while cooking.
I cooked this brisket fat side down. I hear a lot of people say to cook it fat side up so the juices drip down through the meat. I don’t think I agree with that because what seems to happen is the fat melts off and runs off the top and sides of the brisket washing away my dry rub. I think it comes out better tasting if you cook fat side down.
I used my IGrill dual probe thermometer to monitor the grill temp and the meat temp. In the above picture you can see the probes, one in the meat, the other sticking out of a potato. I use a potato for two reasons. One is you do not want to lay the probe on the metal grill because metal conducts heat faster and I never seem to get an accurate temp that way. The second reason is the potato holds the probe at the same height as the meat, so I feel I get a much more accurate cooking temp that way.
my IGrill also uses Bluetooth to link to my IPad. So I can leave the IPad on my nightstand and it will beep if temps fall outside of my desired cooking range. And yes, it did wake me up at one point and I had to attend to the Egg. But it wasn’t too bad, the sun was already up at that point.
The internal temp hit 185 and I pulled it from the Egg. I cut off the point meat of the brisket, then wrapped the flat in foil, then in towels, then put it into a cooler to stay warm for a few hours until my friends showed up for dinner. The brisket is actually better if you wrap it and put it in a cooler to rest for at least an hour.
You may think a whole brisket is too much, but its great leftover. We always eat all of it, mostly over the next couple of days.