Prep 1 hr
Cook 8 hrs
Larry Willrath by way of BBQ USA/Steven Raichlen. Posted per husband’s request
Brisket and Seasoning Paste
- 1 (10 -12 lb) beef brisket
- 1⁄2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons apple juice (more if needed) or 2 tablespoons apple cider (more if needed)
- 1⁄4 cup sweet paprika
- 3 tablespoons garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons celery salt
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons pure chile powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 quart apple juice or 1 quart apple cider
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups barbecue sauce (use your favorite brand)
- 4 cups wood chips, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained (see note)
- Note: Mr. Willrath starts smoking the brisket over a mixture of oak, pecan, and hickory, switching to apple wood halfway through; if you don’t want to do that, just use oak.
- Trim the outer layer of fat on the brisket so only ¼ inch remains; if there is a pocket of fat between the flat and cap, cut it out and discard.
- Place brisket in a foil or ceramic roasting pan.
- To make the seasoning paste: add brown sugar, mustard, and garlic to a nonreactive mixing bowl; stir in enough apple juice to obtain a thick paste (how thick? like wallpaper paste).
- Spread half of the paste over both sides of the brisket using a rubber spatula.
- Let sit for 15 minutes; spread the remaining paste over the brisket (both sides) and let sit for another 15 minutes.
- To make the rub: Add all the rub ingredients to a small bowl; stir to mix or use your fingers to mix the rub.
- Sprinkle rub all over the brisket (both sides), patting it onto the meat with your fingers.
- Let the brisket cure in the refrigerator, covered, for 2-4 hours.
- To make the mop sauce: Add apple juice, vinegar, and salt to a large nonreactive bowl; whisk until salt dissolves.
- Set up grill for indirect grilling and preheat to low;**if using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then decrease heat to low; **if using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to low, the toss 1 cup of wood chips on the coals; **if using a smoker, fire it up according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- When ready to cook, place the brisket in the center of the hot grate, fat side up, over the drip pan and away from the heat; cover the grill.
- Cook the brisket 3 ½-4 hours, until handsomely browned.
- Use an instant read thermometer to determine when it is time to wrap it in foil; internal temperature should be about 165°.
- Mop or baste the meat every hour with some of the mop sauce.
- **If using a charcoal grill, every hour you will need to add 12 fresh coals and ½ cup of wood chips to each side.
- Generously brush the brisket on both sides with the barbecue sauce and tightly wrap it in heavy duty foil; return the wrapped meat to the grate, cover the grill, and continue cooking the brisket until very tender, another 3 ½ to 4 hours, for a total of 7-8 hours.
- **This will be easy in a smoker, it is a little more challenging to maintain such a low heat in a gas or charcoal grill.
- Partially unwrap the brisket to test for doneness, taking care not to spill the juices; the meat should be very dark and very tender and have an internal temperature of about 190°.
- Open the foil wrapping at one end and pour the meat juices into a bowl.
- Transfer the brisket to a cutting board; let rest 20 minutes.
- Thinly slice the meat across the grain; spoon the reserved juices over the brisket; serve immediately.
- You may accompany the meat with your favorite bbq sauce, but serve it on the side.