15 Jan What Makes Brisket Better?
Brisket is the definitely one of the best BBQ meat options and a favorite BBQ dish around the world. It is arguably the tastiest cut of meat and a barbecue joint staple. Brisket is cut from the lower part of the breast of the cow, beneath the first five ribs, behind the fore-shank. This cut of meat is often succulent, juicy, tender and oh-so tasty due to the low and slow nature in which it is cooked. But not all brisket is created (or barbecued) equally. In fact, brisket is one of the most difficult dishes to master and refining it takes time and a lot of practice. There are a few things you can do to ensure your brisket is better.
Low and Slow
Like all barbecue, brisket tastes best when smoked at a low temperature and for a long time. “Low and slow” as experts call it. Depending on the weight and thickness of your cut of meat, cooking time can be anywhere from five to fifteen hours. The cooking temp can vary between 200˚ and 250˚ F. Give it lots of time to cook and don’t check it too often – you don’t want the temperature to change much.
A good brisket is tender, juicy, and flavorful. A good brisket is moist even without any sauce because it is full of “melted” collagen and fat. A good brisket is always flaky and easily pulls apart. Getting the perfect tenderness is quite tricky, however. Because each cut has different fat content, different marbling, some are cut larger or cut incorrectly, or sometimes you just get a tough cut of meat. Often times, a BBQ master has their own routines and regimen to make sure the brisket is good each and every time. One tried and true tip is to smoke your meat with the fat side up, so the juices will base and drip through. This helps with tenderness as well as flavor.
You can tell if a brisket a good brisket before you even taste it based on the size of the slice. Use long and smooth stokes to cut your brisket into 1/4 inch slices, which is about the width of a pencil. And don’t forget to always slice against the grain. The meat should be tender enough to enjoy that that thickness and ensure each piece gets a good amount of the smokey crust. Any thinner and it’s just a cover up for tough meat.
There isn’t just one right answer for the perfect smokey crust. How it looks and tastes is just a matter of preference. But one thing that stands for each crust must is a rich smokey flavor. If there’s no crust, there’s no smoke flavor. You’re getting close if your crust is very dark – could even be black!
Perfecting the brisket is every pitmaster’s dream. By mastering the low and slow cooking method, creating the perfect tenderness so you can get the right size slice, and ideal smokey crust, you’re sure to make a dang near perfect brisket. The ultimate barbecue accolade.