It finally had to happen. After brisket ear and several flat cutter briskets in different ways, we have ordered a whole packer brisket. There is actually no logical reason to prepare a whole packer in its entirety. But it’s somewhat of a right of passage.
The flat and the point are such different meats in terms of fat/meat ratio that it is better to prepare them separately. Eventually, you will separate them after preparation. But the trick is to prepare them simultaneously, and we have to try that at least once.
Through all the practice, we know how we want to prepare it. Hot and fast and wrapped in butcher paper. That should give the result we hope for. Juicy meat with a thick bark. Make no mistake with hot and fast. In the end, it took us 10 hours, including trimming and resting the meat.
So this is him. A whole packer brisket. 7 kilos with all the trimmings. Far too big for our cutting board. We will trim the entire brisket for fat and silverskin, so the weight will be less than that.
You can still reuse all the soft fat that you remove. You can use it to make lean hamburger meat fatter. It also immediately improves the taste. You can also use it to roast your potatoes.
We first cut off all hard pieces of fat. Especially on top of the brisket is a thick piece that does not melt away by itself. We also remove all other fat. This time we’re going for as much smoky flavor as possible. Fat and silverskin only stops the smoke and cause uneven cooking.
Then we cover the entire brisket with mustard to make the dry rub stick. Do not be afraid that you will taste the mustard back in the meat. What you do get is a nice thick layer of herbs.
Then we throw the brisket in the Masterbuilt 560 gravity fed smoker. We fill the Masterbuilt smoker with lump charcoal. For smoke wood, we have a mix of oak and apple. We throw the chunks in the ash pan.
We place the brisket on the top grates to place an oven tray underneath that collects dripping fat. That saves a lot of cleaning afterward. You may notice that the center of the brisket is slightly raised. We put a few chunks of smoke wood under the brisket to ensure that no puddles of moisture remain on the brisket. We learned that from Noskos bbq.
We set the Masterbuilt to 150°C (300F). That is only for the first few hours to ensure a good smoke flavor. A higher temperature can cause the sugar in the rub to burn, resulting in a bitter taste.
After 2 hours, the brisket already looks beautiful dark red. The rub is firmly on, so we can start packing it. This time we use butcher paper. Butcher paper is breathable and retains less steam. This keeps the meat juicy without the bark getting wet and possibly disappearing.
We first fold one side over the meat and fold the sides under the brisket. We put the other side over it and then fold the loose parts under the whole package. We will put the entire package in the smoker like this so that it stays in place.
This is when we go hot and fast and set the Masterbuilt smoker to 180°C (356F). The brisket is now protected by the paper so the sugars don’t burn from the direct heat.
We stick the thermometer through the paper in the meat and continue cooking the brisket to a core temperature of 96°C (205F). From that moment on, we will check if the meat is tender enough. We check this by inserting the probe in different places in the brisket. Then we don’t look at the temperature but how easily the probe passes through the meat.
We let the steam inside the package evaporate before we pack the brisket back up. This steam can cause the meat to overcook and possibly become too soft.
Then the brisket is placed in a fresh piece of butcher paper in a cool box. You can keep it warm like this for hours while you wait for your guests. This is very useful if you finish way too early.
After 10 hours, the moment has finally come that we can see what the result is. We have beautiful bark and an excellent pink smoke ring.
And as you can see, we don’t have to worry about the juiciness.
We divide the brisket in the flat and the point and make the neighbors happy with a few nice slices of brisket. They smelled the beautiful smoke all day, so they deserved that.
- A whole packer brisket
- 2 tbsp mustard powder
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp celery seed
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp raw cane sugar
- ½ tsp chipotle
- Prepare your smoker with a temperature of 150°C (302F) with a few blocks of smoking wood. We used oak and apple.
- Cut all hard pieces of fat from the meat. Then we remove the silverskin and other parts of soft fat. We also cut away the thin and loose parts of the brisket. These parts only burn.
- Mix all ingredients of the dry rub. Coat the brisket with a thin layer of mustard and sprinkle an even layer of dry rub over the meat.
- Place the brisket in the barbecue and close the lid. We leave it for 2 hours so that the meat can absorb enough smoke.
- After 2 hours, we wrap the brisket with butcher paper and heat up the barbecue to 180°C (356F). We put the brisket back on the grill and place a thermometer to monitor the core temperature.
- If the core temperature is 96°C (205F), we check the meat in several places to see if it is tender enough. If that is the case, we unwrap the meat to let the steam inside the package evaporate.
- Then we rewrap the meat to let it rest. After an hour of rest, the brisket may be cut.