Everything I Know About How to Smoke Grass Fed Brisket, Including Why I love this Cut of Beef!
TMI About Beef Brisket?
Ever heard of someone giving TMI (to much information) about a cut of beef? Well you are about to. Here are the topics we are covering for this post. Including how to smoke grass fed brisket!
- What is Brisket
- My Top 6 Reasons I Think it’s a Great Choice of Red Meat
- What to Look for When Buying a Brisket
- How to Make a Great Dry Rub
- How to Smoke Grass Fed Brisket
Told ya that we were going to give a lot of information about this great cut of beef.
What is Brisket?
I am from Texas and if you are from Texas and you can’t define Brisket then you get kicked out of the state! Just kidding but when I asked a few people what Brisket was the most common answer was, “It is the meat that they use in bar-b-que sandwiches!” Although that is a mostly true statement it is much deeper than that.
Brisket is defined as the cut of beef that is found on the lower chest of a cow/bull. This includes the superficial and pectoral muscles. Now that kind of talk gets me excited about beef. Here is why, brisket is generally regarded as a tough cut of meat that requires low and slow cooking. But why is that? These muscles known as the Brisket bear 60% of the animal’s weight. Because cows have no collarbones these muscles get an incredible workout. An average bull weighs about 2,400 lbs. so that means that these muscles hold about 1400 lbs. all day everyday. This makes them fibrous. These connective fibers are full of collagen proteins and when slow cooked become a gel like substance that your body likes!
Speaking of that…
My Top 6 Reasons I Think Brisket is a Healthy Choice of Red Meat
- 64 Grams of Protein – You get 64 grams of protein in an 8 oz serving of brisket.
- Collagen – great source of natural collagen that your body recognizes and loves.
- Cost – a grass fed local source can be as little as $9.99 a pound! That is a great deal for clean grass fed meat!
- Versatility – check out our post for some great leftover brisket recipes!
- Iron – 6.4 milligrams of iron in an 8 oz. serving. A clean source of iron that is naturally recognized in the body helps red blood cells transport oxygen in the body.
- Fatty Acid CLA – Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a great fatty acid that helps prevent catastrophic health events like diabetes and cancer.
Are you sold on the idea of buying a brisket? Yes? Good here is what to look for!
How Buy a Beef Brisket
If you are not familiar with this cut of meat here is a rule book to help guide you!
- Look for grass-fed and preferably grass finished beef. These would be priority criteria and ones I will not compromise on. If you can find Organic, local, grass-fed, grass finished that would be the best of the best!
- Always buy it from the butcher/meat counter. Ask for the best cut of brisket they have available in the amount you want.
- Look for brisket that had about ¼ inch fat cap that is covering 90% of the cut. Pure white indicates grain fed cattle (feedlot) and off white and yellow indicates grass-fed. If the fat cap is discolored or pink this indicates that it has been stored in a vacuum seal for a long period of time and may not be incredibly fresh.
- Look for cuts that are the same thickness throughout. This will help with even cooking.
Make a Dry Rub
This is my personal recipe for an amazing dry rub for smoking brisket.
Brisket Dry Rub Recipe
2 tbs kosher or Maldon salt
1 tbs fresh ground black pepper
1 tbs coconut sugar
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Add all spices in a Mason jar and shake! Will coat a 2-3 pound brisket
How to Smoke a Brisket on a Gas Grill
I use a gas grill for cooking outdoors. In particular I use a Weber Baby Q portable grill. It is a an amazing little tool. I love how fast it pre-heats, its portability and the versatile cooking styles I can achieve with it. Including smoking a brisket! Fair warning this is a three day process…that is so worth it!
STEP 1 – To prep the brisket I create a soaking brine. I let the brisket soak for 48 hours in the brine before I smoke it. Here is my big secret recipe!
Soaking Brine Recipe
3-4 cups of water
½ cup sea salt, kosher or Maldon
1 tsp of peppercorns
1 bay leaf
In a saucepan warm water and dissolve salt. Add peppercorns, and bay leaf. Allow to cool completely or add ice to cool. Add mixture to tightly sealed glass container and submerge brisket. Leave in refrigerator for 48 hours before cooking.
This really is my big secret for cooking the most tender brisket ever. I never cook one without doing this first!
STEP 2 – After letting the brisket soak in the brine for 48 hours remove the brisket from brine and discard the brine water. Rinse brisket under cool water and pat dry. Rub with dry rub listed above. Leave on counter for 15-20 minuets to let the brisket come to room temperature before cooking. Note: adding a cold brisket to a hot grill will cause the meat to constrict and make it tough even with slow cooking.
STEP 3 – It’s time to get your smoke on.
- Use wood chips of your choice, I like hickory chips.
- Do not soak the wood chips. You want them to smoke, not steam, and not catch fire.
- Use a heavy duty piece of foil and 2-3 cups of wood chips. Roll down the top and leave the ends open.
- Turn your gas grill to a medium high heat and place wood chips directly on the grill in the foil packet.
- Keep an eye on them.
- When they start to smoke reduce the heat.
- The inside of the grill should be around 400 degrees when you add the meat with a good smoke coming from the smoke packet.
STEP 4 – This is the first step of a 2 step cooking process. Your grill should be 400 degrees and the smoke rolling. Add the brisket with the fat cap up on the grill. Turn heat to lowest setting, 300 – 350 degree is optimum as the grill cools a bit. Cook the brisket undisturbed for 2 hours. Do not flip or puncture with thermometer.
STEP 5 – Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Remove brisket from grill. Wrap brisket in foil. In a baking pan cook brisket with fat cap down for 3 hours in oven. Juices may leak from foil so the baking pan is necessary. Do not turn. Cook until inside temperature is 190 degrees.
STEP 6 – Remove from oven and rest for 15- 20 minutes before serving.
STEP 7 – Slice brisket against the grain for tender cuts. That is going to most likely be lengthwise on the thinnest side.
This is a great way to cook beef in bulk and you are getting a great cut full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Please note that all red meat should be eaten in moderation and not on a daily basis. A healthy body loves large portions of plant-based foods and the occasional meat protein. Serve this with a healthy portion of vegetables and your body will love you!