Smoked Briskets for Memorial Day

Memorial day is next weekend, so lets talk about smoking / cooking briskets. Brisket is a tough cut of meat, but if you cook it on a low heat, and for several hours, the meat becomes tender, and the brisket turns into a great appetite pleaser.  Briskets can usually be bought for about $20, and will feed maybe a dozen people depending on how big the brisket is.

Marinate the Briskets

I like to marinate my brisket for at least 12 hours before cooking. For the rub, I am currently using a liquid marinate out of the mexican food section called Goya Mojo criollo Marinade for chicken, pork and beef. While at the deer lease on opening weekend of 2010, a buddy of mine told me about Goya mojo, so I thought I would give it a try. Other ingredients of the rub are a cajun spice and steak seasoning.

Smoker on wheels

The brisket is marinated overnight, put it on the smoker for about 4 – 5 hours, then wrap in foil with the fat layer up.  I like to put the fat layer up so that the good meat is in the juice.  This helps keep the brisket moist.  A lot of people put the fat layer down, which makes the best cuts of meat dry out.

About 6 hours cook time wrapped in foil, then taken out, put on the chopping block, and sliced up.  To slice up the brisket, I use an electric knife.

Total cook time is about 10 – 11 hours.

A lot of people smoke their brisket for anywhere between 3 – 5 hours, then wrap the brisket in foil, and put it in the oven for another 4 or 5 hours. Personally, I smoke the brisket on the pit for around 4 hours, then wrap in foil and leave it on the pit for a cook time of at least 8 hours. Depending on the cut of meat, a cook time of around 10 hours is probably more like it.

Wood for Smoking Briskets

The choice of wood for smoking briskets is a matter of debate of people who cook with wood. Some people like red oak, while others like pen oak, mesquite, pecan, pear,,, any kind of fruit tree.

Personally, I use whatever I can get may hands on, which is usually red oak, pen oak and pecan.  During the year I will thin out some small oak trees, then use the tractor mounted log splitter to split the wood. The split firewood is stored in the tractor barn to dry.