Smok’in Good Slow-Cooked Brisket
By David and Debbie Kornberg
When it comes to making brisket in our household, it is a collaborative effort. I oversee seasoning and saucing of the brisket. My husband, David, is responsible for smoking, cooking, and slicing up the brisket. What makes our brisket so delicious is that we season and smoke/BBQ it first before cooking it in the oven overnight. We have a Kosher for Passover Webber’s charcoal grill that we only use for Pesach. (By the way, also great for grilling veggies like portabella mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, and asparagus.) By grilling/smoking the brisket prior to cooking it overnight, we lock in all the flavor and juices of the brisket, so it does not dry out.
We like to use Top of Rib or 1st cut, it is a thinner cut of meat and while it does have some fat in it, it is not too marbly. Some people may prefer a 2nd cut brisket which has more marbled fat in it. Seasoning the Brisket with spices is of course important and helps tenderize. I like to let the raw meat rest with the seasoning on it for several hours to let the flavors soak in and tenderize it all the same time.
While most of my recipes are fairly simple, this one does take some time to prepare and does require more attention. With that said, it is pretty tasty and worth the effort.
3 lbs. Top of Rib
Spice Blend Ingredients:
SPICE + LEAF Smok’in Good Espresso BBQ Rub (Available on Amazon)
Spiced Tomato Sauce Ingredients:
1 can of tomato sauce, 15 oz.
1 ¼ cup of red wine
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
15 garlic cloves, chopped.
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cumin
Smoker or BBQ charcoal grill
Self-lighting charcoal if using charcoal grill.
Oven thermometer – Best if thermometer has a timer component to it so it will alert you when brisket has reached its ideal temperature.
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Step 1: Crust both side of brisket with SPICE + LEAF Smok’in Good Espresso BBQ Rub. Let marinate for at least 4 hours to overnight in the refrigerator.
Step 2: When you are ready to smoke meat on grill, preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Step 3: Option 1: Use a smoker like a Trager or an Egg and set temperature to smoke. Let meat smoke for about 50 minutes to an hour.
Option 2: Use a BBQ charcoal grill and place coals on grill. Light charcoal and let go for a good 20 - 30 minutes so the grill is not too hot. Spread out coals so they are evenly spaced on the grill. This will help smoke the meat evenly. Basically, you want to be able to sear the outside of the meat without cooking it all the way through and get some of that good smoky flavor of the charcoal grill infused into the meat. Place seasoned brisket on grill, cover grill, and let is cook for 20 to 25 minutes on each side.
Step 4: While meat is cooking on smoker or BBQ grill, prepare sauce. Using a medium size bowl, place all sauce ingredients into a bowl and whisk everything together well. Set aside.
Step 5: Make sure oven is preheated to a temperature of 225 degrees. Place meat into a baking pan. Cover with spiced tomato sauce. Add water to ensure the meat is fully covered with liquid.
IMPORTANT: Using heavy-duty aluminum foil, break off a piece that will be big enough to cover the entire pan with a good seal. Using a thermometer with a probe, poke a small hole into the foil and insert into the thickest part of the brisket. Make sure the thermometer probe is kept in the middle of the meat and not touching any metal parts of the oven, otherwise, it will give you an inaccurate temperature reading.
VERY IMPORTANT: It is highly recommended that you use a thermometer that has a probe with an alarm component so it will alert you when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 200 degrees. Here is one from Amazon that works well.
Cover brisket with the heavy-duty aluminum foil. Ensure there is a tight seal to ensure no air can get through except for the tiny hole where the thermometer is. Place brisket into the oven, set thermometer alarm to reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees. This is a long process and can take anywhere from 8 or more hours. Don’t stress if the thermometer is at 180 degrees for a long time. This is a slow cook brisket. It is worth the wait. If you are really running out of time, you can increase the oven temperature to 230 to 250 degrees to help the process along but watch the thermometer closely. Also, by increasing the temperature, it may dry out the brisket.
Step 6: Once brisket has reached an internal temperature of 200 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for at least one to two hours. The brisket will continue to cook which is good, and hopefully will get to an internal temperature of 203 degrees which is magic number.
Step 7: Using an electric knife, slice meat into half-inch slices and place back into sauce so it does not dry out. Cover with foil. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Once cool, you can also either place it into the refrigerator or freezer. Reheat at 250 degrees and ensure the meat is covered in sauce to avoid the brisket drying out.