Monday, May 30, 2011

Beef Brisket on the Gas Grill


I think brisket is one of the best meats on the grill.  Cooked low and slow over hardwood charcoal and hickory wood, it takes on the flavor of wood and smoke and its meat becomes succulently tender and unforgettable.

My smoker of choice is the Big Green Egg (brisket on the Big Green Egg recipe here), but today I used our Weber Genesis gas grill.  While we lost some of the smoke flavor, this brisket was mind-blowingly good.  It's completely worth making, particularly if you are more familiar with or want the convenience of your gas grill.

The recipe is below, but here are some general tips that work for me:

1) When you get your brisket, ask the butcher not to trim it.  Score the fat in a crosshatch pattern before seasoning. Cook fat side up. The fat bastes the meat while it's cooking, and that's a good thing.

2) Dry rub all the way! I use Penzey's BBQ 3000 seasoning, but any mixed rub will do. Generously season (don't be shy!) and massage it into the meat. I probably use a couple tbs. or more of rub.  If I don't have any rub, I will generously season the brisket with paprika, a little chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, kosher salt, pepper, and brown sugar. I don't even bother mixing the rub together.  I just sprinkle the spices in different layers.

3) If you think of it, dry rub the meat the night before, put it in a Ziploc bag, and let it season overnight.  If you don't remember, no worries.  Just dry rub before cooking and go.

4) Even if you're using a gas grill, some smoke is nice.  Take a couple handfuls of hickory chips and soak in water for 30 minutes.  Place drained chips in a foil pouch, poke holes in the top and follow your grill's instructions on where to put the pouch so that it will smoke.  On our Weber, we put the packet under the grill grate and on top of one of the flavorizer bars that is lit.  You can replace the pouch every hour with a new pouch if you want.  We didn't bother this time around, and the brisket was still fantastic.

5) Get the grill to an even temp of 275 degrees.  On our Weber, we turn the outermost left and right burners on and place the brisket, fat side up, in the center of the grill.  The heat acts like a convection oven and the brisket, b/c no direct heat is under it, slowly browns and burnishes without burning.  You don't even need to flip it.  If your grill doesn't work this way, you need to watch it.  You may want to cook it uncovered the first hour as the wood chips are smoking, and then if you think it's in danger of burning, wrap it in foil and cook it the rest of the way.

6) Get a meat thermometer.  The meat is ready when it's an internal temp of 197 degrees. We have one of those meat thermometers that has a probe that goes into the meat and into the oven/grill, and the thermometer can sit on the counter and continuously show the temp.  It's very convenient.

7) Be prepared to have your time thrown off.  The first time I made this brisket, it took 4-5 hours to get to temp.  This time around, it took around 7 hours to get to temp.  Maybe it's a difference between the Big Green Egg and the Weber, but there shouldn't be a difference if I'm cooking at the same temperature.  It's a mystery. By the way, if you want to cook it at a higher temp, say 300 or 325 degrees, it will take less time.  It'll still be great.

8) When the brisket is done, wrap it in foil and let it rest for 30 minutes.  Cut in thin slices against the grain. 

9) Prepare to go to heaven when you put the brisket in your mouth!

Postscript: It's a few weeks later, and I'm cooking another brisket, but since I'm trying to get the brisket to cook faster (okay, I'm last minute), I put it in a foil packet with some beer to see what happens.  I found this link after the fact, and I guess this is a variation on the "Texas crutch." This is an informative article, so I recommend reading it if you're interested in cooking brisket.

Beef Brisket on the Gas Grill

3-6 lb. beef brisket, untrimmed of fat
Penzey's BBQ 3000 seasoning or other mixed rub
Hickory chips
Meat thermometer
4-7 hours worth of time on the grill

Preferably the day before, score the fat layer on the brisket in a crosshatch pattern.  Generously season both sides of the brisket with dry rib rub and massage it into the meat. I probably use a couple tbs. or more of rub.  If you're doing this the night before, put it in a Ziploc bag, and let it season overnight.  If you are doing this the day of, place the seasoned meat on a plate or baking sheet and leave on the counter while you're doing your next steps (another 30 minutes).  It's all right, even preferable, for the meat to come to room temperature.

Put a couple handful of hickory chips in a bowl with water and soak for 30 minutes. After they have soaked, put the drained chips onto a piece of foil and make it into a packet.  Poke holes in the top with a fork, so that the smoke can come out.

While the chips are soaking, get your grill ready.  If your grates are not clean, heat the grill up to high and then scrape the grates clean with your grill scraper.  Turn off the burners and let cool down.  

When you're ready to go, put the foil packet of chips where it is recommended for your grill for smoking. We have a Weber and put it on top of a flavorizer bar that will be turned on.  Turn on outer left and right burners and leave the center burners off.  Adjust heat until you have a 275 degree temperature with the lid closed. 

When the grill is to temp, place the brisket on the center grate, fat side up.  Close the grill lid and adjust temp until it's at 275 degrees.

Cook for about 5 hours, although it could take longer.  The meat is ready when it's an internal temp of 197 degrees.

When the brisket is done, wrap it in foil and let it rest for 30 minutes.  Cut in thin slices against the grain. 

Serve plain or with BBQ sauce.

Enjoy!



14 comments:

Table Talk said...

Hey Ninette! Nice to see you here in the blog world ;-). We love cooking brisket in the BGE. You are right, timing varies. Usually my husband gets up at 4am to get the dire going. Always a treat!

Hannah said...

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Joy said...

The brisket looks great.

Anonymous said...

How high do I turn the left in right burners on my grill?

Ninette said...

Hi, you will use your thermometer to check if you are at 275 degrees. So turn the outermost burners to medium-low and get the temp to 275. You will have to adjust them up or down to keep the temp at 275, so stay around the grill at first until the temperature stabilizes and then check it occasionally throughout the cooking process to make sure it stays at 275 degrees.

Jorge Ramiro said...

Ooh, I love the beef. Especially the barbecue.I have travelled to Argentina, you can eat beef everywhere, in each restaurant. Is like the usual meal. In fact, is a cheap meal, but I think is the best. I have stayed in some Argentina Apartments and you can ask for food, beef o everithing with meat. I am talking about delivery, it was like a dream for my stomach.

Dominic Pablo said...

The thing I love most about grilling is that I can skip on all the other chores especially during a family gathering. Pretty clever, don't you think? Haha! Anyway, that beef brisket looks so good; I can almost smell its aroma! And I agree with you that brisket is the best meat on the grill. By the way, your tips on how to better enjoy the meat's succulent flavor are a nice treat. Thank you, Ninette! Dominic Pablo

Joe said...

I couldn't get the brisket to 197 degrees. although my grill was at 275 for 8 hours. It was an 8 lb brisket though, so I understood it should take longer. The highest I got the brisket to was 171 degrees, and then I took it off the grill and it finished well done and kinda rubbery. Not that typical pink fall apart brisket. I looked at other recipes that recommended searing the meat on high for 20 minutes, and then bringing the grill back down. What are your thoughts on this?

Ninette said...

Hi Joe, Brisket takes as long as it takes, so you just have to cook it until it gets to 197. You could also try to sear it first for 20 minutes, but for me, that defeats the low and slow cooking philosophy. It never hurts to experiment though.

Ninette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JON E. said...

I AM A LONG TIME BARBEQUE NUT. I JUST LOVE MY WEBER GENESIS GRILL. WE WENT TO A TEXANS GAME AND MET ONE OF THE COOKS THERE WHO HAD DONE A BRISKET, AND IT WAS DELICIOUS. I DECIDED TO TRY MY HAND AT DOING ONE ON MY GRILL USING YOUR TIPS AND RECIPE. I BOUGHT MY UNTRIMMED BRISKET TODAY--I WASN'T SURE HOW TO SELECT IT, SO I ASKED ONE OF THE MEAT DEPARTMENT MANAGERS TO SHOW ME HOW TO PICK A GOOD BRISKET. HE TOLD ME THAT YOU NEED TO BEND THE BRISKET AND IF IT BENDS EASILY--THAT IS A GOOD ONE WITH LESS FAT. I WILL SEASON IT TOMORROW AND COOK IT ON LABOR DAY. I AM NOT SURE HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE, BECAUSE IT IS 12 POUNDS IN WEIGHT, BIT I PLAN TO COOK IT AT LEASE 7-8 HOURS UNTIL IT GETS UP TO TEMP. I HAVE A PROBE THWERMOMETER WHICH I WILL USE. ONE QUESTION FOR ALL OF YOU BLOGGERS. SHOULD I LET THE BRISKET COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE I PLACE IT ON THE GRILL? I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE SOME COMMENTS, BUT I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT.
JON E. ROSENBERG, TEXAS

Ninette said...

Hi Jon, good idea to give yourself 7 hours. I've had briskets time out all over the place, so it's just done when it's done. Personally, I don't think it matters if it's room temperature or not. Have a great Labor Day!

thomas morrison said...

The stuff in the blogs blows out my mind.
Brian @ Electricsmokerguide.com

Anonymous said...

allowing it to get to room temperature only allows for an even cook. the flat will be colder than the point right out of the refrigerator. this allows for the meat to be the same temperature. however i don't see this to be necessary given that it takes 7-12 hours to cook a brisket. plenty time to cook evenly.