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The Holy Grail Of BBQ- Brisket
When it comes to good, home-made BBQ, there are all kinds of different options to choose from. You could season a pork butt and slow smoke it. It is a meal that is almost foolproof. Chicken and turkey are always good choices but are also fairly elementary in the smoking process. Then, there is brisket. The Achilles heel of many, many backyard BBQ enthusiasts. It can easily be dry, over cooked, tough, too smoky or a host of other things that have plagued the backyard superhero. Well, fret no more, we have discovered a method that is almost fool proof and can provide a tender, juicy, succulent brisket. It is called the foil boat method.
What is brisket?
Brisket is a cut of beef that comes the area just above the front legs which is actually the breast or lower chest of a cow. Because this part of the animal supports so much weight, the meat develops a lot of connective tissue that requires low and slow cooking in order to make it tender. Trust me, this is not a cut that you’d want to season and throw on the grill for a fast steak. No, this marvel of the BBQ world is best served by long, slow smoking over the course of many hours. I have heard of briskets taking up to 18 hours to smoke. Not exactly great for a quick lunch….
Brisket cooking methods
Our Jewish friends have been slow cooking briskets in the oven for a long time and it is a traditional meal on the holidays of Passover, Rosh Hashana, Channukah and Shabbat. Most times, it is slow roasted in a sweet sauce with root vegetables. Growing up in NY, I have had brisket served this way many times and it is quite tasty.
In England, they have a whole different approach. Get ready for this…. they boil their brisket with vegetables and spices, or it can be cooked slowly in a covered dish with gravy. Here in the United States, that is what is traditionally known as pot roast. The slow cooker or Crock Pot is also another way to prepare it.
For us, there is no better way to prepare a brisket than to rub this massive hunk of beef down with some simple spices and throw it in a smoker with a bunch of smoking wood. There is no reason to go crazy with the spices. A simple combo of coarse salt (Kosher Salt) and coarse ground black pepper is what is known as Texas style brisket and to me, is the best way to do it. Like I said, no need to go crazy and put all kinds of different spices and herbs on it. In this long process, most of it just blends into one another anyway. Nope, S&P is the choice for me. Apply the KISS method here, Keep It Simple Stupid and you will have one great tasting final product.
Next, you’ll want to put it in a smoker and let that smoke roll over it for hours on end. Most like to cook it anywhere from 225°-275 or even 300°. Any of those temps will give you a great result. There is always the looming question of fat cap up OR fat cap down. In a traditional offset smoker, the preferred method is definitely to cook it with the fat cap up. It was once thought that doing it with the fat cap up would let that fat render and seep into the meat as it is cooking. Guess what, science has debunked that theory and proven that it does not seep into it at all. It’s just an old wives tale. The fat cap is totally necessary though so PLEASE, do not trim it off! It is needed to protect the meat during the long process and keeps the meat from drying out.
If you are cooking in a Kamado style grill, such as a Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, Primo ceramic grill or other brand, the normal way to go is to put the fat cap down. Because of the way that the heat comes from directly below the meat, it has been known to dry out the entire bottom layer into some crusty form of brittle leather that is completely inedible. Now, we have shown how to cook a brisket “fat cap up” in this video -🡪 https://youtu.be/WW3UCfxanfA and now we have a new and maybe even improved way to do it. The “foil boat brisket”.
What is a Foil Boat Brisket?
This is a method of cooking brisket that has mostly been credited to Bradley Robinson of Chud’s BBQ for refining and perfecting it. It involves cooking the brisket the same way that you normally would in the beginning with the big difference coming when it is time to wrap the brisket in foil or butchers paper. Instead of fully wrapping and enveloping the meat, it is held in a crumpled foil “boat”, leaving the top side of the brisket exposed. By doing this, it allows the brisket to be cooked with the fat cap up because the fat is going to render and collect in the boat, thereby keeping the bottom side of the brisket moist and to not get all dried out and crispy. I can deal with a lot of things when it comes to eating brisket but crispy ain’t one of them.
We certainly hope that you enjoyed this blog and video as much as we did cooking and devouring this tasty brisket. The crust that forms from leaving the top side open and directly exposed to the heat and smoke makes for a special treat. It is full of flavor, has great texture and looks really cool too. Let’s face it, nobody wants to eat food that doesn’t look good. We eat with our eyes first! So go ahead, get yourself a good quality brisket and some foil and get to work. I really think that you’ll enjoy preparing your brisket this way and the lucky folks that get to dine on it will agree, the foil boat method is here to stay!
That is all that I have for you this week. SO, until next week, remember to get out and grill, and I’ll see you the next time on The FOGO Life!
- Fill your grill with FOGO Super Premium Charcoal and prepare it for indirect smoking at 250°.
- Combine the Kosher Salt and Coarse ground black pepper using either a 50/50 mix or 60/40 Pepper/salt mixture. Either is fine.
- Use your filet/boning knife to trim the fat off of the brisket, leaving a ¼” fat cap on the fatty side.
- Coat the brisket evenly on all sides with the salt & pepper mixture. Coat it completely.
- Add 4 or more Bourbon Barrel Smoking Chunks to the fire and allow it to burn until the white smoke changes to blue or clear. (even when clear, there is still effective smoke)
- Place the Meater+ Thermometer in the center of the thickest part of the flat, then place the brisket in the center of the cooking grate with the fat cap up. Be sure that no part of the brisket is at the edge of the cooking grate where the heat come up around the sides.
- Cook the brisket until it hits 165° internal temperature. Lay 2 long pieces of foil in a “t” shape on your counter or cutting board. Using the Extra Long Grill Tongs, remove the brisket from the grill. Place the brisket in the center of the “t”. Crumple the foil to the top edge of the brisket all around, completely covering the brisket with the exception of the top. Return the brisket to the grill and continue cooking until the internal temperature is 203° and a probe slides in and out with no resistance. Place the brisket in a cooler or Cambro to rest. Allow the brisket to rest for a minimum of one hour.
- Once it is done resting, Place the brisket on the cutting board. Using a Brisket Slicer Knife, Cut the brisket in half through the center. Slice the “flat” across the grain in ¼” slices. Turn the fat end or “the point” 90° and slice the point.
- Serve and watch as your family and friends devour this delicious creation that you have just smoked. Congrats, give yourself a hand. You just made a foil boat brisket!