BEEF BRISKET BARBECUE CATEGORY
Beef brisket is a very flavorful category and a welcome change from the traditional southern pork pallet for folks that haven’t had "real" beef barbecue. Personally I like beef brisket better than pork butt, but I like pork ribs the most. I do like ALL of them. In competition we use “choice” or better IBP or Excel briskets that weigh 8 to 10 pounds including the deckle, commonly called "the point." They are packed in cryovac (no corned beef brisket please!). I used to buy them at a gourmet store or by the case from a whole seller. Now I can get them at the local Walmart Superstore for $1.08 a pound (September 2003).
The prime cuts of brisket are typically bought and consumed before they have a chance to leave the beef producing states in the plains and Texas. Japan is a big prime brisket consumer. You will almost never find prime brisket in the south. With that thought in mind we (meat heads) came up with our team name.
Our recipe uses Prime Cuts “Beef Country Barbecue Rub” It is pretty heavy on the black pepper and garlic. Many other rubs work fine. For a finishing sauce we use original KC Masterpiece sauce.
Cut off the deckle to use for the "burnt" ends. The deckle, i.e. the point, is the thick fatty end of the brisket that resembles a piece of chuck roast. You want the main piece of meat, known as the flat, to be of somewhat uniform thickness as shown in the picture. Trim off excess fat, but leave some of the fat. Season the meat about 3 hours before cooking. Start the fire and when it gets going good add 4 white oak chunks and 2 cherry chunks. Put on all the meat including the deckle. Cook at 215-225F. Operate the cooker as described in the “Barbecue Cooker Operation & Processes” section.
Smoke the meat up to 8 hours until the internal temperature reaches 165F+. Any longer and it will start drying out, but it is still far from being done. Remove it from the cooker and wrap it tightly in aluminum foil. Have a kettle style charcoal grill going at about 250F to 275F with the charcoal pushed over to one side. Put the foiled meat on the grill away from the hot coals. Flip the pieces and rotate about every 15 to 20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 200F to 205F. Take them off and let them cool a little while before cutting them open so the juice won’t purge out.
Brush on KC Masterpiece sauce and slice the meat across the grain into half inch thick pieces. The brisket will be tough if you don’t slice across the grain. Cut up the burnt ends (from the deckle) and add sauce. The "burnt" ends are shown in the lower right corner of the finished cooking tray (at the beginning of this section). They are not burned at all, but have been named because of their blackened appearance. Brisket tastes better when it is served hot.