How I do Brisket
~Chef Perry Perkins~
This method is my adaptation of Aaron Franklin's style (hey, he's the best, right?)
Starting with a full 10-12 pound brisket (called a "Packer Brisket") and using a rub consisting of:
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup Hickory salt
1/3 cup coarse black pepper
1/3 cup granulated garlic
First, I mix all of the rub ingredients together in a shaker bottle with large holes.
One hour before smoking, I pat the brisket dry, and set in on a sheet of butcher paper in a rimmed baking dish. Next, I trim off as much of the hard, external fat as I can, until only about 1/4 inch remains.
Next, I rub both sides of the meat with all of the rub, patting it down with my hands (gloves come in handy, here) and let it rest for an hour, then put my brisket in the box, is a disposable pan(s), inserting a probe thermometer into the thick end (the point) of the meat.
Fire up your smoke unit (I use an A-Maze- N smoker), close-up the caja, and pop a cold beverage. I keep the temperature inside the box between 225-250 degree
s (a little fluctuation is okay) by adding five pounds of coals every hour.
After the brisket(s) have been smoking for 4 hours, I start keeping a close eye on the temperature, so I can crutch it before the stall begins, and maintain as much moisture as possible. You should hot the 160 mark, right around here.
Now it's time to wrap. I like to start with a 6ft long piece of butcher paper, folded in half (lengthwise), and wrap the brisket tightly, making sure it's fully covered. It helps to tie it at both ends with a couple of slip-knots of kitchen string.
Next, add 10 pounds of charcoal, to bring the temp up to 300F, and return the wrapped brisket to the box, and continue cooking until the brisket reaches 205F (typically around 2 hours).
When the weather's bad, or I'm running low on charcoal, I'll do this step in a pre-heated (300F) oven for around 2 hours. If you have trouble maintaining an even temperature in your caja, this is probably a good idea, as well.
At 205F, I remove the brisket from the box, unwrap, and let it rest 1 hour at room temp. If I'm not serving it right away, I'll put the whole brisket, still wrapped, in a cooler to rest until serving.
Note: Make sure to unwrap it carefully, in a rimmed pan, to catch any juices. I usually defat these, and either drizzle them over the plated meat, or save them for flavoring beans.
After resting, I slice the brisket in pencil wide slices, against the grain.
As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”
You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at ChefPerryPerkins.com