I am not from Texas but I have smoked enough meat and cooked plenty of BBQ to know that the standard of smoking is a Smoked Beef Brisket. Or so Texans will tell you. So I did some quick research and you know what I FOUND. Smoked brisket did not start as we believe and as we think of how it is served in Texas. It first showed up on a couple of deli menus – only one of which was in Texas. It was located in El Paso and was called Watson’s Grocery. A few years later it was featured at a deli in Corpus Christi known as Weil Brothers, Grocers. The commonality between these two delis was that they probably served a Jewish clientele. This cut of meat developed because it was inexpensive and came from a part of the animal that it could be cut and kept Kosher.
The basics to creating a great smoked brisket is a simple dry rub and a slow cooking process. If you watch the TV Food shows you know rubs are a highly guarded secret. Almost all places start with salt and pepper as their base. Then, they start to add their favorite spices. I tend to vary what I do. Generally, I add cumin and smoked paprika for extra smokey flavor. In this version, I added seasoned salt and some Creole seasoning. That is it. It is liberally applied.
The second key factor is to buy a brisket that has a fat cap. I tend to do a lot of cooking in a more healthy way. If you are going for flavor and you want the pure smoking experience, you need to have this fat cap. However, you have to buy the full 13 – 15 pounder to get the fat cap. Most grocery stores, do not carry the bigger cut. The meat is cooked fat side up. As the meat slowly cooks, the fat melts a way and bastes the meat. This cooking approach is such a natural way to impart flavor into the beef. The only other question to consider is whether or to mop or not. A mop is the BBQ term for basting the meat during cooking. I chose not to baste this brisket.
The cast of characters.
The spices and herb added.
The final Smoked Beef Brisket being carved.
- 8 pound brisket
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Prepare your smoker at 225 - 250 degrees.
- I used hickory wood for the smoking.
- Mix all the spices and rub liberally over the brisket.
- Place the rosemary sprigs on top and add to the smoker.
- That's it. Let it cook.
- When the brisket is done cooking, let rest for 15 - 30 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!