Championship BBQ Brisket
How to Cook Brisket
There was a thread in the beginning of 1996 that started off a bit slow. Then Mike Scrutchfield again posted a blockbuster post in which he explained how to cook a brisket. It was a shocker for me to see him post it. I had never even come close to cooking a brisket that was good. When he posted this recipe I called him up the next day and asked him if he was really sure that he wanted to put this information on the Internet. He said he was just happy to help people.
Well, I tried the recipe as soon as I could and what a shock it was to me and my family. I had suddenly I turned into someone who was a good barbecue cook. My family heaped tons of praise on me for the great job of cooking a brisket.
It was about a couple of weeks later that I got a chance to talk to Mike in person. At that time I was still selling insurance and was putting on a presentation at a sales meeting for Mike's real estate company. After the presentation I was telling him how great my briskets were tasting using the information he had posted. After listening to me, he gave me some more advice. He asked me what kind of rub I used on the brisket. When I told him the name of the rub he shook his head and said "Get some Head Country Rub and use that instead." Then he asked me what I did with the juices that had collected in the foil when the brisket was finished. I told him I threw it away with the foil. He shook his head again and said "then you threw away the all the great flavor of the brisket." The conversation then produced more details. "Pour the juice into a container and let it cool The fat will rise to the top and then scrape the fat off of the remaining juice." Then heat that juice up a bit and add two beef bullion cubes to it and stir it until the bullion cubes dissolve. After you have sliced the brisket, drizzle the juice over the sliced brisket. To finish off the brisket before serving it, he told me to use a pastry brush and brush room temperature sweet barbecue sauce on the edges of the sliced brisket. Then it would be ready to serve.
Before I left the office he printed off a recipe, that was on his computer, for cooking ribs. As I drove away from Mike's office I felt like a king and was very happy. The sales presentation had gone went really well and I knew I would make some insurance sales from the leads I had collected. More than that I so happy to have this great information that had been given to me by one of the best barbecue cooks in the country. I also felt that I could call Mike a friend and this friendship had all come about because of The BBQ Forum. Since then I have been very fortunate to develop a lot of great friends all over the world because of The BBQ Forum
Re: Sauce Recipe
Thanks for all the nice compliments on my brisket. It's been very successful this year. I won over $10,000 on my brisket entries in the contests I entered this year!
First of all you must start with good meat. The 99 cent a pound brisket just wont cut it. Always start with USDA Choice or better, I use Prime because of my meat sponsor (Beef America, Omaha Neb) but most of that is shipped overseas to Japan because they are willing to pay the price! Use Choice or better!
Next I start with a good rub that's heavy in garlic and pepper, ("Top Secret" brand) not yet available but I'm working on it for this Spring! Seasoned about three hours before smoking.
Smoke for at least 8-10 hours at 225 until the internal temp is in the 165-170 degree range. I like 4 chunks of Oak. 2 chunks of Cherry and 1 Hickory, with mostly white hot charcoal.
After the internal temp is 165+ I put the brisket in foil and cook at 300 degrees (oven or smoker temp) until the internal temp reaches 205 degrees. When that's done I just put it away in an insulated environment (I use a sleeping bag at contests) still wrapped in foil for several hours to allow it to still cook until I ready to serve.
What you have when you open it up is a brisket that you'll need to slice 1/2" thick to keep in slices and I then top it with a sweet, but still a distinctive whang, BBQ Sauce (again "Top Secret" as of this date!) to serve to the judges.
Most of the time it'll be up there with anyone for taste, tenderness, and appearance. Those are the three aspects we are judged on at BBQ contests!
To recap, use good meat, seasoning well, get the final ultimate temp. and top with just the right sauce, present it well. and you'll be a Blue Ribbon Winner!
This bit of information on how to cook a brisket almost instantly changed the way a lot of people cooked brisket after that. Brisket is a very tough piece of meat and most people had no idea how to cook it. When this bit of information hit the Internet people who had always cooked bad brisket were able to cook really good brisket.
Before The BBQ Forum the only way you could lean such information was to talk one of these great barbecue cooks into letting you mentor with them at contests. When you did this you could slowly learn the tricks and techniques that had taken these great cooks years to develop. When The BBQ Forum came along these great cooks started sharing the information they had learned on the Internet.
As this information started to leak out on The BBQ Forum the bar was raised at barbecue contests. The great cooks that started to share their information now had to develop even better cooking methods to keep on winning. I don't know if anyone realized what was happening at that time but the effect became clearer as the years went by.