Without going into too much detail Brisket is essentially a beef breast cut consisting of two muscles. The point which is the fatter and thicker end and the flat which is the leaner and thinner end, the flat usually runs under the point. Usually it is sold as 'Brisket Point' even though it consists of both muscles.
Your cook and end product will vary each and every time you cook brisket. It is an elusive and confusing bastard. Your choice, as with all beef is Grass Fed or Grain Fed, Grain yielding a higher marbling and therefore a consistently juicer brisket though i much prefer the taste of Grass fed over Grain fed. It is mix and match really
I have recently taken a shine to Cape Grim beef. Grass fed and produced in Tasmania the taste i personally find unrivaled. I know that sounds like a stupid way to put it but hey, its late and I'm tired.
As for the rub it is quite simple why it is called the dalmatian rub! All it is is salt and pepper (get it get it?) It does sound good though so i believe i will continue to use the name. As with most barbecue this rub can branch off to a million ingredients but while doing home cooks it is probably all i will use. I know, big secret!
What you will need
1 x Point End or Packer Cut Brisket
1/3 Cup of ground salt
1/3 Cup of medium/fine ground black pepper
Smoker and suitable smoke, be that chunks/chips or logs
Pickling Juice or Beer
Step 1, The Trimming
Brisket will almost always come with a substantial amount of surface fat, usually in very large chunks. The large chunks of fat have no chance of rendering and too much surface fat makes for chewy parts once cooked.
I have been playing around with the trimming of grass fed and I have found best is to remove all surface fat from the point and remove all but 3/4mm on top of the flat. As the point will have enough fat internal to keep it moist and the flat will need that fat to render from the top. Flip over and remove large chunks of fat from the bottom and silver skin if that's your thing. Personally i don't bother with silver skin.
Get yourself a nice large workspace that will be easy to clean as this is where it gets messy. I get large foil trays from Costco and they seem to fit the beast great. Cover head to toe, both sides, with the dalmatian rub. Wrap tightly in glad wrap and plop in the fridge overnight. Of course this can be done just before going on the smoker but these things take a long time to cook so unless you want to be trimming fat at 3am for a 7pm dinner then do this the night before.
Prepare your smoker for a very long smoke (Rough rule of thumb is 1 hour per pound, don't get all up in my face about the imperial measurements, this is american cooking, use a damn converter app).
Do this how you may, the snake method on a kettle bbq, a minion method or just continual log shifting. Place a water pan somewhere in the smoker for added moisture and begin to smoke. I used cherry wood and gidgee lump wood on my lovely Kamado 'Bertha', Brisket only needs light smoke for 3 or 4 hours.
I recently started running my beef hotter than before and i now aim for the 121c (250f) - 135c (275f) range. Run at this until you hit an internal meat temp of 71c (160f) or an hour into your 'stall'. A cut this size you usually encounter a 'stall' or 'plateau'. This is where the meat temp stops rising in temp and is a very shitty time for all concerned. Rest assured this is normal and the ways around it are to either ride it out WITHOUT raising the smoker temp or to wrap in foil......also called the 'texas crutch'. The crutch helps to keep leaner cuts moist during the 'stall' so for dinners sake i crutched an hour into the 'stall' with a gentle mop of pickling juice just beforehand, but you can also use beer.
It might be worth mentioning the crutch will pretty much destroy any chance you have of having a a nice crusty 'bark'. A 'bark' is the usually charcoal black exterior of the brisket which is packed full of flavour from the rub and mingles well with the soft meat underneath, pretty much what you see in the below pictures but its crunchy rather than soft. So it is a choice you have to make, i usually only chase the bark on grain feds as they have less a chance of drying out without crutching. Too much terminology? I'll stop now
Once back in the smoker continue to cook until your internal temps hit 90c (195f) - 95c (203f) careful not to go too much past or under or it will turn out too tough or too sloppy. I usually aim for 95c (203f) as a safe bet. Once done, pull and wrap tightly in more foil, then in a towel then plop in an Esky for at least an hour, no more than 3. This will allow some of the juices in the foil to be sucked back into the meat through some form of magic food science that you just don't argue with.
Once that is done place on a large chopping board and slice seperate the point from the flat underneath it. Do this by simply running your knife as a gash into where you see the point forming up from the flat. Slice into pencil thin slices ACROSS the grain of the meat. You will see this from your first cut but it is normally across the length of the brisket on the flat a
And voila, there is brisket. You can use the point for 'burnt ends' but thats for another time!
Thanks for reading!