Thursday, July 1, 2010

BBQ Brisket - Peng-Style


My knowledge of Southern Style Barbecue is close to zero. That was the scary fact when I accepted the responsibility to cook about 28 pounds of brisket for 100 people. Typically I am not the bravest person but when it comes to cooking, I have quite a recklessly strong heart.  As I am typing, I recalled another very similar situation years ago when I was around 17 years old.  I innocently volunteered (at least was in charge of meals) to cook for about 60 people in a camp.  Earlier, I had tagged along with my cousin (just to keep her company) to a cooking class.  There I learned to make my first Sweet and Sour Pork and, if I remember correctly, I have not had the chance to even practice at home.

The very first chance for me to churn out Sweet & Sour Pork was at the camp.  I don't think I revealed to anyone that I  have not cooked it before.  I think somehow that knowledge was tucked away in a very safe part of my brain waiting for the opportune time :) !  I have always loved to cooked and watch people cook, but I did not have much encouragement or opportunity to do so when I was growing up. Fortunately, I did well at the camp and no one was the wiser.

This time around I was quite up front and told them that this is my first round of barbecuing brisket and I am so thankful that they took the risk in good faith.  I was thrilled that I have the opportunity to educate myself and research Barbecues.  In this high-tech age that we live in I believe that if you can GOOGLE it you can learn to do just about anything!  Sometimes it may take a few rounds to get it perfected but it can be done with some patience and a ton of enthusiasm.  Here is my simple version of BBQ Brisket.  

Selecting a good brisket ( read more in detail in selecting and trimming brisket here) and using a dry rub is the way to go. Two very important things to remember is cook on LOW heat and SLOWLY and you won't go wrong.


1 '8-pound' brisket, untrimmed  and well-marbled (select a brisket that has at least 1/4" fat across the top)

3-4 Tablespoons of yellow mustard

1/2 cup (or enough to cover the brisket generously) dry rub of your choice or you can make a simple one (anatomy of the dry rub consists of a balance of sugar and salt, with paprika added for color, chili powder for flavor, and a touch of mustard "just because." From there, it's up to you.).  I cheat, just bought mine from Costco (Kirkland Sweet Mesquite Seasoning),the flavor is robust, smoky and a bit spicy. Weber has quite a variety of dry rubs too.


Rub yellow mustard all over brisket, follow by dry rub.  Pay attention to the grain of the meat to help in the slicing later.

Heat grill to between 210-225 degrees F. Place brisket (fat cap facing top)on the grill surface using indirect heat.

Cook brisket for about 7 hours and until fork tender.  A crust will formed about 2 - 3 hours of cooking.
The internal temperature of the cooked brisket should be between 180 - 195 degrees.

Wrap brisket in foil to rest once you removed it from the grill. 

Slice meat thinly across the grain at about 30-45 degrees using a serrated knife.  Trim burnt ends.  Served sliced brisket on bread as sandwiches or with mashed potatoes and braised vegetable or anyway you prefer.

p.s. You will lose about 40% of the weight of the brisket through cooking, a little more, a little    less.  Estimate 4 ounce of meat per person.  Allow at least 1hour of cooking per pound)

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