THE SCIENCE OF SMOKE
The goal for throwing down a badass brisket is creating ultimate flavor and texture. The cook process is the most crucial part in ensuring your meat delivers on both. Because every animal is different, there’s no exact universal algorithm for every cut. Cook times are going to vary as the size of the cut may as well. Because briskets can weigh between 12-22 pounds, times can range from 8-16 hours depending on size and cook temperature. Our general rule of thumb: plan on between 30-60 minutes per pound. For example, a 16 pound brisket cooked at 275 degrees will take between 10-12 hours. The entire process from trimming, injection, seasoning and cooking will take between 18-20 hours. Give yourself enough time. This is a “good things come to those who wait” kind of deal, but let us assure you…you’ll be glad you did.
How to tell when the brisket is done?
Internal temperatures are what make or break low n’ slow BBQ. Getting that read is key for creating BBQ cuts worth dreaming about. The point and the flat make up what is called a “Full Packer”. The point is more marbled with fat than the flat. The flat is used for slices and the point is used for burnt ends. To perfect both ends, you will want to cook the flat until it’s as soft as butter (this usually happens between 200-205 degrees in the flat). Once your beef has reached that level, let the meat rest for about 30 minutes and then separate the point and the flat.
Once you’ve got that point removed, you’re ready to make some damn good burnt ends. You’ll first want to remove all outside fat and then cube 1”x1” squares. Once you’re done, throw those heavenly chunks into pan and douse them with BBQ sauce and give them a turbinado sugar kiss. While they’re all getting friendly in the pool, you’ll want to throw them back on the Traeger at 275 degrees for 1 hour. This process creates your burnt ends and allows the point the extra cook time it needs due to its marbling. Pull them out and you’ll have caramelized bite size BBQ deliciousness.
See our exact burnt ends recipe.
The most important aspect of cooking brisket is making sure that you know when to take that bad boy off the heat. To tell if it’s done, simply insert that probe right in. The probe should insert into the cut like it would into room temperature butter. This usually happens between 200-205 degrees in the flat. If that happens when you insert your probe, you’re good to go.
HOW TO CUT A BRISKET
This piece of BBQ meat should always be sliced against the grain for the best mouthfeel and tenderness. If sliced with the grain, even a perfectly cooked brisket will be chewy.