How To Cook Beginners Brisket On The Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) Cooker
Tender, tasty, American style brisket flavoured with hickory wood chunks
This video is the second of three we have produced, featuring top UK BBQ chef Richard Holden and Ian Hodgett from The Barbecue Shop here at Hayes Garden World, showing you how to cook that American barbecue staple, ‘low and slow’ brisket. We have also cooked the same cut of meat on the Traeger Pro 22 and the Weber 57cm MasterTouch barbecue. We have used the same method on all three appliances. In the UK brisket is usually sold boned and rolled so you will have to visit your local butcher and request it flat, ask him to bone it and take off most of the fatty tissue. The meat will split into two different types of meat; the ‘flat’ and the ‘point’. The ‘flat’ is a fairly consistent thickness and leaner, whereas the ‘point’ has a little fat, which you need to keep on in order to keep the meat moist and flavourful. The ‘flat’ can be sliced whereas the ‘point’ is usually cubed and cooked separately as ‘burnt ends’. As the brisket is a working muscle it needs to be cooked for a long time at a fairly low temperature.
The meat needs to be taken out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking and the rub applied as soon as it comes out so that it can penetrate into the meat. The rub we have used in this video is the Cow Pat rub from Angus and Oink; use the rub liberally and make sure all surfaces of the meat is covered. The Smokey Mountain is set up for the ‘Minion Method’ of cooking; this is where you place a ring of briquettes around the edge and the lighted coals in the centre, this makes the fuel last from 8 – 12 hours. Place a couple of kilo of briquettes around the outside and from 1 – 2 kg (2lb 3oz – 4lb 6oz) of lit coals in the centre, use the Weber Chimney Starter to speed up the lighting process, we used about half a large starter. We have added 4 large chunks of Weber Hickory Chunks, these don’t need to be soaked. Click here to read the blog ‘Get that authentic BBQ smokiness with flavoured chunks, chips and pellets’ which explains the merits of different flavoured woods. Place a large Weber Drip Pan on the bottom grate and half fill with hot water, this will help the meat retain moisture. Allow the smoker to reach the required temperature for ‘low and slow’ cooking, 120 – 135C (248 – 275F).
Once the smoker has reached temperature place the meat directly onto the top cooking grate. You can also use the Weber iGrill 2 to monitor the temperature remotely on your smartphone so no more constantly going outside to check progress. Make sure all the vents are half closed, if they are closed the fuel will extinguish, too far open and it will burn away too quickly. Cook for about 4 hours until the temperature reaches 72 – 75C (161 – 167F) then take it out and prepare for the next stage. Once the temperature has been reached remove the brisket and place in a large Weber Drip Pan, pour some beer into the tray and cover the whole lot with tinfoil. This provides a moist atmosphere for the remainder of the cook. At this stage you can take off the ‘point’ and make it into ‘burnt ends’ and also brush some sauce into the brisket to give it a sticky outer coating.
Replace the wrapped meat and check the water level in the tray, topping it up if necessary. Leave for a further 3 – 4 hours until the internal temperature of the meat has reached 95C (203F) at which time the connective tissue will have melted and you will be left with tasty, succulent tender meat. When you replace the wrapped meat you can remove the tray of water and use the second grate for cooking another smaller piece of meat, fish or chicken. Let the brisket rest for 30 – 60 minutes before carving, as this will result in less juices being lost when you carve.
We regularly hold BBQ demonstrations in store so click here to check out the Hayes Events Page to see when the next one will be taking place.