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How to cook Brisket low and slow
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How to cook Brisket low and slow

If St. Louis known for pork ribs, Texas is known for brisket. Pit masters like Aaron Franklin are world famous for their preparation of this cut of beef. Brisket is a working muscle that comes from the chest of the cow. Working muscles tend to be tough if not cooked using a method that loosens up the muscle fibers and renders the fat, leaving you with a succulent and ‘beefy’ cut of meat. The best method to achieve this is ‘low and slow’ cooking, be it in an oven, BBQ, or smoker. Most briskets actually contain two muscles known as the ‘point’ and ‘flat.’ The point is the thicker end of the brisket while the flat is the thinner end.
The method below can be adapted to your cooking method of choice.


Equipment Required: Meat Thermometer; Aluminium Foil


Step 1
Trim any excess fat from the brisket. Some briskets, know as ‘whole packers’ come with very little fat removed. Fat should be trimmed to approximately ¼ inch. You do not need to trim or cut out much of the fat connecting the point to the flat.


Step 2
Preheat cooker to 250F/120C.


Step 3
Season the brisket generously with a 50/50 mixture of kosher salt and course grind black pepper. This simple rub is the signature of Texas brisket. It is hard to over do it here and a common mistake is to under-season the meat. Be generous!


Step 4
Place the brisket on a rack in a roasting pan (or directly on the grate of a BBQ / smoker) and cook for 2-3 hours, monitoring the internal temperature every 30 minutes. The target internal temperature of the meat in this step is 160F / 70C. Once it hits this temperature, the meat enters what is known as a ‘stall’ and the cooking process slows down considerably – unless we give it some help and speed things up!


Step 5
Remove the brisket from the cooker and wrap tightly in aluminium foil. Return to the oven and cook an additional 3-4 hours at 275F / 135C, monitoring the internal temperature of the meat every 30 minutes. The target temperature for the finish product is 195F / 90C. When the brisket hits this temperature, the magic happens. The muscle fibers relax and the internal fat begins to melt, leaving you with an amazingly tender cut of meat.
Serving
Texas brisket is commonly served with ‘Texas Toast,’ which is grilled pieces of thick white bread, beans, macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes. You might also serve a warm BBQ sauce on the side for dipping.