Slow Roast Brisket – the Holy Grail

Do not entertain the thought of this without giving it some serious consideration about timing and how you are going to keep it moist, rest and finally carve. This is not a precise art.

It is very easy to get wrong, get too hot and allow it to dry out. Nothing worse than finding that out after 18+ hours.

One thing to remember is it is not only the weight of the brisket but also the thickness. This is also part of a big muscle group around the chest and stomach which helps keep the animal upright. So it has done a lot of work, all day everyday pretty much so it will have a good blood supply, be dark in colour, it will take a lot of time to slowly cook and that will be affected by the type and age of animal, how it has lived and so on. Not all briskets are the same and you have to factor in some allowance for variation.

There is also a limit to what you can fit into a Classic 3 and even a Big Joe.

Size and cut of meat – how many people and how hungry will they be. As a rule of thumb, allow 600g of raw meat per person, over time this will result in 3-400g of cooked meat.

If you want to eat this on a Saturday mid afternoon, you might need to order it from your butcher well in advance, depending on how much you need and you may need to start preparing on a Friday Morning. When ordering your meat, you don’t want it trimmed, you don’t want it rolled and you want the flat and point part all in one piece.

To give yourself the greatest chance of success, you will need;

  • Good quality Meat
  • 25g per Kg of meat of Rub of your choice, but not too much flavour or you will lose the flavour of the smoke and meat to the spices. Salt, pepper Paprika, Sugar, Cumin, fresh thyme, a little garlic and a little chilli.
  • 250ml of good IPA and 250ml beef stock
  • Syringe for injecting meat
  • Enough charcoal to possibly have 2 burns.
  • Wood for smoking
  • Slo Roller Smoking Accessory or you can use heat deflectors.
  • Foil Tray water bath and the means to refill it with boiling water, not cold.
  • Sprayer for keeping things moist.
  • Foil or butchers paper to wrap your meat in.
  • Coolbox or cardboard box and something to wrap the meat in while it rests.

This is based on a 6kg Piece of brisket, flat, not rolled. This will need at least 12 hrs cooking time and 2 hrs resting. So 14 hrs in total, so you need to get it in the Kamado Joe at Midnight the day BEFORE you want to eat it.

Remove the meat from the fridge at least 6 hrs before you want to start to cook and rub in the rub! So when you get in from work on the Friday.

Inject the Ale/Stock mixture evenly and also as you pull the syringe out to get good distribution.

Cover and leave aside at room temperature.

At 11pm get your grill ready. Load up the charcoal basket, ignite and allow the coals to come to 250 degrees F or 120 degrees C and be stable by adjusting your vents. Both should be almost closed.

Put your smoking wood directly on the coals. How much wood, how smoky do you want it. I would use 2 pieces of wood about the size of half a cucumber each. Oak, beech, Apple, Cherry, Ash. Use a hardwood, it will burn longer and impart a richer smoky flavour. Softwood will burn quicker and can not only raise the temperature but it can also make things taste bitter.

Remove the cooking rack from your grill and place the base of the slo-roller on the rim around the firebox, put the cooking rack back in then add the 2 top parts. Put the water bath on the top of the slo roller and fill it with boiling water.

Add the grill pates. Add your brisket, spray with water, close the lid and allow everything to come up to temperature for 15 minutes at least. Make sure your temperature is stable. When you are happy it is stable and you have had just one more drink, wish it a pleasant night, shut the lid and hope that no one comes along and steals it!

In the morning, when you wake with a panic and scream “shit the beef “and run outside, hopefully the temperature will be just where you left it. The smoke will have gone and there will be just the sizzle as juice drops into the roasting tray. Now is a good time to check your charcoal level and top up if you need to.

Lift the lid and you should be seeing a dark lump of meat that looks like you just want to pick it up and bit into it. Resist that temptation. It should have a nice dark bark or crust on it and smell incredible.

Place a double layer of foil on a chopping board and transfer the brisket to it. Now wrap the bottom half of the brisket in tin foil so the top is still showing and is uncovered.

Refill your water bath with boiling water, return the brisket to the grill, spray with water and close the lid.

Spray every hour or so to ensure it keeps moist. You can use beer and stock mixed for this.

At the 10 -12hr mark stick a thermometer in, you should be around the 120 degrees c mark. If you stick a thin short bladed knife into it gently, it should go in like a knife into butter and be unable to support itself.

Start to get excited. Because this means its ready.

More tinfoil. Wrap the brisket in foil, quite tightly and keep all the flavour in and put it in a coolbox, polystyrene box, even a cardboard box, but whatever you do, wrap it in a towel so it is insulated.

It needs to rest for 1-2 hrs. That is the hard part.

Get all your stuff together for eating with it. On its own with some sauce. Flatbreads, maybe some potato salad, a bit of naked slaw.

When you are ready, unwrap, it should still be hot, steaming and almost jelly like, so handle carefully or it could fall apart.

Slice into slices however thick you want them. If it looks like this you will never get rid of your guests.

Your slice should have a good bark, a lovely ring of fire, be juicy and tender.

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