Why Easy Barbecue Brisket is the Best

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Mention the word barbecue to an American and you are almost guaranteed to receive an opinion on whose is the best and from which part of the country it hails from. But with this easy barbecue brisket recipe you can make your own at home.

Although the rest of the world associates the word barbecue as the implement you cook on, here in the US it is used to describe food that is slow-cooked, using some smoke and then eaten with an accompanying, sweetish sauce.

Think of pork ribs, as well as pork shoulder or Boston butt for pulled pork. And then there is beef brisket. There is a passion associated with barbecue that sees no end to determining whose is the best version!

Today on Compass & Fork we feature easy barbecue brisket, slow-cooked in the smoker to impart great flavors and taste. A cheaper cut of meat, brisket is just a perfect cut suited to cooking long and slow. When pre-marinated with a dry rub and then slow-cooked over smoke for many hours, it is a hard cut of meat to beat, especially if you are feeding a crowd.

Fresh from our road trip to the American south, we delve into the history of barbecue. Where did it start and how did it spread around the country?

The Passion of Barbecue in the American South

I make no secret of the fact that I love delving into the history of food. In that regard I found our trip to the American south incredibly interesting as to why the diet is so different there compared to the American north.

Why easy Barbecue Brisket is the Best www.compassandfork.comWithout getting into too much detail, it is true that after the Civil War, people in the south were desperately short of money, food, everything really. People were forced to eat cheap and easily available food to even survive. Coupled with this the fact that many, now freed African Americans were self-made cooks on plantations, they became the chefs of the South and food they cooked with proliferated throughout the South.


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Think shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy and vegetables like okra and collard greens. Rice and other corn-based foods became common. It wasn’t just ingredients but cooking methods such as the use of frying that was introduced by African American migration throughout the South. You can learn more about Low Country Cuisine here.

The History of Barbecue

It was in this environment that barbecue developed. There is little doubt that some of the spices used in the preparation of early barbecue was because of African American migration. But the cooking method for barbecue was most likely a result of the Native American practice of cooking slowly over a smoking fire over the course of a day.

As African American cooks and chefs started to move throughout the rapidly growing United States, their barbecue traveled with them allowing local variations to develop. Today, per Time Magazine, there are 4 major barbecue styles:

  • Memphis. Pulled pork doused in a sweet, tomato-based sauce is a favorite.
  • North Carolina. Whole hog with a vinegar-based sauce.
  • Kansas City. Pork ribs cooked with a dry rub.
  • Texas. Pulled pork in the east and beef brisket in the west.

Why easy Barbecue Brisket is the Best www.compassandfork.comOur recipe for beef brisket might follow the Texas method of cooking but the spicing for the dry rub is more what you would find in North Carolina.

The bottom line is that any of these methods are brilliant. Just pick one and go with it!

Easy Barbecue Brisket

Looking to feed a big crowd?

The brisket is first prepared by removing any excess fat and then scoring it to allow the dry rub marinade to permeate the meat for a good 24 hours. Then it is all day on the smoker, basting as we cook and allowing the brisket to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. This might sound like a a lot of work but most of it is passive. And the results make it worthwhile. Your family and friends will be very happy. So this recipe really is an easy barbecue brisket to make at home.

Wondering what are the best wood chips to use to smoke beef? Hickory, mesquite or oak wood chips are perfect for smoking beef.

Looking for something else to cook on the smoker? How about Roast Turkey or Carolina Style Ribs?


 

This BBQ beef brisket is easy to make, cook it low and slow for tender and juicy flavor. Click here for the recipe! www.compassandfork.com #barbecue #barbeque #BBQ #brisket
Why easy Barbecue Brisket is the Best
Why easy Barbecue Brisket is the Best
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Start the day before by applying the dry rub. Allow all day to smoke the brisket depending on size.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
16people 20minutes 7hours 24hours
Servings Prep Time
16people 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7hours 24hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. The day before, trim any excess fat from the beef brisket so there is no more than a half inch depth of fat. Score the remaining fat using a diamond shape so the scoring cris-crosses the brisket.
  2. Place all dry rub ingredients in a bowl. Combine well. Massage the dry rub into the scoring making sure you evenly apply the rub over the whole brisket. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.Why easy Barbecue Brisket is the Best www.compassandfork.com
  3. When ready to start cooking the next day, pre-heat the smoker (following the manufacturer's instructions) to approximately 220 degrees Fahrenheit or 105 Celsius. Prepare the basting sauce.
  4. Place the beef brisket in the smoker and cook between 200 and 220 Fahrenheit for 4 hours basting with the pre-prepared basting sauce every hour. Remove the brisket and cover with foil. Place the covered brisket back in the smoker an continue to cook for a further 3 hours.
  5. Remove the beef brisket from the smoker and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce (optional).
Recipe Notes

Why easy Barbecue Brisket is the Best www.compassandfork.com

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14 Responses

  1. Sherry Dietrich
    | Reply

    You said “cover in foil” did you cover the top, or wrap it in foil?

    • Editor
      |

      That’s a good question Sherry. I put the cooked brisket in a casserole dish and cover the sides and top with the foil in a semi tight fashion. I don’t fully wrap it. So the foil is between the edge of the casserole dish and the brisket on the sides. That way the casserole dish catches all the juices.

  2. Ward
    | Reply

    Not to be a pick… but you got your styles mixed up. Memphis is known for the dry rub not KC. KC has the typical thick tomato/molasses style sauce.

    • Editor
      |

      I certainly don’t profess to be an expert on American BBQ styles but FYI, I am quoting Time Magazine from last year saying dry rub was a Kansas City favorite. As I said at the start of the article this topic does generate a lot of differing opinions.

  3. Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C
    | Reply

    This looks so good, and I appreciate the background on BBQ! I need to try all the variations. 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      It is hard life having to try all the different BBQ in the US. I would love to try them all.

  4. Cindy Gordon
    | Reply

    Your brisket looks delicious! And so easy to make! My father in law will love this for a special dinner

    • Editor
      |

      Thanks Cindy. I do love how the slow cooking with brisket – a perfect way to cook it.

  5. Debi at Life Currents
    | Reply

    My husband loves brisket. This is a total keeper recipe! I’ll be sharing it with him. Thanks!

    • Editor
      |

      It is funny how appealing this is to men! What is it about BBQ and men? It must be the fact you cook over smoke and fire that is so appealing to our ancestral practices.

  6. Kavey at Kavey Eats
    | Reply

    I love the American passion for good barbeque. Here’s it’s more of excuse to get outside when it’s not raining and throw any old thing on the barbeque till it’s burnt on the outside and raw in the centre! This brisket recipe looks fab!

    • Editor
      |

      Well the good news is that BBQ brisket is cooked for so long (and low) that there is almost no chance of it being under-cooked.

  7. Janette@CulinaryGinger.com
    | Reply

    This is a great, informative post and brisket is one of my favorites. I love the flavors of the rub and the basting sauce.

    • Editor
      |

      The rub is the key! And then the basting to keep it all nice and moist.

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