Brisket may be the most challenging of all the cuts of meat that we like to smoke and barbecue.
Wait a minute. What's the difference between smoking and barbecue, you might ask? There is a difference. Smoking requires very little heat, and a great deal of time. Barbecue requires more heat, up to as high as 300 F or so, and far less time. Got it?
Back to the brisket, if you mess this recipe up, you will have an inedible chunk of beef, that there is no hope for. If you get it right, you will be the darling of your meat-eating friends. Brisket is expensive, so take your time, and get it right.
A few notes: don't dare remove the fat cap, that’s what makes a brisket so tender. Use a rub that you like, or Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, or better yet, just make your own rub. It may take a few trial runs, but there is no magic to it. Finally, you just have to have an oven or grill in which you can control the temperature.
1 cup rub
Give the brisket a good massage with the rub you have chosen. Cover a sheet pan in foil, add the brisket fat cap up, in a pre-heated oven, 225 F would be good. Now you just have to wait. There is no reason to check on the brisket for several hours. This is going to take from 4 to 8 hours to get right, maybe longer. When you think you can’t stand it any longer, stick a fork into the brisket to judge tenderness. You will know when it is getting close. The last hour or so, you can seal it in foil to help tenderize it. When it's done, allow it to stand for at least 30 minutes. Serve dry or with your favorite barbecue sauce.