- 1 whole, trimmed packer brisket. 11-15 pounds.
- Cabela's Seasoning: SPG
Preferred Pellet Options:
Serve with Cabela's Open Season Kansas City Style Barbeque Sauce or your family's favorite sauce.
- Plastic wrap
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- Aluminum tray
Medium-high to High
A Word on Internal Temperature and Wrapping
When cooking your brisket the target internal temperature at the end will be around 200 degrees. You might wonder why you would cook a ribeye to 135, but raise the temperature on a brisket to so much higher. This might sound counterintuitive, after all, if you cooked a steak to 195 you’d get something that was tough, dry, and grey.
The reason that you cook a brisket to 195 lies in the presence of connective tissue within the meat. When not cooked long enough to raise its internal temperature to this threshold, a brisket will be tough.
The connective tissue in brisket is composed of collagen. A naturally occurring substance, collagen helps provide structural integrity. When heated to 185-195 degrees collagen is converted to gelatin. This transforms what was once tough meat into tender, moist and delicious brisket—that once sliced, you can cut with a fork.
Why then do so many recipes call for wrapping the brisket in foil? This too results from the need to raise the internal temperature of the brisket.
|Properly executed, a slice of brisket will be tender enough to cut with a fork. Doing so requires the internal temperature to be hot enough to transform collagen into gelatin.|
Unwrapped brisket will reach a temperature threshold that plateaus and does not rise for a period of time. This is the result of evaporative cooling—the same process whereby sweat cools your body after a long run. The brisket emits liquid that evaporates, which stops the rise of its internal temperature.
Wrapping it in foil encapsulates the liquid that is emitted (preventing its evaporation and ability to inhibit rising temperatures). Proponents of wrapping briskets point toward shorter cooking times and ensuring a moist, tender outcome.
- Remove brisket from package and trim. You’ll want to remove excess fat from places with thick fat layers. This will make the brisket cook more uniformly and help to render more of the fat while cooking.
- Once the brisket is trimmed to your liking, coat with your preferred dry rub. Our Cabela’s Open Season SPG blend is a great bet. Once the brisket is coated on all sides, cover in plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge for 12 hours… 24 if you like.
- Heat your grill to 225-degrees F. Keep it closed and allow grill to warm up for 15 minutes or so.
- Insert your meat probe into the thickest section of the meat. Place the brisket, fat side down, directly onto the grate.
During smoking, a brisket will release quite a bit of fat and grease. The grill’s drip catch system is designed to funnel all of this out of the drain port. Be sure to have your bucket in place to avoid a puddle on your patio.
- Cook the brisket with the lid closed until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. While the exact timing depends on the size of your brisket, this should be in the neighborhood of around five and a half or six hours.
- Once your brisket reaches 160 degrees, remove it from the grill and wrap it in heavy duty aluminum foil. You will be well served to wrap it in two layers. Return wrapped brisket to the grill and close lid.
- Cook the covered brisket for another four hours or so, until the meat’s internal temperature comes to 203. Some sources differ—ranging between 190 and 210 degrees. If you overcook the brisket it may fall apart. If the temperature does not get hot enough, it will be tough. The range between 200-205 degrees should leave you with a brisket that is just the right amount of tender.
- Once the internal temperature of the thickest part of the brisket reaches 200 degrees or so, remove from heat and let it rest in the foil for at least 35 minutes. Some people opt to cover the brisket in a towel or place the foil covered brisket in a cooler to extend the resting time. This can enhance tenderness and allow the meat to reabsorb some of the moisture from the foil pack.
The result, a tender, juicy and delicious brisket.