Pulled Brisket Sandwiches
1 brisket flat (5 - 7 lbs)
kosher salt & pepper
2 cups BBQ Sauce
buns or dinner rolls
This isn’t a complicated recipe, but I wanted to write down what I do for brisket when I’m not going for slices or doing a whole packer brisket. I don’t typically do much with brisket and I follow a very central-Texas approach to the cook by using oak or an oak blend for the smoking wood, Kosher salt, and course black pepper. The flat cut works well for this and shreds nicely. Depending on how you trim brisket, you should have enough fat to mix into the shredded meat, which helps with the texture and provides a little extra moisture at the last minute.
Keeping the brisket cold before trimming really helps with handling. Rinse and pat dry the chilled brisket. Trim no less than a 1/4 inch of fat from the top of the cut. Try and remove as much silver skin from the bottom of the cut as possible. If you notice any gray meat along the edges, go ahead and trim it. Depending on how picky you are about trimming, this is a good time to square up the brisket. Score the fat cap in a crosshatch pattern down to the meat, but don’t score the meat itself.
Mix 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt with 1 tablespoon of course black pepper in a small bowl. Season the brisket on all sides, including the edges. Rub the seasoning into the crosshatch thoroughly. If you need to use more seasoning, feel free to do so. This might be necessary depending on the size of the brisket. Your goal is to cover the entire cut with an even, consistent layer of salt and pepper. Set aside and rest at room temperature.
Start your smoker and target a temperature between 250 - 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a disposable tin of water in the cooking chamber. This helps add moisture to the cooking environment, preventing dry cooks. Place the brisket on the smoker fat cap up. I usually put an external thermometer in the brisket so I don’t have to open the lid. Once the internal temperature of the brisket reaches between 170 - 180 degrees, pull the brisket and wrap tightly in aluminum foil. At this point you can either continue the cook in a 225 degree oven or put the brisket back on the smoker. The cut has already soaked up a bunch of smoke flavor. Using foil helps retain moisture and isn’t going to aid in smoky flavor at this point anyway. Cook until you can insert a fork into the brisket without resistance. Every brisket is difference, but this usually happens for me when the brisket reaches an internal temperature between 205 - 210 degrees. Remove the brisket from the smoker and keep wrapped in foil. Wrap additional towels around the brisket and put it in a cooler. If you don’t have a cooler handy, you can throw it in a microwave. Let the meat rest for at least an hour. You can continue resting until the brisket gets down to an internal temperature of 140 degrees. Extending the resting period allows even more fat to render down and isn’t too cold to serve. Once rested, unwrap the brisket and cut against the grain into 2 inch wide strips. Shred each strip into bite-sides pieces using two forks, mixing in some of the rendered fat. Serve with rolls, BBQ sauce, and jalapeños on the side.