Yes! I have finally had the opportunity to try tackle the ultimate BBQ meat. The brisket! I’ve always wanted to try this but being more expensive that your average roast, I’ve never really been able to justify it. Thankfully, I didn’t have to this time. Thanks to the extraordinarily generous competition held by James Lowe at JL Butchers for #UKBBQWEEK – I won this fantastic Aussie brisket. Absolutely free of charge! I couldn’t wait to get this on the UDS and create smoked meat perfection.
First of all I had to decide how I should cook this brisket. Should I go low and slow or hot and fast? Part of me wanted to try hot and fast because I would love to get similar results in a fraction of the time. Plus, I was on call with work on this particular weekend and the time saving would have been very useful if the weekend ended up being a busy one. In the end I decided that for my first brisket I should really invest the time and go low and slow. Next time maybe I’ll try hot and fast and compare. This did mean I either needed to get up really early or go for an overnight cook. In the end I decided to go for an early start and aim to have the brisket for tea later that day.
Next step was the rub. I decided to rub the brisket late the night before cooking to save time in the morning. I rubbed the meat down with yellow mustard and then coated generously with Angus and Oink’s Dirty Cow rub. Says it’s for beef so seemed like the logical choice. I would have gone for simple a simple salt and pepper rub but unfortunately the fiancee isn’t that keen on pepper. Didn’t really want to give her any reason to be unhappy with this cook considering she would need to babysit for me if I had to go out. After rubbing the meat I decided to get everything else ready the night before too. Had the coals in the charcoal basket. Some more in the chimney and the firelighter ready to light it. Probes all ready to go. All I had to do was light the chimney and put the meat on.
4am and my alarm sounds. It’s surprising how much easier it is to get out of bed at 4am for a brisket than it is to get up at 7am for work. It was at this time that I really appreciate the work I put in the night before. The first couple of hours weren’t that easy. Although the UDS is fantastic for holding temperature, this was the first time I had used only lumpwood charcoal. This took a little getting used to but once I had stabilised the temperature the UDS didn’t need many adjustments at all. I chose to use alder single species charcoal from Resilient Woodlands. The alder was recommended to me by ‘BBQ Bill’ because it burns evenly and should last the length of the cook. At the end of the day I ended up with half a basket of charcoal ready for the next cook. Couldn’t have been any happier with how it performed. I also added a few chunks of oak recommended by Nathan King of ‘Kung Fu BBQ’ to really boost the smoky flavour and get a nice bark.
A few hours into the cook and I wasn’t sure whether to wrap or not. At first I did wrap but within about 10 minutes I changed my mind and decided to go the whole cook with no wrap. I knew that this would take longer but believed it would be worth it in the end. 8pm that evening I wish I had wrapped. Guests were getting impatient and this is the one part of cooking outdoors I don’t like. At this point I did feel pressured and desperately wanted the brisket to be done. The brisket had reached 95c according to the probes and so I pulled it off the BBQ to rest. I managed to rest the brisket for around an hour before I had no choice but to serve.
After the first few slices I knew that I should have cooked the brisket for a little longer. The flavour was absolutely fantastic. No problems there at all. The point end was better but still not as tender and perfect as I would have liked and I really wanted this to be perfect. Nevertheless I was extremely happy and I know that next time I can really nail this cook. Definitely came away with plenty of experience. Can’t wait for the next one!
If anybody does have any hints and tips though please get in touch. Always appreciate some advice.
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Written by Tomos Newland-Jones @MrNewland66