Brisket, the piece of meat taken from the breast or chest muscle of the cow, is a tougher cut than most, but with a little added effort, it can make for a moist and delicious meal.
To get the tender, juicy texture that makes most meat lovers salivate, it's necessary to cook brisket for several hours over low and steady indirect heat. Though many recipes call for braising, cooking brisket on a propane grill can be a tasty treat and a great way to find another excuse to bring out the barbecue.
Choose a brisket with fat marbled throughout, both inside and out. Fat helps keep the meat moist and lends a rich flavor to the final product. Purchase a 10-lb. to 12-lb. cut if available; otherwise, choose a smaller size and adjust cooking time accordingly.
Rinse gently under cold running water and cut off any excess fat, leaving 1/4 inch to enhance the taste.
Combine the coarse salt, chili powder, sugar, freshly ground black pepper and cumin. Mix with your fingers and rub on all sides of the brisket. Marinate overnight for best results.
Remove the marinated brisket from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Placing the seasoned meat on the hot grill directly from the cold fridge will cause the outside surfaces of the brisket to burn.
Preheat the propane grill to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Use all burners initially, but shut off one side of the propane grill just prior to placing the brisket on the rack. It's ideal to maintain this temperature, but a rise in heat up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit is also fine.
Grill the brisket for roughly three to three and a half hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit and the juices run clear.
Place three large sheets of aluminum foil on the side of the grill rack away from the heat, grease them lightly with oil and place the brisket in the center. Curl up the edges of the aluminum foil. Make sure no part of the brisket is directly above fire. While cooking, occasionally lift the brisket off the foil with tongs. Mop the meat with barbecue sauce to add flavor.
Remove the brisket from the grill and let rest for 30 minutes to one hour. Slice across the grain and serve immediately.
- Don't just rely on cooking times. Use a thermometer to test the internal temperature of the meat.
- Serve the brisket as soon as possible after slicing; otherwise, the meat may dry out.
- When grilling, be careful that the juices from the brisket don't drip into the flames below, as it could cause a fire.
Stephanie Katz has been a travel writer since 2006. She is the online editor of Expat Arrivals and a regular contributor to many lifestyle and leisure print publications, including "Sawubona" and "Live Out Loud" magazines. Katz graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.