Brisket is a cut of beef that benefits from long cooking in a moist environment at low temperatures. Smoking on a kettle grill meets those requirements. The trick is keeping the brisket moist throughout the smoking process. Marinating the brisket for 24 hours before smoking adds flavor and tenderness. Your brisket will be crusted on the outside and tender on the inside. While you're smoking the brisket, add a pot of pinto beans to cook alongside it. Dinner will be done as soon as you add a salad and some biscuits.
Pierce the brisket all over with a fork. The more you pierce it the more the marinade can penetrate and flavor the meat. Pierce both sides.
Combine the red wine vinegar, garlic, cumin, onions and black pepper in a zipper-locked food storage bag that is big enough to hold the meat and the marinade. Place the meat in the bag and seal it. Keep in the refrigerator. If the marinade doesn't completely cover the meat, turn it every eight hours.
Start the charcoal briquettes using your favorite method. You will need enough to cover the entire grill area one briquette deep. Wait until the briquettes burn down until you can hold your hand over the fire for three seconds without having to take your hand away from the heat.
Remove the grill tray and push the briquettes to the sides of the grill making a circle with no briquettes in the middle. Put the loaf pan in the empty space in the middle of briquettes. Fill it halfway with water. There should still be some vacant area between the briquettes and the pan.
Put five wood chunks in the vacant space between the briquettes and the pan. The wood should not touch the briquettes. Space them equidistant around the pan.
Remove the brisket from the marinade, but reserve the marinade. Put the grill tray back on and place the brisket in the middle of the grill tray directly over the loaf pan.
Cover the grill with the kettle top. The wood should begin smoking immediately. Do not lift the kettle to peek at the brisket, which will cause the smoke to escape. Turn the meat over after 15 minutes. Turn it over again after another 30 minutes have elapsed.
Start another batch of charcoal in a separate grill or in an aluminum pan after the brisket has been smoking for 60 minutes. After the new coals are covered with light gray ash, remove the brisket from the grill and the grill tray. Add the hot coals around the perimeter of the grill. Add five additional chunks of wood. Add more water to the loaf pan if necessary. Replace the grill tray.
Brush the marinade on both sides of the meat. Replace on the grill tray and smoke for another 2 hours. Brushing with marinade every hour.
Smoke the meat for up to 8 hours depending on the degree of wellness you like and how hot the charcoal is. Estimate one hour per pound at 220 degrees.
- "License to Grill"; Chris Schlesinger; 1997
- Smoker Cooking: How to Smoke a Brisket