The perfect brisket is the holy grail of barbecue—often pursued, rarely attained. The basic principle for cooking brisket can be summed up in a single sentence: You smoke this tough ornery cut low and slow until it’s tender enough to cut with the side of a fork. Then, you spend the next decade mastering the fine points. Your goal is a thick moist slab with a crusty “bark, ” a vivid smoke ring, and meat so smoky, you’re inclined to measure your consumption in pounds not ounces. What follows is a synthesis of my favorite Hill Country briskets. You don’t need a sauce, but if you want one, the Bourbon-Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce here hits the spot.
hours to overnight for curing the brisket (optional), then allow 8 to 9 hours for smoking the brisket and ½ hour for it to rest.
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