How to cook a Traditional Beef Brisket. In
Texas, it’s the Holy Grail of the grill. For the true BBQ Fan it’s almost an obsession.
Getting it right is not complicated’ but I wouldn’t call it easy. I’m Bill West with
Barbecuetricks.com.My obsession is seeing if there’s an easier way figuring out the
tricks. “So this is Traditional beef brisket- falls
apart. Is there a way to cheat this at all? Shorten the time? I’m going to try. Yeah there’s
no way. You can’t cook it too high to try to get it done faster It’s just gonna burn
on ya it’s gonna be raw on the inside and charred on the outside.
I got an idea….” Today we’re a long way away from Texas — We
are in Charleston SC.. Actually just off The big bridge from Historic downtown in Mount
Pleasant at the legendary Melvin’s Barbecue and the of wood smoke hangs heavy in the air.
Here in my hometown This is THE PLACE for BBQ and I am on a mission to find some of
the barbecue tricks to creating true traditional BEEF brisket . South Carolina is typically
all about pork but here things are changing a bit. Melvin’s name actually comes from Melvin
Bessinger and that last name Bessinger – is known all over the state as the first family
of mustard based BBQ. For decades the focus has always been pork. And they’ve got it down.
Melvin Bessingers roots in barbecue here in South Carolina started way back in 1939. In
fact – To this day – Big Joe Bessinger’s legendary golden secret recipe sauce is considered like
the gold standard in mustard based BBQ sauce. Again we’re in South Carolina…. and years
later the pit masters still are known for pork and mustard but lately they’ve been broadening
the menu to include BIG Beef ribs, succulent burnt ends and thick brisket, They have now
mastered BEEF brisket and they do it the traditional way. So Today I’ve sought out some expertise
from a long time Pit Master here at Melvin’s – Christopher Hill – to help me break down
how to do traditional beef brisket RIGHT. “What are the main things you need to do to
keep it traditional beef brisket? You Just need simple ingredients. You need
a great products. Beef. You need a smoker, good wood and you need time. That’s about
it. ” “OK… it’s looking good we usually let this
sit overnight…” Good beef, hormone free , with simple salt
and pepper ,stuck on with mustard , again not complicated , but I wouldn’t say easy. “We use the pink butcher paper. It’s much
better than foil or any other wrap. It doesn’t stick to the meat. What we do is when we cook
it we let it get up to 165 or so and we’re going to seal it tight with this butcher paper.
This will keep all the moisture in and keep it from burning on the outside and let it
cook on the inside. We cut it to order. Every time we’re done we will re-wrap it up as tight
as possible and put it back under the warmer. ”
“So it’s ongoing in the paper. It’s not just in the cook process.” “This is actually part of the cook process
because after we take it out we immediately wrap it and it will still climb a few degrees.
It will still be cooking a little bit. We let it rest and get it down to 140 and keep
it there. But it is still cooking a little bit. What we have here is one of our briskets.
Briskets have two different muscles. This is the smaller side it’s called “The Flat”
flat and this here on the fattier side is called “The Point.” When we serve we give
the guests an option on of which they would like of the two different
consistencies. Also with this point we can cut that and cube it and make burnt ends.” “What do customers prefer?” “A lot of people just come in here and they
just say they want brisket… and we’re happy to serve them. But we also have signage out
to give them the option. I’d say it’s three fourths they say they want the leaner part
– maybe for health reasons – maybe for flavor but the whole things delicious.”
“What part do you prefer?” “I like the point just because the Burnt Ends
are awesome… they just melt in your mouth.” Once it became part of our menu it’s really
simple for us to do. Since more people prefer the leaner part we have this point left over
– we’re season it separately – we put it on a baking pan. Season it with apple cider vinegar,
a little dash of brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix it all together add some Melvin’s
dry rub on top and put it back in the cooker for about a half an hour.” One of my most important indicators in judging
a great BBQ joint is quickly checked off the list here. The simple question – can you smell
smoke? Check. The wood is oak and you can see and smell it burn right there street side.
With the massive black steel cooker
right out front This is going to cook probably about four to five
hours or so again we’re looking for 165 or so temperature… the first four hours we
want to keep this door shut we don’t want to mess with it at all. We don’t interrupt
that cooking process. After four hours we’ll come to check the wood and the temperature.
We’ll spritz with a little apple juice for a little extra flavor and moisture and after
it gets to about 165… about five hours we wrap it tight with that pink butcher paper
to keep the moisture in. Then we just let it go for another 35 degrees or so to about
200 degrees.” All of our meats here at Melvin’s are hormone
free as natural as you can get and no added anything.”
“How is the crust possible with just mustard salt and pepper?”
“It’s called the bark…The salt and pepper contributed to that – and the fat as well.
Just cooking it gets a little crusty on top and it really adds to the flavor.”
“Biggest mistake: Rushing the process. You want to take your time. We go to 165. We wrap
it and let it go to near 200 degrees. You just don’t want to rush that process. It usually
takes anywhere from six to eight hours.” Brisket secrets – Use simple ingredients…
salt pepper mustard- and of course fantastic beef. Here they actually uses Meyers beef
out of Montana. As for the cooking process take it slow and then wrap it tight with that
pink butcher paper. keep it wrapped up. And keep that grill closed as long as you can.
Simply put you don’t want to rush tradition. For more tips tricks and other fun stuff please
subscribe free plus its always on the website – you want to find out more? It’s at www.barbecuetricks.com.