A Texas Treat

The following post was written by Gant

BBQ in Texas means brisket. And brisket is the featured item in the inaugural edition of the 70’s Big Cookbook.

Brisket might be the ideal 70’s Big food because it has massive amounts of protein, a good bit of fat, and no carbs until you break out the Stubb’s BBQ sauce. Brisket comes from the tough underside of the cow and must be cooked for a long time at low temperatures to break down the collagen and other fibers to make it tender.

The following video shows me preparing a brisket and removing it from the smoker 20 hours later. The first segment runs about five minutes because I talk about the virtue of brisket as a 70’s Big food. Yes, I could have simply written these comments out and saved you four minutes of viewing, but you will be a better person for having stared at 24 pounds of red meat.

The second segment shows me removing the meat from the smoker and includes cameos from pork ribs and sausage, as well as a little post-cooking commentary.

The total yield from this cook, and their respective smoking times, is two briskets (20 hours), pork ribs (6 hours), and sausage (3 hours).
Brisket is easy to make and good to eat on damn near anything. Like linear progression, there are no secrets to good briskets. It simply takes raw flesh, a willing participant, and TIME.

Happy eating.

Prepped briskets

Prepped briskets

70s BIg never rests

70's Big never rests

About to wrap after 14 1/2 hours of smoke

About to wrap after 14 1/2 hours of smoke

Ribs prepped the same way. Added right after briskets were wrapped.

Ribs prepped the same way. Added right after briskets were wrapped.



Fork-tender brisket, finger-lickin ribs, and succulent smoked sausage make for an excellent 70s Big meal.

Fork-tender brisket, finger-lickin' ribs, and succulent smoked sausage make for an excellent 70's Big meal.

38 thoughts on “Brisket

  1. that”s so awesome.. I”ve never seen that before. Here in Australia, we only ever cook on high. This summer, I”m getting my hands on a Weber, getting some brisket, and goin to town!

  2. PS. I used a Weber Smokey Mountain aka Weber Bullet.

    I have cooked on trailer smokers for large groups as well as tricked up grills for a handful of people. I like the Weber because it is extremely low maintenance and holds and regulates heat really well (I don”t have time to drink beer and check my fire every 30 minutes). There are other smokers that are more consistent and lower maintenance (electrics) and some that offer more cooking options (Green Egg–Welbourn, you bastard), but the Bullet is at a really good price point for someone who wants a good smoked meal.

    Obviously, there is a lot of discussion in cooking circles about the best way to prepare meat. I am avoiding those debates for purposes of this post. I will only say that my best briskets have not cooked a minute over 225-230 degrees.

    The how-to I demonstrated is a simple, fail-safe way to prepare a very good 70”s Big dinner. It may not win you first place at a contest, but it will damn sure win you some friends and an invitation to cook again.

  3. the food I am eating right now isn”t worthy of this… I am going to have to do this, and I think I am going to do it for thanksgiving. Fuck turkey

  4. My dad has a Green Egg, I went to costco the other day and bought an 8 pound brisket and cooked it up with a few mesquite chunks on the coals. I used one of my neighbors secret dry rubs, delicious meat.

  5. Gant, Justin, I hope you guys do not underestimate the value of this post. This is really, really great stuff. Couple of questions for Gant. When you rinse the brisket – do you just wash it down and pat dry it with paper towels? What”s in the cooler- just newspapers?

  6. MAD: No underestimation here. My research has proven that people who simply stare at brisket become better people.

    Re: rinsing: I just rinse with water and either air dry or pat with paper towels. Since I use yellow mustard, I don”t have to totally dry the thing off. You can use some white vinegar if still has some cryovac residue or scent.

    Re: cooler: Just newspapers to line the bottom since juices tend to escape. I usually put a towel on top of the wrapped brisket. Here, I simply used another brisket.

  7. I”m with A.C. on this one. I just licked the screen.
    Jay, I don”t get too friendly with that turkey.
    Hey Gant, were you ever a cook/chef? Or is all of this just from experience? Either way, I am impressed sir.

  8. Were those ribs beef or pork?

    I didn”t notice in the video but do you temperature probe your meat or pull it off just by feel?

    When I smoke pork I pull it off at 190. Never made beef before, but I assume you would pull it off at the same temp. right?

  9. Kitten: I was never a chef. I have been cooking a long time, though. It”s a good skill to have, and it”s a guarantee that you will get to eat the foods you like.

    Rocks: What is this thing you call ”beef” rib? Seriously. They were pork.

    My electronic thermometer stays in the drawer when I”m cooking brisket. If you watch the temp on a brisket, it rises steadily until about 160-170. Then it remains steady for a few hours while the collagen converts to gelatin (this usually happens while I am asleep). Once that”s worked out, the meat will start rising again. I lower my temperature to 200-205 towards the end of my cook, so my brisket usually peaks in the upper 190s. Then I toss it in the cooler so it can mellow out for a bit (let the juices redistribute, continue to tenderize, etc.).

  10. Mad: I bought the 18.5″ model with fuel conservation in mind. I have smoked 2 briskets, 3 racks of ribs, and a bunch of sausage on there at one time (since you rotate big ticket items like brisket and pork to the bottom rack when adding other stuff), so it”s worked fine for family and small groups. I”ve had several cooks for groups of 10-15, and it”s worked out fine.

    If you”re regularly cooking for 15-20+, you”ll want the larger model.

  11. justin: ever think of putting together a 70s big cookbook? complete with smoker choices and ideas for meals and diet plans that have been posted here? could be a good idea hint hint.

  12. As a native Central Texan (read: spoiled BBQ snob), I 100% approve and agree with these vids. This is almost a mirror of how I smoke my briskets. Great stuff. Unfortunately, I had to get rid of my smoker when I moved to my new place, and am now kicking myself in the ass for that. Damn. Also, don”t take that sausage for granted – it”s impossible to find in some places, unfortunately.

  13. Great post and good timing, I just cooked a brisket yesterday in my crockpot and had 1lb of it with dinner last night; tonight”s dinner is going to be the same thing.

    Question: How often did you check the WSM and put more wood/charcoal in it? I have been thinking about getting a WSM for a month now, but the time involved is kind of off-putting. Plus I am at college, but my house is only 25mins away so I could smoke stuff on the weekend for meals during the week.

  14. Edward, I”m from the Hill Country (Dripping Springs/Austin), but now live in WA for some reason. I”ll be back.

    Joe, at the risk of getting shot upon TX-reentry, you might want to check out a cheapo electric smoker. They”ll do the trick just fine, though without the requisite man-fire.

  15. Jacob- I thought about an electric smoker, but figured I would do it right if I get one, for fear of the Texans. Plus, BBQ is not BBQ unless there is charcoal and wood involved, setting something and not looking at it is basically an oven. Also, people say there is a noticeable difference in charcoal vs. electric-smoked food.

  16. I live in an apartment complex and as such can”t own a grill or smoker due to fire regs…any ideas on a slow cooked brisket for the oven…or a different cut of beef? basically anything that can be slow cooked in an oven…i realize that it won”t have the same flavor, tenderness etc.

  17. John- use the recipe from this site: I”ve done it and had very good results. Like you said, it didn”t have the same flavor, but it was pretty tender. For a ridiculously tender brisket, first sear it in a pan on high heat for a couple of minutes each side then stick it in a crockpot and set on low. I put apple cider vinegar in the pot too, but you could put any kind of liquid you want.

    A great BBQ site is Go to the “Q-talk” forum and read up, I”ve learned alot from there.

  18. Gant, good choice on the Smokey Mountain. I”ve heard nothing but great things. I need to get one. I am making a roast with bacon in the crock pot tonight. Once I get a new grill, I”m going to make some beer can chickens to go along with watching the Fightin” Tigers kick the shit outta the Crimson Tide.

  19. Joe: Once you”re familiar with the Weber, it takes very little work. I put the meat in, check my temp every 30 minutes for a couple hours, then let it ride over night. After about 10 hours, I add some more charcoal and wood, then let it ride another 10 hours. That”s pretty much it.

    There is a little more discussion on filling/refilling the WSM here:

    Re: crockpot: I have done a butcher trimmed brisket in a crockpot that turned out meat exactly like barbacoa from Chipotle. Basically flour the thing up, run with salt, pepper, and cumin, add a little water, and let her go.

    bluecheese: Of all the purchases in my life, I am most pleased with 1) the WSM and 2) my Dyson vacuum cleaner. You can”t go wrong with either.

    I knew a guy that went to Bama that had a lower back tattoo. That doesn”t speak well for their program.

  20. Intresting – I too invested in a Dyson (the animal). I regard this gem as one of my most prized possesions.
    Joe: since I do not currently own a smoker – my brisket is in the oven as I write this.

  21. blue: What do you even say to that? Usually we haze each other mercilessly for stuff, but this…wow.

    Mike: This may not be a purchase she understands at first, but she will come to appreciate it.

    I”m not going to pimp much gear on this site, but I unequivocally recommend the WSM for affordability, simplicity, consistency, and quality.

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