In the world of barbecue, there’s a fine line between being tender and having no flavor. Try to stay in that sweet spot where you have just enough fat, connective tissue, and moisture to stay meaty while not falling apart.
At the other end of that spectrum is brisket that has little taste or structure. It takes patience to properly cook a cut like brisket.
The problem? Brisket is notoriously difficult to keep moist and tender while also retaining its shape and being easy to chew.
It can be challenging to find the right balance between hours of low and slow cooking with smoke and natural enzymes as your only support system as well as using other techniques such as dry brining or adding liquid smoke for extra depth of flavor. If you’re looking for tips on how to eat brisket at a birthday party, keep reading!
What’s the best way to eat brisket?
There are a few things you should keep in mind before deciding how to cook brisket. First and foremost, it’s not a cut of meat that should be subjected to high, prolonged heat. With all of the fats in brisket, you don’t want to cook it until it’s well- browned, crispy, or burnt.
You want to slow cook it low and slow until the proteins develop a rich, melded texture and its natural enzymes break down the proteins into a flavor-rich soup. At its best, brisket is a complex and deeply satisfying experience. No matter the method, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t a cut of meat that should be rushed or subjected to excessive heat.
How long can you keep brisket in your freezer?
Freezing brisket is a good way to preserve it for months but it’s worth noting that frozen meat can also taste dry and tough. This is because as meat thaws, its proteins shrink and lose moisture.
In order to avoid a frustrating outcome, use a defrost period of at least 24 hours. Even better, freeze freshly made brisket in an airtight container so that it doesn’t lose its moisture during storage. Alternatively, plan on serving your brisket within a week or less of cooking it.
Slow and low: The key to delicious brisket
Let’s be real, there’s no way around it. You’re going to need to slow cook brisket. While you can use a low temperature and long cooking time to make other cuts of meat tender, a brisket is made up of fatty tissues that need an extended period of low and slow cooking to break down and become tender.
Even a brisket that’s cooked for just 12 hours at a low temperature of 185 F will have a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth texture. For a flavorful outcome, it’s important to use a pan with good heat conductivity. A cast iron pan is a good choice because it conducts heat well and doesn’t transfer it to the meat.
For best results, keep the meat at the bottom of the pan with a small amount of liquid. It helps to avoid burning the meat at the bottom of the pan while making sure that the meat is fully submerged.
Dry brining: Where liquid meets beef jerky
Most people who know about dry brining skip the step of adding salt but it’s important to balance the recipe with another liquid. While you don’t need to add extra water to a dry brine recipe, you do need to add enough liquid to create a brine that’s about the same salt concentration as salt water.
When dry brining, we use a liquid to enhance the flavor of the beef jerky. The liquid retains some of the beef jerky’s tenderizing enzymes and creates a flavorful sauce when mixed with the jerky. It’s important that the liquid you choose has enough salt to balance out the dry brine but not so much that it overwhelms the jerky
If you’re looking for a way to add depth of flavor to your beef jerky, consider using a dry brine made with a cinnamon-spiced liquid. In addition to adding a touch of spice, cinnamon pairs well with beef and has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels and improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes.
Liquid smoke: Meet the smoked meat whisperer
If you’ve ever walked into a restaurant that serves brisket, you know how amazing the flavor of smoked brisket can be. It’s likely that the meat was smoked using wood chips that were soaked in a liquid like apple cider vinegar.
While we don’t recommend going to this extreme, some commercial dry-curing liquid can help add more depth of flavor to your dry rub. You don’t have to use a traditional dry rub for this recipe.
Instead, use the texas rub to add a touch of smoky goodness to your brisket. Even a small amount of smoked paprika, cumin, and garlic can add a lot of flavor to your brisket. It’s important to use a dry cure rub instead of a wet one because a wet rub will only contribute to the messiness that happens when you transfer your brisket to the smoker.
You don’t want to add any extra water or liquid to your dry rub because this will only increase the amount of smoke in your rub and make your brisket taste like jerky.
Add spice for extra depth of flavor
Spice blends such as a porterhouse blend or a poblano rub are great ways to add depth of flavor to your brisket. These blends typically contain a combination of spices such as paprika, cumin, oregano, and salt. You can also use a dry spice blend as a replacement for liquid smoke.
There are a few things to keep in mind when adding spices to your brisket. The most important thing is to use a light hand. It’s important to avoid a situation where the meat tastes too spicy because the heat from the spices will have dissipated.
If you use too much spice, you can add an unwelcome tinge of heat that will make your brisket taste too spicy. If you’re worried about adding too much spice to your brisket, you can always use a touch of liquid smoke to mellow out the flavor. This will allow you to add spices without making your brisket taste overly spicy.
The good news is that brisket is such an accessible cut that there’s no reason you can’t cook it at your next backyard barbecue or share it at a potluck dinner. If you do make it in to the grocery store, be sure to check the label to make sure that the brisket you’re buying is actually made from the advertised piece of meat. There are a few things you should keep in mind while cooking and serving brisket.
Brisket should be served at a temperature between 195 F and 205 F. It should be sliced against the grain and served with pickle spear and mustard on the side. And finally, don’t take short cuts or try to rush the cooking process. The best way to eat brisket is by slow-cooking it low and slow until it develops a rich, tender texture and full, savory flavor.