Who said you have to cook a brisket for 12 hours? Here's how to get similar results FAST, in less than half the time.
First things first, as always: take care of the brisket before it goes anywhere near lit charcoal. Get yours out of any packaging it came in, and give it a good rinse under cold running water. This is to get rid of all the liquids that have been sitting in the bag before you brought it home. Then pat it dry with paper towels.
Grab your cutting board, and lay the brisket on it with its fat side facing up. The first order of business in trimming, to shave the fat layer down to a reasonable thickness. Seasoning and smoke can't penetrate fat, which will also act as an insulation layer to protect the meat when it is cooked. Especially when you want the cook to go fast, it is best to trim it down to a thickness of about ¼-inch (~0.6 cm).
Flipping the brisket over, you'll notice two pockets (aka kernels) of hard fat. These separate the flat and point muscles. Fat equals flavor and tenderness, but you don't need it all. Cut about ¾ of the fat out of both kernels. An advanced method of doing this is by making a long horizontal cut through the fat, then two long deep angular cuts from each outside edge toward the first cut.
Time to add some flavor!Smear a thin layer of mustard on all of the outer surfaces of the brisket (edges too) and inside each fat kernel pocket. This will help the seasoning adhere.
Mix the rubs in a small bowl, then season the entire surface and fat kernel pockets liberally. You don't need to rub it into the meat - patting it down lightly is enough to make sure it all sticks. Put the brisket on parchment paper in a large sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight, or at least several hours.
When you're ready to start cooking, bring the brisket out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. In the meantime, start your fire and prepare for indirect cooking at medium-high heat, at 325-350ºF (163-177ºC). Add a mixture of cherry and hickory chunks or chips for smoke.
Place the brisket fat-side-down over indirect heat, until the thickest part of the flat reaches 160ºF (71ºC) internal temp. A 14-pound brisket will take about 3 hours at an average temperature of 350ºF (177ºC).
At this point, you are gonna want to wrap the brisket. Make a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil that’s long enough to completely wrap the brisket. Move the brisket to the foil, and fold the edges up to form a boat around it. Combine the MOP and beer, mix well, and pour it into the foil. Then fold the foil around the brisket and seal tightly.
Return the brisket to the cooker and continue cooking until the thickest part of the flat reaches 200ºF (93ºC). Remove from the cooker, open the top of the foil slightly and let it rest 30 minutes.
Unwrap, and separate the flat and point by slicing across the grain about ¼ inch thick. Then serve and enjoy!
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