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- Score the Fat (optional): This step is optional but this is something that is pretty important and it only takes 30 seconds to do it if you have a sharp knife and don’t worry about straight even lines. Scoring the fat gives the juices and the rub a place to pool up without running off and helps the final flavor tremendously. Lay the brisket fat side up on the cutting board. Cut diagonal lines through the fat down to the meat. When you are finished, it should be a crosshatch pattern of sorts.
- Mark the Grain (optional): It’s hard to tell which way the grain runs once the brisket is finished cooking so a quick and easy way to tell is to mark the grain ahead of time. This is optional and can be skipped but it is helpful later when you get ready to slice. With the brisket laying fat side down. Notice the direction the meat fibers are running and make a cut at the corner edge of the brisket about half way through the meat right across those fibers. By only cutting half way, the meat stays attached, there’s no waste but you can still tell which direction the slices should be cut later so they are the most tender.
- Mustard and Rub: Add some spicy mustard and rub it all over the top and sides of the brisket. Pour on some barbecue sauce if you want a savory only seasoning. (be generous). Spread the rub/mustard paste all over the top and sides of the brisket. Flip the brisket over and add the mustard and rub to the other side as well. The brisket is now ready to smoke.
- Smoke: Fire up, plug in, do whatever it takes to get your particular smoker going and pre-heat it to 225°F. You can use an electric cabinet style smoker for this brisket which is why you will not see a smoke ring on the edge of the meat. The wood chips placed into an electric smoker produce plenty of smoke flavor but most times do not produce the pink or red ring around the surface of the meat.
Once the smoker is holding the proper temperature, place the brisket directly on the smoker grate with fat side up and let the smoking commence. It is highly recommended using a remote digital meat thermometer such as the Maverick ET-733 or the Maverick ET-735 so you won’t have to open the door and lose heat to check the temperature.
- Rest: Have a cooler ready with towels, newspaper, etc. and when the brisket is finished cooking, lay the brisket down in the foil lined bottom area of the cooler. Pull the foil over the top of the brisket and cover with a couple of thick towels, newspapers or whatever you have to help insulate it. Leave the brisket in the cooler for 2-4 hours before slicing. The longer you leave it in there, the more tender and juicy it will become.
- Slice and Serve: When you are ready to serve the brisket, take it out of the cooler and place it on the cutting board. Remember that mark you made to show you the direction of the grain? Slice the brisket about the thickness of a pencil along that line.