Texas Brisket

A few months ago I was working in Texas and held an impromptu opinion poll – Which Houston BBQ joint has the best Brisket? Now, if you are here in NC and you ask a similar question about pulled pork it becomes a religious discussion. The answers down in Space City were accompanied by scratching of the head, looking up toward the ceiling and asking the next fellow over his opinion. There were several restaurants mentioned, but the name that kept coming up was Rudy’s... “if you don’t mind eating Barbecue from a gas station.”

Don’t mind a bit! Simple, no fuss meats served by the pound or half pound. Several side items were available but not featured. When asked about potato salad the server gave that Texas shrug and said, “Yeah, we got it if you want it.” Most were having just a couple of slices of white bread and maybe a bag of chips with their meat choice. Beer bottles were iced down in tubs on the way to the cash register.

It was hard to resist the smoked sausage and ribs, but I had my taste buds set on Brisket. It was moist and smoky and beefy and delicious. The sauce served on the side was tomato-based, thin and spicy. Just right. They say the peach cobbler is a thing of beauty, but no room left for dessert. Next time, for sure.

No pretending this is a re-creation a Rudy’s Brisket – not enough experience to pull that off. I checked a dozen or so Texas-style recipes and techniques and just did what made the most sense.

Brisket2SP’s Lone Star Rub:
2 tablespoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Brisket Sauce:
12oz Stubbs Spicy sauce
3oz Cherry Coke
1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar

The fat cap was pretty thick so I cut it back to ¼ inch. Slathered it all over with yellow ballpark mustard and applied as much of the rub as the meat would hold. Into the chill chest for a 24-hour rest.

Brisket1Before bedtime the next night, set up the egg for indirect, Mesquite chips mixed in with the lump charcoal, 220°F. Poured a bit of apple juice into the drip pan and placed the brisket fat down on the grate. The aim was to cook this low and slow until internal temp reached 203°. No need to stay up to spy on the temperature dials, so off to bed.

Next morning the meat’s internal temperature was 155°F, egg still stable at 220°F. Glad I didn’t stay up all night to watch it! After a total of 18 hours it was at 203°F. One hour rest wrapped in a couple of layers of Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil and placed in a small cooler.

On the cutting board the point was separated from the flat, burnt ends were chopped and mixed with a bit of sauce, and the meat sliced. Man, this was a good hunk of cow.


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  1. This looks seriously delicious! I love that your plate setter becomes a little darker with each post 🙂

  2. Thanks, Kevin! May not be too long before the plate setter is completely black. The Point of the brisket was very moist but the Flats were a little drier – still very tender, though. Folks liked the burnt ends with a little sauce.

  3. Houston, I couldn’t tell ya, but Kreuz Market out in Lockhart is worth the pilgrimage…

    and man, NOTHING beats burnt edges!!!

    That Brisket looks great Scott! I have never done Brisket on a kamado, but the thermal mass of the ceramic wall and the way it seals to keep in the heat makes sense for it.

    I do mine on my barrel smoker, but that requires lots of beer and a pillow. You don’t sleep much, but you sure eat good the next day! 🙂

  4. Thanks, Wiley. This Brisket was a first for me. Previously I had braised the Point portion in the oven, but not on the smoker. Kevin (commented earlier) is an accomplished egger, and produced the best brisket I have ever put in my mouth. this one may have been close in quality…

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