So of course a new grill was one of the first things we wanted to get once we moved in, and Wind got me a medium BigGreenEgg for my birthday/father’s day. Combined with a plate setter (convEGGtor, really?), I was ready to try my hand at brisket for the first time.
I started out with a small cut (3.7lbs) and this recipe/instructions.
In my hands, it went something like this:
- Fill the Egg with charcoal and get the fire going.
- All the recipes say to use dry rub, but then half of them say to use oil or mustard as a medium, which starts sounding like BBQ sauce to me. So I whipped up a batch of Big Al’s KC BBQ sauce and used that instead.
- Make the classic rookie mistake of letting the Egg get too hot and try to dial it back down. In 10 minutes while I was getting all my stuff assembled, it shot up to 400°F. Closing the vents down to just a crack brought it down to 300°F, but it wouldn’t budge from there.
- Throw everything in the Egg in one big batch: two handfuls of soaked mesquite chips, plate setter, drip pan full of water, grill rack, brisket fat side down
- Luckily, adding the brisket and plate setter added a lot of cool thermal mass and brought the temp down to 250°F. It did creep back up a bit, but generally stayed where I wanted it.
- After about 3 hours (1¼ hours per pound, minus 2 hours) the brisket had plateaued at 155°F — the fabled stall.
- Pull the brisket out, wrap it in foil with a splash of beer, and toss it back in for another 2 hours.
- Agonize over the last 3° as it slowly creeps past 197° and 198°, as the clock ticks past dinner time.
- Pull the brisket out at 200°F and let it rest for 15 minutes while the potatoes are boiling.
- Remove the foil and slice it up, quickly making some gravy from the drippings.
The brisket wound up tasting fantastic — flavorful and smoky. The texture was decent, but it wasn’t falling-apart-tender. And because it was wrapped, there was no “bark”. So a good first attempt, but I’m looking forward to doing better.
Next time, I’ll start a little earlier so we’re not rushed for dinner, and keep a closer eye on the Egg as it warms up — it’s very easy to open the vents to bring the temperature up. And if I have more time, I can remove the foil and 200°F and give it some high heat at the end.