Smoked Barbecued Brisket with Grilled Poblanos & Onions

I appreciate a 3-ingredient, quick-to-assemble supper just as much as you, and this recipe is certainly not that. But it’d be a crying shame to look a gift steer in the mouth.

Back in June, I’d received a brisket certificate from Downtown Home & Garden (part of their Big Green Egg package), which I recently redeemed at Knight’s Market. This wasn’t a little ‘ole 3-pounder that tends to dry out on the grill. I waddled home with a choice grade, 12-pound cryovaced packer that felt like a newborn baby cradled in my arms.


Rumor has it, the brisket champs inject the meat prior to barbecuing.


It's 4 AM: Light up the grill and grab a cup of Joe.


Keep the heat at a constant 225 degrees.


Nothing beats hanging out by smoldering coals....


except, perhaps, napping under the sun with a brew while the beef slowly cooks.


Time for the Texas crutch.


203 degrees: Cooked to perfection.


Now wrap lightly and let it rest in a covered ice chest 3 hours.


Letting it rest without grabbing off a hunk's the hard part.


If you're making a mop sauce, now's a good time.


Slice against the grain.


Ummm...the best part.


Grilled poblanos/onions and an optional mop sauce are icing on the cake.

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Briskets are from the chest area of the steer. These pectoral muscles do a lot of moving, so there’s minimal fat and lots of connective tissue, making for a tough cut of meat. But there’s a heck of a lot of flavor as well, and if you cook it just right, it’s one fine tasting piece of meat.

Barbecuing a whole packer is not for the fearful. For starters, if you want to serve your brisket at a reasonable hour, it means you (in my case, my husband and his visiting relatives) must crawl out of bed by 4:00 AM if you plan on eating dinner by 7 or 8 PM. The timing was perfect to feed our crowd after last week’s Michigan/Minnesota game.

The following recipe is for folks serious about their barbecue, and not squeamish about injecting meat, for example, with a hypodermic needle. In Texas, barbecuing brisket is next to godliness, and brisket competitions abound.

It’s a greatly abbreviated version of the website Amazing Rib’s treatise. I’d advise your checking it out for more information regarding injections, crutching and carving.

Brisket connoisseurs may very well dispute the following methods, which makes for lively banter – but arguing brisket is a heck of a lot more entertaining then politics.

You Need No Teef To Eat My Beef” advertises a Texas billboard. Dentures may likewise be removed when savoring my brisket as well.

Recipe: Smoked Barbecued Brisket with Grilled Poblanos & Onions


  • 1 (12 pound) brisket packer; wrapped in cryovac, USDA choice or better
  • Canola or vegetable oil as needed
  • 1/4 cup or more your favorite beef rub
  • 12 ounces salted beef stock, plus extra for braising meat
  • Your favorite mop sauce, optional (check Amazing Ribs website for ideas)
  • 2-3 green bell peppers, left whole
  • 2-3 poblano peppers, left whole
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 16-24 soft buns, warmed over coals, if desired


  1. Trim fat from brisket leaving 1/4-inch fat cap on top. Brush with oil and sprinkle and spread rub over entire brisket. Inject 1 ounce of stock into beef at evenly spaced intervals covering circumference of brisket. Let rest, refrigerated, 8-12 hours.
  2. Prepare charcoal grill for indirect heat, and heat grill to a steady 225 degrees. Place hardwood atop hot coals, then place brisket on grill atop pan or other apparatus for indirect cooking. Cover grill and cook, maintaing a steady 225 degrees, until meat thermometer reads 150 degrees in the thickest part of beef.
  3. Crutch your beef by removing from heat and placing on a single layer of heavy duty aluminum foil large enough to wrap brisket. Pour a small amount of beef stock around brisket, then wrap tightly. (This is a good time to check your coals and add more if they have burned down or if you need to cool down the fire; most of the smoke is absorbed in the first hours of cooking, so additional hard wood is not required at this point.) Return brisket to grill and cover.
  4. Continue to barbecue until instant-read thermometer measures 195 degrees to 200-205 degrees. (Cooking over 205 degrees can result in a tough piece of meat.) Remove brisket , place in ice chest; cover and let rest 3 hours. Now is the time to make your mop sauce, if using.
  5. Grill pepper, poblanos and onions until tender. Remove tops, seed and membranes from peppers, cut into slices and mix with onions.
  6. To carve brisket, remove about an inch from each end, then carve beef perpendicular to grain, rotating meat when necessary to insure you’re cutting against the grain. Serve with mop sauce, if using, pepper mixture and buns.

Number of servings (yield): 12-16

Tools: Charcoal grill or smoker with lid; charcoal and hard wood, digital meat thermometer, temperature gauge on grill, metal or aluminum pan for indirect cooking (or other device appropriate for indirect cooking), beef injector

Time: 1 hour the night before to fill your grill with charcoal and get it set up for indirect cooking, and to rub and inject beef. The next day, it will take 1- 1 1/2 hours to settle heat at 225 degrees; 8-12 hours to smoke beef and have it temp at 195-205 degrees. You will need to let the beef rest 3-4 hours before carving. Aside from the prep time the night before, it took us a total time of 16 hours (not including the evening prep) from starting the fire to carving the brisket.


Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.


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