Texas Barbecue Brisket
The challenge: a whole, hulking 12-pound brisket cooked to juicy tenderness completely on a backyard charcoal grill. Could it be done?
Why This Recipe Works
We wanted to develop a recipe for an authentic Texas-style smoked brisket with a tender, juicy interior encased in a dark, peppery bark. And we wanted to do it on a charcoal grill. We started with a whole 10- to 12-pound brisket (both the point and flat cuts). Seasoning the brisket overnight with salt and pepper enhanced the flavor of the meat without masking any of its beefiness. To avoid drying out the meat as it cooked, we used a grill setup called a charcoal snake. This C-shaped array of smoldering briquettes provided low, slow, indirect heat to the center of the grill for upwards of 6 hours, so we needed to refuel only once during the exceptionally long cooking time. Cooking the brisket fat side down gave it a protective barrier against the direct heat of the fire. And wrapping the brisket in aluminum foil toward the end of its cooking time and letting it rest in a cooler for 2 hours before serving helped keep it ultramoist and juicy.