When you hear Texas Brisket, what comes to mind? For me, it's using a whole brisket, keeping it simple, applying rubs, and going low and slow while cooking. So let's start with getting a USDA Choice brisket weighing in the ballpark of 15 pounds. The only trimming I would do is just clean any surface fat off the flat brisket section. What this does is it gives the rub a great surface to flavor deep in the meat and adhere to. I like the beef flavor, but with the right products and this cooking method, it will be the star of any party.
15 pound Choice brisket
Hickory wood chunks
Your favorite lump charcoal
I need to say this now. This is the variable that you need to be able to change as a pitmaster. Your outside air is important, the wind, altitude you're cooking at, the actual size of brisket, airflow within your own cooker, and the size of your cooking chamber. So all that being said, it should be 12-16 hours of cooking.
Start off with applying Steak and Brisket rub or the Texas Bark rub about 8 hours before cooking. This rub has garlic, salt, sugar, a little pepper flavor. So it covers everything needed for building the bark desired. I am a pepper head also, so at this time is when I apply just some ground black pepper across the top of it also-time to place it back in the refrigerator. You worked hard getting the rub on it. Don't let this step wipe it off. Be sure to cover the brisket where no air will be making contact with the brisket. About 1 hour before you're ready to start your fire and get the smoker warmed up set the brisket out to come up closer to room temp, this will give you some time to get the temperature regulated to start. The smoker needs to be idling right along 225-235. Place your brisket in the coolest spot on the grate. When you're lying the brisket on the grate, put the thicker fat end towards the airflow. So the heat does hit it first. Fat up or Fat down? I use the fat to protect my meat. So if your heat is coming in from the top, place your fat up, and if your heat comes from the bottom, then place your fat down. Shut the door, and now it's time just to tend the fire. Place some wood chunks in the firebox, and let's start this marathon. The more you cook, you will find out how much smoke is the right amount you like. What I would do is add logs or chunks about every 45 minutes for the first cook. at the 3-4 hours in rotate the whole brisket on the shelf. Keep the smoker running at the original temp. Six hours in, if you had your brisket fat side up, flip it over. If you had it fat down, do nothing. 8-9 hours in its time to wrap this beast in the Butcher BBQ Pink Butcher Paper. It will take two sheets, about 4 feet long. At this point no reason to keep adding wood for smoke. Just keep the lump charcoal fed. I am a temp person for finishing. In the perfect world, your brisket could be done in 10, 12, and even up to 15 hours. But when it is, it should be 197-200° in the middle of the brisket. Once it's done, DO NOT SLICE it right away. Let it set in the paper for at least 1 hour before cutting. When you do unwrap the brisket, and you like the bark to be crusty and not wet. Just place it back on the smoker for about 30-45 minutes. The extra warm air will assist in firming that bark up and making the Texas Brisket.