Brisket with Crust

Discussion in 'Beef' started by mallen32, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. mallen32

    mallen32 Newbie

    I have a small gas smoker that I have become fairly proficient in using.  I have had recent success with smoking brisket, and have been able to get it juicy and flavorful.  However, I can't get a good char on it.  I'm looking for advice on how to do that?  

    I've had a few thoughts on things to try, but I hate a ruin a good brisket if I try something that doesn't work.  I'm considering rubbing the brisket with brown sugar after it's done and then putting it on the grill to char it and give it a crust, but that may be a terrible idea.  

    Any advice would be appreciated!
  2. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Mallen 32, Welcome!

    Lots of folks to help with your questions.

    In reference to your apparent lack of char are you referring to what is called "Bark"?  That is a often black crusty covering on the brisket which most people highly prize and feel indicates quality.

    Remember a big piece of meat contains a LOT of water.  Cooking at a lower temperature takes a while for the moisture in the middle of the meat to be released.

    One of the byproducts of propane combustion is water vapor, That causes a more moist environment which generally inhibits bark formation and causes a softer exterior.  Also, search out "Texas Crutch" above, that should give you a lot of insight from othrers on what they have experienced.

    You could probably avoid wrapping the brisket, and thereby allowing moisture to escape.  That will help in keeping the soft exterior from getting worse.

    One concern on adding brown sugar AFTER cooking could be that it would burn on the grill causing bitterness and masking the flavors in your rub. Also it might actually over cook the brisket or cause it to dry out.

    Also, adding a raw, turbinado, sugar or a little more brown sugar in your rub could go a long way to fixing the problem.  The brown sugar will caramelize during the primary cooking process negating the need for a second cook session on the grill.

    Also, just put your rub on the exterior, no mustard, oil, or liquid.  Sometimes that makes the rub stick better.

    Finally putting the rub on the meat earlier and letting it sit a while can cause the rub to become more of a paste, and then when you smoke for a long period of time, the moisture will evaporate, thereby leaving a bark or crust to thicken and become hard.

    I know that more folks will brighten your day with great assistance.

    Keep up the good work, and keep trying.

    Best of luck to you![​IMG]  
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    This is great advice. I always apply the rub the night before (and put it on thick) to give it time to set up into a nice paste before smoking.
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I slather my briskets with olive oil then hit them with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper.   Put it in the smoker, cook til the brisket is done, rest then slice.   I always get a nice bark.

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