Twice now, I’ve smoked beef briskets, describing the process here and here. Each time I used a slightly different approach: first with a dry-rubbed brisket, second with a combination of dry rub and mop.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving at my son Baguette’s house, I went back to the first technique: dry-rubbing the brisket and smoking it slowly, leaving out the mop. Based on the results, this is now my method of choice.
Thanksgiving morning, I made a cup of dry rub and spread it liberally to the brisket. The brisket, wrapped in aluminum foil, then went into the fridge. Friday morning, Baguette and I prepared the smoker. Baguette has a Weber bullet smoker like the one I use at home. We filled the water reservoir to keep the heat moist and were careful to keep the amount of charcoal on the burner grill to one layer, replenishing it with 12 to 16 briquettes every hour and a half. We used hickory for the smoke.
Total cooking time, at about 220-230°F, was seven hours. At the end, Baguette added a few hot links. We served the brisket and hot links with beans, corn on the cob, potato salad, and our home-made barbecue sauce. It was the best!