I have a confession to make: the last few briskets I smoked in our Weber Smokey Mountain cooker (aka Crouton’s Fortress of Smoke™) turned out overcooked and tough. With the desert wind that springs up out of nowhere whenever I set up the Fortress of Smoke™ I find it almost impossible to control the heat, even going out back to check and adjust the vents every 15-30 minutes. It shouldn’t be that hard, but for whatever reason it is for me.
This Thanksgiving, I cooked our brisket indoors. In the oven & out of the wind. It came out melt-in-your-mouth tender and flavorful.
Mix dry ingredients together to make a rub. Rub the brisket the night before, wrap it in foil, and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, unwrap the brisket, place it on a rack (fat side up), and let it warm to room temperature (about an hour). Pour water and liquid smoke into a large roasting pan, place the rack with the brisket in the pan (keeping the brisket above the water). Cover the roasting pan with foil and place in a 250°F pre-heated oven.
Slow roast the brisket in the oven for about 3 hours, then pull back a corner of the foil and check its internal temperature with a meat thermometer. When the temp reaches 175°F, remove the foil and continue roasting, uncovered, until the internal temp reaches 195°F. Remove the brisket from the pan and allow it to rest about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serve with barbecue sauce on the side, if desired.
How did the liquid smoke do? Not that well. It added some smokey flavor to the meat, but when you get down to it, an outdoor smoker is the only way to do it right, and the next time I roast a brisket in the oven I may forego the liquid smoke.
I improvised a pan & rack using the lid half of Ditalini’s large roasting pan (she used the bottom half for our Thanksgiving turkey) and a rectangular wire rack we use for cooling fresh-baked loaves of bread. The rack was large enough that it only went halfway down into the pan, keeping the brisket above the liquid in the bottom. Perfect.