The grass fed cattle of the UK has a different fat content to grain fed making it notoriously harder to cook. This is a step by step guide to grass fed beef brisket that was raised a couple of miles down the road from me.
Serves: 6 People
Allergens: May Contain Celery in Bovril
Time: 12-18hrs Depends on the Brisket
BBQ Used: Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM)
6Kg Grass Fed Beef Brisket – Point and Plate cut in the Uk is known as the Packer Cut in the USA
1/4 CUP Salt
1/4 CUP Pepper
1/4 CUP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Bovril
1 Beef Stock Cube
250ML Boiling Water
1. Trim any unnecessary fat leaving 1/2″ if possible. Also, any silver skin as this will stop the rub penetrating into the meat. After trimming, the Brisket weighed 5Kg
Note: In the video, the rib meat was still attached too the brisket and when I removed that (rib meat cooks differently to brisket) you’ll find the plate (flat) narrows to much. To save this overcooking I would remove it and use it for another dish such as Chilli or mincing it for Burgers.
2. Make the rub by mixing the Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder in a bowl and apply generously all over any exposed meat at least 2 – 4 hours before the planned cook start.
Note: Don’t apply to the fat as it will not effect the taste.
3. Setup your smoker to cook indirect at 108C. I used a couple of chunks of Oak wood.
Note: I used the Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) but as you can see in the video I wrapped the water bowl in tin foil. I have never used water in it, I’ve also known others to use play safe sand or a terracotta base in its place instead.
4. If using food monitoring probes then place 1 in the point as well as the flat..
5. I lit the smoker at 9.45pm and it didn’t take long to reach the target temperature of 108C. The Brisket was on smoker by 10.15pm.
6. Bring the Bovril and Beef Stock to the boil in water and simmer for 5 minutes.
7. At 5am I wrapped the Brisket in a double layer of tin foil with the reheated liquid. The Brisket was at 72C and the bark was set i.e. the bark was firm to touch and didn’t leave a mark when slightly scratched. This is around the temperature of ‘The Stall’ where the meat doesn’t seem to be going up anymore, which is believed to be the evaporating cooling (where the water is been released from the meat).
Note: at competitions I would normally wrap about 7am
8. By 8.30am the Brisket was at 100C but it can be anything from 95C upwards, the best way to check is by inserting a probe across the grain of the meat, if there’s no resistance (probes like butter) then it is done.
Note: You can at this point make Burnt Ends by removing the Point from the Plate by following the thick fat line between the two muscles with a sharp knife. The Point then needs to be cut into cubes and applying your favourite BBQ Sauce over the top before putting back on the smoker for 30 minutes.
9. I moved the Brisket indoors and opened the tin foil, this is calling ‘Venting’ which stops the cooking process.
10. After 15 minutes it had dropped its temperature to 85C and I re-wrapped with the tin foil then a towel and placed it in a cool-box to rest.
11. After 2 hours of resting I sliced the Brisket.
My Opinion on the Cook
This was my first attempt at a full UK Brisket and it probably tasted better than any competition cook I have done whilst using a grain fed Brisket. Usually, I would use well known Beef Brisket Rubs and Sauces but for this I kept it clean and simple with just Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder. We definitely should be supporting our local farmers and butchers because the results of this cook goes to show the quality that is grown in the UK.