A few years ago, my family purchased a smoker. We have tried smoking a number of meats, including brisket, pork shoulder, and ribs. The very first time we used the smoker was to make brisket. We were rather ambitious about it, as we were having guests over that night and this was our first attempt. Luckily, we had some beginners luck on our side and the brisket turned out very well. Since then, however, we have had our share of successful and not-so-successful smoking experiences. I guess that’s inevitable when you are trying to perfect a technique. In any event, this time around was a huge success.
The first thing we did was to cover the whole thing in a homemade dry rub. For the dry rub, we used 2 Tbs each of paprika, onion powder, and chili powder, 4 Tbs dark brown sugar, 1 Tbs each of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, 2 tsp of dry mustard, and 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper. After encrusting the 5-ish lb slab of brisket, we let it sit out to come to room temperature, fat side up.
Then into the smoker it went. After several hours of smoking, we poured an entire bottle of hard cider into the aluminum pan holding the meat.
Yum! The meat was super moist and tender. There is still a layer of fat on top, but we ran out of more time to let the meat sit in the smoker, which would have allowed more of the fat to melt down into the meat.
The meat was extremely juicy and tender. The rub was perfect – not too sweet, not too spicy, just enough flavor to make the meat interesting. We were all thrilled with the outcome! We reserved some of the juice and poured it over the meat to eat. With a nice glass of red wine, meal was truly delicious!