Smoked brisket is cooked low and slow. Grilled brisket recipes are cooked at a higher temperature, using the indirect grilling method. Hot coals are positioned at the outer edges of the grill, and the meat is placed in the center.
Depending on the size of the brisket, charcoal will have to be added one or more times to keep the fire going until the meat is done. When the grilling brisket reaches 185° F it's time to remove it from the grill to rest. Give the brisket at least half an hour resting time, covered on the counter.
For grilled brisket recipes, you can use either a trimmed or an untrimmed brisket. Each has its merits.
A trimmed brisket will be smaller, cook faster and be much less fatty than a whole, untrimmed brisket. Look for a trimmed brisket that has some fat marbled through the meat fibers. This'll help keep the meat moist and add flavor as it grills. Basting the brisket every half hour of so won't hurt, either.
An untrimmed brisket can weigh 12 pounds or more…it's a BIG piece of meat! Grilling something this size can be next to impossible on a smaller grill, so cut the brisket in two and freeze half for another day. If the fat is over a quarter inch thick, trim it. But don't trim it any thinner than that. The melting fat cap helps the brisket remain moist as it cooks.
Brisket can be marinated, seasoned with dry rub or both. An overnight marinade in a seasoned, acidic mixture will both flavor and tenderize the meat. Dry rubs need at least an hour on the meat before grilling so the flavor can be absorbed. Wrapping the seasoned brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerating it overnight is even better. The flavor will absorb deep into the meat fibers.
The following grilled brisket recipes will provide the means for you to make tasty grilled brisket that'll please all. I'll start with a recipe using a trimmed brisket.
A dry rub made of Southwestern spices and herbs seasons this brisket to perfection. Dry rubs can burn if exposed to high temperatures, so don't sear the brisket directly over high heat. Indirect grilling is what this one needs.
One 4 to 5 pound trimmed brisket
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dry rub
Combine the dry ingredients, mixing well. Combine the basting liquid ingredients. Season all sides of the brisket with an even coating of the Southwestern brisket rub. Allow it to rest at room temperature for one hour. Prepare your cooker for indirect grilling. Cook the brisket for one hour, then turn it over, baste it, and add more charcoal. Continue cooking the brisket, basting the meat and checking the internal temperature every half hour, and adding charcoal every hour. Remove the grilled brisket when the internal temp reaches 185° F. Give it a rest for a half an hour, slice thinly and serve with warmed tortillas and salsa.
An untrimmed brisket is the choice for this recipe. Marinated in a flavorful liquid, this brisket ends up tasty and juicy. If an entire brisket is too much for you to cook, grill half of a brisket.
One 10 to 12 pound untrimmed brisket (or half a brisket)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 can of beer
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Trim the brisket fat so it's about inch thick, then place it into a large food storage bag or a non-reactive container. Plastic, stainless steel, or glass containers are fine. (Do not use aluminum or plain steel containers…the acidic marinade will react with the metal and produce metallic flavors in the meat.) Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the brisket, allowing it to marinate overnight, up to 24 hours.
Set up your grill for indirect grilling. Remove the brisket from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. When the grill is up to temperature, place the meat on the grill, fat side up. Cover the grill and cook for 4 to 6 hours(or more), adding charcoal to the grill every hour. Begin checking the temperature at the 2 hour mark. When it hits 185° F, remove it and give it a rest before serving. A big brisket may need more than 6 hours to cook, so start early!