Cooking Delicious Beef Brisket – Meat Injection Recipe
Meat eaters everywhere have probably tasted beef brisket, even without knowing it. Beef brisket is the cut of meat used for a myriad of dishes, such as beef and cheese melts, pulled beef brisket stew, and even Vietnamese Pho. For super barbecue lovers, we know that brisket is one of the best cuts of beef to grill, smoke, and slow cook.
This tutorial will teach you how to cook brisket, which cut of brisket to use, and how to season your BBQ brisket using a meat injection.
This recipe is simple, inexpensive, and delicious. You will feel so secure in your ability to cook barbecue brisket, that you may even consider competing with your very own barbecue brisket injection recipe.
So, what is a brisket?
Beef brisket is a cut of meat that is acquired from the breast and lower chest areas of the cow, or veal. The piece looks like a whole, thick slab of beef that could weigh up to 13 pounds.
Brisket is typically split into two pieces called “flat cut” and “point cut.”
The “flat cut” is also known as “center cut” or “thin cut.” This is the leaner cut of the two, and it is also pricier.
On the other hand, the “point cut,” also known as “point half,” or “thick cut,” is the meatier, fatter, thicker cut. It is also the cheapest, and most popular cut.
How do I know the difference?
You may have already enjoyed a “point cut” brisket at some point in time. This is typically the cut that you get to taste at Pitmaster competitions, or even at school baseball team fundraisers, where barbecue brisket is sold smoked in plates, served with a roll and potato salad.
The high fat content of brisket and the high amount of connecting tissue in the meat are precisely what make point cut beef brisket “the” prime cut for injecting flavor.
Therefore, the perfect meat injection, with the right amount of juices and flavors, will penetrate evenly through the fat and tissue content, spreading out the good stuff your taste buds crave for.
The step-by-step guide to preparing the beef brisket injection
1. Gathering and combining all the ingredients The most important ingredient is the brisket itself. We already discussed that the “point cut,” or thick cut, was the perfect one for meat injecting. The fat content and high tissue connections in this piece allows for injected seasonings to spread evenly A typical thick cut brisket may weigh anywhere between 6 to 13 pounds, depending on your needs.
2. Trim off any excessive fat layers from the surface of the brisket before you season or inject it. A typical brisket will come with top layer of fatty membrane that may slow the cooking process. Slice it off by cutting against the grain.
3. Get a pan to marinate the brisket and aluminum foil to wrap it after it is cooked.
For the marinade you can select a combination of any of these ingredients, and mix them to taste.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Soy sauce
- Red wine/ red wine vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Beef broth
- Cayenne pepper
Optional: cinnamon and cumin powder
** We have heard wonderful ideas of marinades that include Coca-Cola and peach juice. Try them and see. **
A cool marinade that will bring out sweet and savory flavors goes like this:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Beef broth
- Red wine
- Brown sugar
So, as you can see, you can go as exotic or as simple as you wish. These seasonings are not expensive or hard to find. You may even find them all in one stop at any of the “dollar plus” stores across the country.
4. The last thing you will need is the injector. It is recommended that you get an injector with a multiple-hole needle that will squirt the marinade all over the meat. We will show you exactly how to do this, for how long, and where to inject, so stay tuned.
5. As you get your needle, be sure to read all directions prior to using it. You do not want to mishandle an injector in anyway.
It is now your turn to select your spices, and create your SIGNATURE MARINADE. Yes, your very own!
What is the right way to inject the meat
In this section, we will show you how to add this delicious goodness into the meat, in order to optimize and maximize flavor.
1. Again, get a needle with multiple holes so that the marinade can go all over the meat.
2. Filter your marinade so that it comes out in total liquid state, and without solid drainage from the original marinade, such as sugar grains and herbs. Any residue from the spices may clog the needle. You do not want that.
3. Be sure that you refrigerate your marinade before you use it.
4. Fill the injection with your marinade
5. Locate the meatier parts of your brisket that go on the same direction to the grain of the meat.
6. You will inject those meaty parts with just a little bit of the marinade. Think of it as trying to fill out a tiny hole with water: too much liquid makes the hole spit out the excess. Therefore, go for small squirts of marinade that will “stay in” the meat.
8. After carefully injecting the meat, save the leftover marinade to coat over the meat during cooking time.
9. Wash and disinfect your injectors for future use.
10. Prior to placing the brisket in the smoker, barbecue, or your preferred cooking tool, let whatever excess liquid inside the meat to just filter out.
11. Place the brisket in a colander to allow any excess marinade to drain.
Cooking the brisket
The third part is completely up to you. Whether you want barbecue brisket, smoked, or Dutch oven cooked, you need to adhere to the following brisket commandments:
A) Regular Smoker
Get about 2 ½ cups of fragrant wood chips, either cherrywood, hickory, or applewood. Put them in a container and filled them with water. Let them soak in the water for about an hour.
If you have regular wood chips, soak them in Coca Cola, red wine, or a fruit juice. The wood chips will infuse flavor and fragrance into the smoking process.
Drain the wood chips.
Add one last layer of seasoning to the brisket prior to putting it in the smoker. I strongly suggest you spritz olive oil all over the brisket to bring out a nice, brown crunch. Not sure what to rub in? Try adobo, salt and pepper, or make your own concoction of herbs. Check our recipe section for excellent rubs that will make everyone smile.
Set the smoker to MEDIUM LOW. Your coals and wood chips will mix with the coals.
At this point, set the brisket to medium low, indirect heat. Leave it there for around 3 to 6 hours, cover the smoker with its lid.
Take out the meat when the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 185 to 190 degrees (Fahrenheit.)
B) Electric Gas Smoker
- Start by heating up the grill in high, and then drop the temperature
- Place the brisket on a rack over the pan.
- For this type of grill/smoker, you may need to add a small drip pan with
water in it to produce the smoke effect as you cook in indirect heat.
- Cover the lid and smoke the meat in low temperature, until the meat also gets to the universal temperature for slow-cooked brisket of 185 to 190 degrees.
Dishes that go well with brisket
With such succulent meat, you want a side dish that will complement the flavors, without taking away the focus from the main component, which is the brisket itself. Since the meat’s flavor can be smoky and intense, go for light side dishes that help cleanse the palate and bring your taste buds back to the “star of the show.”
- cucumber salad
- sweet, white corn
- potato salad
- fully loaded potato or sweet potato
- fresh Caprese salad
- fresh vegetable medley
- poached apple slices, with butter and cinnamon
- house salad
- roasted potatoes, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and paprika
For a heavier meal, include (along with your side dish)
- Sweet bread buns
- Celery sticks and carrots with dip
- Rice pilaf
- Butter noodles with salt and pepper
- Squash casserole
- Broccoli casserole
Beef brisket is easily accessible, inexpensive, and full of flavor. The possibilities for a perfect barbecue brisket injection recipe are endless. Create your own, signature sauce, and use a multiple-hole needle to penetrate the fatty content and tissue of the traditional brisket slab.
Point cut, or thick cut, brisket, is the preferred choice for lovers of barbecue all over the world. Treat yourself to a nice, juicy plate of brisket with a light, refreshing side dish, and show out in our comments section what is your own secret to make the perfect brisket.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is injected into meat?
When it comes to brining meat from the inside out, a technique called injecting comes into play. You can inject any type of liquid into your meat, from pure broth to salted water to a flavorful marinade. While you don’t want to buy injected meat because you’d be paying for water, you absolutely want to inject your meat when you get home. It’s an easy way to infuse flavor into the dish and ensure your meat turns out moist and juicy.
Does injecting meat work?
Yes, injecting meat is a great way to add flavor to your meat while keeping it moist as it cooks. It’s a very effective way to brine or marinate meat.
How do you inject meat without a marinade injector?
Sadly, it’s not possible to inject meat without this necessary tool. You could still brine the meat without an injector, but you wouldn’t be able to infuse the meat with the flavor from the inside out.
What is the difference between the flat cut brisket and the point?
If you buy a whole brisket, these to pieces will be connected by a large piece of fat known as the deckle. The flat cut is the leaner, flatter muscle in the brisket. It is tasty, but it doesn’t have the same fat content as the point, an oddly-shaped muscle that sits on top. For this recipe, we like using the point because the high fat content and connective tissue allow the injection to move more easily within the meat.
How long do you cook brisket?
In a 225 degree F smoker or oven, it should take about 1 hour 15 minutes per pound of uncooked brisket. When the temperature reaches 190 degrees F, the brisket is finished cooking! Make sure to rest the brisket for at least 15 minutes (or as long as an hour) before slicing into it. This helps those injected juices redistribute within the meat instead of spilling out onto the cutting board.