Brisket is the rightful king of Texas barbecue. The best part about this luscious cut of beef? You don't have to be a professional pit master to make terrific barbecued brisket at home. The secrets are a good spice rub and the judicious use of smoke and indirect heat. Here's how to do it.
1. The Rub Massage a 5-lb. brisket (ask butcher for the flat cut, with a half-inch layer of fat left on) with the barbecue rub. Refrigerate overnight.
2. The Fuel Stuff crumpled newspaper under a charcoal chimney filled with lump hardwood charcoal, preferably oak or hickory. Light paper and let charcoal burn down to white and ashy coals.
3. The Smoke Dump hot coals over half of the bottom grate of a kettle grill and nestle in 3 wood chunks, preferably mesquite. The wood should smolder and smoke. Place lid over grill.
4. The Grill Open top grill vents and position lid so they're away from the fire. Open bottom vents. Let fire burn down until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the top vent reads 225˚-250˚.
5. The Heat Arrange a foil pan half full of water on the bottom grate, opposite the coals. Put the top grill grate into place and lay the brisket directly over the water bath.
6. The Slow-Cook Replenish fire with coals every hour or so to maintain a temperature of 225˚-250˚. Insert a thermometer into meat after 4-5 hours. When it reaches 160˚, pull it off the grill.
7. The Wrap Transfer brisket to a sheet of heavy-duty foil and pour 3⁄4 cup warm lager beer over the meat. Wrap brisket in the foil to seal in the juices and beer.
8. The Last Leg Return foil-wrapped brisket to grill and cook, replenishing with coals, until meat is 190˚, about 2 more hours. Let brisket rest on the cooled, uncovered grill for 1 more hour.
9. The Finale Arrange brisket fat side up on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice brisket across the grain into 1⁄8" slices. Collect any juice and pour it over the sliced meat.