The Big Green Egg:  Smoked Brisket



With the beautiful Miss Ellen out of town, the opportunity to put a big ‘ol slab of meat on the

Big Green Egg proved irresistible.  I have had many successes on the BGE and smoking in

general.  But, when it comes to that finicky mistress of the BBQ world known as brisket, I am

still a student of the game. 


I selected an 11 pound full brisket – point and flat for those who are brisket savy – electing to do

my own trimming of the fat.  I coated the meat with a nice pecan rub the night before to start

infusing it with flavor. 




The evening of the cook must start with a little mental adjustment.  A martini of Tito’s vodka and hand stuffed blue cheese olives was a perfect way to get things going. 




Step one is to fire up the Egg.  For this cook, I elected to cook at around 225 degrees.   I use BGE brand hardwood lump charcoal supplemented with some mesquite for the smoke flavor. 


The trick with brisket is that, unlike other slow cooks with different meat such as poultry, only minimal smoke is needed at the start of the cook.  After that, the natural flavor of the hardwood charcoal will take care of the flavor. 



Russy is always my sous chef when I cook on the Egg.  According to Ellen, Russy goes

somewhat berserk if I step outside to attend to the Egg and I leave her inside. 



While the Egg is getting up to temperature, the finishing touches are made on the brisket.  A nice

coating of regular table mustard is added with an additional layer of the rub.  Absolutely no BBQ

sauce at this point – that comes only when you are ready to eat!


The brisket goes on the Egg fat side down. A heavy duty tin foil pan is placed under the meat to

catch drippings, etc.  Close the lid, cross your fingers, and away we go. 



Back inside the house, we have a little time before conducting an initial investigation on

how things are progressing outside.  In other words – dinner.



A glass of 2003 Grgich Hills chardonnay is a perfect way to approach a dinner of scallops and quinoa.  This bottle has a little age on it but is absolutely alive with rich pear, oak, almond finished off with a light hint of vanilla.  Beautiful complexity and body.   There is no question that well made California chardonnays can be aged for a decade or longer, and this wine is a solid testament to this. 




Apps are always a welcome necessity while preparing dinner.  I decided that some more of the gorgeous blue cheese on some simple crackers would be ideal. 


The richness of the blue cheese paired very well with the maturity of the chardonnay.  But, my eyes were already eyeing the scallops that were sitting on the counter.




I elected for a very simple sauté, cooking the scallops in slightly browned butter supplemented

with a splash of the Grgich chardonnay, salt and pepper.  I cooked up a small batch of seasoned

quinoa to complement the scallops.  No question that the trio of chardonnay, scallops and quinoa

was ideal




Meanwhile, outside, the brisket was off and running.  The temperature was holding steady at about 220.  Start time was about 7:00 pm.  So I was mentally figuring that the brisket would be ready the next day around noon. 


I went to sleep around 11:00 after deciding that the Egg was stable and that the temperature would not drift too much. 




Well, I woke up at 5:00 and checked on things outside.  The temperature in the egg had crept up to about 260 and the internal temperature of the brisket was already 215.   A cooked brisket should be between 195 and 205.  I went into scramble mode as I pulled the brisket off the Egg and closed the vents to shut it down. 


I took the brisket inside and, after separating the flat from the point, wrapped both in heavy duty tin foil, wrapped them in towels and put them both into a cooler.  Then back to bed for a few hours.  Total cook time was about 10 hours.  Much shorter than I expected. 


Three hours later, I unwrap both.  The point, being more highly marbled then the flat, was tender and delicious.  The flat was also tender, but not as tender as I would like.  I personally hold the County Line in Austin as my standard, my benchmark.


The flavor was fantastic.  A nice bark had been created on the outside, nice delicate smoke flavor on the inside.  I sliced it up and presented it at a Cowboys watching party that evening.  None remained at the end of the evening – that’s a good sign!


I have no photos after the cook.  Not sure why – I don’t have a valid reason.  Next time, I promise to do a better job of photojournalism!


There is another brisket in my immediate future.  I have chatted with folks on the oh-so-helpful BGE Forum.  Their suggestions are sure to take me and my brisket one step closer to BBQ perfection.  Stay tuned…..