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Elder Ward Brisket--OH, MY GOODNESS!!!!

Rib-RobRib-Rob Posts: 66
edited 1:01PM in EggHead Forum
This is the first "Oh, My Goodness!!" post I've made. I've done some really acceptable things on the BGE over the past several years, following the advice on this forum, (and thank you Blue Smoke, and Tim, and Chris, and GFW and TNW, etc.) but this particular thing exceeds my every other "project" by a bunch.
I had the following E.W. recipe in my archives, and I generally followed it. I cut the completed brisket into thirds, and popped 2 of the sections over to my neighbors for "samples". Within minutes, I had orders ("begs", actually) to reproduce same and they would pay for raw materials, lump, etc. Recipe follows, and all I know is that it came from this forum, and, obviously Elder Ward, and thank you, Sir.
I selected the brisket, following the advice of this forum, looking for one that was flexible (or maybe that was for ribs). Anyway, one of the briskets was 'limper", or more flexible than normal and that was the one. And, "No", I don't think we should go there.

11 lb. choice cut or better flat cut brisket
4 Tbsp kosher salt
4 Tbsp raw Hawaiian sugar
4 Tbsp McCormick chili powder
4 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp ground thyme
Combine all in a blender and liquefy in short bursts until the color is uniform and all parts are about the same size. Stop and shake after every short burst because the fine stuff will settle to the bottom. We are heating the spices just enough to bond them together without burning them. This changes the flavor by melding them together. Reserve 1/2 cup for use later. Place the meat, fat side down fresh out of the packaging on top of a piece or two of wax paper. Do not rinse the meat or pat dry. Cover the flesh side with rub until you can't see the meat. Hold up the sides of the wax paper and coat edges of the meat. Load up the BGE with good quality oak lump. Start the fire dead center on top with fireplace starter. When it is burning good, build a little pile of lump over it so that it lights these larger pieces. When the starter has burned out and the flames are down then spread the piled up coals around the perimeter to have an even fire. Put a fist size chunk of red oak, bark side down, on the center fire and lay a equal size piece of hickory next to it. Put the grill on, close the lid and let dome get to 275°. Get a V rack with handles and flip that brisket over gently (so as not to lose the seasoning) flesh side down. Coat the fat side with the balance of the seasoning so it looks like you're cooking a seasoning cake, not meat. Insert polder in largest part of meat half way in and place on the grill. Close the lid and stabilize @ 275° +/- 10°. Pull @ 202°. This took about 6-7 hours. Wrap layers of foil and towels and pack in an ice chest with lid closed.

I did the rub "as advertised" on a 6 pounder. Didn't do the rib-rack thing or the fire-building procedure--just put it on the grill over a plate-setter with drip-pan at 250degrees. A sprinkle of hickory chips. No foil, mustard or pre-soaking. I put the rub on immediately before putting it on the grill (as directed by the Elder). Maybe that is part of the secret by not having the salt in the rub leach out moisture?The temp drooped to 220 for a time during the night, but was brought back up smartly when I regained consciousness. 18 hours after the start, OH, OH, MY GOODNESS! I wrapped in foil for an hour after soaking with 1/2 cup beef broth.
I have done 4 or 5 briskets before. The best was a "30" on a scale of 100. Too much smoke and therefore, bitter. Or, dry. This sucker was at least a "100". Fork-tender and moist.
Easily the best thing I have ever done.


  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    Did you put the beef broth in the foil and soak it that way or did you soak it seperately?

  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    Rib-Rob,[p]18 hours on a 6-pounder. WOW. What was internal temp when you took it out? I've never had one take anywhere near 3 hrs/lb. Wonder what would cause that??[p]mShark
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,253
    18 hours does seem like a long time @ 250°. I do mine @ 225° and the most I have ever cooked it was 12 hours to 200° internal. Even then it was dry. I think that may be due to the rub being put on many hours before I cooked it. Like he said, the salt in the rub may pull the juices out of the meat before it even cooks. Also, I would think a 250° cook would tend to "boil" the liquid in the meat. I seem to recall someone mentioning that one time. And I could have just gotten a not-so-good piece of meat. That will definitely make a difference. Regardless, if Rib-Rob had that good'a luck following those guidelines, I'm willing to give it another try. Like everyone, I want a fool-proof brisket recipe that everyone raves about. This just may be it.[p]By the way, the Texas Eggheads list just keeps growing. the next update will probably be going out next week.[p]Spring Chicken
    Spring Texas USA

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Spring Chicken, I did a couple of briskets the other week and I layered them with slices of thick cut bacon to keep them from drying out so much. Mine took from 14 to 16 hours to get to 185. I'm not sure the bacon helped the brisket but it sure was delicious the next morning as a "chef's perogative". :-)

  • Rib-RobRib-Rob Posts: 66
    Elder Ward,
    I put the broth in the foil, wrapped the whole thing in a towel and put it into a coller for an hour. Thank You!

  • Rib-RobRib-Rob Posts: 66
    I took it off at 185. The timing did seem long, but it's been pretty consistent with my other cooks. I've checked the thermometer and it's OK. I attribute it to the altitude-My house is at 7300 feet. Water boils around 12 degrees lower here.

  • Rib-RobRib-Rob Posts: 66
    Spring Chicken,
    Forgot to mention that I'm up at 7300 feet. Altitude does strange things. And I did have that temp droop during the night.

  • Rib-Rob,
    We did two 13 pound briskets in Tahoe (about the same alt), they were Prime briskets but they were both done in 9 1/2 hours. 18 hours is a long time.

  • Bob VBob V Posts: 195
    Great report from way high up. My sister used to live in northern New Mexico, and every recipe had to be tinkered with for the altitude. [p]I've used Elder Ward's ways before, and have especially admired his detailed long slow burn technique. One question I've often wondered, though. Is Elder Ward a church elder or is he the older of two Wards?[p]Bob
  • Elder Ward,
    Other than he used your rub, which is pretty standard rub, I dont see how or why he called it a Elder Ward Brisket..~~~~~[p]
    His brisket was half the size, he didnt use your wood selection, he cooked it three times longer, at much lower temps and finished it with broth in the foil, which was not called for in your technique...[p]

  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    Bob V,
    Mr.Ward is a Elder in his church.

  • Rib-RobRib-Rob Posts: 66
    Q.N.E. tyme,
    You're right. Perhaps "Adapted from Elder Ward's Brisket" would have been more accurate. My apologies to the Elder.

  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    Bob V,

  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    Q.N.E. tyme,
    Yeah Well no big deal I don't stick to them strickly either. Always tweeking.

  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    None needed.

  • Elder WardElder Ward Posts: 330
    I have used Beef and Chicken broth to bring out the best in other dishes before but have not considered it here. I may give it a try just for funn
    Elder Ward

  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    Rib-Rob,[p]I'm a firm believer in Bonnie Raitt when she says "It ain't the meat, it's the motion". It's clear to me, your motion must have been pretty d*mn good. Congratulations![p]Ken
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