New Brisket Rub and BBQ Sauce

Friday July 2, 2010

We make smoked brisket often on summer holiday weekends. The technique and dry rub mixture I've been using was published in Cook's Illustrated some time ago. But I've tired of that mix. It's good, but has a sharpness to it that I'm not liking so much any more.

So this past weekend I changed the dry rub to my own version, using Pimenton - smoked paprika from Spain. I also switched to pecan for smoking and made a BBQ sauce from scratch using the dry rub ingredients and drippings from the cooked brisket.

Shown above is brisket with Celery Apple Slaw.

Dry Rub:
6 tablespoons smoked paprika (sweet, or sweet-bitter)
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 tablespoon sugar
1.5 tablespoon ground cumin
1.5 tablespoon chili powder
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
----- Combine all ingredients
----- Reserve 4 tablespoons of dry rub to use for the BBQ sauce.

BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
------ Heat in a medium saucepan until onion is wilted
4 tablespoons reserved dry rub
------ Add and stir to combine
2 cups crushed tomatoes (or whole tomatos blended with a stick blender)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Cayenne pepper to taste
---- Combine, bring to a boil, simmer 15-20 minutes.
Drippings from cooked brisket
---- Add drippings to sauce. Try a small batch with a 50-50 mixure of drippings to sauce, to determine the texture and tase you prefer. Mix remaining sauce and drippings in your preferred proportion.

Cooking method for a 9-11 pound brisket
  1. Apply dry rub, wrap in plastic wrap and refigerate for 2-24 hours. VERY important step.
  2. Smoke over indirect heat 90 minutes. I've used hickory many times, lately pecan and/or cherry.
  3. Wrap in heavy duty foil and cook in 300 degree oven 2.5 - 3.5 hours, until internal temp reached 210 degrees.
  4. Unwrap, reserve drippings, allow to rest 15 minutes.

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