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Texas-Style Barbecue Brisket with Spicy Barbecue Sauce


Texas-Style Barbecued Brisket with Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Brisket is the traditional Texas barbecue-pit meat, but it can be a bit unpredictable and frustrating to cook unless you have a real smoker or pit. Buy a brisket with the fat cap left on and prepare to cook it lowand slowfor five or six hours, or you’ll end up with great barbecue sauce on a piece of shoe leather. If you have a smoker, by all means do it the right way. For those with only a grill, I’ve devised this combination method. If you’re intimidated, this recipe can easily be done with a friendlier cut of meat, such as tri-tip (and it won’t take nearly as long). Or, you could do the entire recipe in a low, slowoven and skip the grill. You’ll miss out on that smoky taste, but the smoked paprika makes a nice “cheater’s ‘cue.” It’s really about the tasty homemade barbecue sauce made with Real Ketchup anyway. Either way, start one day ahead as the meat needs to absorb the rub for at least 24 hours. Serve with cooked beans and Potato, Green Bean, and Radish Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing. It’s also good with Corn Tortillas or Flour Tortillas.

  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: American


  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole Salt
  • ¼ cup ground mild pure New Mexico chile powder 3 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper One 4- to 5-pound brisket, fat cap on
  • Mesquite, alder, applewood, or other wood chips 1 cup medium-bodied beer, such as IPA BARBECUE SAUCE (MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP)
  • ¾ A cup Real Ketchup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the rub: Pound the garlic to a paste in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic paste, chile powder, brown sugar, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper. Mix to blend.
  3. Reserving about 3 tablespoons of the rub for the mop, coat the brisket all over with the rub, using your hands to massage it into the meat so it penetrates into the grain. Wrap the meat well and refrigerate for at least 24 or up to 48 hours.
  4. The morning of the day you plan to cook the meat, soak a couple handfuls of wood chips in water.
  5. Start a fire in the grill for low indirect heat (keeping the coals over to one side of the grill). When the coals burn down to ash, and you can hold your hand over them for several seconds, or the grill temperature reads no higher than 250 degrees F, put the drained wood chips in a tin pie plate or sheet of aluminum foil, edges folded over but open at the top. Place the chip tin on top of the coals, but not covering them completely. Put the meat on the side of the grill away from the fire, fat-side up.
  6. Make a mop by mixing together the beer and the reserved rub. Set aside for basting.
  7. Cover the grill and cook the meat for 1 hour, basting with the mop, flipping, and rotating once halfway through. If you are using a real smoker, you can continue to cook until the brisket’s internal temperature reaches 185 degrees F, another 3 to 4 hours, continuing to baste every half hour. If you’re cooking on a grill rigged out as a smoker like I’ve described, baste the meat well, wrap it in foil, and transfer it to a 200-degree-F oven until the internal temperature reaches 185 degrees F, 3 to 4 hours. Unwrap and baste once and then re-cover and let rest before slicing.
  8. To make the sauce while the meat rests: in a small saucepan, whisk together the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, mustard, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes.
  9. Slice the meat very thinly against the grain and serve with the barbecue sauce on the side.


You can mix up big batches of the Spice Rub and store it at room temperature in a glass jar, but leave out the garlic, adding it only when you are ready to use the rub.

Grainy Prepared Mustard

Soy-Ginger Dressing