Tips & Tricks For Smoking A Brisket On Your Weber Grill
I've seen some YouTube videos on how to set up your Weber grill as a smoker. There's a few different techniques, but it all is very similar. But there was questions that these videos didn't answer. Like how long? What temperature? How fast does it heat up? What are some of the challenges, etc. I learned a lot my first time, and it actually turned out fantastic.
First off was the question of where to get the brisket. I found some 15 pound ones at Walmart and at a local meat shop, but that was too big. Finally, a tip from a friend had me go to Sams Club, and I found an 7 1/2 pound brisket. That was the perfect size for the Weber Kettle Premium 22" grill that I have.
How do you season it? There's a million ways to do this. Some people put it in a brine overnight, others just put a dry rub on it and let it sit. I wanted my first time to be simple so I could build on the taste in the future attempts. So I just did a light mustard rub and added a good amount of kosher salt and coarse ground pepper. I let it sit over night in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.
You can see in the photo below how I have the grill set up. The brisket on one side with a drip pan underneath, coals on the other side, and on top of those coles a tray of water. Every time I added coals to it I also put a handful of soaked hickory chips.
The hardest part of the whole process was the first 30 minutes. I filled my charcoal chimney to the top and dumped the hot coals down, but that was too much charcoal. I had to actually squirt some water to cool the coals down, as it raced too high of a temperature. It really only takes a couple of handfuls of charcoal to keep the temperature around 250 degrees. You have to play with the vents a little bit, and for me it was just cracked open to hold the temp around 250.
You want to have the top vent right above the meat, so the smoke will cross it. The problem this brings is that the thermometer is on the opposite side of the vent, which means it's right over the coals. The reading is off just a bit then, like about 20-25 degrees warmer than where the meat cooks. It's good to keep this in mind. If I kept the temperature of the grill under 280 degrees, I was happy.
Every 70 minutes or so I would throw a handful of coals on to keep it going, and a small handful of hickory chips soaked each time.
Make sure you have a probe thermometer in the meat as well. Without this, you have no idea what you are doing. Don't be alarmed if the temperature rises fast to start. My brisket went from 39 degrees to 100 degrees in the first hour. Then, after you reach about 140 degrees it takes forever to warm up. Don't panic.
I reached 165 after about 4 1/2 hours. Then I wrapped it wit
h foil and let it climb to 195. It sounds like it would be burned to a crips, but that's actually the temperature that it will become softer again. It took another hour and a half for it to get to 195.
Most important part at the end is to let it rest in the foil, unopened for an hour. Then dig in!
It was incredible, and I don't know if I've ever seen a smoke ring so pronounced.