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Hear us out: Everyone and their grandmother makes a traditional brisket for the Seder main course, so why not shake things up a bit with our barbecued brisket? The weather is finally warm enough to grill outside without five down parkas (knock on wood), and doing so will free up your oven space for other dishes like roast carrots, salt-roasted potatoes or oven-roasted salmon (if you’re going for a surf-and-turf effect). Whether you’re in Kansas City, Texas or Jerusalem, the key to good barbecued brisket is the right balance of smoke, fat, moisture and tenderness. A low temperature for a long period of time is a given for this tough cut of meat. We’ve developed a few other strategies as well:
Go from grill to oven:
Position the vents:
Give it time:
Anatomy of a brisket:
Kansas City Barbecued Brisket
*Note: To use wood chunks when using a charcoal grill, substitute two medium chunks, soaked in water for 1 hour, for the wood chip packet.
2. For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent halfway. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Place wood chip packet on coals. Set cooking grate in place, cover and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes.
For a gas grill: Place wood chip packet over primary burner. Turn all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burners.
3. Pat brisket dry with paper towels and transfer to disposable pan. Set pan with brisket on cooler side of grill and cook, covered, with lid vent positioned above brisket for 2 hours.
4. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk ketchup, water, molasses and hot sauce together in bowl and pour over brisket. Cover pan tightly with foil and transfer to oven. Cook until brisket registers 195 degrees, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Turn off heat and let brisket rest in oven for 1 hour.
5. Transfer brisket to carving board. Skim fat from sauce. Slice brisket against grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with sauce.
Mazel tov! You’re well on your way to being a pitmaster.
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