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If you think the lack of a smoker excludes you from making the delight that is slow-cooked, Texas-style brisket, think again– you can make it on a gas grill too! The key is to use a smoker box full of wood chips and, as always, cook low and slow.
Before cooking the brisket, rub generously with salt and pepper and place it on a baking sheet. Leave it for an hour; the salt helps to draw water out of the brisket prior to smoking. Next, you’ll need to prepare some wood chips. Soak 6 cups of chips for at least 30 minutes; leave 2 cups dry. Apple, hickory, and oak are all popular woods for smoking brisket.
Light only one burner on the gas grill, you want the grill to read about 220-250oF. You’ll want your smokebox right on top of the burner, with around half a cup of soaked wood chips. Adding a few dry chips can increase the smoke level without raising the heat too much. Place your brisket (fat side up) as far away from the lit burner as possible and close the grill top. Check the wood chips every 45 minutes to 1 hour; add another half cup of soaked chips whenever the wood is running low. Try not to open the grill other than when adding wood chips so that temperature remains relatively constant.
Keep smoking the brisket for around 10-12 hours, turning the meat every 3 hours or so if cooking is uneven. The thickest part of the brisket should read around 195-205oC when finished and the meat should be very tender, close to falling apart. If you don’t have all day to watch your grill, you can also transfer the brisket, wrapped in foil, to the oven after at least 4 hours of smoking. If you go this route, use a 250o oven until reaching the same 195-205o temperature. You’ll lose out on a little smoke flavor, but the first several hours on the grill should still give a solid amount of smokiness to the brisket.
Let the brisket rest for at least 20-30 minutes after finished. If you want to go with the traditional Texas style, the brisket should stand alone with no sauce. If you’re fine with breaking the rules a little bit, a vinegar and tomato based BBQ sauce goes great with the brisket. Dig in!