The flat cut of brisket makes for those long, beautiful slices that look so good on the plate. This cut has a lot less fat on it than a whole brisket, though, so it needs a little added moisture during the cooking process. Coffee adds a subtle flavor while helping keep things juicy as the brisket cooks itself to tenderness.
A flat-cut brisket such as this is a simpler piece of meat to cook than a big whole brisket, so this is a good place to start for someone new to cooking barbecue. Just don’t get one smaller than 5 pounds.–Ray Lampe
LC About Cooking Indirectly Note
We interrupt this normally scheduled LC Note to bring you a word—actually, a lot of words—from the author on the topic of indirect smoking: Whether gas or charcoal grill or barbecue smoker, the only real requirement of your equipment is the ability to keep the temperature low and the heat source indirect. The temperature can be kept low a lot of ways. If you’re using electric or gas, it’ll be as simple as turning down the dial on the thermostat. If you’re using charcoal, there are two simple ways: You can build a small fire and add a bit of fuel as needed, or you can light a big pile in one or two places and then control the growth of the fire by closing down the air vents, thus limiting the oxygen supply. Both ways work well and the one you choose will probably be dictated by the cooker that you choose.
Employing an indirect heat source is important and will help tame the fire as well. This can be achieved simply by using a steel deflector or a big pan of water directly above the fire, or you can position the fire to the side of the food and funnel the heat sideways into the cooking chamber. In some extreme instances you can simply keep the food a great distance above the fire. Once again, the best way will be dictated by the cooker that you choose.
Smoked Brisket with Coffee
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 7 H, 15 M
- Makes about 8 servings
Special Equipment: Smoker (optional)
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
I really liked having the coffee mixed with meat juices to use as a sauce. It adds a bit of richness and complexity, without being sweet at all. I made the brisket in my Big Green Egg. The accessory called a “plate setter” (not sure why they call it that) helps adapt the Egg for indirect cooking. The rub calls for turbinado sugar, which is usually coarse-grained, and kosher salt, which is also coarse. I found that these two ingredients in the rub had a tendency to fall off the meat, while the finer ground ingredients adhered. I like to make my rubs with a finer grain salt and sugar to avoid this problem, and that is what I’d do with this rub in the future. The other thing I would do differently in this recipe is to cook the brisket with the fat side up during the entire cooking time, instead of starting with the fat down and flipping it. The timing given in the recipe was pretty accurate for my setup, but since this can vary depending upon the nature of your smoker and the shape of your cut of meat, you’ll need to monitor the internal temperature as you go.
We love smoked food, so we had to try this recipe. The rub is a perfect blend of sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s one to use in all types of meats in the future. The brisket was very tender but I think I should have cut down on the time. I used the full 4 hours and next time I’ll just use 3 hours and then wrap it in the foil. After 1 hour the temperature was already a little over 200 degrees F. The meat totally fell apart but was just a tad dry, but that was my fault as I really should have removed it earlier. Perhaps next time I’ll add a bit more coffee, too, as I didn’t taste it in the meat.