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Boshizzle 06-08-2012 05:00 PM

BlackHawk Brisket Version 1.0 - The Details
This brisket recipe was inspired by a renowned 19th century Virginia beef BBQ cook everyone called "Blackhawk." I will be sharing more details about him soon.

Until then, this is my tribute to Blackhawk and all the other great BBQ cooks that don't get their due. They put their heart and soul into their BBQ everyday working their butts off to feed the masses.

The biggest problem with hot and fast brisket is usually the bark. The bark just doesn't measure up to the bark of a brisket that is cooked low and slow. So, this recipe is my attempt to rectify that situation. This is how I cook my Blackhawk brisket.

A good bark is the result of the Maillard reaction. This is where the sugars and proteins in the meat begin to brown while cooking. There are several main things that influence this reaction: Sugar, protein, heat, and the PH level of the meat.

I started with a 12 pound full packer. I trimmed it up and removed the excess fat from between the point and the flat. This was done to increase the amount of bark I would have on the burnt ends.

For this process to produce the best bark you need to remove all of the silver skin and as much of the fat possible from the flat of the brisket. Then, using paper towels, dry the top surface of the brisket as well as possible.

The next important part of the process is to use something under the brisket that will create a curved or slanted surface. This is important so that juices from the meat don't pool in one spot. The juices pooling will wash the rub off and eliminate any chance of a good bark developing.

You can inject the brisket at this point if you want just make sure to dry the surface of the brisket as much as possible using paper towels.

Once all that is done, I put the brisket in the refrigerator uncovered overnight. Here it is the next morning after an overnight rest in the fridge.

Next, I again use paper towels to dry the surface of the brisket. First up, deal with the PH level of the meat. I sprinkle the top surface of the brisket with about 3 half pinches (just as much as can be picked up with thumb and forefinger) of baking soda. Just a light sprinkle all over the top surface of the brisket is needed. Don't use too much.

After the light sprinkle of baking soda, I apply a light coat of peanut oil all over the surface of the meat. Then, I add a light sprinkle of brown sugar and rub it all in. The last step in this stage is to apply a light coat of molasses. I use sugar and molasses to up the sugar content of the meat. If you use a rub that has sugar in it already, you can skip the brown sugar part.

Next, I apply my rub. The rub I used on this brisket was made from the following:

4 TBS Sea Salt
6 TBS Coarse Ground Black Pepper (16 mesh)
3 TBS Fine Ground Black Pepper
1 TBS Fine Ground Cayenne Pepper

I rubbed it all over the surface of the meat. Then, I touched it all up by sprinkling fine ground black pepper over the brisket to cover any spots that needed it.

While the prepared brisket was resting on my kitchen counter, I fired up my Keg to 325 degrees F using some white oak chunks for smoke. I made sure the fire was burning very clean. The smoke coming from the chimney was a clear vapor.

I put the brisket on the smoker and let it cook for 2 1/2 hours. Here is a pic of it just before foiling.

After 2 1/2 hours, I loosely wrapped it with foil. It was really a foil tent.

I let it continue to cook for about 2 more hours until it probed tender as "butta." I'd "say it was about 208ish internal temp. Once it was tender, I removed the foil and let it rest for 1 hour. Here is the result.

The flat -

Burnt ends -

It was moist and delicious and didn't taste sweet at all!

Q-Dat 06-08-2012 05:18 PM

Outstanding! I would be very tempted to try this in KCBS, but they don't seem to have much of an appreciation for bark.

Boshizzle 06-08-2012 05:19 PM


Originally Posted by Q-Dat (Post 2086066)
Outstanding! I would be very tempted to try this in KCBS, but they don't seem to have much of an appreciation for bark.

True dat.

deguerre 06-08-2012 05:21 PM

Favor request. When your book is available, send me a PM or email. :thumb::becky:

Big Biscuit 06-08-2012 05:22 PM

Yes, I would like a serving.

mcglock 06-08-2012 05:33 PM

That looks amazing.

gtr 06-08-2012 05:36 PM

Well that definitely looks worth doing! :hungry:

Thanks for putting that up! :clap2:

jgbmgb 06-08-2012 06:15 PM

That is one killer looking brisket, Joe!!! Haven't tried the molasses on the brisket but have on some butts and they turned out great too. We too use the simple salt and lots of pepper rub. Thats all we use on briskets now. Every one loves the taste of the peppery bark. Nice work!!!!!!

V-wiz 06-08-2012 06:31 PM

Ohhh so nice. Good job.

landarc 06-08-2012 07:03 PM

That is very interesting stuff Bo, I have to say, the use of baking soda for adjustingt the pH is new to me regarding BBQ and bark development. I have used a similar process in Chinese cooking, never leveraged it to BBQ though.

It sure looks great.

pigdog 06-08-2012 07:19 PM

Fo shizzle, boshizzle....... Nice job! Appreciate your sharing.....

SirPorkaLot 06-08-2012 07:38 PM

Interesting technique on that brisket Joe.

Thanks for sharing!

Crash 06-09-2012 03:20 AM

Thanks for sharing that dude. Nice read...great pron.

HB-BBQ 06-09-2012 10:43 AM

That bark looks perfect Bo! You are taking brisket to a whole new level with these experiments and I thank you for that.

I'd like to preorder a copy of that book myself.

tish 06-09-2012 01:51 PM

This is why I listed you first in that thread a while back about the folks who influence you most, Joe. Your experimentation is inspiring. I'm loving the research you've been doing. Very interesting. Keep up the good work. :thumb:

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