Smoked beef brisket is on tonight’s menu and the topic of this post. Most people have brisket for St. Patrick’s day in the form of corned beef, but not many folks go beyond that. Although I love corned beef, this smoked brisket recipe blows corned beef out of the water! All you need to make some delectable brisket is my Santa Maria dry rub, some time, and a smoker. So, skip the high-dollar restaurants, and make your own smoked brisket at home!
What Cut of Meat Is Used For Brisket?
Brisket is usually sold as a large, boneless slab of meat. It comes from a cow’s lower chest region. Brisket is the same cut used to make corned beef and pastrami. As you may already know, corned beef is cured with salt, pepper, mustard seeds, crushed bay leaves, and other spices. It is then simmered for hours, until tender. Corned beef is traditionally served on St. Patrick’s day, along with steamed cabbage and vegetables. I like to serve corned beef along with cabbage dolma on St. Patrick’s day. You can read more about that in the cabbage dolma post.
The Origin of Pastrami
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I always manage to find an Assyrian or Middle Eastern connection. Pastrami is no exception. The first pastrami sandwich is credited to Sussman Volk, a Jewish man who immigrated to New York from Lithuania in the 1800s. In 1887, he received the recipe from a Romanian friend, in exchange for storing the friend’s luggage, while his friend returned to Romania. Volk tried the recipe and liked it so much that he began serving it in his butcher shop. As a result of its popularity, Volk opened up a restaurant, featuring his pastrami sandwiches. Pastrami was originally called “pastrama” (Romanian), or “basturma” in Arabic. Both words refer to meat that has been cured in spices. It is believed that the name was changed to “pastrami,” imitating another popular meat at the time, “salami.”
Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe
Technically, pastrami is quite similar to this smoked beef brisket recipe. Both use the same cut of meat (brisket). They also utilize the same method of applying a dry rub and smoking the meat. The only difference is that pastrami goes through a brining process prior to being coated in the dry rub. If you try this recipe, you’ll see that not only are the flavors in this smoked beef brisket outstanding, but the brisket comes out extremely tender. If you are a fan of smoked meat, you will love this recipe!
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The most tender brisket you'll ever have!
- 4 lb. beef brisket
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 T. salt
- 1 T. black pepper
- 1 T. paprika
- 1 T. fresh rosemary minced
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- Sauce: Mix oil, vinegar, and crushed garlic cloves. Set aside until needed.
- Mix dry rub ingredients. Rub the spices all over the meat. Allow the meat to rest for a minimum of two hours or overnight.
- Heat electric smoker to 250 degrees F. Soak wood chips in water until the smoker is ready.
- When the smoker reaches the proper temperature, add drained wood chips to the smoker.
- Brush sauce generously all over the brisket, then place directly on the center shelf of the smoker.
- Smoke the meat for two hours with heavy smoke.
- Remove meat from the smoker, and turn down the temperature to 175 degrees F.
- Brush brisket with more sauce and seal in heavy foil. Cook for an additional three hours.