Low and Slow Smoked Pork Brisket

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You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of pork brisket. I hadn’t either until Porter Road asked if they could bring us some to test out.

We’ll go through the history of pork brisket, where it originates from on the pig, and how to prepare it for a simple yet flavorful supper.

What is Pork Brisket?

Low and Slow Smoked Pork Brisket

Brisket de porc is a novel cut that has emerged from the process of whole-animal butchery.

A pig’s brisket corresponds to the same anatomical location on a cow.

Calling it pork brisket familiarizes people and, perhaps, increases their readiness to purchase.

After the picnic ham and pork shoulder have been processed and packed, you will be left with a significant section of boned out picnic ham, where the pig’s shoulder and pectoral muscles meet.

Porter Road also offers some unique cuts, like as pork wings, which we utilized in our smoked pig wings recipe.

What is whole-animal butchery?

Whole-animal butchery is growing more popular among environmentally aware processors and customers, and as a consequence, cuts like pig brisket have emerged.

When butchers prepare an animal corpse, after the popular cuts are taken, there are parts of meat left over that aren’t popular or don’t meet the demands of the customer.

These leftover pieces are often made into sausage, however depending on how successfully a butcher merchandises and markets the meat, they may be able to sell it whole instead. This is also true with pork brisket.

A tale of two muscles

Pig brisket is made up of two muscles that come together similarly to beef brisket, however the fat ratio of the muscles is swapped.

When comparing a beef brisket to a hog brisket, the comparable flat end of a pork brisket originates from the belly side and is fairly fatty, but the fatty tip of a beef brisket on a pig is rather lean.

When comparing the two species, the muscular composition is really reversed.

The lean pork picnic cut includes the chest region of a hog brisket. Pork picnics are a less common cut of the whole shoulder, but the Boston butt piece of the shoulder is the most well-known.

How to cook pork brisket?

Low and Slow Smoked Pork Brisket

Pork brisket should be cooked in the same manner as beef brisket: low and slow.

Pork brisket, like its meaty cousin, is rich in connective tissue that renders wonderfully when cooked low and slow.

Because pork briskets are smaller than beef briskets, the cooking time will be shorter.

Remember that we’re still cooking to internal temperature rather than a fixed duration.

1. Preparing the pork brisket for smoking

Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and cut away any silver skin.

Excessive silver skin on the meat’s exterior prevents smoke, marinade, and rub penetration. If your pork brisket has a large fat cap, cut it to no more than a quarter inch.

Porter Road online butchery supplied us pork. Porter Road is a Nashville-based company that provides high-quality, humane, pasture-raised beef from local farmers. They were gracious enough to provide us a complimentary pork brisket to test out. Here’s our take on their meat and service.

Porter Road cuts all of their meat by hand, and this hog brisket was skillfully trimmed right out of the box. It had no obvious silver skin or surface fat.

Our brisket weighed 1.5 pounds once the skin was removed.

If yours came with skin, take careful to remove it before smoking. There was no fat cap, as there would be on a beef brisket, but if yours has the skin on, there will be a fat cap underneath it. Reduce the thickness to a quarter inch.

Because there is no layer of point fat as in beef brisket, you must pay strict eye to bark and internal temperature to avoid overcooking.

Once the pork brisket has been cut, evenly coat the outside with rub. I used our recipe for Barbecue Pork Rub.

Use a generous amount of your preferred rub and pat it into the meat with the palm of your hand.

Allow for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature, depending on size and weight.

2. Smoking the pork brisket

Set your smoker to 250F while the meat rests at room temperature.

The temperature should be as consistent as possible, although a little variation is OK.

I didn’t want my temperature to get beyond 250F since our pork brisket was little. Otherwise, the outside would begin to dry out before the inside reached our desired temperature.

Once your smoker has reached a stable temperature, it is time to add your cooking wood.

This might happen sooner or later depending on the kind of smoker you use. For smoke, I’m using the Backwoods Chubby 3400, Royal Oak all-natural lump charcoal, and five bits of native Carolina hickory wood.

If you’re using a charcoal smoker, add your wood pieces to the burning charcoal immediately. The minion or snake approaches are excellent here.

You won’t need to add any more wood if you’re cooking on an offset smoker with wood as your main heat source. Maintain a steady fire and the smoke will do the rest.

With the smoke going and the temperature stable, place the meat straight on the grates and shut the door.

For at least two hours, depending on the amount of your pork brisket, do not touch the meat or open the smoker door. The longer you can let your pork brisket before opening it and checking on it, the better.

3. To wrap or not to wrap

After two hours, check the pork brisket to determine whether a bark has formed. The goal is to have a dark red peel develop on the outside of the meat while the intramuscular fat renders on the inside.

Check the interior temperature at this moment as well. We’re going to cook the pork brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the temperature in the thickest section of the meat using an instant read thermometer.

Our pork brisket was at 170 degrees Fahrenheit, but the bark had not hardened as much as I would have liked at this time, so I left it roll uncovered for another hour.

The pork brisket had reached 190 degrees Fahrenheit, and a thick layer of bark had developed on the flesh. Because I’m removing the pork at 195°F, I’m not wrapping it. It takes another forty minutes to reach my optimum temperature, at which point I remove it and tent it with foil.

Wrapping a bigger hog brisket may be necessary to aid cooking through the stall.

Just keep an eye on the meat temperature and make sure the bark doesn’t burn. Wrap in foil to reduce cooking time or butcher paper to preserve a stronger peel. You have an option.

Serving the pork brisket

Allow the pork to rest for 30 minutes to an hour at room temperature to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

If you followed along, the temperature of the pork brisket should climb to about 200F while resting, and the intramuscular fat and collagen will have rendered into a juicy flavor bomb.

The muscles that connect in a pork brisket are more difficult to distinguish than in a beef brisket, so try to cut across the grain.

Cut into half-inch slices as best you can with a sharp knife, cutting against the grain. As required, rotate the brisket to preserve against-the-grain slicing.

Serve the pork brisket warm.

The payoff

I had no clue what to anticipate when I took my first bite.

Fortunately, the pork brisket was juicy and flavorful. The leaner shoulder meat tasted like pork loin or chops, but the brisket belly had a pulled pork flavor and juiciness about it.

To be honest, I like the flavor and texture of Boston Butt pulled pork. While I doubt hog brisket will become a great popular at BBQ stations, it is a fascinating new cut to experiment with.


How long to smoke pork brisket at 225?

Preheat the grill to 225°F and place the brisket on it. Smoke for 6 hours, or until the interior temperature reaches 160 °F. Return the brisket to the grill, wrapped in butcher paper or foil. Return the brisket to the grill and cook until the internal temperature reaches 200 °F.

What temp is low and slow for smoking brisket?

Reduce the speed: One topic on which both the new Turks and the ancient masters agree: Cook your brisket slowly. To melt the collagen, fat, and other stiff connective tissue in the brisket, a low temperature (215 to 225 degrees) and a lengthy cooking period (15 to 20 hours) are required.

Is low and slow good for brisket?

“Low and slow” is the cooking slogan for braised brisket, which should be cooked at 325°F. Allow roughly 1 hour per pound of brisket to cook. Keep in mind that patience is a virtue. Brisket should be cooked to an internal temperature of 195°F-205°F.

Is it better to smoke a brisket at 225 or 250?

It is widely acknowledged that smoking brisket at 225 degrees Fahrenheit results in a more tender and juicy final product. However, smoking at a higher temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit may minimize cooking time and render the soft fat in the brisket.

How long do you smoke a 5 pound brisket at 225 degrees?

Brisket (5-10 pounds) smoked
Temperature in the smoker: 225°F.
Time to smoke: 5-7 hours.
200°F is the final temperature.

How long to cook a 12lb brisket at 225?

I intend on smoking my 12-13 pound briskets for around 8 hours at 225 degrees F until they reach 165 degrees F. However, your brisket will enter a period between 145 and 165 degrees F, when the liquid escaping from its surface will chill it as your grill attempts to cook it.

Is 200 too low to smoke a brisket?

Brisket can be cooked at temperatures ranging from 200 to 210°F (93 to 99°C), although Franklin believes the optimum temperature is 203°F (95°C) after cooking hundreds of briskets. Brisket should be soft but not fall apart tender.

Can you overcook brisket on low heat?

To summarize, brisket may be overcooked. However, you should be able to prevent this issue if you understand the nature of the cut of meat, maintain a steady temperature, and check the interior temperature of the meat.

When should I wrap my brisket?

When Is it Time to Wrap a Brisket? When the brisket achieves an internal temperature of 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit, most barbecue gurus advocate covering it.

Do you put liquid in with brisket?

Before slow cooking the brisket, sear it all over to caramelize the meat and generate flavor. Immerse the brisket in liquid and season with aromatics. The liquid may be whatever you want it to be: broth, wine, ketchup, BBQ sauce, beer, you name it. Ingredients such as onions, garlic, and herbs will enhance taste.

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