3 Steps to Cooking Winning Competition Brisket


How to cook competition brisket. Most definitely one of the top searches on the web as far as aspiring competition BBQ cooks are concerned.

Besides the questions I get regarding different ways to cook competition BBQ Brisket, I see the crowds of people lining up to take classes, like the Whiskey Bent BBQ Supply Brisket class Chad Ward teaches, or others signing up to get insights from Pros via the classes listed over on my Competition BBQ Classes page.

Without question, BBQ Brisket remains the most challenging category for most competition BBQ cooks to master.

BBQ cookers here in Florida who do well in the brisket category vary in terms of their take on whether it’s the cut or the cook when it comes to getting those coveted walks to the stage.  I’ve searched the web for resources you might find useful if you’re trying to figure out how to improve your Brisket results for competition.

Here’s the best of what I’ve seen thus far in terms of advice and general tips or How To reports.

Step #1 Choosing the Proper BBQ Brisket Grade

Without question, the consensus on how to cook competition bbq brisket rests on what grade of brisket to choose for competition is that choice grade should be your baseline. Meaning, anything below choice (select, for example) should be avoided.

The reasoning here is that choice grade brisket and above will give you the marbling (fat content) required to keep your brisket moist. For the best results, you’ll want to consider Prime Brisket, or go ahead and “level up” to Wagyu Brisket.

Angus Beef Chart Showing Brisket

Step #2 Where to Buy Competition Brisket – A Few Key Sources

I know that many of the BBQ cooks competing down here in either FBA or KCBS events use either highly marbled choice or Certified Angus Beef briskets (CAB). If you don’t have a quality meat market in your area, Restaurant Depot carries CAB briskets.  You need a membership to shop there, but you can get one of those free if you’re a KCBS member.

A few folks competing here take it one step further and go “botique” with their brisket purchases.  One popular source for “next level” briskets is Snake River Ranch. These briskets are certified as American Wagyu brisket (see my post on Wagyu Brisket here) and though expensive, they’re prized among BBQ competitors who require the highest quality product.  These briskets run around $85-$90 a piece, and shipping from Snake River Ranch is extra. If you’re interested in using these briskets, see if you can find someone in your area with a restaurant or connections to ordering these from other purveyors to try and get your shipping costs down.

Step #3: Watch Videos on How to Select a Good Quality Beef Brisket

Some say pictures are worth a thousand words, and that videos are even better. In the case of this post on how to cook competition brisket, I think these videos do a bang up job. Check these out.

Beef Carcass Retail Fabrication Video

I came across this super informative video over at the Virtual Bullet site. It’s more than one hour long, and you’ll want to skip to about the [12:15] minute mark to see the brisket portion. However, if you’re like me… you’ll likely get caught up watching most of this primer from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Aaron Franklin BBQ Brisket Selection, Prep, and Cooking Tips

This video is awesome. Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, TX (referenced above) does a cooking demo a lot like what you may have seen with Alton Brown’s Good Eats series. Sure, there are fewer “props,” but Aaron has a Made for Video approach to sharing what he knows about BBQ that it hard to deny. In this video, Franklin shares information about the  anatomy of a brisket, how to select a brisket, and how to prepare a “secret brisket rub.” Note: The flavor profile you get with Texas brisket may not be exactly what you’re looking for in a post on how to cook competition BBQ brisket. That said, I think it’s a great way to get the idea across that less can in fact be more where this big meat is concerned. You definitely want to watch this.

Of course you want to see what Aaron does with this brisket on the smoker, so here’s that video. I also put a video of his below that provides a great primer on what kinds of wood to use for smoking BBQ brisket.

Aaron Franklin BBQ Brisket Cook Video

Aaron Franklin What Kind Of Wood To Use For Smoking BBQ Brisket

Source (Original article)


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