Texas hickory smoked brisket with coffee barbecue sauce.

Texas hickory smoked brisket with coffee barbecue sauce. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

 

Hickory-smoked brisket with Southwestern barbecue sauce

Total time: 2 hours, plus 5 to 6 hours smoking time

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: This recipe calls for hickory chips and the use of a smoker, or a charcoal grill converted to a smoker. Hickory chips are available at many well-stocked markets as well as at barbecue supply stores. The barbecue sauce makes about 6 cups, more than is needed for this recipe. Any remaining sauce will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated.

Hickory-smoked brisket

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 (3- to 4-pound) beef brisket with a layer of fat no thicker than 1/2 -inch

4 cups beer

2 cups water

Hickory chips, soaked

1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, onion powder, cumin and garlic powder. Rub the mix into the brisket and let sit at room temperature, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your smoker or grill to cook over low, indirect heat for several hours. Set up a drip pan underneath where the brisket will smoke, and fill with the beer and water. Shortly before cooking, adjust the heat as needed to maintain a temperature around 250 degrees, and add hickory chips to start smoking.

3. Place the brisket (fat side up) in the prepared smoker and cook for 2 1/2 hours. Adjust the heat as needed (add several coals to either side of the grill as needed if using a kettle grill) to maintain the ambient temperature (around 250 degrees); replenish the chips as needed to keep smoking. Baste the brisket every 30 minutes or so to keep it moist.

4. After 2 1/2 hours, wrap the brisket (fat side up) tightly in foil and continue to cook over indirect low heat until the meat is fork-tender, 3 to 4 additional hours (time may vary depending on the heat of the smoker and size and thickness of the brisket).