There are many greats when it comes to the world of barbecue. But there’s something special about Chef Steven Raichlen. It could be said that he alone made barbecue the deliciously spicy phenomenon it is today. Before him, barbecue was something enjoyed at cookouts and picnics, but not the nuanced wonder it has become.
Because of chefs like Raichlen, barbecue is its own culinary category, boasting so much more than burgers and brats. And this beloved food group is one favored by many. Chef Raichlen’s 32 books include several award-winning giants like The Barbecue Bible, Planet Barbecue, and The Brisket Chronicles, and his hugely successful TV shows, Project Fire, Project Smoke, Primal Grill, and Barbecue University, have educated millions in the art of barbecue.
Now, Chef Raichlen has teamed up with Bib & Tucker to create an incredibly smoky, delectably juicy, bacon-y brisket that is nothing short of phenomenal. Bib & Tucker Double Char bourbon’s savory smoky notes and smooth finish complement the fatty cut of brisket perfectly, adding its own unique character to the overall flavor of this delicious dish.
Chef Raichlen shared this incredible recipe with The Manual, and we can’t get enough of its warm bourbon spice, especially this time of year. We love the contrast of drinking this charred bourbon on these cool wintery days while we wait for the brisket to smoke to summer’s more traditional cold beer and barbecue. This recipe is so delicious, you may even consider it for your holiday gathering this year.
- 1/4 cup Bib & Tucker Double Char Bourbon
- 1 beef brisket flat (4 1/2 to 5 pounds)
- Coarse sea salt
- Cracked black peppercorns or freshly ground black peppercorns
- Hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 16 thick-cut strips artisanal bacon, such as Nueske’s
- Douse the brisket in Bib & Tucker Double Char Bourbon for 30 minutes while your Big Green Egg or grill heats up. Drain off the bourbon. Place the brisket in a foil pan and generously season the top and bottom and the sides with salt, black pepper, and if you like your brisket spicy, hot red pepper flakes. Finish with the lean (fatless) side up.
- Set up your Big Green Egg or another smoker, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and heat it to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Add hardwood chunks or chips as specified by the manufacturer. Place a metal bowl with 1 quart of warm water in the Big Green Egg — this creates a humid environment that will help the smoke adhere to the meat and keep your brisket moist.
- Place the brisket in its pan in the Big Green Egg next to the water, and smoke for 1 hour, getting smoke into the underside of the meat.
- Using tongs, invert the brisket so the fat side is up. Neatly drape the top with half the bacon slices. Cook the brisket until the bacon on top is darkly browned, about 2 hours or so. Remove the bacon, dice it up, and eat it as a reward for your patience.
- Lay the remaining bacon strips atop the brisket. Continue cooking until these new bacon strips are darkly browned and the internal temperature of the brisket registers 205 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. There should be a nice pool of bacon and brisket fat in the bottom of the pan. This will take another 3 to 4 hours, for a total of 6 to 8 hours in all. Note: There’s no need to wrap the brisket in butcher paper or aluminum foil, as the foil pan covers the bottom; the bacon covers the top.
- You can eat the brisket immediately, but it will be much more moist and tender if you rest it, loosely covered with aluminum foil in an insulated cooler for 1 to 2 hours.
- To serve, uncover the brisket and transfer it to a cutting board. Remove the bacon or slice it along with the brisket. Cut across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices or as thickly or thinly as you desire. Serve with any condiments or accompaniments you like.
Here are some helpful tips to take along with the above recipe:
- Buy the fattiest piece you can find, ideally with a quarter-inch layer of fat on top. If the brisket is fatty and you want to trim it somewhat, make sure you leave a quarter-inch thick layer of fat.
- Be very careful not to cook the meat at too high a temperature, or too quickly. This could result in a tougher, drier brisket.
- Brisket, if not handled properly, can be a tough and ornery piece of meat. But with the proper care and following these tips, it will be moist and delicious.
- You should know how to make these incredible sauces
- This is how to make a Bloody Bull – a better, beefier Bloody Mary recipe
- The best whiskey options to make your Manhattan drink recipe even better
- How to make Vietnamese pho, a perfect soup for any time of the year
- The founder of Pacific Rim cuisine shows us how to make the perfect Hawaiian BBQ