Firecracker brisket, adapted from the recipe in Chiles and Smoke by Brad Prose.
- 1 full packer brisket, 12–14 lbs
- 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp whole mustard seed
- 3 Tbsp gochugaru
- 3 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2–3 Tbsp yellow mustard as binder (optional)
Prepare the smoker and the brisket
- Preheat your smoker to 250°F (121°C). Use an air probe connected to your Signals to monitor the temp—set high- and low-temp alarms for 275 and 225°F respectively (135 and 107°C)—and, if using, connect your Billows BBQ control fan to it to maintain a proper temperature.
- Trim the brisket to your liking. Save the trimmings, especially the fat, in a tray to render.
Make the rub
- In a dry skillet, toast the black peppercorns, Szechuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds until they are toasty and very fragrant. Transfer them to a plate to cool.
- Grind the toasted mixture with the mustard seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until medium-coarse.
- Combine the resulting mixture with the gochugaru, salt, sugar, and garlic powder.
Season the brisket
- If your brisket doesn’t feel moist-tacky enough, rub it with yellow mustard.
- Liberally sprinkle the firecracker rub on the brisket, pressing to adhere. Be generous, but don’t force yourself to use it all. (It’s a good idea to add a little more later on, anyhow!)
Smoke the brisket
- Place the brisket in the smoker and insert two probes—one in the flat, and one in the point—and set the corresponding high-temp alarms on your Signals to 165°F (74°C).
- Place the tray of brisket trimmings in the smoker as well, to render the fat from them.
- Let the brisket smoke for 3 hours, then spritz it with water or cider vinegar.
- Continue to smoke until the internal temperature of the flat reaches 165°F (74°C), about 5 hours.
- When the flat reaches temp, lay the brisket on two overlapping sheets of peach paper.
- Strain and then pour some of the rendered fat (about 1/2–3/4 C) onto the brisket. Apply a light dusting of more of the firecracker rub to the surface of the brisket.
- Wrap the brisket well in the peach paper, put it back in the smoker and re-insert the probes. Set the new high-temp alarms for 203°F (95°C).
- Increase the smoker temp to 300°F (149°C), adjusting the pit-channel alarms accordingly.
- Smoke until the high-temp alarms sound at 203°F (95°C).
- Verify the internal temps with your Thermapen ONE. Check for both temperature and tenderness.
- Remove the brisket from the smoker and allow to rest in a warm environment for at least 1 hour.
- Unwrap the brisket, slice, and serve!