Thanks for the feedback, Dave. I’m by no means an …

Comment on How to Make Smoked Beef Brisket by Malcolm Bedell.

Thanks for the feedback, Dave. I’m by no means an expert on smoking brisket, but I do take issue with a couple of your suggestions.

First, yes, as outlined, there are a lot of people in favor of packer cuts. I am not. I enumerated my reasons. If you love packer cuts, by all means, cook packer cuts. If you want burnt ends, you need a packer cut. I don’t always want to place a special order with my butcher or have 24 hours to spend on a smoke, so for me, a flat cut does just fine.

The apple cider in the drip tray doesn’t steam the meat (we’re not cooking at that high a heat), and it may be an optional step, but I like to keep the inside of the smoker moist.

Soaking the wood chunks prolongs their life, and if your smoker is venting properly (that is, spewing smoke out the chimney, displaying proper airflow), you shouldn’t have any concerns with creosote or ash flecks (neither of which, incidentally, were issues in the cook I outline here).

You don’t have to sauce your brisket. I like barbecue sauce. So does a lot of the world. If you don’t like barbecue sauce, I suggest not using it on your brisket. The recipe for Ancho Chile Barbecue Sauce that we republish here is killer though, and you should totally try it. It’s also why I suggest serving it on the side. With barbecue, there are as many opinions about the “right” way to do things as there are techniques, and most people don’t seem shy about presenting them. These opinions make for lively debate. When those opinions are presented constructively, helpfully, and as opinion rather than as stone-chiseled fact, I rate those comments an “8” on my own personal “not a wang” scale.

As for appearance, like I said, I’m still learning. I haven’t spent my whole life smoking meat, nor do I claim to. It’s a learning process, and I hope that my instructions will help start people down the road to their own personal smoked meat nirvana, as well as invite improvements on technique from more experienced readers. I stand by the fact that the procedure outlined above will produce a product superior to most of the brisket I have had in local BBQ restaurants.

Malcolm Bedell Also Commented

How to Make Smoked Beef Brisket
Thanks Harry! Be sure to let me know how it turns out!

How to Make Smoked Beef Brisket
So glad to hear it, Amy! We love it, too!

How to Make Smoked Beef Brisket
Thanks David…I respect the knowledge you bring to the table. Thanks for following up.

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Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the junk food blog "Spork & Barrel," and "Brocavore," a blog about food trucks and street food culture. His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, Eat Rockland, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.