Sports is often credited with bringing people together. That tendency to connect people from different walks of life is even more noticeable when sports is combined with food.
Food and sports go hand in hand. Food is never too far away when getting together with fellow fans. That’s true if fans are hosting a game watch at home or if they’re tailgating in a stadium parking lot. Certain styles of food are synonymous with sports, and that includes grilled and smoked items. Smoking has become particularly popular among sports fans in recent years, and many modern smokers are now portable enough that they can be taken on the road when following a favorite team.
Gameday can be the perfect time to master the art of smoking. Smoking can take a long time, which makes it an ideal option for day-long tailgates or game watch parties. Fans who have volunteered for cooking duties this season can impress guests with their smoking skills by following this recipe for “Texas-Style Beef Brisket” from “The Essential Kamado Grill Cookbook” (Rockridge Press) by Will Budiaman.
Texas-Style Beef Brisket
Serves 6 to 8
1 8- to 10-lb. beef brisket
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Dry-brining time: Overnight
Prep time: 15 to 30 minutes
Cook time: 7 hours, 30 minutes to 9 hours, 30 minutes; plus 1 to 2 hours to rest
Grill temperature: 250 F to 275 F
Smoking wood: Oak or pecan
1. Trim off any hard fat from the brisket and square off the edges. Trim the fat cap down to an even 1⁄4-inch thickness. Sprinkle evenly on all sides with the salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Prepare the grill for smoking at 250 F to 275 F.
3. Place the brisket fat-side up on the grate over the drip pan. Close the lid. If desired, wrap in aluminum foil after 5 to 6 hours or once the bark (crust) is dark brown.
4. Turn over the brisket, close the lid, and continue cooking for 2 hours, 30 minutes to 3 hours, 30 minutes more or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 200 F.
5. Rest the brisket, wrapped in foil, for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Cut across the grain into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. Pour over as much of the drippings from the pan as you like, and serve.
Cooking tip: The grain in each part of the brisket — it’s made up of two different muscles, known as the flat and the point — runs in two different directions. Roughly speaking, the grain in the point runs perpendicular to the grain in the flat, so you’ll want to slice the two sections separately.