How to Cook Smoky BBQ Brisket with Mike Tomkins
MasterChef finalist 2021 Mike Tomkins takes us through his ultimate guide to cooking melt-in-the-mouth BBQ brisket.
When I think of BBQ, I daydream about low and slow cooking. Perfectly smoky BBQ brisket that's been cooking all day and is incredibly juicy!
These low and slow cooks can be daunting, though. When I started I was getting inconsistent results. The meat was coming out dry and overcooked, wasting time, effort and money. What was I doing wrong? I was cooking to time instead of temperature.
Once I realised this fundamental mistake, my whole BBQ world changed. Cooking to temperature is key, completely taking the guesswork out of low and slow cooking. It means you can be really precise when you're tackling those longer cooks.
You will need
Brisket Temperature tips
I think the best intermediate low and slow cook has to be brisket. It's a classic American BBQ dish; tender and juicy with an iconic pink smoke ring.
With slow-cooked recipes like BBQ brisket, it's really important to have a great meat thermometer to monitor your cook. I'd strongly recommend the Thermapen Smoke. With two probes and a wireless receiver, it's a brilliant option. The two probes mean you can monitor your meat and pit temperatures (don't trust the built-in BBQ thermometer) without constantly opening the lid and probing the meat.
Remember, if you're looking, you aren't cooking. When you open the lid, heat escapes and it takes a while for your pit to return to temperature. A changing temperature in your grill can also really impact your cook. When I'm unsure of what temperature I need for my pit, I heat my grill to 120 °C. I find this is a safe cooking zone for most low and slow meats.