Cooking brisket is not something done after coming home from work but is a great weekend cooking project. The brisket could be cooked ahead and reheated. Like most barbecue recipes it is difficult to predict how long a brisket needs to cook. It's done when it's done. This recipe requires advanced preparation.
1 (4 1/2- to 6-pound) beef brisket flat
1 gallon water
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 to 1 cup prepared yellow mustard
Brisket rub (see above)
Brisket mop (see above)
4 cups hickory chips
Soak the brisket in one gallon of cold water mixed with one cup of white vinegar for 20 minutes. Rinse the brisket with cold water and pat dry. Brush with prepared mustard. Liberally apply the rub. Wrap the brisket in food film and refrigerate overnight. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about an hour. At the same time, soak the hickory chips in water for an hour.
Prepare the smoker or grill for indirect cooking. If you are using a kettle-style grill, start 20 briquettes in a charcoal chimney. When the coals are ash-covered, place them on one side of the charcoal grate. Place a disposable aluminum casserole or roasting pan on the opposite side. Add a handful of drained chips to the briquettes. Cover the grill. When a good smoke develops and the temperature stabilizes around 225°F, place the brisket on the cooking grate on the side opposite from the charcoal. Cover the grill and maintain a temperature of 210 to 225°F Smoke the brisket for three hours adding additional briquettes and wood chips as needed. Continue slow cooking an additional two to three hours, mopping and turning every hour.
After five to six hours of cooking, wrap the brisket in double sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, add 1/2 cup of the mop, tightly seal and return to grill for another hour or so, keeping the temperature at 225°F. (Paul Kirk, Ph.B., the Kansas City "Baron of Barbecue" and author of numerous barbecue books, calls this method the "Texas crutch" and says it steams the brisket. He doesn't recommend foiling.)
When the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 180°F, remove the foil and place the brisket back on the grill to finish cooking to an internal temperature of 185°F. About 30 minutes before serving paint the brisket with finishing sauce, if desired.
Remove the brisket from the cooker and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.