That Hell Hole of a State

Happy Birthday America!

I cannot think of a better birthday celebration then to take a big hunk of meat and cook it low and slow until it practically melts in your mouth. Brisket. You know I’m talking about this favored cut of mine. This version is labeled Texas Brisket. While I’ve always loved brisket, I did not “take a hankerin'” to Texas at first.

My first encounter with the state was when I had graduated from The Ohio State University and drove back home to Los Angeles. Being December, I decided to take the southern route which took me through Indianapolis, St. Louis, Oklahoma City and through the panhandle of Texas before onto New Mexico, Arizona and a little side trip to Vegas before arriving in Redondo Beach.

Weather most of the way was rather cold. In the 30’s (F) but generally sunny. That is until I got to Texas. In that little stretch, the temperature went up past 90 (F). The air conditioner was on full blast. By the time we entered New Mexico it was cool again and Arizona even had some snow on the ground. This experience led me to proclaim that Texas was, indeed, a “Hell hole” of a state!

Many trips to the state since have proven me wrong and I have even come to really like certain cities (I love San Antonio), but I still remember the original trip. Texas, this brisket is for you and I hope I do you proud.

Photo Apr 14, 5 33 42 PM

Perfectly done meat.

Photo Apr 14, 8 45 18 AM

A big piece of meat and a decent sized bag of hickory wood blocks (not chips. The blocks last much longer).

Photo Apr 14, 8 51 37 AM

Getting the rub together.

Photo Apr 14, 12 09 48 PM

This is not a great photo, but it is the start of the cook. My grill has three cooking zones. I put the meat in the center and never turned on the heat underneath it. The soaked wood chips and the open side were both put on medium-low. Every hour or so I’d spritz the brisket with some water and add more soaked chips. The smell of the smoke was fantastic.

Photo Apr 14, 5 01 45 PM

I let this baby rest for twenty minutes before I stuck a knife into it. This allows the juices to retreat back to the edged from the center.

Photo Apr 14, 5 33 38 PM

Slicing it a bit thick. If it were for sandwiches I would have made the slices thinner.

Photo Apr 14, 5 33 45 PM

Do yourself a favor and make this. You won’t regret it.

Texas Brisket

Prep Time: 15 M | Cook Time: 6 H | Makes: 10 to 12 servings | Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 (5 to 6-pound) brisket, trimmed but left with a layer of fat about 1/4- inch thick
  • 6 tablespoons House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in water for 30 minutes

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


Click here to see how she does it.

Rinse brisket thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together House Seasoning, chili powder, brown sugar, onion powder, oregano and cayenne. Rub brisket with the rub on all sides.

Follow directions on your grill/smoker for indirect grilling. Place the soaked chips into the chip box, or make a pouch with tin foil for the chips, then place pouch directly on the coals. Place brisket fat side up in a large disposable aluminum pan and place in the center of the grate and cover the grill.

Slow grill the brisket until tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat reads about 190 degrees F, about 6 hours. Add coals and wood chips as necessary to maintain a constant temperature. Transfer the brisket to a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice the brisket across the grain and serve.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Beef, Grilled, kosher, Low Carb, Recipes

Author:The Ranting Chef

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10 Comments on “That Hell Hole of a State”

  1. July 4, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Reblogged this on BBQ Cast Iron Recipes.


  2. July 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Looks jolly scrumptious!!


  3. July 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Looks sooo good! Brisket is such a tasty cut, and low and slow is the way!
    I don’t have a gas grill, or smoker, but may try an oven variation.


  4. bitsofnice
    July 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Delicious! I’m so hungry! 🙂


  5. July 4, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    I mentioned this on my barbecue blog post too, only mine was about other states that do barbecue. Check it out:


  6. July 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on Take Back The Kitchen and commented:
    The Ranting Chef takes on Texas barbecue and that favorite meat cut brisket a little more in-depth than I did.


  7. July 4, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Looks fabulous as always. Scrumptious pics as usual.


  8. July 5, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    WOW that looks delicious!!! Great blog 🙂


  9. July 7, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    YUM! I have a recipe for Alabama White BBQ sauce that is used for chicken that is great, too, if you want to try it. It is delicious!


  10. July 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    That looks perfect! I first met a brisket for my wife’s and my wedding rehearsal dinner, and it was incredible. I’ve tried to make my own a few times but have failed. One day I’m going to retire with a smoker (i.e., grill, not person) and get it right. I might use this recipe!


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