Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub

The new Surf and Turf?  Brisket & Crab?

 

This beef brisket recipe, when complete, has all the elements that you want from a smoked beef brisket: tender, juicy, with loads of flavor and a great bark or crust on the exterior.   Chocolate Mole has been a staple in Central American cooking since chocolate was discovered.  The richness of chocolate with the earthy flavors from dried ancho chilies adds a unique twist on this BBQ-ed beef brisket.  Try using my Stout BBQ Sauce to play up all the wonderful flavors in the Chocolate Ancho Rub.

 

There are two ways to cook this beef brisket recipe:

  • If you don’t have a smoker, but have a grill, try using a cedar plank to add a lite delicate smoke.  These planks are made of cedar wood and are not treated with any chemicals, making them safe to use as a cooking medium.  You probably have heard of cedar plank salmon, these are the same types of planks, but used in this recipe for beef brisket.
  • If you have a smoker, you can use fig wood to create the smoke that will mingle with the Chocolate Ancho Rub and create a unique twist to a BBQ Beef Brisket.
Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
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Chocolate Mole has been a staple in Central American cooking since chocolate was discovered. The richness of chocolate with the earthy flavors from dried ancho chilies adds a unique twist on a BBQed Beef Brisket.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 15 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
8 - 12 hour 24 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 people 15 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
8 - 12 hour 24 hour
Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Chocolate Mole has been a staple in Central American cooking since chocolate was discovered. The richness of chocolate with the earthy flavors from dried ancho chilies adds a unique twist on a BBQed Beef Brisket.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 15 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
8 - 12 hour 24 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 people 15 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
8 - 12 hour 24 hour
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
Beef Brisket Directions:
  • To prep the brisket, first rinse well under cold water to remove any juices and loose fat pieces. Dry well with paper towels. Set the beef brisket onto a sheet tray; using tray to hold the spice rub and keeping a clean work space. Sprinkle half of the Chocolate Ancho Rub on top of the brisket. Using your hands, massage the rub into the meat, getting the spices deep into the tissue of the meat. Flip the brisket over and distribute the remaining rub over the meat. Continue your deep tissue massage on the brisket, giving both sides of the brisket an even coat of the rub. Cover the brisket with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to cure. This will infuse the flavors of the rub into the meat, while seasoning it. This will result in the best flavor development for this large cut of meat. The next day, remove the brisket from the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan on starting the cooking; to bring the meat to room temperature and help cook evenly.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
Cedar Plank Beef Brisket Directions:
  • Take a cedar plank and place it into a casserole dish/hotel pan or deep pitcher and cover it with warm water. The goal is to have the full plank submerged into the water, to hydrate evenly. Allow the plank to absorb the water for about 2 hours, turning if needed. This will help the plank from burning, as it cooks.
  • Prepare the grill by creating two small piles of charcoal on opposite sides of the grill chamber. This technique will allow the cedar plank topped with the rubbed brisket to cook indirectly (not over flame), protecting the plank from catching on fire and not burning the meat.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • After the brisket has sat for 90 minutes, start the two sets of coals.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • After two hours, remove the cedar plank from the water bath and place it over one pile of hot coals. Leave it there for 2 minutes, to dry the outside of the wood. This will add more flavor to the meat. Turn the plank over and set in the middle of the grill, making sure that no coals are under the plank.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • Place the Chocolate Ancho Rubbed Beef Brisket on the center of the plank.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • Cover the grill with the lid. Using an electronic thermometer probe, place the probe in the top heat vent on the lid and turn the vent to almost closed. The ideal temperature for cooking brisket is 250 - 275°F / 121 - 135°C. Over the next 8 - 10 hours, add charcoal to each pile periodically(every hour - hour and a half), keeping the fire going and the heat around 250 - 275°F / 121 - 135°C.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • The brisket will be dark brown and create a thick bark or crust.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • The brisket is done with the internal temperature reaches 190°F/88°C. Remove the plank/brisket from the grill, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving, letting the juices re-distribute.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • When carving, cut with a very sharp knife, against the grain, creating thin even slices.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • Serve the finished brisket with the Stout BBQ Sauce.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • If the plank is not too burnt, you can rinse/dry it well and store it for future uses.
BBQ Smoking with Fig Wood Directions:
  • If you have a smoker, you will get more flavor than a plank for this recipe. Fig wood gives the brisket a sweet slightly woody smoky flavor. This works well with the chocolate and ancho rub. You can also use Cherry, Apple or Pecan woods, depending on your taste or availability. Start a small fire using charcoal (I prefer using wood lump style charcoal over charcoal briquette) about an hour and fifteen minutes into the brisket rest. A water pan can also be added the smoker, placed below the brisket to help keep a moist environment and prevent the meat from drying out. Add the Chocolate Ancho Rubbed Beef Brisket to the center of the smoker and close the hood/lid. Add two or three pieces of dried Fig wood to the top of the charcoal. It is important to note, keeping the hood/lid closed without peeking at the meat will help cook the brisket more evenly and create more smoke flavor. Each time the hood/lid is opened, heat and smoke escape, making the brisket take longer to cook. Keep the heat between 250 - 275°F / 121 - 135°C by adjusting the vents on the smoker and periodically adding another piece of Fig wood and charcoal chunks.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • Cooking can last from 8 - 10 hours at this low heat, to fully breakdown the meat gelatins/collagen. Depending on your smoke ring preference (the pink ring that is created from slow smoking meat), you can add more or less fig wood, to adjust the smoke flavor in the final product.
  • The brisket will be dark brown and create a thick bark or crust.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • The brisket is done with the internal temperature reaches 190°F/88°C. Remove the plank/brisket from the grill, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving, letting the juices re-distribute.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • When carving, cut with a very sharp knife, against the grain, creating thin even slices.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
  • Serve with the Stout BBQ Sauce.
    Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub
Recipe Notes

Suggested Beer Pairing:

To pair beers with recipe, I would go recommend a rich Chocolate Stout.  When I think of chocolate and stout, I can’t help but thing Bison’s Chocolate Stout or Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.  This beer pairing will enhance the chocolate that is used in the rub, while mixing with the smoke and the chili spices, creating a mole like experience, especially when used with the Stout BBQ Sauce.

Sean Paxton

4 Responses to “Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub

  • Jon Williams
    3 years ago

    Can you use this concept with a Pork Shoulder in the smoker?

    • Great idea Jon and yes, that would work great! Make sure to get a pork shoulder with the bone in, as the bone adds a lot of flavor. Season the pork with the rub and wrap it in plastic wrap, refrigerating it for 24 hours before you smoke. This technique will help the season and cure the pork slightly, allowing a better bark to be formed as it smokes.

  • Darlene
    1 year ago

    Can the brisket be cooked in advance and reheated? If so, how would you reheat?

    • Hi Darlene,

      Yes you can make this brisket recipe in advance. It won’t be quite as good, but it still very good. To reheat, wrap the cooled brisket in plastic wrap, sealing well. Then wrap in aluminum foil, set in a large pan or hotel pan and place into a cold oven. Set the heat of the oven to 250°F | 121°C and rewarm the brisket for 45 minute or so. Hope that helps.

      Cheers,

      Sean

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