How to Cook Traditional Beef Brisket the Melvin’s Way | Barbecue Tricks

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How to Cook Traditional Beef Brisket the Melvin’s Way


*Click to watch via YouTube*

*Click to watch via YouTube*

How to cook a Traditional Beef Brisket WATCH HERE. In Texas, it’s the Holy Grail of the grill. For the true BBQ Fan it’s almost an obsession. Getting it right is not complicated… but I wouldn’t call it easy. We make a visit to Mount Pleasant to the legendary Melvin’s Barbecue and the of wood smoke hangs heavy in the air. Here in my hometown This is THE PLACE for BBQ and I am on a mission to find some of the barbecue tricks to creating true traditional BEEF brisket. South Carolina is typically all about pork – but here things are changing a bit. Melvin’s name actually comes from Melvin Bessinger and that last name – Bessinger – is known all over the state as the first family of mustard based BBQ. For decades the focus has always been pork. And they’ve got it down. Melvin Bessingers roots in barbecue here in South Carolina started way back in 1939. In fact – To this day – Big Joe Bessinger’s legendary golden secret recipe sauce is considered like the gold standard in mustard based BBQ sauce. Again we’re in South Carolina…. and years later the pit masters still are known for pork and mustard but lately they’ve been broadening the menu to include BIG Beef ribs, succulent burnt ends and thick brisket, They have now mastered BEEF brisket and they do it the traditional way. So Today I’ve sought out some expertise from a long time Pit Master here at Melvin’s – Christopher Hill – to help me break down how to do traditional beef brisket RIGHT.melvins open.Still002 melvins open.Still001

“You Just need simple ingredients. You need a great products. Beef. You need a smoker, good wood and you need time. That’s about it. ”

“We use the pink butcher paper. It’s much better than foil or any other wrap. It doesn’t stick to the meat. What we do is when we cook it we let it get up to 165 or so and we’re going to seal it tight with this butcher paper. This will keep all the moisture in and keep it from burning on the outside and let it cook on the inside. We cut it to order. Every time we’re done we will re-wrap it up as tight as possible and put it back under the warmer. ”
“So it’s ongoing in the paper. It’s not just in the cook process.”

“This is actually part of the cook process because after we take it out we immediately wrap it and it will still climb a few degrees. It will still be cooking a little bit. We let it rest and get it down to 140 and keep it there. But it is still cooking a little bit.

“A lot of people just come in here and they just say they want brisket… and we’re happy to serve them. But we also have signage out to give them the option. (flat or point) I’d say it’s three fourths they say they want the leaner part – maybe for health reasons – maybe for flavor but the whole things delicious.”
“What part do you prefer?”

“I like the point just because the Burnt Ends are awesome… they just melt in your mouth.” Once it became part of our menu it’s really simple for us to do. Since more people prefer the leaner part we have this point left over – we’re season it separately – we put it on a baking pan. Season it with apple cider vinegar, a little dash of brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix it all together add some Melvin’s dry rub on top and put it back in the cooker for about a half an hour.”

This is going to cook probably about four to five hours or so again we’re looking for 165 or so temperature… the first four hours we want to keep this door shut we don’t want to mess with it at all. We don’t interrupt that cooking process. After four hours we’ll come to check the wood and the temperature. We’ll spritz with a little apple juice for a little extra flavor and moisture and after it gets to about 165… about five hours we wrap it tight with that pink butcher paper to keep the moisture in. Then we just let it go for another 35 degrees or so to about 200 degrees.”

The Meat: All of our meats here at Melvin’s are hormone free as natural as you can get and no added anything.”
The Crust: It’s called the bark…The salt and pepper contributed to that – and the fat as well. Just cooking it gets a little crusty on top and it really adds to the flavor.”
“Biggest mistake: Rushing the process. You want to take your time. We go to 165. We wrap it and let it go to near 200 degrees. You just don’t want to rush that process. It usually takes anywhere from six to eight hours.”

Brisket secrets – Use simple ingredients… salt pepper mustard- and of course fantastic beef. Here they actually uses Meyers beef out of Montana. As for the cooking process… take it slow and then wrap it tight with that pink butcher paper. keep it wrapped up. And keep that grill closed as long as you can. Simply put – you don’t want to rush tradition.

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About Bill West

Bill West a BBQ enthusiast, Author, and Country Music aficionado in Charleston, SC. Get his BBQ Blueprint Book on Amazon: Follow him:

2 Responses to “How to Cook Traditional Beef Brisket the Melvin’s Way”

  1. Chris says:

    What temperature do you set the smoker at?


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