When work gets crazy (and it's all kinds of crazy right now), nothing relaxes me more than a day spent smoking meat. Twelve hours to smoke a brisket means that I'm spending all day outside, tending the fire. Perhaps with a beer, perhaps with a book. That is utter relaxation. Some people meditate. Others do Tai Chi. I smoke meat.
This past weekend, I prepared a meal for a party where I intended to cook for 50. So 2 briskets on the smoker (using this recipe and mesquite smoke), and I'm relaxing my way through the afternoon...
Well as it happens, only 30 or so folks showed up, so now I have an enviable problem. We've eaten one brisket, but I still have one 14 lb brisket to consume. Now, brisket sandwiches for weeks is pretty tasty, but what about doing something creative with part of the other brisket. Well, how about burnt ends? Burnt ends are the re-smoked point of a beef brisket. The brisket parts are called the flat (which is traditionally sliced for sandwiches) and the point, which is thicker and fattier (see diagram here).
In this case, I sliced off the point of a brisket that had been smoked for twelve hours and put it in the fridge until the following day. The next day, back on the smoker it goes.
Smoke for 4 hours at 225 °F.
Look at that darkened crust (also called bark). That's apparently what you're going for (and indeed, is always Mrs. Dude's favourite part of a brisket). This additional smoking released even more fat, rendered and caught in the drip pan below.
Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.
How did it turn out? Mrs. Dude thought it could have spent even longer on the smoker, she would have liked even more thick, tough bark. You can see that it's not terribly thick when sliced. Next time I'll keep it on there another 2 hours.
Indeed, you almost can't over-smoke this cut. It's so thick, and so fatty it ought to be damn near impossible to dry this out. You could use the dried out bits to season chile, or do like we did, and serve them on buns with bbq sauce.