- Combine the cider from the apple and the water inside a big, rectangular Dutch oven.
- Add the sugar and salt and stir until the sugar disintegrates.
- Then add the peppercorns as well as bay leaves.
- Finally, add the brisket.
- Let it sit in brine for up to 3 hours in the fridge.
This brine not only adds flavor to the brisket, but also helps to tenderize the meat. The combination of sweet and savory flavors from the cider, sugar, salt, and spices will infuse into the brisket as it soaks, resulting in a delicious and juicy final product. So, next time you’re smoking a brisket, don’t forget to give it a good soak in a flavorful brine beforehand.
Making the Brine
Brining is a process of soaking meat in a solution of salt, sugar, and other flavorings to enhance its flavor and tenderness. Brisket, a tough cut of beef, benefits greatly from brining before smoking. To make the brine, you need a big, rectangular Dutch oven or any other large container that can hold the brisket and the brine.
Combining the Cider and Water
The first step in making the brine is to combine the cider from the apple and the water inside the Dutch oven. The cider adds a fruity and tangy flavor to the brine, while the water dilutes it and ensures that the brisket is fully submerged. You can use any type of apple cider, but make sure it is unsweetened and unfiltered.
Adding Sugar and Salt
Once you have combined the cider and water, it’s time to add the sugar and salt. These two ingredients are the backbone of the brine and help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. Use kosher salt or sea salt, as they dissolve easily and do not contain any additives. For the sugar, you can use brown sugar, white sugar, or a combination of both. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely.
Including Peppercorns and Bay Leaves
To give the brisket a complex and aromatic flavor, add some peppercorns and bay leaves to the brine. Peppercorns add a spicy and pungent taste, while bay leaves impart a subtle herbal note. You can use black peppercorns, white peppercorns, or a mix of both. For the bay leaves, use fresh or dried leaves, but make sure they are whole and not crushed.
Adding the Brisket to the Brine
Once you have prepared the brine, it’s time to add the brisket. Make sure the brisket is fully submerged in the brine and that there is enough liquid to cover it completely. If the brisket floats to the surface, weigh it down with a plate or a heavy object. You can also use a brining bag or a vacuum-sealed bag to hold the brisket and the brine.
Refrigerating the Brisket in the Brine
After you have added the brisket to the brine, cover the Dutch oven with a lid or a plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 3 hours. Brisket should not be brined for more than 24 hours, as it can become too salty and mushy. During the brining process, the brisket absorbs the flavors and moisture from the brine, making it more tender and juicy when smoked. Once the brisket is done brining, rinse it thoroughly with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels before smoking.
In conclusion, brining is an essential step in preparing a delicious and succulent brisket. By following these simple steps and using the right ingredients, you can make a flavorful and tender brisket that will impress your family and friends. So, next time you plan to smoke a brisket, don’t forget to soak it in a brine first!