Smoked brisket is one of our favorite barbecue dishes to serve a crowd. It’s gigantic and makes for one helluva platter to present your party. And while it takes time and patience, a properly smoked slab of brisket can be yours if you have a smoker and a few extra hours. And, of course, some beer.

Slow-cooked smoky beef needs a big beer to match the intensity of the flavors. A big roasty and toasty stout will add levels of depth to your glazing sauce, and is perfect when served alongside the smoked meat.

In addition to beer, this recipe calls for a 30-minute rest once the meat comes off the smoker. As much as you’re going to want to pick off perfect little pieces of caramelized meat, don’t mess with that timing or you will lose all the juices — leaving you with tears of sadness instead of moist meat.

Stout

Smoked Brisket with a Stout Glaze
1 brisket, about 8 pounds
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Barbecue rub
12-ounce bottle Coca-Cola
10-ounce jar hot pepper jelly
6 ounces stout
16-ounce jar of your favorite barbecue sauce.

An hour before cooking, pull your brisket out of the fridge and season liberally with salt, pepper, and your favorite barbecue rub. Preheat your smoker to 250ºF.

When you’re ready to cook, place the brisket on the smoker and allow it to cook for 4 hours. About once an hour, add apple and hickory wood chunks to maintain a consistent heat and great smoke flavor.

While the meat is smoking, make the glaze by pouring the Coke into a saucepan over low heat. Let it reduce by half, then add the hot pepper jelly (we like the Tabasco brand) and mix until the jelly melts and it everything becomes a gooey liquid. Add the stout and the barbecue sauce, and stir as the sauce warms up. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Barbecue

Brush the brisket with the glaze all over. Wrap the meat in parchment paper tightly and then wrap it in tin foil. Return it to the smoker for another 2 hours. Unwrap and glaze again. Allow it to cook uncovered for another 30-60 minutes, until the glaze is as caramelized as you’d like it.

Remove the brisket from the smoker and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Slice and serve with buns, pickles, more sauce and plenty of stout.

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