Being Direct–A West Texas Approach to Brisket

Our fourth and fifth baseball rainout inspired me to put Wanda The Marvel of Modern Engineering™ to work, scoring a 16 pound select packer’s cut brisket.

Select is the lowest standard grade of meat, a grade dependent on the amount of marbling, maturity and bone ossification in a ribeye. But I’m cooking the brisket, not the steak so it doesn’t matter. Packer’s cut still has the deckle and the brisket flat which I prefer to trim myself. If like me you are a meat geek, click right here and read up.

I’d planned on doing a fancy smancy rub I’d never tried, but I decided to go with the simple and familiar: cayenne, salt and black pepper.  A BBQ crime in some circles, I cook over direct heat. Done in 7 hours, it’s moist, tender, and didn’t require any caffeine at the start or end for me to finish.

A recent article about a world famous BBQ food truck that’s been around since February said you needed at least an hour and a half per pound and to never use mesquite when cooking brisket.  Huh?   Cooking my 16 pound brisket for 24 hours might work, but claiming mesquite can’t produce a quality brisket is absurd.  Don’t listen to that.   Mesquite’s fine and I like oak, pecan, and hickory as well.

Here’s how to do it over direct heat:




Move 3-4 feet above the fire
Keep the temperature up. This works.
Let it rest. Show some courage.
Or be weak and dig in.


  1. Yep, I have a theory there are communists trying to infiltrate Texas BBQ and bring down America and the rest of civilization in the process. I will fight the good fight.

  2. My Grandpa Charlie is a Texas barbecuer, and I love his brisket. This makes me wonder- could you cut a brisket from a bear or deer?

  3. Absolutely from a bear. I made corned beef from my salmon bear and your giant Wisconsin deer probably have a big one as well.

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