The Delicious History of Pit Smoked Brisket

Smoked brisket is the crown jewel of the smoking world and by far the most delicious cut available. It’s the perfect combination of lean meat and delicious fattiness all crusted with salt and black pepper and smoked for hours. Beef brisket is eaten around the world and every country and region has their own way to prepare it, but the best in the world is Texas style. While many want to claim that it was invented in Central Texas, that’s not the whole truth. Dig your teeth into the delicious history of pit smoked brisket.

Religion Played an Early Role

Jewish people have been eating brisket during Passover for a long time. The hind quarter of a cow isn’t Kosher, so the Jews had fewer options when eating beef, not to mention the brisket was always one of the cheapest cuts. As a result, Central and Eastern European Jews have enjoyed brisket during food centric holidays that require a lot of food for a lot of people. During the 19th century many German and Czech Jews emigrated to the USA, and many found themselves in the Republic of Texas. The immigrants and local ranchers began swapping recipes and processes for smoking brisket. At the time there was a lot of brisket available, and the ranchers and immigrants couldn’t afford the more tender cuts.

The Evolution Begins

By the time the 20th century came to be, smoked brisket started appearing on the menu of Jewish delis across Texas. In the 1950s Blacks Barbecue in Lockhart was the first restaurant to offer brisket on the menu exclusively. That was all it took, after that all the dominoes started falling and brisket was everywhere across Texas and eventually the USA. How brisket is prepared depends largely on where you are standing. Different countries, and even regions of Texas have different ways were born from the early residents. Make no mistake though, they all cook it over low heat, and for a long time.

Brisket Today

With the rise of celebrity chefs and legendary BBQ joints across the USA brisket is everywhere, and that’s a good thing. Pit masters all over try different methods and recipes for smoking the king cut. The unfortunate part of all the notoriety is that brisket is no longer cheap. In fact, it can be damn expensive. Expect to pay up to $160-$200 dollars for a 10 lb. full packer Wagyu brisket. There are cheap cuts out there though, they just aren’t as easy to find. The history of brisket is a good one though and a story worth telling. Now go forth and claim BBQ glory.

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