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Steven Raichlen's Barbecue Bible

A Holiday Tradition: Aunt Annette’s Holiday Brisket!

By Steve Nestor
Photo: Steve Nestor

Is the menu for your holiday meal a hard-and-fast tradition? Is it something you watched a family member cook for years? Or did you help in the kitchen every year and now the recipe and the cooking has been passed on to you? For many of us, what we cook for a holiday meal is sacrosanct. Some of us are creating our own traditions to pass on to the next generation.

Steven Raichlen challenged me to create a holiday-themed brisket. I’m sure if I lived in Texas, brisket would most likely be a holiday tradition. I live in New England, so I went to Steven’s book, The Brisket Chronicles, to find my inspiration.


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Beef Brisket Made Easy

By Steven Raichlen

Brisket. Few words have such power to make mouths water and stomachs roar with hunger. Brisket is the summum of Texas barbecue and its popularity extends far beyond the Lone Star State. Food writers and pit masters like to mystify the process, making smoking a brisket sound as difficult as quantum physics.

Well, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Brisket is easy, requiring maybe 30 minutes of actual work from start to finish. True, that start to finish can stretch as long as 16 hours. But armed with the right tools (a sharp knife, a remote digital thermometer, and unlined butcher paper) and a little knowledge and patience, anyone can smoke a brisket that would do a barbecue competition proud.

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