A life of failure is a life lived well. That is my story and I am sticking to it. That may or may not be true in my actual life, but it is absolutely the truth in my long tale of learning to smoke the perfect brisket. It is that time of the year when I smoke the Christmas Eve brisket. I start the day before, around 10pm and I smoke it all night long and sometime in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve, we take it off the smoker, let it rest, and then eat melt in your mouth beef that tastes like candy. It has been a long saga and ordeal of many failed experiments. Many undercooked, overcooked, rough, dry, spoiled, burnt, and everything else imaginable along the way. I have tried many things, more heat, less heat, more water, more trimmed fat, less smoke, and more smoke. I have tried rubs and no rubs, apple juice and vinegar. I have tried salt and pepper and even paprika. I have tried electronic thermostats, and instant read thermometers. I have tried aluminum foil and even butcher paper. However, the one lesson and the final secret that my entire brisket cooking experience has led me to is the following plain and simple fact:
LEAVE IT ALONE
Yup, that is it. Just put it in the smoker, and leave it alone until the temperature is 205 degrees. Nothing else matters. Nothing else I do produces a better result than just leaving the whole process alone and to never touch it for 12 – 14 hours. That is it. Simple. It took years of failed experience to lead me to that final and absolute brutal yet simple revelation.
As it is with the brisket, so it is in life. Sometimes, and more often than not, the best thing you can do is to leave it alone. This is true in life, business, and everything else.