When we teamed up with Stubb’s BBQ to create a Fourth of July gathering that’s all about the best Texas-style brisket, I knew just who to call: Jeff Trucksess is known as the grill master among our friends, and I’ve been pestering him for ages about spilling his secrets on the blog. A few of us headed over to Jeff and Courtney’s midcentury casa (that happens to be around the corner from mine) for an afternoon brisket session that ended with sparklers, badminton, and a spontaneous dip in the pool. Keep reading for Jeff’s tips and the Stubb’s rub and marinade that will bring your grilling dreams to life this July 4th!
*photos by Hannah Grace Photography
Texas hospitality in action! Ruby greets Phoebe at the gate to their backyard.
First, what to buy at the butcher counter. Jeff recommends a “full packer,” which in the BBQ world is a brisket with both the point and the flat, and typically weighs between 12-16 lbs. Pull it out of the fridge an hour ahead of time to let the chill off. Apply a thin coat of peanut oil to the brisket, which will help keep moisture in and encourage seasonings to stick to the meat.
Next up: season that brisket! Instead of flavor injections, Jeff likes the simplicity and flavor of a good rub, like this Stubb’s Beef Spice Rub. Only put the rub on 30 minutes before the meat goes on the grill, since the longer the rub sits on the meat, the more the salt draws out the moisture of the meat.
Use the low and slow method by cooking at 225 degrees for 12 – 14 hours, depending on size. When the center of the meat gets to around 165 degrees, wrap it in butcher paper. When the temperature of the meat reaches 195, pull it off the grill.
Now it’s time to slice. Slice along the ribbon of fat that runs horizontally through the meat. Then, slice the meaty halves of the brisket against or across the grain.
This is a real Texas BBQ spread! We love our barbecue with slaw, grilled corn on the cob, brisket, and sliced bread. If you want even more variety, beans and potato salad are always a good idea.
I brought my Rainbow Kale Slaw to the party! Click here for the recipe.
As we say in Texas – it’s not done ‘til you add the sauce! Adding sauce after cooking keeps it from burning on the grill. You can put the sauce on the side and dip, or drizzle it over the top. Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce is the perfect complement with its tangy tomato, vinegar, molasses and black pepper. And we love that it uses all real ingredients, with no artificial flavors, colors or high fructose corn syrup, which is the main ingredient in most national BBQ sauce brands.
Jeff’s final tip for brisket grilling success? Serenade the meat with some good outlaw country music, apply beer to chef liberally, hydrate with Rambler Sparkling Water, knock some items off the honey do list in the yard to keep everyone happy and enjoy the day.
Have you guys ever grilled corn still in its husk? It’s a great party trick that makes for such a great presentation (and makes life really easy on the host.) Just place the corn on the grill for 20 minutes or so, turning occasionally until the kernels are tender. Remove the husks and slather it with butter and salt. I love to mix up a zesty lime butter in the summertime.
The most colorful plate! We passed out plates of food on a mixture of melamine dinnerware and disposable bamboo plates for an elevated vibe that still felt casual.
These days, Phoebe’s self-proclaimed favorite veggie is corn. She and Parker somehow made these cobs last throughout the entire party.
We created a festive agua fresca by adding watermelon, blueberries, and fresh mint from my garden to a dispenser of ice cold water.
Jeff’s the co-founder of the new Austin-based sparkling water company, Rambler. Get ready for your new bubbly water obsession!
The serve-yourself vibe of the party made it easy for everyone to get their fill. We all went back for seconds on the BBQ, and there was no need to worry about making sure everyone’s glasses were full.
Ruby with the cutest watermelon smile! We topped the watermelon slices with sea salt, mint, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
If you live in Austin, you know Stubb’s is a household name, but for the rest of you: Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q was founded by C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield in Austin. And fun fact, that’s C.B.’s photo on all the Stubb’s bottles and spices! Today, Stubb’s grandsons, Rocky and Reggie Stubblefield, serve as ambassadors for the brand and love sharing their passion for all things grilling (and lots of their secret recipes!)
The grown-ups caught up on what’s new with each other, while the kids took a dip in the pool.
We were all obsessed with Courtney’s perfect BBQ chic outfit.
The girls couldn’t wait to get their hands on the sparklers (although Phoebe looks pretty nervous about her sparks.)
All summer parties need some lawn games, and the girls tried their hand at bocce ball and badminton.
My favorite part of this season is the unhurried attitude that accompanies all get-togethers. Even on a weeknight, it stays light so late that it seems wrong not to linger way past dinner… and let everyone stay up way past their bedtimes.
What are you guys tossing on the grill this 4th of July? We’d love to hear if you give this brisket a try!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce. All opinions are entirely my own.