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Smoking Brisket
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5 from 3 votes

Smoking Brisket

Without a doubt, smoking a brisket is a patience-testing task. More than that, the entire process of smoking a brisket requires a great deal of cooking precision and knowledge.

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time14 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beef Brisket
Servings: 4
Calories: 200kcal


  • Powered thermostat
  • Kettle grill or meat smoker


  • 12



  • 1/2


    Apple juice or apple cider vinegar


  • Before going any further, it's important to make sure that the brisket you are about to buy is good enough for smoking.

  • Hands down, the best cut for brisket smoking is the "packer cut" brisket.

  • Essentially, this is a large two-muscle cut with all its fat cap.

  • This cut should be at least 11 pounds before trimming the fat.

  • Keep in mind that every person you are serving should get about 1/2 pound (or more) of brisket.

  • The next thing you need to take into account is the quality of the whole brisket.

  • Keep in mind that briskets of higher quality are more marbled than those of lower quality.

  • More marbling also means that the end result will be juicer and flavorful. If at all possible, pick a brisket of the Wagyu or Prime varieties as they are the fattiest and most marbled of all.

  • Finally, it's important to know the difference between a pasture fed and a grain fed brisket.

  • There will be a difference in flavor, but that is subjective.

  • Cooking-wise, the most important difference is that a pasture fed brisket will cook faster than a grain fed one.

  • The first thing you should do is to trim off the excess top fat, also known as "fat cap".

  • Use a sharp knife, and leave a 0.25-inch layer of fat on the meat.

  • This fat will keep the meat nice and moist during the extensive cooking process, so be sure not to leave any less.

  • To do this, you must first prepare a mixture of herbs and spices otherwise known as a rub.

  •  The basic rub consists of a mixture of coarse salt and black pepper.

  • However, you can add to it anything you'd like.

  • For example, a few tablespoons of garlic powder can give your brisket a delightful little kick.

  • Sprinkle a few generous tablespoons of rub on the meat, rubbing it in vigorously so that it is evenly spread on both sides.

  • After this process, you can go immediately on to the next step.

  • However, it is recommended to let everything sit for anything between 20 minutes and 2 hours.

  • If you decide to do this, make sure to put the meat in the refrigerator during the process.

  • During this entire process, you should keep an eye on your powered thermostat in order to make sure that the temperature is optimal.

  • In addition, you should have a good understanding of your type of smoker or cooker

  • In particular, it's important to know where its hot spots are, how long it takes to reach a stable temperature and how well it is able to maintain said temperature.

  • Light up the wood so the device begins gaining temperature.

  • The best wood for fuel is a combination of charcoal and wood.

  • Hickory, pecan and oak are good options, but you can use whatever you want for the smoke flavor you want to get.

  • Get your smoker or grill to be running at 250 to 275 degrees.

  • Once it gets there, keep the temperature stable for a few minutes.

  • The goal is to keep it slightly higher than it should be until the meat goes in.

  • At this point, you are ready to put the brisket in the cooker or smoker.

  • Place it carefully on the top rack with the fat side up.

  • Make sure the entirety of the meat's bottom is making contact with the grill.

  • Once the brisket is placed, close the lid and bring the temperature down to 225 degrees.

  • You can use the grill's vents to help regulate the temperature. Leave the meat to cook.

  • Make sure to check the temperature of the grill at least once every hour, making sure it is as close to 225 degrees Fahrenheit as possible.

  • If you have done everything correctly up to this point, it should take about six hours for the brisket to be fully cooked.

  • When six hours of cook time have almost passed, the brisket should reach its plateau. 

  • This is a term that is used to describe the moment when the brisket's internal temperature reaches around 150 degrees Fahrenheit and stalls.

  • If you are happy with the brisket's bark, it is now time to wrap it.

  • Add the half a cup of apple juice and wrap the brisket tightly using two large sheets of aluminum foil.

  • Once it has been wrapped, the brisket's internal temperature should start to slowly rise.

  • The goal is for it to rise to around 202 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  • Typically, brisket cooks for anything between five and eight hours.

  • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

  • Once another six hours have passed, it's time to take the brisket out of the smoker or grill and leave it to rest.

  • Even though it may not seem important, letting the meat rest is a crucial step.

  • This process allows the hot and bubbly juices to settle down and redistribute, ensuring that the meat will be evenly juicy and flavorful.

  • Before slicing and serving the brisket, it is important to test it in order to find out if it's properly cooked.

  • Ideally, the temperature of a smoked brisket is about 195 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Its internal temperature, however, should increase by 10 degrees if the piece of meat is thoroughly cooked, so take that into account.

  • At any rate, you can find out whether the brisket is well done without having to slice it by using the "feel" method: Simply stick a small fork in the brisket.

  • Finally, the time has come to slice the tender brisket for serving.

  • Slicing a brisket correctly requires a certain amount of knowledge and practice in order to be done correctly.


Serving: 85g | Calories: 200kcal