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Smoked brisket recipe

Smoked brisket recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Cuts of beef
  • Beef brisket

A delicious smoked beef brisket recipe from Hawksmoor chef Richard Turner, perfect for summer BBQs with friends! Enjoy with a glass of Casillero del Diablo Devil's Collection Red - the soft, spicy and velvety texture and flavours of plum and black cherry perfectly complement the smoky flavour of this delicious smoked brisket!

14 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 3 to 4kg brisket, point end cut
  • 30g prepared mustard of choice
  • 150g beef spice rub

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:8hr ›Ready in:8hr20min

  1. Preheat smoker for indirect cooking at 115 C.
  2. Coat the brisket all over with the mustard and evenly cover with a spice rub. Place the brisket point side up into the smoker.
  3. Add your wood, and probe the centre of the brisket with a digital thermometer before you begin cooking.
  4. The brisket should be removed when the thermometer reaches 86 to 88 degrees C and this can be anything from 8 to 11 hours depending on the beef used. Do not worry if the brisket appears to have stopped cooking at about 70 degrees C. When the beef reaches 86 to 88 degrees C, give it a prod. It should be firm yet springy to the touch. Remove from the barbecue and wrap it cling film and foil.
  5. To serve the brisket there are a couple of options. The brisket contains two separate muscles; the ‘flat’ and the ‘point’. Their muscles run in different directions, roughly 45 degrees from each other. If you do not mind having a slice where the two muscles are running differently then slice them together. We prefer to separate the muscles. They can simply be pulled away gently from one another by working your knife, or fingers, between them. The fat will be so soft that it requires little effort. Be careful, it will be very hot. Once separated, trim any excess fat but do not remove it entirely as this fat brings so much of the joy to the eating. Serve and enjoy.


Richard Turner says: “The quality of the beef is vital to this dish. It’s an easy recipe to get wrong, but unbelievable when cooked perfectly. Good brisket should have 3-4 weeks hanging on the bone, then another week off the bone. It’s a good idea, if possible, to try this recipe midsummer as the cows will have had a few months of eating the richer spring/summer grass and the beef will have a greater flavour and level of fat running through it than a winter animal”.

Crutching a brisket

Many people crutch a brisket, which is to remove when it reaches 70 degrees C and wrap it in tin foil with beef juices and fruit juices, but we do not believe this is necessary as it masks the flavour of the beef and stops a proper bark forming.

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Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket

Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket is more than a simple recipe, it’s a process for melt in your mouth smoked brisket. All you need is salt, pepper, smoke, and time, and you’re on your way to eating the best beef brisket of your life.


Ideally, you want to find a brisket between 12 and 15 pounds. More moderately-framed cattle are more tender because they have more marbling and intermuscular fat.

For a Texas-style Smoke Brisket, you want to purchase a whole, untrimmed brisket, sometimes labeled “Packer’s Cut” or “Packer Brisket.”


It is the marbling that determines the quality grade of beef. Select-grade beef is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to marbling, and for this reason, try to avoid select-grade beef briskets.

When you’re slow-cooking a large cut of tough meat, you need a good deal of intermuscular fat present to keep it from drying out and toughening up even further.

The higher the grade of beef, the more marbling there is, the more tender the end result!

If you want to smoke a crazy juicy, tender brisket, go with high choice (which you’ll usually find in branded beef), prime, or even Waygu, if available and within budget.

You also want to pay attention to the flat, which is the skinny end of the brisket. When looking at the short side of the flat, try to find a brisket with uniform thickness, top to bottom. This will promote even cooking throughout the smoking process.

If you can’t find one that’s uniformly perfect, don’t worry — we’re going to be trimming it before we get cooking.

What you are going to need to make the most amazing brisket.

Contains affiliate links where I will receive a commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

    (I use a Big Green Egg Kamado BBQ) but a pellet grill smokers like the Traeger or Camp Chef are awesome too. (if using a charcoal grill). I recommend the Big Green Egg all-natural lump charcoal (also available at ACE hardware).
  • Wood Chunks for long smokes: I recommend a combination of Post Oak and Apple wood chunks for brisket. Don’t use small wood chips because they will burn up too quickly for this long cook. to catch the fat drippings and for a water bath to keep the smoking environment moist. You can buy these in bulk at Costco. is an essential tool for smoking that monitors the temperature of your smoker along with the internal temperature of the meat. It will remotely alarm you if a temperature of either goes outside the parameters you set. gives you precise internal temperature reads of the brisket. for transferring the brisket to and from the smoker. for prepping and slicing the brisket. for seasoning the brisket and bringing it out to the smoker. for wrapping the brisket after it reaches 165 degrees to finish the cook. for trimming the fat and silver skin off the brisket. for resting the brisket in an insulated environment after the smoke.
  • Slicing knife like the Victorinox 12 Inch Granton Blade or this Dexter 12-Inch Scalloped Roast Slicer Knife

You’ll want to trim most of the larger fat deposits off of the meat. Leave at least a quarter-inch of fat on the meat. You want to keep some fat on the Brisket to help moisten the meat during the cook. My rule of thumb is that if the fat is hard, remove as much as you can without affecting the meat. If it’s soft, leave it!

I’ve done a few cooks where I’ve even removed all of the fat on both sides just to see how it impacted the final result. With a Wagyu or prime grade, this works, but I wouldn’t do that with choice grade or lower.

Smoked Brisket Rub Recipe

After you’ve trimmed the fat, rub the entire surface with about 2 tbsp of Olive Oil. I like to use garlic-infused olive oil for a little extra flavor, but you don’t have to. The olive oil acts as a binder to hold the rub on the brisket. Other binder options include avocado oil, mustard, or hot sauce (not for the weak!)

I sell a couple of different rub recipes here on the site that I really love, and have consistently produced a great bark. You can purchase my bbq rub recipes here. I like making my own rub because it allows me to have a really solid base flavor profile that can be modified with additional spices to enhance it.

If you want to buy a rub that’s been premade I’d recommend one of the rubs from WhiskeyBent BBQ or Meat Church.

Once you have your rub, make sure you apply it liberally. 1 Tbsp of bbq rub isn’t going to adequately season a large hunk of meat like this! It’s really hard to over season a piece of meat like this, so go big!

This is what my wagyu brisket looked like after adding the rub. It’s tough to overseason a brisket, be generous!

Smoking a Brisket – Wood Selection and Temp

Set up your smoker to smoke at 225 degrees using indirect heat. I like to use oak for this recipe, but mesquite can give you some really bold smoky flavor too. Once your smoker is up to temp, place the brisket on the smoker, fat cap down.

FYI, I estimate 90 minutes for every pound at 225 degrees, so you could be looking at 15 hours or more for this cook.

After 4 hours put a temperature probe into the center of the thickest part of the flat. Monitoring the temperature remotely using a Thermoworks smoke, or your smoker’s app is best – the less you open the lid on your smoker the better.

The built-in temperature probes are great for keeping track of what the internal temperature is but I don’t recommend using those to find out if your meat is finished. It’s been my experience that those probes are off by 5-10 degrees. I use a Thermoworks Smoke to keep track of internal temps during the cook, and then spot check with my Thermapen MK4.

A Thermapen MK4 is hands down the best internal temperature probe you can buy. It’s calibrated for 99.9% accuracy, and it’s what I rely on when I am cooking for friends and family to make sure my meats come out at the perfect temperature every time.

If there is one tool I rely on more than my smoker, it’s a Thermapen.

When the temperature gets up to 160-165 degrees you’ll experience a “stall” where the temp doesn’t go up at all. The stall could last hours. Don’t panic! The stall is normal. Do not panic and increase the temperature of your smoker. Just be patient. It will be ok.

Minimize the Length of the Stall

Once your brisket is at the 160-165 degree point, peek on the meat every 40 minutes or so. When the surface of the meat has a dark mahogany “bark” pull the brisket off the smoker, and wrap it tightly with pink butcher paper.

After the brisket is wrapped, put back in the smoker. Push your temperature probe through the wrap into the meat, and check the temperature every hour until the internal temperature gets to 200 degrees. This wrapping technique is called the “Texas Crutch”.

The Texas Crutch is a great method to help push through the stall and retain more moisture in your meat. In some instances, you could lose some bark quality.

If you’d prefer to not wrap that’s fine, just plan on a longer cook. If I’m not going to wrap my brisket I will put it on the smoker at 9 or 10 pm the night before. Whether you crutch or not, is up to you.

When the brisket hits 200 degrees, pull it from your smoker. Wrap over the butcher paper with foil, and put it in a cooler with a towel or two on top of it, and close the lid. Let it rest in the cooler for at least 60 minutes. I let them rest for a minimum of two hours. This helps the moisture in the meat redistribute and results in more flavor in every slice of brisket.

Resting a Smoked Brisket

Start smoking meat early in the day. It’s ok to start at 4 or 5 am and then go back to bed. If it finishes two or three hours before you are ready to eat, that’s ok. I’ve held briskets in a cooler for up to 5 hours. The longer they rest, the better the juices distribute. Just be sure to not let the internal temperature of the meat get down below 150.

Once your smoked brisket is cooked, separating the point and flat is easy.

When you’re ready to serve, slice against the grain of the meat, in pencil-thin slices. The flat will have a grain running in one direction, and the section of meat on top (the point) will have the grain running in a different direction.

I separate the point and flat when it is time to serve, and then cut each of them individually. Alternatively, you can turn the point into bbq brisket burnt ends.

Why This Smoked Brisket Recipe Works

In our family, my brother is a resident smoker. He has tweaked and honed his rub and process to come up with a recipe that turns out perfect each and every time.

The first part of the process is the Smoked Brisket rub. It’s a combination of salt and seasonings that gets rubbed all over the brisket. You let it hang out for 12-24 hours so the salt can work its way into the meat and help tenderize it.

Then it’s all about smoking. The secret to the smoking process is the temperature. It’s imperative that you keep it between 180 and 200 Fahrenheit the entire time. This can be the most challenging part – especially if you have rainy or cold weather.

Last, it’s about letting it rest. You have to give all of the juices time to work their way back into the meat before you start slicing it.

Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe

Brisket cutting is to a great extent disputable – with numerous brisket sweethearts in one of two camps-those that affection the additional flavor leaving the fat top of brisket on gives a brisket (I am without a doubt a devotee to leaving the layer of fat on a brisket, however, incline toward it to be cut equally and cut a touch) – and those that trim a brisket of the abundance fat for an all the more notwithstanding smoking and uniform surface with almost no fat top left on the brisket.

In numerous supermarkets, you can discover pre-cut brisket that is ideal for a family supper (which I utilized in the photographs in this post) – no additional work required – however pre-cut briskets do will, in general, convey somewhat more extreme sticker price than the one you can trim yourself. When I am arranging a significant gathering or picnic, we’ll go for the pointcut and keep the fat to some degree untrimmed, so we can gradually allow it to render and discharge the majority of the astounding flavor into the brisket.

In case you’re keeping fat on your brisket, I locate its best to trim it down a piece to all be even so the brisket cooks equitably and you don’t have excessively out of shape pieces (however, those are very heavenly when done right). Cut back the excess top equally and evacuate any messy bits for the best outcomes – however, you don’t need to go too over the edge when cutting your brisket.

Prepare for Smoking Session

When you have your brisket, the subsequent stage is to plan to smoke. With regards to marinating, you’ll accomplish the best outcomes via flavoring one day before you intend to burn. When it’s all said and done, and you’re in a period crunch, 2-4 hours before will be alright.

Smoke It

Expel the brisket about an hour or two preceding you’re prepared to fire up the smoker with the goal that it can adapt to room temperature. Some open-air gourmet specialists utilize this opportunity to infuse a marinade into the meat. However, we like to give the smoke a chance to season our brisket.

  • Fill your wood chip box with mesquite, hickory, apple or cherry wood chips.
  • Apple and cherry woods include mellow, sweet flavor.
  • Hickory wood will add a trace of bacon to the brisket.
  • Mesquite wood is a conventional smoking wood however, it very well may be substantial. Take a stab at including a little apple or cherry to mitigate it.
  • Mixing apple or cherry wood with hickory will help equalization out the sweet and bacony flavors.

Charcoal can likewise be utilized however, wood chips are wanted to give a better flavor to the meat.

Here’s how to smoke a brisket in an electric smoker:

  • Select brisket. Make sure to get one that curves and has a thick covering of fat.
  • Marinate your brisket one day ahead of time. If you don’t have time, 2-4 hours will work.
  • Give it a chance to sit out and acclimate to room temperature for 1-2 hours before setting in the smoker.
  • Burden wood chips. The charcoal will work however, wood chips give more flavor.
  • Warmth smoker to 200° (Initial objective temperature will shift contingent upon smoker model)
  • Burden brisket in the smoker.
  • Trust that brisket will smoke.
  • Enjoy!

Final Words

We hope our article on Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe for 2020 will be helpful for you. Don’t forget to check out our list of best pellet smoker.

What To Do With Leftovers

Perish the thought that there should be any Texas smoked brisket leftover! If anything is left then keep it simple and let your previous days smoking prowess do the talking.

Preparation Time:- 10 minutes
Cooking Time:- n/a minutes

Total Time:- 10 minutes

  • 4 large burger buns
  • Beef brisket sliced
  • Green salad of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon (per bun) horseradish sauce

For light weekday lunches this barbecue beef brisket sandwich really hits the spot.

Better Than Sex Brisket Recipe

Smoked Brisket can be a frightening task. With the right guidance, however, you'll be turning out melt-in-your-mouth slices in no time thanks to our Smoked Brisket Recipe!

To get you started, Grillocracy is turning to one of our favorite BBQ and grilling bloggers, Robyn Medlin Lindars of, for her "Better than Sex Brisket" Brisket Recipe.

In it, Robyn focuses on the fatty "point" of the brisket versus the "flat" from which sliced brisket normally comes from. While it can be more difficult to come by unless you have access to full packer briskets which contain both portions of the brisket (if not, you're best bet would be to call your local butcher a few days ahead of time and request that he/she hold one for you), it is more forgiving should you cook it a little too long due to the extra fat content.

I did not grow up eating Brisket. I’m from North Carolina and BBQ was pork- period! But, since the inception of “grillgrrrl” I’ve come to learn more and more about all types of BBQ and low and slow. To a Texan, brisket is BBQ. And you don’t mess with Texas (or so they say!).

Anyway, I digress. The point of this post and recipe is that brisket is the bomb. I made brisket on my BGE over a year ago for the first time and Scott has been asking me about making it again ever since. brisket is an aphrodisiac for my husband, hence the title of this post!

For my "better than sex" brisket" smoked brisket recipe, I consulted 2 of my favorite chefs in “Que”: Chris Lilly and Adam Perry Lang, for cooking direction (both times). Let me tell you- a combination of their techniques and recipes and YOU CANT GO WRONG. It’s a recipe/technique hybrid of two of the smartest and “winningest” guys in BBQ – need I say more?! - Robyn Medlin Lindars,



2 tbsp. beef base such as Minor's Beef Base or Better Than Bouillon

2 tbsp. fresh ground pepper

Wrap Sauce, aka The “Texas Crutch”

2 tbsp. light brown sugar (I used bourbon barrel smoked brown sugar)

2 tbsp. apple juice OR 2 tbsp. sweet tea

3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar


Meat: removed fat cap/very fatty areas and score the meat on both sides so it can absorb more rub.

Rub the beef base into the brisket on all sides. Combine the garlic salt, pepper, chile powder, brown sugar and smoked paprika and generously “rub” into the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare your smoker to 225 degrees. If using a grill, you will need to prepare for indirect heat by creating a direct/indirect zone.

Once the grill comes to temperature, add smoking wood to the fire. I used a combination of 1 part hickory and 2 parts apple.

Put your brisket on the smoker and let smoke for 5 hours or until the internal temp reaches 170 degrees (NOTE: We recommend using a quality instant read thermometer such as the super fast Thermapen available here).

Brisket and Pork Butt on the Smoker

Once the brisket hits an internal temperature of 170 degrees, wrap it in foil (aka the Texas Crutch). Roll out a large sheet of foil and double it up so that you can fold the brisket into a foil “packet”. Remove the brisket, put it on the foil and pour on the wrap liquid. Seal up the foil packet and put it back on the smoker/grill.

Remove the brisket/foil and put the brisket back on the smoker/grill. Brush the brisket with theglaze and let the meat continue to cook for 30 minutes to absorb the glaze.

Once you pull the brisket off, “tent” it in foil for 30 minutes. Cut against the grain into 1/4” slices. Serve and experience brisket ecstasy!

Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe

Cooking a perfect smoked beef brisket is both challenging and rewarding. You have to get the smoker at the right temperature, smoke the meat for the perfect amount of time, and add a rub that enhances the meat&rsquos flavor. It&rsquos not overly difficult but it does require patience and tenacity.

Okay. I&rsquoll confess. The first beef brisket I tried to smoke ended up being a disaster. I overheated the smoker and didn&rsquot watch the meat temperature carefully enough. It was a hard, tough meat disaster that I try not to think about.

Fortunately I have learned a lot since that initial disaster. With some trial and a few more errors, I&rsquove developed a simple recipe that creates a mound of juicy smoked brisket that everyone seems to love. At least three or four times each summer, I&rsquoll get the smoker heated up, bring out the brisket, and let it cook until it&rsquos mouth-watering delicious.

What Makes A Good Beef Brisket Recipe

Brisket is actually one of the tougher cuts of beef. In most occasions, I will smoke chicken breast or chicken thighs as they are easier to smoke. That&rsquos why cooking beef low and slow is critical for creating a tender, flavorful piece of beef. Three of the more common ways of cooking brisket is smoking, slow roasting in the oven, or in a slow cooker. It can also be cooked on a grill, but needs to be kept off direct heat and cooked at lower temperatures for longer.

Searing brisket is essential if you are not smoking the meat. This helps it retain its juices and gives the final dish better color and depth of flavor. An easy sear method is to heat a cast iron skillet to medium high, then cook the meat on either side for three to five minutes.

A good cut of brisket should have a good layer of fat on one side. The fat helps flavor and tenderize the meat as it cooks. Don&rsquot remove the fat layer when preparing the brisket. If a recipe calls for its removal, find another recipe.

As with any other cut of beef, cooking a brisket without any seasoning is not recommended. In fact, brisket tastes fantastic with almost any seasoning you put on it. This recipe includes the most basic of rubs: salt and pepper.

But, the sky is the limit when it comes to the spices you use on a brisket, especially if you are smoking it. Think onion and garlic powder. Go with something a bit spicy like cayenne or a cajun mix. Go sweet with some maple syrup and brown sugar.

How To Make The Best Smoked Beef Brisket

Let&rsquos start with the meat. Try to go for a bigger size beef brisket such as 8 pounds or larger. Smaller size tends to dry out the meat quickly when smoking. The bigger the better.

Don&rsquot forget to wrap the brisket after about 4 hours. I used butcher&rsquos paper to wrap the meat, but you can also use aluminum foil. Wrapping keeps the meat tender and juicy.

Also, you&rsquoll only need to add wood chips in the first 4 hours of smoking. Once it is wrapped, adding wood chips is no longer needed.

Finally, you will want to pair this tender and juicy smoked beef brisket with your favorite bbq sauce.