Main navigation

Smoked Beef Brisket

Smoked Beef Brisket

Texas barbecue means brisket. And brisket means cooking your meat "low and slow." It may take all day, but boy, is it worth it when you take a bite of that tender and juicy brisket! Recipe adapted from BBQ Pit Boys


  1. In a bowl, mix together:
    • 3 TBS paprika
    • 2 TBS brown sugar, light
    • 2 TBS kosher salt
    • 2 TBS black pepper, ground
    • 2 TBS chile powder
    • 1 TBS cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp mustard powder
  2. Rinse and pat dry:
    • 7 lb whole packer beef brisket
  3. Trim fat cap on brisket, leaving 1/4-inch layer of fat. Remove any silver skin completely.
  4. Coat entire brisket lightly with:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  5. Apply rub over the entire brisket. Place brisket on a baking sheet and keep in the refrigerator overnight, uncovered.
  6. If using a charcoal grill, fill chimney full with natural mesquite lump charcoal and add to one side of the grill.
  7. Mix in half a chimney full of lit, hot briquettes with the non-lit briquettes. Add 3-4 chunks of hickory wood for smokey flavor.
  8. Next to the briquettes, in the other half of your grill place a drip pan or aluminum pan. Fill with 1/2-inch of water.
  9. Place grill rack over the charcoal and water pan.
  10. Using a thermometer, maintain grill heat at 250ºF. Place prepared brisket on the grill rack, over the water pan for indirect heat, fatty side up. Cover and begin cooking low and slow.
  11. To keep your brisket moist, you will baste it every hour with this mop. Combine:
    • 10 oz beer
    • 1 cup cider vinegar
    • 1 TBS brown sugar, light
    • 1 TBS garlic powder
    • 1 tsp black pepper, ground
  12. Cook until internal temperature of the brisket is 190ºF, about 8-9 hours. Add more charcoal as needed to maintain 250ºF grill temperature.
  13. When brisket reaches 190ºF internal temperature, remove from grill and wrap tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.Return foil-wrapped brisket to the grill and continue cooking for 1 1/2 to 2 hours more.
  14. Brisket should be moist and tender. Transfer to cutting board and let rest at least 30 minutes. Slice brisket against the grain, about 1/4-inch thick and serve immediately.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 hours
Inactive Time: 12 hours refrigeration prior to grilling
Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings: 10
Serving Size: 4-6 oz of meat

Serving Suggestions: Serve with rolls for a sandwich or with mashed potatoes and cole slaw.

Cooking Tips: Don't own a grill? You can also cook it in the oven. For smokey flavor add 1/2-1 teaspoon of hickory or mesquite powder to your rub. Cut brisket in two equal halves. Sear both sides of each brisket in a hot pan with 1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Wrap each seared brisket separately in foil, place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 50ºF until brisket reaches a temperature of 195º-205ºF, about 8-10 hours. You can also cut brisket in half and smoke the cuts of meat on your grill to cut cooking time, 1 1/2-2 hours per pound of meat.

For directions to cook on a gas grill or any other mechanism, check out this article.