Smoked Brisket Recipe

If you want to step up your BBQ game and amaze your visitors, try this smoked brisket recipe. Smoking a brisket is an age-old ritual that results in succulent, tasty meat with a lovely smoky scent that permeates the air.

Print blog View comments (0)

Smoking a brisket is slowly cooking the beef over low and that means indirect fire for several hours. It allows the flavors to develop and transform the tough piece of meat into a soft and luscious pleasure.

Smoked Brisket

The flavor of smoked brisket is rich and robust, characterized by a beautiful harmony of smokiness, meatiness, and the subtle nuances of the chosen seasonings and wood smoke. The outer layer, known as the "bark," develops a dark, caramelized crust, encasing the meat in a cocoon of concentrated flavor. This bark is highly prized for its intense taste, resulting from the Maillard reaction and the slow absorption of smoke. Inside, the meat retains a moist, juicy texture, with the fat rendering down during the long cooking process to infuse the meat with succulence and depth.

Key to this process is addressing the challenge of moisture loss and temperature control, especially during the "stall" phase. This is where the crucial decision on when to wrap a brisket comes into play, impacting the meat's final moisture content and texture.

The texture of a perfectly smoked brisket is tender and succulent, easily pulling apart or slicing cleanly without being overly mushy. The low and slow cooking method allows the tough connective tissues in the brisket to break down over time, transforming a traditionally tough cut of meat into something exceptionally tender and flavorful. The key is to cook the brisket until it reaches an internal temperature where collagen turns into gelatin, typically around 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C), depending on the specific piece of meat.

Tools Needed to Smoke Brisket

Smoking a brisket to perfection requires both patience and the right set of tools. Here's a comprehensive list of essentials and some helpful extras that can elevate your brisket smoking game:

Smoker: The cornerstone of smoking brisket. Choices range from electric and gas smokers to charcoal or wood pellet smokers, each offering different flavor profiles and levels of convenience.

Wood Chips or Chunks: These provide the smoke and are crucial for flavor. The choice of wood (like hickory, oak, mesquite, or cherry) impacts the brisket's final taste.

Wireless Meat Thermometer: For monitoring the internal temperature of the brisket without opening the smoker too often. A model with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, like the Typhur Sync, allows you to keep an eye on the temperature remotely.

Smoked brisket
Smoked brisket

Instant-Read Meat Thermometer: Useful for spot-checking the meat's temperature towards the end of cooking. This ensures precise temperature readings, confirming when the brisket is perfectly done.

Aluminum Foil or Butcher Paper: For wrapping the brisket during the "Texas crutch" phase to prevent drying out and to break down tough connective tissue, enhancing tenderness.

Tongs and Heat-Resistant Gloves: To safely handle the brisket and manage the fire or wood chips.

Spray Bottle: Filled with water, apple cider vinegar, or apple juice for spritzing the brisket to keep it moist during long smoking sessions.

Cutting Board: Preferably large and with a juice groove to catch drippings when slicing the brisket.

Sharp Knife: A long, sharp knife is essential for trimming the brisket pre-smoke and slicing it post-smoke.

How to Smoke Brisket

1. Selecting the Brisket

Choose a full packer brisket, which includes both the flat and point cuts. Look for a brisket with good marbling (fat within the muscle) as this fat will melt during cooking, contributing to the meat's flavor and moisture.

2. Preparing the Brisket

Trim the fat cap to about ¼ inch thick to ensure even cooking and adequate smoke penetration. Apply a rub of your choice—this can be as simple as salt and pepper or a blend of spices. Let the brisket sit with the rub for at least an hour, or overnight in the refrigerator, to enhance flavor absorption.

3. Preheating the Smoker

Preheat your smoker to a consistent temperature between 225°F and 250°F (107°C and 121°C). Stability is key for a slow and even cook.

4. Choosing Your Wood

Select wood chips or chunks that will complement the brisket’s flavor. Hickory, oak, mesquite, and fruitwoods like cherry and apple are popular choices. The type of wood can significantly affect the brisket’s final taste.

5. Smoking the Brisket

Place the brisket fat side up in the smoker to allow the fat to render and naturally baste the meat during cooking. Maintain a consistent smoker temperature, adding wood as necessary to keep the smoke steady but not overwhelming.

6. Monitoring the Temperature

Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the brisket to monitor its internal temperature. The key to a perfect brisket is slow cooking to an internal temperature of about 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C).

When to Wrap a Brisket

Consider wrapping the brisket in butcher paper or aluminum foil once it reaches an internal temperature of 150°F to 170°F (65°C to 77°C). This technique, known as the “Texas Crutch,” helps to push through the temperature stall, keeps the brisket moist, and can soften the bark to a desirable texture.

Wrapping a brisket on the barbecue
Wrapping a brisket on the barbecue

7. Resting the Brisket

Once the brisket reaches the target internal temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for at least an hour. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that every slice is moist and flavorful.

8. Slicing the Brisket

Slice the brisket against the grain to ensure tenderness. The flat and point cuts may have grains that run in different directions, so pay attention as you carve.


Serve the brisket on its own or with your favorite barbecue sides. Sauces can be offered on the side, but a well-cooked brisket often needs little embellishment.

Why are Smoked Briskets so Preferred?

Smoked briskets are preferred for their unbeatable flavor and tenderness. When you smoke a brisket, the slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together. The smoky essence infused into the meat adds a rich and savory dimension that tantalizes your taste buds with every bite. The low and slow smoking technique breaks down the tough connective tissue in the brisket.

We also love smoked briskets because they offer a versatile canvas for creativity. While the basic ingredients of a brisket remain the same, you can experiment with different wood chips, seasonings, and sauces to customize the flavor profile to your liking. This versatility allows you to showcase your unique culinary skills and tailor the brisket to suit your preferences or the occasion.

Final Talk

Smoking a brisket may seem like a difficult chore, but by following these procedures and remaining patient during the process, you can obtain tender, tasty results that will surprise your family and friends. Remember to invest in excellent ingredients, trust the process, and, most importantly, enjoy the wonderful results of your efforts.

View the original blog via:

Did you like this blog?
Mention @ohmydish or tag #ohmydish on Instagram!