Smoked BBQ Briske Recipe Like A Pro
Smoking a brisket ain’t no quick thing to do. While it takes a long time, it’s actually quite a simple process. Sure, you can get super technical with all the little details, but really, you just need to know the basics for it to come out amazing. Brisket is frequently served boiled and corned at St. Patrick’s Day tables across the US, but well-made smoked beef brisket is also delicious. Brisket is a favorite at BBQ joints all over but is particularly popular in the Southwest. Today we’re going to tell you how to smoke a brisket for a great meal your family and friends will love.
The Goal: Smoke a near-perfect brisket on your very first attempt. Yes, it is possible, and you can do it!
What is Brisket?
Brisket is one of the nine primal cuts of beef. The brisket is cut from the lower chest and these muscles do a lot of work. So the meat consists of long, strong fibers. The brisket consists of two separate muscle groups identified as the flat and the point. When smoking a brisket, you’ll want to buy a brisket that includes both the point and the flat. This is most often called a packer brisket cut. A whole packer brisket will provide juicy and tender smoked meat that won’t be dry.
The high-level steps are right below in gray. Keep scrolling further for even more details and the full recipe card. Every step of the process is important and each has some margin for error. Each step is easy to follow, but if a few of the steps aren’t exact, it’s still going to turn out great.
- Trim it – Tidy up the brisket by trimming the fat cap to leave about ¼” fat layer and removing the silver skin from the underside.
- Season it generously with a 50:50 ratio of Diamond kosher salt and 16 mesh ground black pepper (or freshly ground pepper). Let it sit out at room temperature for one hour.
- Prep your smoker to use indirect heat cooking and bring the temperature between 250° F to 275° F with post oak (or your preferred type of wood) and set a water drip pan in place.
- Smoke it – Place the brisket in the smoker and cook with the lid closed.
- Wrap it tightly with butcher paper when the bark is formed and the internal temperature reaches about 165° F. Then place back in the smoker until the internal temperature of the flat (thinner side) reaches between 200° and 205° F, and it feels very tender and flexible to the touch.
- Rest it still wrapped for at least one to two hours before slicing.
When you are getting your brisket ready for the smoker, cut most of the excess fat off. You want to leave only about one-quarter inch of the fat cap on the beef. If you don’t trim the fat on the brisket, the smoke flavor will not get into the meat and you’ll end up with a bunch of delicious smelling (but inedible) fat and a bland brisket.
Season it – Seasoning a Brisket for the Smoker
Some people swear by dry-aging brisket, but we have found that the process often results in a very flavorful but dry piece of beef. Instead, we bring our brisket in the refrigerator, then let our packer-cut brisket come to room temperature before smoking it. A whole packer cut is a big hunk of meat – usually between 16 and 18 pounds of beef. It can take more than an hour to let the meat come to temp.
Brining the Brisket
Brining adds flavor and will ensure your brisket is moist and tasty. Our brine is a simple recipe. Just combine water and apple cider vinegar in a large stockpot, bringing a bag, or dutch oven. Add sugar, black peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Next set the brisket in the brine and place it in the refrigerator for about three hours. When the brisket has sat, remove it from the liquid and pat it dry with paper towels. Do not rinse the brisket.
Dry Rub for the Best Flavor
For our brisket, we are going to use our all-natural Bearded Butcher Blend Black Seasoning. This blend has the perfect combination of spicy coarse ground black pepper and kosher salt to provide the ultimate flavor. We are simply going to rub the brisket completely on all sides with the seasoning.
The traditional, Texas way to season a brisket is to rub it with brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Many smoked brisket recipes also include paprika or chipotle seasoning for a spicy kick, and you can add an espresso shoot for a flavor kick. The coffee rub can also act as a tenderizer, making meat softer and enhancing the moisture of the meat by creating a sealed crust of flavor.
Smoke a Brisket like a Pro
We are going to preheat our smoker to a temperature of 225 degrees F. For our brisket, we are going to use Coffee Wood Smoking BBQ Pellets. Exquisite flavors that give the grilling experience to another level. Coffee Wood Pellets contribute a slightly sweet smoky flavor to the meat, that is perfect for a brisket. Place a meat thermometer probe in the thickest part of the brisket, making sure that you don’t accidentally get the probe in the fat layer between the flat and the point.
Smoking brisket is a time-consuming process, so make sure you plan ahead. A large brisket can take eight or nine hours to smoke and should be rested after cooking. Smoked brisket usually takes around half an hour per pound to cook thoroughly.
Remove the brisket from the grill and double wrap the brisket in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Add about one and a half cups of beef broth to the aluminum foil packet. Return the brisket to the smoker until the internal temperature hits 205 degrees. A full-packer brisket is a long cooking process, so it’s important to keep in mind that the total time to smoke will likely take all day.
Resting the Smoked Beef Brisket
The brisket is done smoking once the internal temperature has reached 205 degrees. You’re going to be tempted to slice up the brisket and eat it right then and there. Don’t do it! Resting your brisket will allow the juices to set, making the meat even more delicious.
We rest a brisket by wrapping it in a towel and placing it in an empty ice chest. The insulated ice chest will keep the brisket from cooling too much and will trap the moisture inside, ensuring the ultimate in moistness, flavor, and tenderness. The resting will get better results by letting the smoked beef brisket rest for an hour or longer.