Smoked Brisket [Best BBQ Beef Recipe]


Do you want to cook one of the most emblematic meats in the world of grilling? Prepare for the perfect cut of beef with our beautiful, traditional smoked brisket recipe.

Recipe for smoked breast

Smoked meat can be a challenge for anyone new to the kitchen. It’s not so much a recipe where you can assemble a set of ingredients, but more of a process.

Many factors come together to cook the perfect brisket, from the wood you choose to smoke the brisket to the brine you use. Any of these options combine to make or break your skirt.

Today I’m going to tell you everything you need to know and the step-by-step instructions you need to follow to prepare the best smoked brisket ever.

Note: If you have an electric smoker, the process is slightly different, so be sure to read my guide to smoking brisket in an electric smoker .

Recipe for smoking chicken breasts

One of the great things about smoked meats is that you don’t really need a lot of ingredients to put it all together.

No sauces, no fancy side dishes. Just good old fashioned salt, pepper and smoke.

Oh and the weather.

Grilling brisket can be really intimidating the first time. A good brisket doesn’t come easy or cheap, so the thought of going wrong and wasting all that good meat can be a daunting prospect.

However, once you complete this process, there is no need to worry. Follow this guide and you’ll get near-perfect results every time.

Your brisket will be juicy, smoky and downright delicious.

What do you need to roast brisket?

Luckily, smoking brisket doesn’t require too many ingredients. However, there are a few important tools you need to make sure of before attempting this recipe.

Has barbecue

This may seem obvious, but it’s probably worth mentioning anyway. Smokers fall broadly into two categories: electric or offset/charcoal.

Purists always go for the offset because it can conjure up that iconic charcoal smoke we all associate with grilling. However, electric smokers are much easier to use and start up and may be better suited for casual grillers and newcomers.

Really, all that matters is that the grill can hold a temperature of 225°F.

Meat thermometer

Grilling smoking is all about maintaining constant temperatures until the meat has reached the desired internal temperature. The best way to do this is with a good meat thermometer. The best types tend to be digital and should(obviously) be as accurate as possible.

I recommend something like the Thermopro TP-07 because it has one probe to monitor the meat and another to monitor the temperature of the grill and smoker surface. It’s also incredibly accurate. You can get it here.

A good chef’s knife.

The brisket can be very difficult to cut before and after smoking. Whether you’re peeling the membrane off the top or cutting against the grain, you’ll feel a lot of resistance. So you need something that’s up to the task. Check out my brisket knife guide here .

I have a Dalstrong knife. It’s made of German steel and has held up every time I’ve used it. You can check it out here.

A cutting board

The breast is a large piece of meat and you need something large enough to prepare it and then let it rest after it’s cooked. Even if you happen to have a meat cutting board, I recommend measuring it to make sure it’s big enough to hold a brisket.

Smoked brisket resting after cooking

How to choose the best brisket

When choosing a breast, the most important thing to remember is that the breast is whole. You don’t want the tip to lift off the bottom(sometimes called the first cut). Many butchers or supermarkets appear to only sell the first cut, but in reality the best part of the breast is the point. It contains a lot of marbling and fat content, which is exactly what we want for smoking because it helps infuse flavor into the meat.

In contrast, flat is much leaner and therefore leaner in terms of fat content.

When it comes to deciding how much meat you want, try to achieve about half a pound per person you’re cooking for.

How to trim the brisket

For full instructions, read my post on how to cut brisket .

While some people say not to slice the breast, it’s important to remove ingredients like fat and excess fat to prevent the meat from turning into a rubbery mess.

You need to trim it before grilling and then slice it. For the initial trimming, you need to remove the big, fat cap that sits on top of the chest.

There’s a bit of a debate here in the grilling world as to what to do with the grease cap here. Personally, I like to slice it to an inch thick, but some people prefer the Aaron Franklin method , which consists of leaving it largely untouched.

You then need to trim off any excess fat, particularly the fat between the point and the flat side. This fat can effectively act as a barrier between the two, preventing the juices from flowing between the two during cooking. Removing this fat will make your breast much juicier and more delicious.

If you keep going a bit, you’ll also need to cut into the brisket after it’s cooked. Let sit outside of the smoker for at least 30 minutes to allow the juices to further penetrate the meat.

Cut against the grain for maximum tenderness. The challenge is to cut upstream for both the tip and the plane. The grain directions of these pieces are opposite, so you will need to cut them separately.

Brisket may dominate your smoking area, but it’s worth the time and effort

How to season the brisket

I love seasoning meat before smoking it and I love seasoning it liberally.

This is where smoked meat comes into its own. I recommend using only coarse salt and black pepper. Apply liberally to the entire surface of the meat, trying to rub it in as thoroughly as possible.

Want something with a little more kick? Check out my guide to the best store-bought chest condiments .

Some people add garlic powder. I personally don’t, just because I want my wood shavings to do a lot of the work of seasoning the brisket.

If this is your first time I would avoid anything but salt and pepper just to help you get an idea of ​​what brisket can taste like on the grill. If you feel like something is missing, you can try other spices and start experimenting.

Which wood chips are best for brisket?

Read my complete guide to the best brisket smoking wood

The best way to add flavor to your brisket is to make good use of wood shavings. They help create a better cooking environment in the smokehouse, but also have specific aromas and flavors to further enhance the meat.

Very often the choice of chips comes down to personal taste, but with heavier red meats like brisket, the best chips are pretty devastating.

I always recommend going for “darker” woods like oak, hickory, or mesquite.

Some people like to use slightly sweeter woods like maple or walnut, but as a starting point I always recommend starting with something more neutral like oak and then experimenting with sweeter or fruit-based chips.

How long to fry brisket

There’s really no hard and fast rule for smoked brisket length, and the best rule of thumb is always internal temperature.

This is because cut sizes of meat change invariably, so what works for one cut may not necessarily work for another.

As a rule of thumb, brisket takes about 90 minutes to cook per pound of meat when cooked at 225°F. However, it can’t really be considered “done” until its internal temperature reaches 195°F.

That’s why it’s important that you get yourself a good meat thermometer.

It is important to plan a lot of time, because in most cases it is not unusual to cook for eight to twelve hours.

Other best tips for smoky brisket

Use the Texas Crutch

Texas Crutch is a method used by many competition-level pitmasters to ensure their smoked chest comes out juicy and moist right out of the smoker. When done right, it can also help reduce cooking time and push meat through the dreaded “barbecue shack” . Check out our complete guide to Texas Crutch for more information.

Don’t forget to rest.

This is more important than you think( After cooking, wrap the brisket and let it rest on your cutting board. This allows the meat juices to settle and redistribute without getting the meat’s temperature too cold. I recommend letting it 30- Leave on for 60 minutes.

Mix up your spices

To ensure my brisket is evenly seasoned, I like to mix salt and pepper together before applying it to the meat.

I have an empty salt shaker that I pour both into and then shake well. Then I apply it to the meat. This also works if you use other spices like garlic powder.

Bake the fat side down

Fat content makes a difference when smoking, but contrary to popular belief, the fat line on the breast doesn’t add moisture to the meat. For best results, place the breast fat-side down on the wire racks .

Placing it fat-side up removes any spices or spices that may have been used and reduces the chance of a nice crust forming on the surface of the meat.

Lay it fat side down to keep the spices in place, it will provide a nice moist and succulent texture throughout and will also act as a shield against hot spots or direct exposure to heat.

Don’t forget your pages

With such a large piece of meat, it’s easy to forget what to serve with it. Here you can let your creativity run free and there are many great side dishes for brisket that go well beyond a simple salad. Try grilled or smoked potato skins with cheese, or keep it simple with grilled asparagus or corn on the cob.

Don’t worry about leftovers

Brisket is a large cut of meat, so there’s likely to be some leftover at the end of your meal.

Store it in an airtight container in your fridge and pour any remaining juices over it to preserve its moisture. You can then reheat it and make some of our creative leftover brisket recipes .

Smoked Breast

Beautiful and traditional recipe to smoke the perfect chest.
Course dinner, main course
American cuisine , BBQ
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 12 hours
Total time 12 hours 30 minutes


  • 12 pounds whole brisket
  • 2 table spoons of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper


  • Place your brisket on a large cutting board and lay it out so the flat part is on top.
  • Remove silver skin or excess fat from flat muscle. Try to slice it until the fat is smooth between the fat and the tip.
  • Continue trimming off the excess fat from the top. Cut the ends of the flat part to form a square shape.
  • Turn the breast over and trim the fat cap so it’s only 1/2 inch thick on the surface of the meat.
  • Preheat your smoker to a target temperature of 225°F. Be sure to set your smoker for indirect heat and add your chosen wood chips.
  • Apply the spice liberally to your brisket. Try to rub it in as hard as you can.
  • Transfer the brisket to your smoker and place the fat cap on top. Close the lid and grill until the meat has reached the desired temperature of 195°F.
  • Remove the breast and wrap in aluminum foil or a towel. Let rest on a large cutting board for 30-60 minutes.
  • Remove the breast from the packaging and cut across the grain to serve. Look for differences in grain direction in tip and plane.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have burning questions about BBQ Brisket? Our FAQs will help you with this.

Why did my smoked brisket become tough?

  1. Collages You might think that if you have a lot of fat in your chest, dehydration should be the least of your worries. However, due to the connective tissue, it can become hard. This is also known as collagen.
  2. How you cook it When brisket is cooked quickly, it can become tough. You have to cook it slowly. The collagen gradually melts and forms a jelly-like substance, giving it a soft texture in the process. You can get an even better result if you use some kind of liquid, eg B. a juicy marinade.
  3. The cut You need to choose the right cut from the start. If the brisket doesn’t have enough marbling fat, it will dry out easily. 

How long should I let my brisket rest?

Adequate resting of the breast is key to cooking tender, juicy beef. To ensure you don’t lose too much when slicing the meat, let it sit for up to 40 minutes. At this point, the meat is still at the right internal temperature for a good meal. 

Do I need to add liquid to the foil when wrapping the brisket?

Yes, if you don’t mind cracking open the crust. Adding a liquid to the foil when wrapping the breast will help add moisture and complement the flavors already present in the meat. This works if you wrap the meat using the pan method. In this case, add whatever liquid you feel will give the cut of meat the desired flavor. 

It’s important to note that if you wrap the breast during processing, the juices will ooze out of the meat; Therefore, adding extra fluid could lead to excess moisture, which can also lead to a wet breast. 

What should I spray it with?

Using a good brisket can help keep the meat moist and tender while keeping the crust from overcooking. You can use apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, apple juice, or even plain water. You can also use a beef broth with a little vinegar. Some also add beer to the mix to give it a different taste.

Leave a Comment