Smoked Brisket is the mother of all smoked meats. It’s a massive piece of meat that can easily intimidate any new Pitmasters. Don’t worry though, our step-by-step smoked brisket guide will turn your BBQ worries into the most delicious smoked brisket you’ve ever tasted.
So sharpen your knives, crack a beer, and let’s make some delicious smoked brisket!
How to make Smoked Brisket
Below is everything you’ll need to know to make the perfect Smoked Brisket on your pellet grill, offset or charcoal smoker. If you’ve never smoked a brisket before, don’t worry, we’ll walk you through every step and turn you into a brisket master!
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 18 hours
- Total Time: 19 hours
- Cook Temperature: 185ºF – 275ºF
- Finish Temperature: 202ºF
- Wood Flavor: Charcoal or Competition
- Servings: 10-12 people
- Your preference of smoker (I recommend a pellet smoker)
- Wifi/Bluetooth temperature probe
- Butcher Paper
- Large Baking Sheet
- Medium to Large Cooler
- 1 watertight recycling bag
- Ice (a lot of ice)
- 14-18 pound beef brisket
- 1 batch of Espresso Brisket Rub (see below) or Brisket Fixx highly recommended
Brisket Espresso Rub Ingredients
- 3 tablespoons of coarse kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons ground espresso coffee (regular coffee works too)
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
Brisket Marinade Ingredients (Optional Step)
- 6-8 tallboy cans of your favorite dark beer
- 6-8 cups of cold or leftover coffee
- 1L of beef broth
- 1L of cold water
- Remove your brisket from the freezer and allow up to 4 days for it to thaw in the fridge
- Remove your brisket from the packaging and trim your brisket
- Optional Step – Open the water-tight recycling bag and place it into the cooler. Poor the marinade ingredients (see above) into the bag and make sure they are well mixed. Making sure the least amount of air is in the bag, tie or clip the bag closed then pour as much ice as possible over the bag. Keep your brisket marinating for 6-24 hours.
- Remove your brisket from the marinade 1 hour before you start your cook (max 2 hours), pat it dry and generously apply the espresso brisket rub, and let it sit on the counter.
- Turn on your smoker and get it to a steady temperature of 185°F
- At 11 pm the night before you plan to eat the brisket (for dinner), insert your meat probe and place your brisket on the smoker for the next 7-8 hours
- When your brisket reaches an internal temperature of 155°F (approx 7-8 hours into the cook or 7 am), it’s time to wrap it in butcher paper
- Remove the smoked brisket from the smoker, remove the meat probe, wrap your smoked brisket in butcher paper, re-insert the meat probe, then place your wrapped brisket onto the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet with brisket back on the smoker and increase the temperature to 225°F
- When your brisket reaches an internal temperature of 190°F (approx 4 hours later), increase the temperature of the smoker to 275°F
- When your brisket reaches an internal temperature of 202°F, it’s done. Remove it from the smoker, place the baking sheet and brisket into a cooler, cover the brisket with an old beach towel and let your brisket rest for 1-3 hours (minimum 1 hour).
- Once you’re ready to serve your brisket, cut it in half, separating the point (the thick part) from the flat (the thin part)
- Continue cutting the flat with the same original cutline (against the grain), then turn your point 90° from your original cut line and cut it against the grain as well
- Crack a beer, check out that smoke ring, realize you just smoked a massive piece of meat perfectly, take a standard smoked brisket photo, and yell ‘come and get it’
BBQ Hero Tip: Make sure you choose good quality brisket. It may be a little more expensive but it’s worth it. Lower quality brisket will be full of fatty chunks and less actual meat.