The Best Smoked Brisket Recipe


Smoking brisket is an art form that requires time, patience, and a good recipe. I made my first smoked brisket, and it was amazing!

When done right, smoked brisket is a tender, juicy, and flavorful piece of meat that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Today, I am sharing everything you need about smoked brisket, including the best recipe.

Grilling a smoked brisket with a homemade rub.
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Smoked Brisket

Making smoked brisket sandwiches with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

Smoked brisket is extremely popular due to its rich flavor, tender texture, versatility, social experience, and cultural significance. The slow cooking infuses the meat with smoky, savory flavors while breaking down tough collagen for a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Today I will take you through the steps of smoking brisket using a mouthwatering recipe so get ready to embark on a flavor-filled journey that will elevate your BBQ skills to new heights!

Preparing the Brisket

Making smoked brisket with a homemade rub.

Before we delve into the smoking process, it’s essential to prepare the brisket properly. Select a high-quality 8-10 pound beef brisket, preferably a packer cut. Trim any excess fat, leaving a thin layer for added flavor.

In a bowl, combine kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, dried thyme, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper to create a flavorful rub. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the brisket, ensuring every inch is covered.

For maximum flavor infusion, refrigerate the seasoned brisket for at least 8 hours or overnight.

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Preparing the Smoker

Grilling a smoked brisket with a homemade rub.

An adequately prepared smoker is essential for achieving a perfectly smoked brisket. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up your smoker and maintain a consistent temperature of around 225-250°F (107-121°C) throughout the cooking process. To infuse your brisket with a delightful smoky flavor, soak wood chips or chunks, such as oak or hickory, in water for 30 minutes before smoking. Drain the wood and place it in the smoker box or directly on the charcoal.

We have a Big Green Egg Smoker and a Pellet Grill. Since we were at the beach, I chose to use our pellet grill. Of course, you can use any smoker.

Smoking the Brisket

Grilling a smoked brisket with a homemade rub.

Now comes the exciting part—smoking the brisket! Place the seasoned brisket, fat side up, on the smoker grates. Close the lid and let the magic begin.

It’s crucial to maintain a steady smoke, so periodically replenish the wood chips or chunks as needed.

What’s the Best Internal Temp for Smoked Brisket?

Grilling a smoked brisket with a homemade rub.

The general rule is to smoke the brisket for 1.5 to 2 hours per pound of meat. However, keep in mind that smoking times may vary, and the accurate indicator of doneness is the internal temperature. For a perfectly tender brisket, aim for an internal temperature of around 195-203°F (90-95°C).

I took mine out at 203°F but next time I will take it out at 195°F.

If you don’t have an internal temperature probe with your grill, I recommend these thermometers. My favorite thermometer is the Meater. Click on the link and see what it does!

Resting and Slicing

Grilling a smoked brisket with a homemade rub.

Once your brisket reaches the desired internal temperature, carefully remove it from the smoker. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil to allow the juices to redistribute, and let it rest for at least 1 hour.

This resting period is crucial to ensure maximum tenderness and flavor. After the rest, it’s time to unleash the mouthwatering goodness!

Slice the brisket against the grain into thin slices. Slicing against the grain helps break up the meat’s muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender bite. Your patience and dedication will reward you with a succulent brisket ready to be savored.

Sliced smoked brisket with a homemade rub.

How to Cook Smoked Brisket

Making smoked brisket sandwiches with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

My recipe includes directions on preparing the Smoked Brisket in the oven and on a grill.

Yield: 6 servings

The Best Smoked Brisket

Grilling a smoked brisket with a homemade rub.

Beef brisket is a delicious cut of meat that can be prepared in various ways. Here's a classic recipe for oven-roasted beef brisket. Enjoy the succulent and smoky flavors of your homemade smoked brisket, prepared on the grill (or in the oven) with a delightful blend of seasonings and a touch of barbecue sauce.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes


  • 4-5 pounds beef brisket
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce


How to Smoke Brisket on the Grill

Prepare the Brisket:

    • In a small bowl, combine the kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if using). This will be the dry rub for the brisket.
    • Pat the brisket dry with paper towels. Rub the dry rub mixture all over the brisket, making sure to coat it evenly. Let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

    Preheat the Grill:

    • Prepare your grill for indirect heat. If using a charcoal grill, bank the coals to one side. If using a gas grill, preheat one side on high and leave the other side off.

    Smoking the Brisket:

    • In a large skillet or pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and minced garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
    • Place the brisket on the cool side of the grill, fat side up. Scatter the sautéed onions and garlic over the top of the brisket.
    • Close the grill lid and maintain a steady temperature around 225-250°F (107-121°C). Adjust the vents or burner settings as needed to maintain the temperature.
    • Smoke the brisket for about 1.5 to 2 hours per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches around 195-203°F (90-95°C). Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the thickest part of the meat, avoiding contact with bone.
    • In a heatproof pan or foil tray, pour the beef broth into the bottom. Carefully transfer the brisket to the pan or tray, placing it fat side up. Cover tightly with foil.
    • Return the pan or tray to the grill and continue smoking for an additional 1-2 hours or until the brisket is tender and easily pulls apart.

    Rest and Serve:

    • Remove the brisket from the grill and let it rest, still covered in foil, for about 30 minutes to an hour. This allows the juices to redistribute within the meat.
    • Carefully uncover the brisket and transfer it to a cutting board. Slice against the grain into thin or thick slices, according to your preference.
    • Serve the smoked brisket with a drizzle of barbecue sauce and your favorite sides such as coleslaw, cornbread, or roasted vegetables.
    How to cook brisket in the oven
    1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
    2. In a small bowl, combine the kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if using) to make a spice rub.
    3. Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket, ensuring it is evenly coated.
    4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the brisket on all sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the brisket and set it aside.
    5. In the same pot, sauté the sliced onion and minced garlic until they become translucent and fragrant.
    6. Place the brisket back into the pot, fat side up, and pour in the beef broth. The liquid should come up about halfway to the sides of the brisket.
    7. Cover the pot with a lid and transfer it to the preheated oven. Slow-cook the brisket for about 4-5 hours or until it becomes tender and easily pulls apart.
    8. Remove the pot from the oven and carefully transfer the brisket to a cutting board. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
    9. While the brisket rests, strain the cooking liquid from the pot into a separate container. Skim off any excess fat.
    10. Slice the brisket against the grain into thin slices.
    11. Return the sliced brisket to the pot and pour in the barbecue sauce. Mix well to coat the slices evenly.
    12. Heat the pot on the stovetop over low heat until the brisket is heated through and the sauce is simmering.
    13. Serve the delicious beef brisket slices with a flavorful sauce. It pairs well with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a side of coleslaw.

How to Serve the Smoked Brisket

Making smoked brisket sandwiches with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

There are several delicious and popular options when it comes to serving smoked brisket. Here are a few serving suggestions:

My Favorite Brisket Sandwiches

  • Slice the smoked brisket into slightly thicker slices to maintain its moisture.
  • Toast some soft hamburger buns or rolls to add a nice texture to the sandwich.
  • Place a generous amount of sliced brisket onto the bun.
  • Serve with your choice of condiments, such as BBQ sauce, pickles, coleslaw, sliced onions, or jalapeños for a bit of heat.
  • Add melted cheese or a fried egg for extra richness and flavor if desired.

Brisket Platter

  • Slice the smoked brisket against the grain into thin, juicy slices.
  • Arrange the slices on a platter to showcase their beautiful, smoky appearance.
  • Serve the brisket as the centerpiece of the platter, allowing guests to help themselves to the slices.
  • Accompany the brisket with various BBQ sauces or condiments on the side, such as tangy mustard-based sauce, spicy barbecue sauce, or homemade chimichurri for added flavor.

Brisket Tacos

  • Slice the smoked brisket into small, bite-sized pieces.
  • Warm up some corn or flour tortillas on a skillet or grill.
  • Fill the tortillas with the tender brisket slices.
  • Top with fresh toppings like diced onions, cilantro, lime juice, and a crumbled queso fresco or grated cheese.
  • For a zesty kick, serve alongside your favorite salsa, guacamole, or hot sauce.

With this ultimate guide, you’ve learned how to prepare the brisket, set up the smoker, smoke the meat to perfection, and slice it like a pro.

Remember, smoking brisket is an art that requires practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t turn out exactly as planned. Keep experimenting, honing your skills, and enjoying the delicious rewards of your labor.

Get ready to impress family and friends with your newfound BBQ expertise!

More Summer Barbeque Recipes

I joined some of my favorite bloggers who shared their favorite BBQ recipes!

Grilled Peaches with Burrata, Honey, and Pistachios | My Sweet Savannah

This is the ultimate summer appetizer, which combines juicy peaches with soft burrata and crunchy pistachios!

Flavorful Warm Potato Salad Recipe | Twelve on Main

Crispy warm potatoes, fresh herbs of chive and green onion, and a flavourful zesty dressing round out this amazing warm potato salad. It is the perfect side for any barbecue!

Grilled Stone Fruit Salad | Happy Happy Nester

Here’s an easy summer Grilled Stone Fruit Salad Recipe. This delightful fruit salad is a fusion of juicy grilled peaches and various summer fruits loaded with berries, cherries, and more. This fruit salad with a twist is topped off with creamy burrata cheese and drizzled with sweet honey.

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders Recipe | Eleanor Rose Home

Tender, slow-cooked pulled pork is drenched in BBQ sauce and served between toasted buns for an irresistible flavor. Simple, versatile, and utterly delicious, this recipe will be a hit at your summer cookouts and barbecues!

Carne Asada Street Tacos | Most Lovely Things

We made Carne Asada Street Tacos to remember our summers in Dana Point, CA. Every Friday, we surfed until dark and stopped at a little taco stand on PCH on our way home.

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Making smoked brisket sandwiches with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

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  1. Leslie! This looks so yummy! Can you believe I’ve never made a brisket? Can’t wait to try your recipe!

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