Amazingly Tender Smoked Brisket

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Amazingly Tender Smoked Brisket

If I had a dollar for every person who has told me they are intimidated by brisket then I would be quite well off and while I do have to admit that tender smoked brisket is definitely something that requires some knowledge, skill, and a little practice to get the hang of, don't let it intimidate you into not trying it.

As everyone knows, there are no rules when it comes to barbecue and smoking meat. There are many methods that folks use to end up with the results that they like.

I have mostly smoked briskets at around 225-240°F and even done them on high heat a few times to get them done fast but over the last few weeks, I have received a few emails implying that the best way to cook brisket is to turn down the heat to around 200 degrees and to use foil to end up with a tender juicy brisket that would make a Texan proud.

I did not follow the prescribed method without making a few changes but I did slow things way down, used an injection to add a lot of juice to the equation and I allowed it to rest for a full 2 hours.

This 16 lb brisket literally fell apart and was very moist and juicy. It was so tender that I wasn't even able to make burnt ends out of the point!

Only follow this method to the letter if you are tired of tough, not-all-that-good, brisket!

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 Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 22 hours 30 minutes | Smoker Temp: 200°F | Meat Finish Temp: 200°F | Recommended Wood: Oak

What You'll Need
Inject the Brisket

I don't inject every brisket that I cook but I figure it can't hurt anything and since we are aiming for the juiciest and most tender smoked brisket known to man, let's just do it!

To make the injection marinade, I run some of my original rub (purchase recipes here) through a coffee grinder to “powder” it real fine. I then mix about 3 tablespoons of this ground rub with about 14 oz of beef broth.

I usually place the 3 tablespoons of ground rub into a pint jar then fill it the rest of the way with beef broth. Stir often while using to keep it mixed up.

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Place the brisket fat side down in a foil pan to catch the juice that runs off.

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Fill the meat injector with the injection marinade and inject the marinade into the brisket about every 2 inches or so in a grid pattern.

Some people will tell you how many ounces to inject but my method is to inject in each spot until it squirts out then move to the next one. I do recommend that you wear an apron and perhaps a face mask as it can get messy.

Push the injector into the meat at an angle (45 degrees or so) and depress the plunger as you slowly pull the injector out.

If the plunger won't push in then you have a clog and you'll need to clear it before moving on. This should not be a problem if you grind the rub really fine.

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Season the Brisket Generously

When you are finished injecting the brisket it is time to season the outside of the brisket generously with my original rub (purchase recipes here).

In times past, I have recommended placing rub on the top, bottom and sides of the brisket and even scoring the fat so the rub can get down to the meat but on this one, I will just season the top side (meat only side) since it will be sitting in juices and the rub would just wash off of the bottom and sides.

The top of the brisket will be wet from the injection marinade and so I don't think it's necessary to add mustard to help the rub to stick. Feel free to do this if you like but I chose to skip that step.

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After about 10 minutes, the rub will start to get a wet look as it absorbs the juices on the outside of the brisket.

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Get the Smoker Ready

I say this often but it bears repeating and especially for those who are new to the newsletter and smoking:

You can use ANY smoker for my smoking instructions whether it is electric, gas, charcoal or wood.

A smoker, in its' most basic form, is simply a heat source with wood smoke. I use all kinds and I get very good results regardless of the heat source and so can you.

If someone ever tells you that you are not really smoking meat properly unless you are using a stick burner (an all wood smoker) then realize that you have just met a smoker snob and they will probably be of no use to you in your learning.

There will always be those who feel that it has to be their way or no way and this just simply isn't true when it comes to smoking meat.

You can carry your kitchen oven out to the yard, place some wood chips over the heating element or the burner and you will have a smoker. Your spouse or house mates may not appreciate it but you get my point;-)

As long as you maintain a proper heat and there is wood smoke, you CAN smoke meat and make it taste really good!

Whatever smoker you happen to have must be setup for smoking low and slow. In this set of brisket instructions, I recommend maintaining around 200 degrees and using oak wood if you have it.

If you do not have oak and can't find it, any good robust hardwood fit for smoking will work such as hickory, mesquite, pecan or even fruit woods like cherry or apple.

Also, if your smoker will not maintain a heat as low as 200 degrees then you will have to just cook it as low as you can. The recipe will work but it will probably get done faster than mine did.

Once your smoker is maintaining 200 degrees, you are ready to place the brisket in the smoker.

Smoke the Brisket

Place the brisket directly on the smoker grate with the fat side down.

Maintain 200°F throughout and keep the smoke going for at least 6 hours if you are not using a stick burner.

If you have a water pan, use it.

If your smoker does not have a water pan, you can either not worry about it or you can place a metal pan of water next to the area where the heat enters the smoke chamber or on a lower grate over the heat.

Leave the brisket alone and keep the door/lid closed as much as possible during the cooking time so as to not lose any heat and further prolong the cooking time.

Once the brisket has cooked for about 6-8 hours, put about 1 cup of beef broth and a few tablespoons of my original rub (purchase recipes here) in a foil pan.

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Place the brisket fat side down in the pan and cover it with foil to allow it to continue cooking while the steam inside the pan tenderizes it.

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If you have a digital probe meat thermometer, be sure to place it in the brisket just before you cover it with foil so you can know what's going on in the pan temperature wise.

A Few Words on Thermometers

If you do not have a digital probe meat thermometer then you are really missing out on a tool that will change the way you cook. If you can swing it, get a remote version such as the Smoke so you can carry the receiver with you around the yard and even into the house and you can do other equally important things and still know what is going on in the smoker.

The (2) thermometers that I use are the “Smoke” by Thermoworks that I just mentioned and, of course, my handy dandy Thermapen which I have discovered I can't live without.

2 great tools for the serious smokers!

Finishing Up the Brisket

The brisket is done and only done when it reaches 195-200°F. With large cuts like brisket, the “safe-to-eat” temperature is not the same as the finish temperature. It is safe to eat early on in the game but it will be as tough as shoe leather unless you let it reach that 195-200°F mark in temperature.

We use 1.5 hours per pound to estimate how long it will take but that is as far as we go with time.

Once the cooking begins, it is all about the temperature.

Once the brisket reaches 195°F, poke it with a toothpick or other thin, sharp object of a similar size and it should have little to no resistance. If it does, let it cook another 30 minutes and check it again. Repeat if necessary.

Once it is finished cooking, it is time to let it rest and finish tenderizing.

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Rest the Brisket in a Cooler

This is a very important step in my opinion. Take an empty ice chest and line the bottom with heavy duty foil.

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Place the smoked brisket into the cooler and and fold the foil down onto and around the brisket. Place another piece of foil over the top of the brisket to cover it.

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Place thick towels into the cooler to fill in any remaining space and close the lid.

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Let the brisket rest in this configuration for about 2 hours.

Saving the Juice is Optional but Recommended

I like to save the juice, defat it and then use it to juice the meat back up when reheating the brisket but that is entirely up to you.

Pour the juices into a quart jar and notice how the fats float to the top.

Place the jar in the fridge and once the fat at the top goes solid, it can be scooped out and discarded leaving you with wonderfully tasty brisket juice.

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Slicing the Brisket

Once the smoked brisket is finished resting, carefully remove it from the cooler and place it on the cutting board or countertop. Be very careful or it may try to fall apart on you like mine did.

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You will notice that part of the brisket is more flat and meatier (the flat) while the other side is much larger and contains more fat (the point).

I like to just start slicing the flat across the grain until I get about half way to the other side. The fattier side is usually made into burnt ends rather than slicing.

Cut the flat into thick slices across the grain using a very sharp knife. As you can see, this was so tender, slicing it was all but impossible and much of it fell apart and become pulled brisket rather than sliced brisket.

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Serve the brisket with some of my original barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) on the side and enjoy!!

I hope you have enjoyed these instructions on how to create an amazingly tender smoked brisket and I sincerely believe that if you will forget about the time and just follow these instructions to the letter, you will amaze yourself and your friends at how easy it is to turn out the best smoked brisket you have ever tasted.

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2018-06-14T03:34:29+00:00 By |58 Comments

About the Author:

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

58 Comments

  1. Kevin June 30, 2016 at 9:44 am - Reply

    this calls for a 16lb untrimmed brisket. Will it work with a 6.5lb trimmed brisket?

  2. Lisa Gaines February 25, 2016 at 8:45 am - Reply

    This is an amazing recipe. I am a total novice at smoking. My son had recently had a fabulous brisket sandwich from a popular restaurant in our area. He wanted my to try smoking one for his birthday. I had purchased Jeff’s rub /sauce previously so I turned to his recipes for brisket.

    Needless to say It was delicious. My son said it was better than he sandwich he had eaten. I believe him because I really do not think it could have been better.

    I only had a 10b brisket but following his directions it was perfect. I used his cooking times as a reference and adjusted based on my smoker. The 1.5 hrs per pound was really close. Keep the strained broth to store leftovers and reheating. It didn’t last long.

    Good Job Jeff!

  3. James October 20, 2015 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    I have an old New Braunfels smoker with a rusted out fire box. I recently purchased a Oklahoma Joe’s smoker that had some minor pieces missing. I removed the chimney from the O.Joe’s and opened up the hole to mach the opening on the N.Braunfels upright box. I hung the brisket, as I’d done with the original N.Braunfels smoker, using a couple of steel rods. The results were the same. After 22 hours the brisket was as tender as could be. My wife has developed a great rub for it and we leave it in the fridge for 3 days before smoking it. The fat tenderizes it very well with it hanging. Kept the temp around 200`

  4. Jason September 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Question: your instructions say 1.5 hours per pound. If I am smoking two briskest, one being 9 pounds and the other 7 pounds how do I calculate the time? Do I go off the biggest sized brisket or add the two and go off that total?

  5. Greg johnson July 25, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    I had a 5lb flat brisket and I followed the directions. I smoked for 6 hours @200 then covered with tin foil and coif for an additional 3 hours till the meat reached 200. I let it set for 2 hours and I could not cut it because it was falling apart. This was the first brisket that I had cooked. I will do this again and again.

  6. Roger Ott June 4, 2015 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Tried this Recipe, all I can say is OMG !!!!! It’s gotta be the “best” no it IS the”best” Brisket I’ve ever had!!!! The flavor was out of this world & it was Oh-So tender !!!! Great job Jeff!!!!!

  7. Mike Baxter May 23, 2015 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    Just purchased your rub and im excited to try my first brisket ill throw it in my new smoker tomorrow morning…

  8. Kate H May 11, 2015 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Hi Jeff… WOW… !! thankyou so much for this post . So, I have had some successes and a couple of fails smoking briskets, but decided to go the whole hog this time with a 5.5kg whole grass fed packer.
    I followed your instructions, including the broth injection and 16 hours later we had the most perfect piece of brisket I have ever eaten. I started it at 4am and we ate at 8pm. that included a 2 hour rest in a well insulated cooler after it hit an internal temp of 203 degs. Hickory and mesquite were used with a Hark propane smoker and the results were out of this world with the most tender, smokey, flavoursome meat ever. I confess there was a whole degree of trepidation before I started the cook, but the sense of achievement way makes up for that! I cant wait to try more of your recipes and the rub and sauce are just fabulous! 🙂

  9. Greg April 8, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

    I used your method last week smoking a brisket for our Pre-Easter party. Smoked it on my Memphis Pro Grill for about 8 hours I enhance the smoke on this grill by using an Amazn Smoke Tub for about 6 hours. After 8 hours I put in in the foil pan with a cup of beef broth. Put it back on the grill @200 for what seemed like forever. During the cooking process my grill quit and I thought I had ruined it because the temp dropped down to 130 degrees, I didn’t wake up to check soon enough. Determined not to loose a 16 lb brisket I took it and finished in the oven @210 degrees and the put it in the cooler to rest while awaiting dinner time about 4 hrs. It had an internal temp of 160 degrees when I pulled it out of the cooler and it almost fell in half because it was soo tender. I sliced it against the grain and due to the tenderness it basically fell apart, I could have sliced it with the grain and it would have been easier to keep it on a bun and it still would have melted in your mouth. This method is the best if you want a super tender brisket!
    Thanks for the recipe Jeff!
    Greg

  10. FlyaBus March 21, 2015 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Kudos to you for this method!

    We prepared a seven pound flat today… Prepped per your instructions with broth and your rub. Smoked for eight hours in MES and Amazen smoker full of their “Pit master’s Choice” pellets.

    Once in the covered foil pan, I transferred it to the oven at 220 degrees. In total, it took 15 hours of heat to reach 200.

    Rested for two hours and sliced. It was perfect. Thanks!!

  11. Brent November 23, 2014 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Getting rady to try this with a 7lb brisket. Nowhere near as big as the 16lb one described in this recipe. When should I switch it from The grill into the pan with foil on top? When it reaches a certain temperature (some say 180F) or one third of the way into the 1.5 hours per pound?

    Also, why fat side down initially when all other recipes are fat cap up?

    • Tsycho August 5, 2016 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      NEVER cook a brisket flat over 180 degrees!!!

      • Jeff Phillips August 7, 2016 at 12:25 am - Reply

        Are you referring to the pit temperature or the internal meat temperature? I cook briskets at around 225-240°F and cook them until they are tender which is usually an internal meat temperature of 195-200°F and sometimes even a little higher if needed.

  12. David September 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    I just tried this, and all I can say is “WOW!”

    This was my second attempt at brisket. The first was a disaster!

    The only thing I will change next time is 7 hours of smoke rather than 6.

    I can’t wait to do another one!!!

    Thanks Jeff!!!

    David

  13. Jeff July 20, 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    I tried this method today and I’m very disappointed. Believe me, the problem is me, not the method. The brisket I cooked was very small (2.5 lbs). Didn’t figure it would take nearly as long as the times you described above. I had a little trouble maintaining 200 degrees….kept bouncing up and down. Anyway, after about 2.5 hours, I put the brisket in the beef stock and inserted the meat probe thermometer. Initial reading was around 163, but dropped to as low as 151 before it started climbing again. I think it was about 1.5 hours before I hit 200.
    I did the toothpick test and it seemed a little firm, so I cooked it for another thirty minutes. I thought it was good to go at that point, so I began the resting process.
    I let it rest for about an hour. I wasn’t super tender and was a little dry. Any thoughts on where I went wrong?

    • Jeff July 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      I should have said that it was a small brisket flat, not the entire brisket. Maybe this wasn’t the right method for that cut of meat.

  14. Tim Stepanski July 15, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    The wife of my pastor has asked me to do this for a small surprise party for him. She bought the meat before I had the opportunity to talk to her. She purchased two 3 pound briskets. Will this method work for such a small brisket? Obviously I would cut the times down and rely on my thermometer more.

    • Tim Stepanski July 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Just an updated – I had no response so I went ahead and used this method for the small briskets. I placed them side by side on my Chargriller and followed jeff’s instructions exactly as written. This is the first time I smoked a brisket and was quite nervous about it. They turned out great! I was very suprised at how tender they were and the beautiful smoke ring it had.

      • Jeff July 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply

        Can I ask what your smoking times were? I tried on a 2.5 lb brisket flat and it was a little dry and firm. I didn’t let it rest for the full two hours. Could that be the problem?

        • Tim July 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm - Reply

          It took about 3.5 hours for it to get to 140. Then I removed and put it in the foil pan with the broth. Mine immediately dropped in temperature as yours did, but I allowed it to sit. It took another 3.5 hours to get to 180. At that point (primarily out of being tired) I took the briskets out and placed back on the grill. It took about 40 minutes for it to rise to 195. I did wrap it in foil and placed in the cooler but only had it in there for 1.5 hours. It was a long day but the response I had was wonderful. I am just learning how to smoke and still struggling with keeping a consistent temperature but was able to stay in a range of 190-210.

          • Jeff July 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

            Thanks for the response. I’m new to all this, too. Still have trouble maintaining consistant temps, too. Most of the meats I’ve cook have turned out good, though.

  15. Sean April 26, 2014 at 2:59 am - Reply

    I use to think I was pretty good at grilling until my birthday last year, when my wife bought me a gas grill with an attached fire box. That is when I realized that I had a few things to learn. I started off with ribs then moved to a full chicken, a ham and then a 20 lb turkey. I even smoked a meatloaf.

    Everywhere I look, I see that the brisket is the most feared meat to smoke. I say, Bring it on!. I am going to smoke my first brisket later on tonight and I plan on using your instructions to do so. It’s only a 1.5 pound brisket but, I have confidence I can make adjustments.

    I am really looking forward to smoking my first brisket with the guidance that you are selflessly giving us. I will be sure to let you know what my wife says after I put my meat in her mouth. 🙂

  16. Phillip Kenney April 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Recipe sounds excellent. Two questions, if I cook a n 8lb brisket what would the cooking times be, for smoking and then covered in the pan? Recent price around here for brisket is $5.57 a lb. I’d need a mortgage for a 16 pounder.
    Second since the last part of the cooking is done in a covered pan couldn’t it be done in an oven \?

    • dean May 5, 2014 at 1:03 am - Reply

      There’s a good chance that a 8 pound brisket will cook in about the same time as a 16 pounder. Time will be a function of the thickness of the cut of meat, that is, how many inches of meat does the heat need to migrate through in order to heat the core. But with briskets, as well as most other cuts, it’s always better to go by temperature rather than a time estimate.

      The second part of the cooking could be done in an oven, and I have seen Jeff recommend that as an option with other recipes. But again, use a thermometer with the oven first to be certain it is calibrated correctly and also to monitor your brisket’s progress.

  17. Michael Kelly April 19, 2014 at 11:17 am - Reply

    hasoun miriaze,
    Everyone likes their brisket different. As you may say he’s wrong, we may say your wrong. Perhaps, your mother didn’t teach you of you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything. Happy Smoking!

  18. Bill April 18, 2014 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I use this method on my xlarge green egg and it is wonderful. Wife bought me the temp controller with the meat thermometer and its so easy I feel like I’m cheating. Light fire, program 200 degrees for cooker and 194 for meat then go to sleep. Cooking for 18 women bikers staying in our Port Cottages in PSJ next weekend!

  19. chuck April 17, 2014 at 8:39 am - Reply

    I have an offset smoker that I generally use charcoal and hunks of wood. Regarding your brisket above, how would I maintain 200 degrees for 22 hours? That seems like a lot of attention to maintain that heat for so long. Also, would it not be done in 8-10 hours?

  20. Derek January 6, 2014 at 11:46 am - Reply

    I used this method on new years day and it was great. 22 in weber SM 200 for 16 hours. I use an iq110 which really helps keep tje temp stable. Stubbs briquettes mixed with royal oak lump charcoal. Best brisket yet. 

  21. Art December 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Soak wood chips or use dry?

    • Jeff Phillips December 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm - Reply

      I always use (and recommend using) wood chips completely dry.

  22. John December 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    I have a 7 pound one how long should I smoke it for before I put it in the pan with the beef stock ?

  23. hasoun miriaze December 2, 2013 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Dont mean to sound disrespecting to a fellow smoker but that brisket looks extremely overdone. You should be able to cut it about a pencils thickness without it falling apart. You shouldnt be teaching people bad habits right from the start!

  24. Jeff November 27, 2013 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Just did my first brisket today and followed this method.  Awesome!   Super tender, juicy and very flavorful.  Thanks for the great recipe!

     

  25. rob October 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    I smoked mine for 4 hours at 230 degrees.  Then finished it in the oven wrapped in foil at 220 degrees until meat hit 195 degrees.  Used your cooler idea for resting meat.  It wast was superb.

  26. Lorenzo September 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    I just bought your rub and sauce recipe!!  Im gonna try them out on a brisket.  Which method do yu recommend using to smoke the brisket?  The burnt end method or the one with keeping the smoker at 200?  I do want to have burnt ends to snack on at the end?  Wish me luck!

  27. Alan A September 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Jeff:

    Party of 12 this last weekend… 10lb brisket…followed your directions to the letter…. It was according to everybody…the best darn brisket they ever had… No leftovers….bam….that says it all…Thank You….

  28. Amanda August 31, 2013 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    What are your thoughts on trimming a brisket before it is smoked? My husband and I will be trying this method and possibly your sauce and rub recipe!

  29. Sandra August 31, 2013 at 8:09 am - Reply

    I have an 8 pound brisket that I am defrosting … how would you adjust your cooking times for that size?  I see your times are for a 16 pound brisket.  Thanks

  30. Ty Bramble August 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Jeff,

     I tried this, and hands down the best Brisket ever. I use a Traeger Texas with a Smoke Daddy cold smoke generator. Smoked it for 8 hours at about 170 to 180 and then 225 for about 6 hours. So moist and everyone in the family loved the flavor. Thanks alot for the newsletters i use them all the time.

  31. Tom August 25, 2013 at 8:04 am - Reply

    I have always failed at brisket.  I had a 4 pound one and tried to follow your method faithfully, with a few deviations.  Start at 5:00 am after applying rub night before. Seven hours smoke at 200+/-  Wrap and heat six hours in kitchen oven at 205-215.   Cook to 201. Rest in towels and insulated bag 1.5 hours.  Cut and serve with sauce on side.  It was breathtakingly awesome and oh so tender. (but not fall aparty)  I took an experimental risk and wrapped entirely in plastic wrap in lieu of foil because of the low temp and my stinginess.  Plastic wrap worked great.  Thanks for leading me to the promised land.

  32. LORENZO August 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    DOES YOUR BOOK HAVE YOUR RUB RECIPES OR DO WE HAVE TO PURCHASE THEM ALSO?

    • Jeff Phillips August 21, 2013 at 11:19 am - Reply

      Lorenzo, there are some rub, sauce and marinade recipes in the book as well a my very own version of a Cuban mojo, but the recipes for the rub and sauce that I sell on the website and in the newsletter are not included in that mix. We have opted to keep them separate and sell them as stand-alone items.

      Let me know if you have further questions about this.

  33. Chris August 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    THIS WORKS!  I have been a backyard BBQ guy for 20+ years and never really figured out how to make that perfect Brisket. Odd thing is I bought a new smoker last week and everything said to start easy (pork butt etc.) But family wanted a Brisket. So I dug in. Seasoned the new grill last week. Actually had a quick trip to Texas mid week and came across someone with a PILE of mesquite and oak. Loaded up and came back dreaming of trying this process, with hesitation I might add. I tried to follow to the letter but……with a new grill….nver know how to regulate temp. DID NOT MATTER! I started at 6pm Friday…slept 2 hrs at a time on the couch and found the  new grill shot up and down (Peaked at 350 and dropped to 170 at times). Thougnth I ruined the Brisket. As it turned out, I don't thing the tempurature control matters near as much. I ran good constant smoke, except when temp spikes, and adjusted as needed. End of story, the process in this article is excellent, but no need to stress over spikes in heat (get some smoking sleep). I feel the process of covering the meat and letting it continue in a shallow pool of juice is the key, then sitting in the cooler is really all that needs te most attention. Low and slow works! No question. Best Brisket ever!  REALLY!

     

  34. Goat August 10, 2013 at 10:34 am - Reply

    just put my rub on my brisket. I will be starting @ 6am tomarrow. wish me luck.

    Happy smoking

  35. Dennnis D August 9, 2013 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Jeff, I tried smoking a briskett for the first time last weekend.  I used your instructions for a fast smoke.  It worked great.  My family loves briskett, and have declared this is the new standard for them! 

    thanks,

    Dennis

  36. Alex Zielinski August 5, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Do you have any recommendations on brands of injectors?

    Love your newsletters.

    Thanks,

    Alex

  37. Richard Hyman August 2, 2013 at 5:04 am - Reply

    Could you cold smoke the brisket first?  Also are all your temperatures in Farenheit?

     

    Thanks

    Richard

    • Jeff Phillips August 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      You can definitely cold smoke the brisket if you prefer but I also recommend smoking it as it cooks if possible. I do understand that some folks are limited by their equipment, time, etc. so you just have to do the best you can.

      Yes, All of my temperatures are in Farenheit.

  38. jeff chan August 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    I've always cooked the brisket (and pretty much every other cut of meat with a fat cap) with the fat side up.  However, in this recipe, you've got the fat side down.  Why the change?  Thanks.

    Jeff

    • Jeff Phillips August 1, 2013 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      I am always looking to learn something new and perhaps improve my methods so I’ll try anything and see if it works. This very slow method of cooking a brisket was recommended to me as well as cooking it fat side down.

      I am not sure that it makes a big difference and I certainly could not tell that it helped or hurt the juiciness or flavor of the brisket but it does keep the rubbed side of the meat up out of the juices so that it is not disturbed.

      • Dave Gilley August 8, 2013 at 11:54 am - Reply

        I like the idea of keeping the rub out of the juices, leaving it to possilby be better assorbed into the meat.  Certainly worth a try.

  39. Jim August 1, 2013 at 8:24 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    I have smoked a few briskets and had successes and failures. I want more successes! Your recipe this morning looks great and I am going to try it soon. A couple of questions. I noticed you said to cook fat side down. Is that a standard rule? I have always cooked them fat side up, and frankly a couple of time I thought the brisket tasted a little greasy. But intuition tells me to allow the juice form the fat to flow down. Another question. On a large brisket like a 15-16 pounder, How long do you actually use smoke? This recipe would require smoking overnight. Does using smoke for a few hours and having a water pan in my electric smoker mean I can sleep all night? Thanks

    • Jeff Phillips August 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      I usually do fat side up as well but in trying to stay somewhat true to the method, I went fat side down on this one. You will find folks on both sides of the aisle on that issue.

      I like to add smoke for 6 to 8 hours if possible so you could start early enough to get your smoke time in then it can cook all alone for a while while you catch some winks. You may want to check it every few hours at least to top off the water depending on how long it takes for the water to get used up in your smoker.

      • Jim August 1, 2013 at 11:38 pm - Reply

        Thanks!

      • Clint June 30, 2014 at 4:38 am - Reply

        Hello Jeff,

        I’m trying this in a Bradley Smoker and require a small clarification with regards to the amount of smoking.

        Since this type of smoker has 2 independent digital controls (its internal heating and smoking element) does this mean that the duration of oak smoking is the same as the duration of cooking? i.e. smoke from start to finish.

        Thanks in advance.

        • Jeff Phillips July 2, 2014 at 11:29 pm - Reply

          They are independent of each other to allow you to have (2) completely separate settings. I usually recommend adding smoke for at least half of the estimated cook time but it’s never out of the question to keep the smoke going the entire time.

          I usually make the 2 times match when I am cooking.. but then I like a lot of smoke flavor. If you want only a light smoke, you might set the smoke time for only an hour or so while the cooking time might be 3 or more hours.

          It really depends on how much smoke flavor you want to add.

          The cook time I usually recommend is an estimate but it would be the time setting for the main heat control.

      • Tsycho August 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm - Reply

        Fat side goes towards the heat source. on most all electric smokers, and reverse draw smokers the heat source is on the bottom, and thus the direction to face the fat cap. On most casket cookers (Pitmakers), and old school offset stick burners, the heat and smoke go to the top and pack downwards and thus fat cap up.

        • Jeff Phillips August 7, 2016 at 12:19 am - Reply

          Tsycho, always tell folks that this is the way that YOU do it rather than implying that your way is the only way (which isn’t so).

          You have a method that apparently works for you and I appreciate you sharing it.. just realize that there are other methods that also work;-)

          No rules in true barbecue. However you like it, is the right way to do it;-)

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