Your guide to the ultimate game changer smoked brisket! Skillfully smoked brisket is a beauty in and of itself. The softness of the meat and the combination of the smoked and burnt ends are enough to keep your mouth watered with envy.
The smoky, soft beef slices almost melt in your mouth.
The burnt ends are one of the best barbecue bites. Here is the go-to guide for perfect Smoked Brisket every time. Once you taste it, this can become your favorite dish.
What is Brisket?
Brisket is the cut that derived from the cow’s lower pectoral muscles below the chuck.
Because this area is so well-exercise, since it is the main point of movement for the cow, it produces a tough piece of meat, as well as a lot of connective tissue.
It is genuinely made up of two muscles that overlap: the flat, which is the thinner part of the brisket, and the point, which is the relatively thick and fattier part of the brisket.
How to Buy and Choose a Cut of Brisket?
A brisket typically has two parts called the point and the flat. The flat is a leaner piece of meat also known as the first cut.
The point is the fattiest with a little more marbling throughout the meat and it is also known as the second cut. The entire brisket to include the flat and the point is called a packer, ranging from 10-15 pounds.
So when it comes to choosing which part is the best, it is truly a preference. At your normal grocery store, unless you are familiar with cuts, you will not be able to differentiate.
If you want something specific, I would highly recommend going to a butcher.
Typically, you want to purchase the entire packer (the point and the flat). And if you ask why, my answer is why not.
The more the merrier. Get at least a 12–14-pound cut. But honestly, get what you think is enough for you and your family.
But keep in mind that you’ll be trimming off some of the fat is you get an entire packer, a 12-pound packer is likely to be 10 pounds after trimming and more like 8 pounds after cooking.
How to Trim your Brisket?
We used a little over 6 pounds of brisket for our recipe but also did minimal trimming since it wasn’t as fatty. What you do not want to do is over trimmed your brisket. The fat does help the meat retrain its moisture during cooking.
Since the meat must be cooked for a fairly long period of time in order to breakdown the connective tissues, you want some of that fat to help maintain moisture inside the meat which otherwise will be unpleasantly dry.
First you must choose a cut of meat that has an even amount of marbling throughout the meat. On the top, there will be a fair amount of fat. You can trim that amount to about ⅛ to ¼ of an inch thick.
What you do not want is to have too much fat inside the brisket. So, you may need to trim some of it off as well. Again, keep the same criteria to about ⅛ to ¼ of an inch thick and remove any excess fat.
Steps for a perfect Smoked Brisket
We focus on the following seven steps for a perfect smoked brisket.
Beef briskets are considered one of the primal cut of meats. It’s no surprise that everyone has their choice of what they consider the best part of the brisket whether the 1st or 2ndcut.
All that matters is it starts with quality beef and what’s in that beef. It’s the fat or better known as the marbling throughout the meat. To get that rendering for a juicy tender meat morsel, make sure the brisket you’re buying has marbling of the highest quality you can afford.
Trim the excess fat that will not breakdown before seasoning the meat. Make sure you have a good boning or filet knife on hand. The sharper the better and safer to trim with.
The important thing is to not be afraid to trim yet leave enough to allow for moisture and keep the meat from drying. ⅛ to ¼ inch of fat is enough to keep the maintain moisture.
After trimming, we apply our seasoning. In some instances, some people would add oil to help the seasoning coat, but in our case, there is no need. Follow our seasoning recipe below.
Preheat the smoker to about 225°F to 250°F using both lump charcoal and wood. The ideal temperature for smoking perfect brisket is 225 degrees Fahrenheit to slowly render fat.
It is a little shorter 250, but there is no discernible difference in flavor or texture.
The wrapping period is also important because it is the final stage for the intramuscular fat to render out completely while keeping the moisture within.
It’s time to start exploring your brisker with an instant read thermometer to see if it’s done. When the wrapped brisket reaches around 195 degrees F and you can feel the soft buttery sensation of the meat than it is done.
Make sure the meat does not feel rubbery. When you push your finger into it, it should soak in as if you were sticking your finger in butter. If you get a rubbery feeling than it means that the connective tissues have not fully broken down.
Finally, please allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes after removing it from the smoker.
The most important step after cooking is to slice against the grain of the brisket for the best results. This is especially true for the flat cut because the muscles are oriented differently than the point. Begin by using a long carving knife.
When cooking at 225° Fahrenheit, allow 60 minutes for every pound of smoked brisket, including rest (or hold temperature).
Depending on the size of the cut, the total cooking time can range from 8 to 16 hours. It is normal for the cooking time of each brisket to vary.
Plan 90 minutes per pound at 225°F. Our 6 ½ pound brisket stayed in the smoker for about 10 hours.
Sides to serve with your brisket
Some great sides that we recommend eating with your brisket are listed below:
And if you are interested in a little more substance, we highly recommend the Rice and Beans, the Ghanaian Jollof Rice, or the Dill Rice.
How to Create Burnt Ends?
Before wrapping, remove the point or parts of the point from the brisket. The meat is then cut into cubes, re-season if need be, and returned to the smoker to render out. Yum.
Is it necessary to wrap the brisket while it is smoking?
There is no right or wrong answer here; it is simply a matter of personal preference. If you don’t wrap the brisket, the bark is stronger. That is a fairly popular process.
It is recommended when wrapping that the meat is wrapped in butcher paper, but let’s be honest. How many of us have butcher paper laying around. We opted to wrap ours in aluminum foil. Aluminum does retain heat during cooking as well as protect the meat.
However, we discovered that wrapping is extremely helpful. It is important to note that if you do not wrap the meat, the cooking time may increase by 20-30 minutes per pound.
Best Smoked Brisket Wood
For starters, I highly suggest checking out The Best Woods to Smoke Turkey page. But don’t worry about the turkey in the title, there are some great suggestions about smoking meats in general.
Consider local flavors, another words, work with what you got. In terms of flavor it is truly based on your palate. In terms woods, the most effective are hickory oak, maple and applewood.
The effectiveness is based flavor as well as heat maintenance during smoking. Every wood burns differently which may alter our you smoke your meat.
What to Make With Leftovers?
Well we did not have leftovers. It was all gone. The recipe was made and tested for an actual outing.
But if you do have leftovers, you can make some delicious sandwiches and tacos.
Marinades and injections
Brisket injection is a common technique for producing more flavorful and juicy meat. If injecting the brisket sounds too complicated, you can marinate it instead.
But honestly speaking, if you are injecting your brisket than you did not get a good cut of meat or removed all the fat from it. The correct marbling in your brisket should not require you to inject it.
Most common is marinading overnight in the refrigerator. Let the fat breakdown appropriately to moisturize the meat.
Which Side Up?
We recommend cooking brisket with the fat side up, and here is why:
- Retains moisture: Fat dripping from the cap maintain moisture in the meat rather than going to waste.
- Enhanced flavor: a moist and juicy meat with an abundance of flavor is a lot more enjoyable than a completely dry one.
A single serving of flat cut beef brisket contains several important nutrients.
Brisket provides 14% of your RDA for iron and improves the digestive system’s ability to absorb iron from plant foods.
In addition, brisket also includes 26% of your daily selenium and 20% of your daily phosphorus required.
More Smoked Recipes To Enjoy
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- 6.5 lbs Brisket
- 1 tablespoon coffee grind
- 3 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoon parsley flakes
- 2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle Notes: to spray every hour during smoking
- Start by washing your brisket under cold water and pat dry. In a mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Evenly spread the mixture throughout the brisket. You may rest the brisket in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours.Place brisket in smoker with fat side up and fattier side of brisket towards the fire.
- Smoke at 225 to 250 for 7 hours or until meat is no longer rubbery. In about 4 hours into the smoking process spray your brisket with the vinegar and continue to do so every 45 minutes to an hour. Once your brisket is soft like butter, spray and wrap in aluminum foil or butcher paper and continue to cook for another 3 hours. Once completed, remove from smoker and let rest for 30 minutes before cutting into.
Yummmyyyyyy!!! I made it today and it was superb. Love you both. I took care of all the things you mentioned like the temperature, the sides, the flavor, the slicing, resting, the wood, the seasoning and the leftovers. Yumm!
Thank you, Kate!
Thanks for all the details mentioned. Now i can make this dish without any confusion and doubt. Most of the chefs tell the recipe but they mention these small details for common people. But people have written amazing. God Bless
Thank you, David. God Bless!
What a great recipe. Just one word to say WOW!!
thank you, Heena
Oh my God!!!!
So well written recipe. Sooo soo amazing tips and tricks. You have cleared all my confusion. How to smoke, how to burn, the sides, the leftover. Brilliant. Hats off to you guys for writing these small tips, questions that always arise in our minds.
I’m a sucker for a good brisket, and this one looks amazing! I can’t wait to give it a try!
Thank you, Tayler!
This recipe is a game changer, I never thought to add coffee grind to the dry rub!
Thank you, Jack!
So tender, juicy, and just melt-in-your-mouth good. Love the smokey flavors this time of year, too.
So glad to hear that, Dana
Just looking at this is making me hungry. This recipe just proves why brisket is the kind of barbecue and smoking.
Thanks for the nice primer on how to prepare Brisket! Thanks for sharing!