Recipe: Smoked Beef Brisket

by Robyn Wright on September 16, 2015

in Food

Smoked Beef Brisket |

Beef brisket is one of the tastiest cuts of beef ever invented. One of my families favorite ways to prepare a brisket is to smoke it. This requires a lot of time but the end result is so worth it. Hubby prepared this one on Labor Day and it was amazing and he is sharing his recipe with you all today. Enjoy!

Hubby says….

I use a rub always on smoked meats. There are commercially prepared rubs or you can make your own. It is a mixture of dry spices and herbs that you rub, hence the name, into the meat to season it before cooking. You can change it up however you like to suit your family. I use a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, and garlic for this brisket. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this for the blog – I’m not as good about that as Robyn is. You can make this in bulk and store it for several months also.

Lay your brisket on a large tray with the fat side up. Trim the fat, if needed, so it’s about 1/4” thick at most. Then coat the brisket with a light coating of vegetable oil. This is so the rub will stick. Some people use yellow mustard for this also. Liberally add the rub to the meat, both sides, and massage in well. Refrigerate overnight.

You will also need a mop sauce to use during the smoking process. This is what you baste the beef brisket with as you smoke it. It is called a mop sauce because many people use a mop style brush to apply it, but I personally prefer to use a squeeze bottle for a little more control and less waste. You can easily shake up a squeeze bottle throughout the day to keep it well combined and you can cut the tip large enough so it does not get clogged. Some use spray bottles, but the clogging is an issue often with those. The base of a mop sauce is often apple cider vinegar, which is what I used, along with oil, beer, paprika, salt and pepper.

We use a Cookmaster Smoker

I have an inexpensive smoker, a Cookmaster, that runs on propane. There are tons of different types of smokers on the market for you to pick from.

Add soaked wood chips to the smoker box

Soak about 2 handfuls of wood chips, I am using hickory, in warm water. The minimum soaking time is about an hour so your wood chips won’t burn up. You will eventually put them in your wood chip box for your smoker like you see above.

Fill your water pan with water. Slice up a white onion and garlic, add to the water pan. Put the water pan in the smoker. Light the smoker and bring it to 225 degrees F. Once the temperature is stabilized add the brisket directly on the rack, fat cap side up. Let the meat smoke for an hour.

Beef brisket in the smoker

Now add the soaked wood chips to your chip pan and add to the top of the burner in your smoker. Mop the top of the brisket with your mop sauce. Leave it go for another hour. Every hour after this add more soaked wood chips and use the mop sauce to baste the brisket. Leave the brisket fat side up during this time. Continue until your brisket has an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Baste the beef brisket with mop sauce throughout the smoking process

food digital thermometer probes

During this time you should have a thermometer, digital preferably, to monitor both the internal temperature of the brisket as well as the temperature inside the smoker. I am using two of them, one for each temperature, but they do have models that have multiple probes all in one.

During cooking the temperature of the brisket will, at some point, stall out. Do not increase the heat when this happens, it’s normal, and a good thing. The moisture in the meat is coming from inside to the surface which is keeping it at the stalled temperature, but that moisture on the surface will be absorbing the smoke and later that smoky moisture will go back into the brisket.
You can smoke multiple things at once, like beef brisket, salt, and turkey legs
I was trying out a few things in the smoker today, along with the brisket. The foil sheet towards the back of the second shelf is coarse salt. I’m making smoked salt with this to rim glasses of margaritas and other cocktails – you would not believe how much of a difference using smoked salt over regular salt will make on a drink! I also decided to smoke a few turkey legs – I’ve been obsessed with these since our last trip to Walt Disney World!

Beautiful mahogany color on the smoked meats

Look at that gorgeous mahogany color the meats get after smoking several hours! One thing about smoking taking so long is that you drool for a long time waiting for it to all be done and ready to eat.

Once the brisket reaches 160 degrees internally, remove it from the smoker, give it one last mop and wrap in aluminum foil and seal it up tight. Put it back in the smoker. At this point you do not need to continue adding wood chips. Continue smoking until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees if you are going to slice, 190 degrees if you plan on pulling it.

Wrap smoked beef brisket in foil

Turn off the smoker once temperature is reached on brisket. Remove the foil wrapped brisket and put it in an empty cooler for about an hour. Just like our coolers keep things cold, they can also keep things warm. This resting time is crucial to let the juices reabsorb into the brisket.

smoked meat in cooler to rest

Take out of the cooler after an hour and unwrap the brisket. Look at all that juice inside the foil! That is why you need to give it time to rest!

juicy smoked beef brisket

Robyn took a video of my slicing up the brisket to share with you all….


And there you have it, an incredibly flavorful smoked beef brisket at home! Briskets are a big cut of meat so you may have a lot of leftovers. No worries though, you can do a ton with the leftover meat. Robyn will be sharing some of the meals she made with the leftovers soon here on her blog too. The smoked beef brisket hash is one of my favorites!

Smoked Beef Brisket - slice thinly and serve!

So did you all enjoy Hubby’s smoked beef brisket recipe? Please feel free to ask questions below and I will have him answer them. Smoking is a time intensive cooking method but the results are well worth it!


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© 2015, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.

Comments on this entry are closed.


1 Yeng Lor September 16, 2015 at 7:16 pm

mmm, if only I own a smoker I would definitely give this recipe a try!! delicious!

2 Robyn Wright September 16, 2015 at 8:35 pm

You can get one like we have for about $100, not terribly expensive. You can also use a regular grill too.

3 Geraldine Zwerling September 16, 2015 at 7:57 pm

I absolutely love the recipe & for our holidays my son-in-law prepares brisket for our family, but this recipe sounds so good that I am going to offer to buy him a smoker just to try it. Thanks to you & your husband for this recipe.

4 Robyn Wright September 16, 2015 at 8:36 pm

You are so welcome! I loved this because we did NOT put bbq sauce on it which left possibilities for leftovers endless!

5 Leela September 16, 2015 at 8:15 pm

That looks awesome! I could go for some of that now.

6 Robyn Wright September 16, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Me too – I need more!

7 shellypeterson September 16, 2015 at 9:43 pm

I have never made a Beef brisket before but this looks super super yummy! and now I am hungry lol :)

8 Robyn Wright September 16, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Brisket is soooo good – you can roast in the oven too

9 Kristen September 16, 2015 at 9:49 pm

My cousin is always posting photos of his delicious briskets….I need to get invited over on the right night! (or maybe someday make my own….!)

10 Robyn Wright September 16, 2015 at 10:03 pm


11 Lisa Brown September 17, 2015 at 5:57 am

Those smoking units make the best flavored meats, and yes, you have to have a rub on them.

12 Robin September 17, 2015 at 6:50 am

Midwest Living magazine just had a feature on Kansas City BBQ restaurants. You should submit your nice step-by-step photos to them to show off a home-made version!

13 tannawings September 18, 2015 at 1:02 am

We havee smaoled briskets in a plain grill. I think besides low and slow, the biggest trick is letting it ‘rest’ I have seen others eat it with no resting d thee taste doesnt come close to those that have had time to rest- it is juicer and easier to handle. It is a slow process but totally worth it.

14 Robyn Wright September 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Yes! the resting portion is sooooo important!

15 Elena September 18, 2015 at 12:14 pm

Looks so delicious! I wish we had a smoker

16 Robyn Wright September 18, 2015 at 12:37 pm

You can use a grill as a smoker of sorts too

17 Natalie September 19, 2015 at 8:14 pm

I so wish I could have a smoker like that! My brother loves brisket.

18 Robyn Wright September 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm

It’s a worthwhile investment if you like this type of food!

19 Bill Hoff September 25, 2015 at 10:01 pm

We bought a smoker from QVC and are always looking for different recipes to try…thanks!

20 Robyn Wright September 26, 2015 at 10:49 am

What kinds of things have you tried already?

21 Dawn Monroe September 27, 2015 at 1:53 pm

I’ve never made a brisket. I love the outside crust!

22 Robyn Wright September 27, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Yes, the grilling/smoking gurus call the outside the “bark”

23 Tiffany C October 14, 2015 at 8:14 am

OMG what a diesel meal, I’m sending this to hubs to make him droooool :P He loves smoked brisket, what do you do with all the leftovers, if any? We make them into sandwiches but I was wondering if you had any other ideas :)

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