Deliciously Smoked Brisket: A Guide to Perfecting this Classic Dish

Nov 10, 2023 | Main Courses


Prep Time

Cooking Time

30 minutes
60-90 minutes per pound


– 1 brisket, approximately 4-6 pounds
– 2 tablespoons kosher salt
– 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
– 1 tablespoon garlic powder
– 1 tablespoon paprika (smoked or regular)

Smoked Brisket Ingredients


1. Prepare the Brisket:

– Begin by trimming excess fat from the brisket, leaving a thin layer to ensure moist and flavorful meat.
– Pat the brisket dry with paper towels, ensuring thorough absorption of moisture.
– In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to create the rub.

2. Apply the Rub:

– Sprinkle the rub evenly on all sides of the brisket, gently rubbing it into the meat.
– Be liberal with the rub, as it will enhance the flavor during the slow cooking process.
– Once evenly coated, allow the brisket to rest for approximately 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.

3. Preparing the Smoker:

– Prepare your smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring a steady temperature between 225-250°F (107-121°C).
– We recommend using hardwoods like hickory, oak, or mesquite for that authentic, smoky flavor.
– If using a charcoal smoker, arrange the charcoal on one side and place a drip pan underneath the brisket to catch juices.

4. Slow Smoking:

– Place the brisket, fat side up, on the smoker grates away from the direct heat source. Close the lid.
– Maintain a consistent temperature throughout the smoking process.
– Now, enjoy the savory aroma as the brisket smokes low and slow for approximately 60-90 minutes per pound.
– Pro Tip: Resist the temptation to peek too often, as this may cause a variation in cooking time.

5. The Waiting Game:

– As the brisket cooks, resist the urge to interrupt the smoking process. Trust that patience will pay off with melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.
– Keep monitoring the temperature and add additional wood chips if needed to maintain a steady, flavorful smoke.
– A digital meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the brisket will help you determine when it’s ready.

6. Rewarding the Wait:

– After hours of anticipation, your smoked brisket is finally cooked. The internal temperature should read around 195-205°F (90-96°C) for ultimate tenderness.
– Carefully transfer the brisket to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute through the meat, resulting in succulent slices.

7. Time to Slice and Serve:

– Slice the brisket against the grain, ensuring each cut is approximately ¼ inch thick for optimum tenderness.
– Serve your smoked brisket solo or with your favorite side dishes like potato salad, coleslaw, or grilled vegetables.
– Remember, the love and effort poured into this dish deserve nothing less than an appreciative audience.

Smoked Brisket Cooking Instructions

Tips and Variations:

1. Experiment with different wood varieties to personalize the smoky flavor. Applewood adds a mild, sweet taste, while mesquite imparts a bold, robust flavor.
2. For an extra layer of flavor, marinate the brisket overnight in a mixture of your favorite beer, Worcestershire sauce, and spices before applying the rub.
3. Don’t be afraid of leftovers! Smoked brisket makes fantastic sandwiches, tacos, or even a smoky twist on shepherd’s pie.

Smoked Brisket


There’s something truly enchanting about smoked brisket—the perfect harmony of flavors and textures that make each bite an experience to cherish. As your home fills with the comforting aroma of this timeless dish, take a moment to appreciate the tradition, history, and craftsmanship behind it. Now, armed with this recipe, feel free to embark on your own culinary journey and add your personal touch to this classic, all while building stories and memories of your very own. Happy smoking!

Main Courses > Deliciously Smoked Brisket: A Guide to Perfecting this Classic Dish

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