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Texas smoked brisket recipe

Texas smoked brisket recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Cuts of beef
  • Beef brisket

Brisket flat is the leaner part of the brisket that consists of two muscles, the other being the fatty decal. It uses a simple Texas style seasoning method.

Washington, United States

8 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 brisket flat
  • For the rub
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
  • For the wrapping
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 125ml beef stock

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:6hr ›Extra time:1hr45min › Ready in:8hr

  1. Examine the brisket flat and trim any odd parts of the meat, excessive fat or silver skin from the tops and sides. On the bottom keep the layer of fat and sometimes decal, however ensure this is an even thickness to create even cooking. I cook in a tray, but you can cook directly on the smoker rack.
  2. For the rub, massage the Worcestershire sauce into the meat. While the acidic element of this is acting on the meat, combine all remaining rub ingredients. Place in a shaker, then sprinkle all over the brisket. Either place on the smoker as soon as the rub has become moist or leave overnight.
  3. To smoke, heat the smoker to 95 to 120 degrees C. Add a strong wood like Iron Bark, Mesquite or Hickory in chunks.
  4. When at temperature, add the brisket and cook for 3 hours. It should remain moist on top during this time.
  5. For the wrapping, prepare two layers of foil that are big enough to wrap the brisket. Place the butter and sugar on the foil. Place the brisket fat side up on the foil, then tip in the beef stock and wrap.
  6. Return to the smoker for 3 hours. Start checking the temperature at about 2 hours through the foil. The finish temperature can range from 85 degrees C to 100 degrees C; however you know it is ready when it is soft. The meat will pass through a firm stage then become soft when ready (if firm don't panic, this doesn't mean that it is overcooked).
  7. When finished, remove brisket from the smoker and leave to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. To serve, place the meat on a chopping board and slice. To your preference you can remove all the fat from the bottom of the brisket flat or serve with it on.


Texas smoked brisket

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Recipe Summary

  • Brisket:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer
  • 1 (4 1/2-pound) flat-cut brisket (about 3 inches thick)
  • 8 hickory wood chunks (about 4 pounds)
  • 2 cups water
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) sliced onion
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño peppers
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño liquid

To prepare brisket, combine the first 5 ingredients. Place 2 tablespoons sugar mixture in a blender. Set aside remaining sugar mixture.

Remove 2 chiles and 2 tablespoons sauce from can add to blender. Reserve remaining chiles and sauce for another use. Add 1 cup chopped onion and next 3 ingredients (through beer) to blender process until smooth. Combine brisket and chipotle mixture in a 2-gallon zip-top plastic bag seal. Marinate in refrigerator 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Soak wood chunks in water about 16 hours drain. Remove brisket from bag, discarding marinade. Pat brisket dry, and rub with remaining sugar mixture. Let brisket stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Remove grill rack set aside. Prepare grill for indirect grilling, heating one side to medium-low and leaving one side with no heat. Maintain temperature at 225°.

Pierce bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife. Place pan on heated side of grill add half of wood chunks to pan. Place another disposable aluminum foil pan (do not pierce pan) on unheated side of grill. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Coat grill rack with cooking spray, and place on grill.

Place brisket on grill rack over foil pan on unheated side. Close lid cook 3 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 170°. Add additional wood chunks halfway during cooking time.

Remove brisket from grill. Place sliced onion and jalapeño on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Top with brisket seal tightly. Place foil-wrapped brisket in a large baking pan. Bake at 250° for 1 1/2 hours or until thermometer registers 190°. Remove from oven. Let stand, still wrapped, 1 hour. Unwrap brisket, reserving juices trim and discard fat. Cut brisket across grain into thin slices.

To prepare sauce, finely chop sliced onion and jalapeño set aside. Place brisket juices in a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain 1/2 cup drippings into a saucepan, stopping before fat layer reaches opening discard fat and remaining drippings. Add onion, jalapeño, broth, and remaining ingredients to pan cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Beer note: Smoky brisket calls for a smoky beer. Although the Lone Star State makes some excellent brews (any of which would pair well with Texas barbecue), try Germany's Aecht Schlenkerla Maerzen beer, which has an alluring aroma of bacon and smoked sausage from the use of smoked barley. Its full body and gentle malt sweetness balance the spicy sauce. At 9 ounces, one bottle ($4) is enough to share. --Jeffery Lindenmuth

Texas Smoked Brisket Recipe

I have had some excellent smoked brisket over the years. But when you find the absolute best smoked recipe, there is nothing that compares.

A dry rub being spread on top of a scored piece of brisket.

I thought I had the best brisket and skillet corn at a restaurant in Tennessee. This establishment had been featured on the television show &ldquoMan, Food & Fire&rdquo.

After standing in line for more than a half hour, I wasn&rsquot disappointed. It was absolutely delicious and the most moist smoked brisket recipe that I had ever tried.

I told everyone about it and frequented the restaurant any time that I had an urge for barbecue.

But that all changed when I visited south Texas.

As you can imagine, there are barbecue restaurants and smokers nearly at every corner.

Allow the brisket to absorb the dry rub overnight for best results.

Food trucks with smokers attached to the back of their truck lined every street.

There were so many options to choose from! But there were a few restaurants that were recommended by the locals.

Within the first week, we had visited several and realized that here is where we could truly find the BEST smoked brisket recipe!

Texas Style Brisket – The Best Recipe

If just the thought of Texas Style Smoked Brisket makes your mouth water, but the thought of trying to create your own makes your eyes water, here is the tutorial for you. There are many different recipes and methods for Texas brisket but the following is a tantalizingly delicious recipe you will want to repeat once you try it.

Have you been searching for the perfectly seasoned, most juicy Texas Style Smoked Brisket? Why not give it a try and be the master of your own brisket?

This helpful and easy-to-follow tutorial will provide all the instructions you need to be successful on your very first brisket-making experience. We will start at the beginning, from selecting the meat to the ingredients and tools you will need for this recipe. Have you always dreamed of being the grilling guru in your neighborhood?

We will take the guesswork out of meat selection, trimming the brisket, seasoning, and the grilling process. Let’s get the grill out and get started!

Tools You Will Need For Making Texas Style Brisket

To get started on this recipe, check and make sure you have the following tools for the job.

List of Ingredients

This authentic backyard Texas Style Smoked Brisket will serve approximately 18 people. The key ingredients are simple and easy to find.

1. Selecting the brisket: when selecting a whole packer brisket, if you are not sure, ask your butcher if the point and flat muscle are included. This is key in this recipe. Inquire also about the grade of the cut. If you go with prime beef, it will have more fat marbling. Why is this important? The more fat and marbling, the more flavor and juiciness in your finished product.

Go with a choice grade. A good rule of thumb is to ensure you have approximately ½ pound of brisket for each guest you are serving.

2. Trimming the brisket: while some recipes claim you don’t need to trim, the best smokehouse chefs do trim their brisket. If you are looking for a good finished product, you will want to spend the half-hour trimming. There are brisket trimming tutorials but here are 4 simple steps for the trimming process.

Step by Step Instructions For Preparing and Cooking Your Texas Style Brisket

Step 1 Season The Brisket

It’s finally time to put Texas in your brisket. This is a simple process:

Mix ¼ cup Kosher salt and ¼ cup of the coarse black pepper in a shaker. Coat the entire outside of the brisket. Be generous! Let the seasoned brisket rest while your pit is brought to temperature.

Step 2 Start Cooking The Brisket

The slow-cooked Texas brisket is going to take several hours. Be prepared to maintain an even temperature of 250 degrees. Some of the modern smokers have digital thermostats and digital temperature controls. It is always best to use a good old-fashioned meat thermometer to ensure you know exactly what the temperature of the meat is at all times.

When you are sure your temperature is stabilized, place the brisket, fat side up, on the grate and close the lid. The traditional Texas Style Smoked Brisket uses post oak, however, Pecan or other wood also works fine.

Simply add a little wood to the fire periodically to keep the smoker at a steady 250 degrees. No need to open the lid! Have a cooler of cold drinks by your side and be prepared to wait about 5 hours.

Step 3 Wrap The Brisket

In approximately 5 hours at 250 degrees, the outside of the brisket will begin to turn dark. This is perfect. It’s time for the wrap.

Tear 2 large strips of butcher paper and lay them across a table on top of one another. Remove the brisket from the grill, and place the meat in the middle of the top strip. Wrap tightly. Flip the brisket and repeat the process with the second strip, tucking the sides in tightly. Remember which is the top fatty side. Place the brisket back on the grill, fat side up!

Step 4 Finish The Brisket

By now, your mouth should be watering, and your stomach growling, but you still have a little more work to do. Temperature monitoring is important to stick a probe into the thickest part of the brisket, right through the paper, but don’t go too deep.

The probe should be in the middle of the meat. Monitor closely for another 3 to 4 hours, and when the temperature rises to 200 degrees, your smoked brisket is done! The meat should be tender a​​nd juicy and there should be no resistance when you stick it with the probe.

Final Preparations and Serving Instructions

While you might want to pull the plates out right away and present yourself with the title of “Pit Master”, there is one more important step in this process. You need to place the brisket in a dry cooler, close the lid, and let it rest for at least 2 hours before slicing. You can wait up to six hours (although I bet you don’t).

The resting process stops the brisket from cooking further and allows it to reabsorb the moisture which gives it its juiciness. Don’t skip the 2-hour wait!


To slice the brisket like a pit master, first, locate the point and flat and separate into two pieces. Slice the flat into ¼ inch pieces. Next, split the point down the middle, against the grain. You can cut the point into slices and cube the outer edges which may have some burnt ends.


Now, you are finally ready to enjoy your Smoked Texas Style Brisket. Serve and be ready for all the compliments on your first smoked brisket achievement!

Smoking wood

Post oak is my preferred choice of wood for smoking whole briskets, hickory is my top choice for smoking brisket flat. The simple reason is that there isn’t enough time for brisket flat to get in enough smoky flavor from oak. Hickory smoke is more intense so it works better. Adding a few mesquite chips or chunks is not a bad idea either but don’t overdo it.

Tools Needed:

These are all some important tools that will be needed for making this recipe. The following are all affiliate links.

  • Shaker: to help apply the rub evenly over the surface of the meat.
  • Probe Thermometer: this allows you to monitor the internal temperature of the meat while it cooks without having to open the smoker to check it.
  • Instant Read Thermometer: this is a very accurate way to check the temperature during the last phase of cooking.
  • Peach Butcher Paper: this is a food grade paper, another option would be foil. Reasons to use paper instead of foil is that the paper is more breathable, it traps less steam, which helps keep the meat juicy and keeps the bark from getting soggy.

At 225℉ expect at least 1 hour per pound of brisket.

Yes! This is often the method I prefer to use. You can plan on starting it late and wrapping the brisket in the morning, or starting the brisket earlier in the day and wrapping late at night and getting up early to pull it off the smoker.

If prepared and smoked correctly.. no. True Texas BBQ doesn’t use sauce. There is often a vinegar based BBQ sauce available if desired. But good brisket should not be slathered in any BBQ sauce.

To anyone schooled in the art of true Texas brisket, many things about competition style brisket seem blasphemous. In the Lone Star State, success is the product of simplicity: the brisket is lightly trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper, then smoked for 12+ hours until ultra-tender. That’s it.

Enter the world of competition BBQ, however, and brisket becomes an entirely different beast. Teams vie to pack maximum flavor into the one or two bites taken by each judge. For competition-style brisket, most, if not all, of the external fat is removed for maximum bark creation and flavor retention salt and pepper are replaced with layers of complex rubs flavor and moisture enhancers are injected deep within the meat and the whole thing is wrapped in foil (i.e. the Texas crutch) halfway through the cooking process to ensure tenderness.

Given the complexity of creating an award winning brisket, I turned to Travis Clark of Clark Crew BBQ for his input. One of the hottest cooks on the circuit and the winner of the 2017 American Royal Barbecue Invitational, Travis certainly knows his way around a brisket. He even offers classes posted on the team’s website .

“I’ve been cooking brisket a long time, and it is by far my favorite category to cook in a competition,” says Travis. “In fact, I’ve won a World Championship title in brisket and our team has been named KCBS Team of the Year in brisket. While there are lots of ways to do it, I want to share my award winning method with you.”

Lucky us! I asked him where to begin. His reply: “My favorite way of preparing brisket for competition is to start with an 18 to 20 pound Snake River Farms American Wagyu brisket. Once you try one of these,” says Travis, “it’ll be impossible to go back to anything else!” Starting with Wagyu beef does seem like a great way to beat the competition right off the bat. “You’ll also notice that I separate the point from the flat, as they both cook differently, and that helps create better bark over the entire surface. Typically I’ll trim the brisket on Tuesday for a Friday/Saturday competition in order to cut down on the on-site prep work.” Good tip! “I also inject my competition brisket, as I really feel that it enhances this tough cut. Once injected, I like to start the brisket hot and fast before dropping the temperature. I find this does something really special to a Wagyu brisket, including creating a great sear and plumping it up. Finally, there are three keys to a successful competition brisket – always burn a clean fire free of thick black smoke, always wrap the brisket based on color versus temperature, and pull the brisket based on how tender it feels.”

You can see why Travis has won so many brisket competitions. Here is his complete competition brisket recipe. Note that some portions of the recipe are based on his personal experience, such as exact measurements for the four rubs, overall cooking time, and the look/feel of the meat. That said, this interpretation of Travis Clark’s technique is sure to produce excellent results at your next contest!

Smoked Brisket

Lightly coat grates with vegetable oil spray. Close cooking chamber lids.

Place 3-5 lbs. of charcoal, in center of the firebox. Open the firebox air vent approximately 1-2″, and smokestack damper halfway. With firebox lid open, stand back, carefully light charcoal and allow to burn until covered with a light ash. (Approximately 20 minutes)

Once coals have ashed over, add wood chunks. Do not shut firebox lid until the smoke is clean, often called Blue Smoke.

Close firebox lid. Adjust the firebox air vent and smokestack damper to regulate cooking temperature. The ideal smoking temperature is between 200°F-250°F.

Place brisket on cooking grate, fat side up, in the cooking chamber. Maintain a consistent cooking temperature by adding wood chunks as needed. Monitor the internal temperature of the brisket throughout the cooking process. The ideal finished internal temperature is 195°F-205°F.

Remove brisket from smoker and allow to rest. (Minimum 3o minutes)

Water Smoking

Lightly coat grate with vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray. Close cooking chamber lids.

Place 3-5 lbs. of charcoal, in center of the firebox. Open the firebox air vent approximately 1-2″, and smokestack damper halfway. With firebox lid open, stand back, carefully light charcoal and allow to burn until covered with a light ash. (Approximately 20 minutes)

Once coals have ashed over, add wood chunks. Do not shut firebox lid until the smoke is clean, often called Blue Smoke.

Close firebox lid. Adjust the firebox air vent and smokestack damper to regulate cooking temperature. The ideal smoking temperature is between 200°F-250°F.

Place water pan under brisket grate. One gallon of water will last 2-3 hours.

Place well-seasoned brisket on cooking grate. fat side up, in the cooking chamber.

Maintain a consistent cooking temperature by adding wood chunks as needed. Monitor internal temperature of the brisket throughout the cooking process. The ideal finished internal temperature is 195°F-205°F.

Remove brisket from smoker and allow to rest. (Approximately 30 minutes)

Indirect Grilling

Soak wood chips in water at least one hour. Drain and set aside.

In a bowl combine coffee and remaining 9 ingredients. Generously rub brisket with coffee and spice mixture.

Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Remove grill rack set aside. Heating one side of grill to high and leaving one side with heat off. Pierce bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife. Place pan on heat element on heated side of grill add 1 ½ cups soaked wood chips to pan. Place another disposable aluminum foil pan on unheated side of grill. Pour 2 cups water in pan. Let chips stand for about 15 minutes or until smoking reduce heat to medium-low. Maintain temperature at 225°F. Place grill rack on grill.

Place brisket in a small roasting pan, place pan on grill rack on unheated side. Close lid cook for 6 hours or until internal temperature registers 190°F. Add 1 ½ cups wood chips every hour for the first 4 hours cover pan with foil for remaining 2 hours. The ideal finished internal temperature is 195°F-205°F. Remove from grill. Let stand, covered, 30 minutes.

Unwrap brisket, reserving juices trim and discard fat. Using a large strainer, drain drippings into a bowl reserving liquid. Skim any fat from the top of the liquid. Serve with reserved liquid.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition information per serving: Calories 290 Total fat 22g (Sat. fat 9g Trans fat 0g) Cholest. 75 mg Sodium 690mg Total Carb. 2g Fiber 0g Total Sugars 1g Protein 21g Vit D (0% DV) Calcium (2% DV) Iron (15% DV) Potas. (10%DV)

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Another sandwich, but with one big difference: It’s all about the cheese. These brisket grilled cheese sandwiches merge juicy beef brisket with smoked cheddar and a delightful brioche bun.

If you don’t have a good grilled cheese sandwich in your repertoire (and if not, why not?!) then let this be your first.

Texas Smoked Brisket

Briskets are often sold in two kinds of cuts: the lean, trimmed flat part, called the first cut, which is typically used for braising, and the "packer cut," which includes both the flat and the thicker, untrimmed fatty section called the point. Commonly vacuum-wrapped, the packer cut is the one you want for low-and-slow smoking.

To promote the development of a good crust, or "bark," trim the fat to 1/8 to 1/4 inch.

Whole briskets weigh between 6 and 15 pounds. In a smoker, plan on about 1 hour to 90 minutes per pound. In a grill, plan on 30 to 45 minutes per pound.

If you're using a smoker, you'll need one chimney-full of charcoal, or about 85 standard-size briquettes. Use oak for its mild flavor and slow burn. It is also fine to use a combination of hardwoods, such as oak, hickory and pecan.

Make Ahead: The smoked brisket needs to rest for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 14-16 servings


If you're using a smoker, start a charcoal fire in the firebox.

If you're using a charcoal grill, prepare the grill for indirect grilling: Light the charcoal in a chimney starter and let the briquettes burn until the flames subside and a light layer of ash covers the briquettes (about 20 to 25 minutes). Dump the lighted coals into 2 mounds (or, preferably, into 2 half-moon-shaped briquette baskets) on opposite sides of the grill. Place a drip pan between the piles of coals and fill it a quarter of way with water.

Trim the fat on the brisket to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Season the brisket liberally with salt and pepper (to taste), so the meat is well coated and textured.

To cook in the smoker: When the coals turn ashen, open the chimney completely and add 2 split logs or 6 hardwood chunks. Let them burn for about 10 minutes or until they start to flame for a couple of minutes close the firebox door. When the logs or hardwood chunks start smoldering and smoking, about another 10 minutes or so when the thermometer reads 225 degrees, set the brisket on the grate in the cooking chamber, as far from the fire as possible. Close the chamber door close the chimney one-half to three-quarters of the way adjust to maintain the temperature inside the smoker between 225 and 275 degrees. Add two logs or 6 hardwood chunks as needed after about 2 hours. Smoke between 1 hour and 90 minutes per pound (timing may depend on brisket thickness, weather conditions), making sure to keep the fire as steady as possible. If the fire gets too hot (325 degrees or higher), close the chimney completely until the temperature falls to about 250 degrees. If the fire falls below 225 degrees, add another log or two, and make sure it catches fire before you close the firebox.

To cook in the grill: When the grill is set up as directed above and the coals are ashen, place 2 or 3 hardwood chunks on the coals, place the grill rack in position and cover the grill. When the hardwood chunks start to smoke, place the brisket on the grill rack above the drip pan. Maintain the temperature inside the grill between 250 and 300 degrees. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes per pound add charcoal and hardwood chunks as needed.

The brisket is done when a meat thermometer registers between 190 and 195 degrees when inserted into the thick end of the meat.

Lay a large piece of aluminum foil on a clean work surface. Transfer the brisket to the foil wrap the meat in the foil. Place the wrapped brisket in a room-temperature cooler cover with a couple of towels (for insulation). Let it rest for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 hours, before slicing against the grain.