How to smoke a brisket

How To Smoke A Brisket

  • Author: Mike
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 720 minutes
  • Total Time: 780 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 1 whole beef brisket
  • kosher salt
  • course ground black pepper


Trim & Season

  1. Remove brisket from fridge and trim.  Beginning by flipping brisket so fat side is facing up.  Along brisket flat, trim fat to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Along brisket point, leave about 1/2 inch of fat to protect against heat.
  2. Next, trim deckle as much as possible, removing excess fat and discarding. 
  3. Lastly, if you’re brisket has a narrow flat, square it off as best you can so that the flat is as evenly thick as possible.
  4. Season brisket all over with even parts kosher salt and course ground black pepper.  You want to cover it well, but do not cake the salt and pepper.  A medium amount works fine.


  1. Fill charcoal chimney with charcoal and light.  Once cooked over, place coals at back of firebox in offset smoker (affiliate).  Place large chunk of oak wood on top and bring temperature of smoker to 250°.  Place another chunk of firewood at front of firebox to preheat, making sure it does not contact the burning wood in the back of box.
  2. When temperature is steadily at 250° place brisket in smoke chamber on opposite side of firebox.  Place fat side up with the fatty point side of the brisket facing the firebox.  
  3. Arrange dual thermometer so that the grill gauge is next to the meat closest to the firebox and the meat gauge is implanted on the top side of the brisket through the center.
  4. Place a water pan nearest to the firebox and close lid. Do not open lid for minimum of 3 hours.  Only open to check on brisket bark and to refill water pan, as needed.  You want to open the lid as little as possible.
  5. Maintain temperature at 250° as brisket steadily rises.  When fire is ready for a new log, simply roll the pre-heated log to the back of the chamber and add another to the front of the firebox to pre-heat.
  6. Note that brisket temperature will stall at about 150° to 160° for a few hours.  This is fine, simply maintain the same 250° as it continues to raise.  Allow brisket to continue to cooking until it reaches 200° internal temp and pull. 
  7. Brisket should rest for minimum of 1 hour.  If serving within two hours, place in large aluminum serving tray and cover with foil, then rest at room temp.  If serving between 2-5 hours later, wrap in a towel and place in an empty cooler.


  1. Cut brisket against the grain.  Begin with the flat and cut with a long serrated knife in a fan shaped pattern in 1/4 inch slices.  When you reach the point, turn the brisket 90° and continue cutting, only in slightly larger (1/3 inch) pieces.
  2. Serve immediately after cutting.

  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American, BBQ
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