beef brisket
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How to Cook Beef Brisket on a Smoker – The Best Recipe

Brisket is a commonly-known dish that turns a tougher piece of meat into a delicious entrée. To make it even better, this recipe shows you how to smoke your brisket to give it even more flavor.

Whether you are making the smoked brisket as the main dish, to go on nachos, or to go in enchiladas or quesadillas, this is the recipe for you. Smoked brisket gives the meat a wood-fired flavor that will make you crave the leftovers.

sliced beef brisket

Cooking Brisket on Smoker

Brisket is typically a fattier cut of meat. People have been eating this cut for centuries, but it didn’t become popular to ask for brisket specifically until the 1950s.

Now, it is one of the most popular smoked meats in the world, the hardest to master, and this recipe shows you just how you can make the desired dish in your own home.

smoked beef brisket bark

What is the best smoker for brisket?

Traditionally, you’ll hear of Traeger being the most popular smokers for all kinds of meat endeavors. And while I admit it is one of the front-runners, there are other options as well.

The best BBQ smokers in 2021 are:

  • Best overall: Dyna-Glo Wide Body Vertical Offset Charcoal Smoker
  • Best pellet smoker: Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill
  • Best electric smoker: Masterbuilt 30 Inch Digital Electric Meat Smoker
  • Best propane smoker: Cuisinart Vertical 36-inch Propane Smoker
  • Best on a budget: Nexgrill 29-inch Barrel Charcoal Grill with Smoker

What brisket is best for smoking?

When looking for a cut of brisket that is ideal for smoking, you want to look for an untrimmed or “packer” cut.

This cut includes the point and flat together and is what you’ll commonly find cooked in traditional Texas BBQ.

These cuts are not always displayed in stores and you may have to ask for them specifically.

slicing brisket

How long do you cook brisket in a smoker?

I always cook to temperature rather than time but generally, you’ll want to plan on between 30 and 60 minutes per pound. So the larger the cut, the longer it will take to cook.

This dish does take longer in preparation, but trust me, it is well worth the weight. Just make sure that when planning this dish, you make plans for other aspects of the meal accordingly.

If executed correctly, this will be a meat dish that your friends and family will love and you won’t be able to get enough.

men eating brisket


  • 1 Full Packer Brisket (Point & Flat)
  • 4 Tbsp Mustard
  • 1 Cup Rub of choice (50/50 Salt & Pepper is popular) I used Black Tuxedo from Spiceology.
  • 2-3/4 C Beef Broth or Apple Juice


  1. Trim Brisket of all fat on top and leave 1/4″ fat on bottom. Remove most of the hard fat (the deckle) from edge and between point and flat.
  2. Rub with mustard and season well. Be generous and make sure all parts of the brisket are covered.
  3. Let Brisket sweat for 30 minutes or wrap in plastic wrap and leave in refrigerator overnight.
  4. Set smoker to 225° using a bold flavored wood. Hickory or Mesquite are best but others will do.
  5. Place brisket fat side down with a probe thermometer in each of the thickest part of the point and the flat.
  6. Place a bowl with 2 Cups beef broth or apple juice on smoker with brisket.
  7. After two hours, lightly spritz your brisket with the remaining beef broth or apple juice ever 45 minutes or when brisket starts to look dry.
  8. Once brisket reaches an internal temperature of 155°-165°, remove and wrap in peach paper or aluminum foil. I have recently been converted to foil as I feel it maintains more of the intended flavor rather than impart flavor from the paper. But this is 100% a personal choice and I recommend trying both ways before deciding your preferred method.
  9. Place back on smoker at 275° until a probe thermometer goes in like a knife through room temperature butter. The temperature could be anywhere from 195°-208° I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum. Trust your touch.
  10. Once it’s reached probe tender, remove from the smoker, wrap in a old (but clean) towel and place it in a cooler insulated with old (but clean) towels leaving as little empty space as possible.
  11. Let Brisket rest for a minimum of 1 hour but up to 6. Ideal rest time is 2 hours.
  12. When ready to serve, open brisket and let rest on the counter top for 15-30 minutes before slicing.
  13. Cut pencil thin slices against the grain and serve

Recipe card

step by step preparing brisket for smoking

Can brisket be overcooked?

In a way, yes you can overcook your brisket. And if overcooked, it will come out too dry.

To avoid this, you’ll want to pick up a fattier cut of meat. Over the cooking process, the fat is what keeps the meat juicy. You can also inject the meat before smoking it.

However, if you cook the meat at the recommended temperature, it is less likely that it will come out overcooked or dry.

Will brisket shred?

Yes, brisket can shred. It can make the meat easier to eat, as well as adding the shredded meat to other dishes like nachos or quesadillas. However, this recipe is for sliced brisket.

You can get this desired shred by shredding the beef with two forks, or any other desired shredding method.

Related Recipes

how to cook a brisket on a smoker

This smoked brisket recipe is sure to become a favorite amongst friends and family. The smokey flavor and juiciness of the meat makes it a perfect main dish, with plenty of flexibility to add it to other dishes as well.

Either way, if prepared and cooked correctly, people will be fighting over who gets to eat the delicious leftovers.

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