Start to Finish: Smoked Brisket

This weekend I tried out a new process for smoking a brisket.  In the past, I’ve generally followed this process:

  • Prep the brisket the night before.  So…injecting it w/ some kind of marinade and rubbing it down, then sticking it in a garbage bag and letting it sit in the fridge overnight.
  • Cook at 200°-225°.
  • Cook with the fat cap side facing up.
Now, for the most part, I think my brisket normally comes out pretty decent, but I don’t think I’ve ever turned one out that I would claim was amazing.  Brisket is a challenge to slow cook correctly, and more often than not, you’ll read about folks that are struggling with it coming out a bit tough.  I would say that probably 50% of the briskets I’ve cooked on the WSM have come out a bit tough, with one or two being not good at all…So…, I’ve been reading a lot about how other people cook their brisket and came up with the following four changes to my process:
  • I prepped the brisket just one hour before throwing it on the smoker, so essentially I skipped the whole throwing it in the fridge overnight step.  I also injected with just plain ol’ beef broth this time instead of some store-bought marinade I normally use.
  • Cooked it at 275°.  I read where w/ brisket, you don’t want to cook too long at a low temp b/c it can dry the brisket out.  Total cooking time was only about 5:15-5:30 hrs.  Some guys refer to this as the “hot and fast” method.
  • Cooked with the fat cap facing down.  I read where some “pro” guys talk about how on vertical smokers (like my 22.5″ Weber Smokey Mountain) it helps to have the fat cap facing down to act as a heat shield and helps keep the brisket more tender.
  • Once the brisket had reached an internal temp of 175° (about 3 hours), I foiled it in a a pool of beef broth and let it braise (with the non fat cap side facing down) until it hit an internal temp of 200° (about 2 hours).  I then wrapped the foiled brisket with a towel and set it in a dry cooler to rest for a couple of hours.
Allow me to say this:  now I can finally claim what I consider to be a perfectly cooked brisket!  Woo hoo!  It was unbelievably tender and if I was a comp guy, I serious think I could have had a chance with this one.  This “briskie” was so tender it literally pulled right apart, kinda like a butt does.  In the pic below, I tried to show how tender it was.  The slices in the foreground where about 1/8″ thick and my slicing knife cut through it like butter.  Needless to say, I’ll be trying this method out again and will let you know if I see any inconsistencies.

Smoked Brisket on a Weber Smokey Mountain

 Here is the video from start to finish

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6 Responses to Start to Finish: Smoked Brisket

  1. Jay Dickey August 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

    I just wanted to say I am going to try this recipe! It looks amazing and different than how I make it. I cook briskets every week for a market I do. I can’ wait to try this metod. Thanks!

  2. Steve August 21, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Lemme know how it turns out!!

    Hey, side note: shoot me an email on my Contact page if you’d like to send me some of your sauce to review on my site.

  3. Liz August 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Awesome video! This is something I had never though of making before, it seemed a little bit out of my league to make honestly. Definitely enjoyed the step by step video! Thanks for making it.

  4. Mike September 1, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Trying this method out today!!!! Just got my first smoker (18″ WSM) a couple months ago, and so far your tips have helped me out the most…. Love the site, and the videos!!!

  5. Herfinnur December 3, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    Hi, I’m planning on making this for the in-laws tomorrow. I can’t see whether you are in or outside the U.S., so is it 275° Fahrenheit or 275°Celcius?

    • Steve February 15, 2016 at 8:51 am #

      Hi, sorry I’m just responding to this….but I’m in the U.S., so it’s Fahrenheit.

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