Want to Cook a Brisket?

February 19, 2013
February 21, 2013

How to Cook Brisket

Good things come to those who wait. Such is the case with how to cook brisket–scrumptious smoked beef so tender that it practically falls apart. The prep work starts the day before, and then it smokes for 8 to 10 hours. If you don’t have a smoker, you can cook brisket on a charcoal or gas grill, though in smaller portions. Serve it up with your favorite barbecue sauce, and you’ll have a delicious meal that is well worth the wait. Beef Brisket. This is perfect for the summer if you’re feeding a big crowd, you cook the brisket low and slow on the grill and the result is juicy and tender.


  • 2  tablespoons  paprika
  • 1  tablespoon  chili powder
  • 1  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon  curry powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dry mustard
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 8  to 10  mesquite or hickory wood chunk
  • 1  10- to 12-pound  fresh beef brisket
  • 2  cups  of your favorite barbecue sauce


  1. In a small bowl, combine rub ingredients. The night before smoking, soak wood chunks in enough water to cover. Drain before using.
  2. Do not trim fat from brisket. One day before smoking, remove 1 tablespoon of the rub mixture and stir into 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce. Cover and chill. Sprinkle brisket with the remaining rub mixture. Wrap meat tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Smoker Directions: Arrange preheated coals, half of the drained wood chunks, and the water pan as directed in manufacturers directions. Fill pan with hot water. Place brisket, fat side up, on grill rack over pan. Cover and smoke for 8 to 10 hours until a fork can easily be inserted into the center of the meat and a thermometer registers 185 degree F. Add more coals as needed, but do not add any more wood chips after the first three hours. (Too much smoke makes meat bitter.) Remove brisket from smoker. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. *Read and follow the instructions that came with your smoker.

Gas and Charcoal Grill Directions: For a grill, prepare a 4-1/2- to 5-pound brisket as directed above, except use only half of the rub ingredients. At least 1 hour before grilling, soak 8 to 10 wood chunks in enough water to cover.

For a Charcoal Grill: Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Arrange medium hot coals around a drip pan. Fill drip pan with hot water. Test for medium-low heat above the drip pan. Add half of the wood chunks. Place brisket, fat side up, on the grill rack over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 2-1/2 hours. Turn brisket and continue grilling for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until a fork can be easily inserted in the center of the meat and an instant-read thermometer registers 185 degree F. Add coals (about 8 to 12 per hour) and wood as needed to maintain temperature and smoke. (Do not add any more wood after 2 hours of grilling.)

For a Gas Grill: Start with a full tank of fuel. Adjust heat according to manufacturer’s directions for indirect cooking over low heat. Add soaked wood chunks according to manufacturer’s directions. (Or wrap chunks in foil and place packets directly over heat on the lava rocks, ceramic briquettes, or metal heat-diffusing bars). Place a small coffee can or pan of hot water on the side of the grill rack over a lit burner. Place brisket, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan; set the pan on the grill rack over the unlit burner. Cover and grill for 2-1/2 hours or until meat is dark, dark brown. Wrap brisket in foil; return to grill directly on grill rack. Cook meat 1-1/2 to 2 hours more until a fork can be easily inserted in the center of the meat and thermometer registers 185 degree F.

To serve: Heat barbecue sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. To serve brisket, trim away crusty outer layer, if desired. Starting at the brisket’s wider end, find the seam of fat running through the meat and cut along it, slicing the meat in half horizontally. Trim excess fat. Slice each section across the grain. Pass with heated barbecue sauce. Makes 15 to 18 servings using a 10- to 12-pound brisket or 7 to 9 servings with a 4-1/2- to 5-pound brisket.

Even though brisket takes a long time to cook, it doesn’t take a lot of effort. In fact, the hardest part about how to cook brisket may just be having to smell the mouth-watering aroma while you wait for the chance to taste it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.