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The sliced shot of a smoked brisket.
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4.72 from 25 votes

Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket is the king of BBQ. Let us help you master it!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 hours
Resting Time3 hours
Total Time18 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 People
Author: Nick Hill


  • 1 whole packer brisket 12-14lb
  • Yellow mustard for the binder
  • 1 cup 16 mesh black pepper
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 4 tsp granulated garlic
  • Pink butcher paper
  • 1 1/2 cups beef tallow warmed up to liquify


  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water


Prep the Smoker

  • Preheat your smoker to 250° - 275° degrees.
  • Start with smaller pieces of dry wood when first and a couple handfuls of lump charcoal. Be sure to stack each layer perpendicular to each other to allow for proper airflow. If you start with two logs running the length of the fire box in the direction in which the air flows through the smoker, and put the lump charcoal in between these two logs, you will encourage a great bed of coals and no restricted airflow. You can use a fire starter or torch to help get your fire going. Whatever you do, don’t use lighter fluid. Maintain these temps through the entire cook.

Prep the Brisket

  • Trim the excess fat from the bottom (flat) and top (fat cap) of the brisket. Being careful not to gouge the meat or fat while leaving ¼ inch of fat evenly across the entire fat cap.
  • Starting with the fat cap down, apply a thin layer of yellow mustard to help the seasonings adhere to the surface.
  • Thoroughly mix together the salt, pepper and granulated garlic and apply a very heavy and even layer including all 4 sides of the brisket.
  • Flip the brisket over so that the fat cap is facing up and repeat the process of mustard then seasoning. (You can do this step the night before. Just cover the brisket in an airtight container or wrap in plastic wrap).

Smoke the Brisket

  • Place the brisket fat cap up inside your smoker with the point end facing the heat source. Close the lid and do not open it for the first 4 hours.
  • After the first 4 hours, mix the apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spray the edges of the brisket but avoid excess spray on the fat.
  • Do this once every hour or so until you have developed a level of bark that you are happy with. Generally, around 170-180 degrees F internal temp.
  • Once you are happy with the color and consistency of the bark, roll out enough butcher paper to wrap the brisket up two full rotations and lay it flat on a prepared cooking surface.

Wrap the Brisket

  • Remove the brisket from the smoker and place on your butcher paper roughly 16” from one end. Pour the liquified beef tallow all over the brisket completely covering all surfaces.
  • Wrap the brisket tightly in the paper being sure to pull the brisket in tight and tuck in the corners after each flip.
  • Wrap the brisket in two full rotations of paper being sure that the fat side is still up before placing it back in the smoker.

Continue to Smoke

  • Put the brisket back in the smoker with the flat side pointing towards the heat source.
  • Continue to cook until you can insert a thermometer pen probe with very little resistance.
  • Be sure to check the thickest part of the flat from the front, not the side or the top.
  • The temp will range from 200°-208° so be sure to probe for tenderness regularly during these temp ranges.

Remove and Rest

  • When the probe goes into the flat with little resistance after checking multiple spots, remove the brisket from the smoker, leaving it wrapped. Let it rest on the kitchen counter for 30-40 minutes, or until the internal temp hits between 180°-185° internal temp in the flat.
  • Then place the brisket in a cooler and close the lid letting the brisket come down in temp slowly until the internal temp hits 140°. This can take several hours.

Slice and Serve

  • After the brisket hits 140°, you can remove it from the cooler and place it on a larger cutting board while you remove the pink butcher paper.
  • Starting with the flat, slice ¼” slices with your knife perpendicular to the brisket going from the flat to the point, until you have about 1/3 point and 2/3rds flat exposed.
  • Then rotate the remaining point end 90 degrees and continue slicing making slightly thicker slices.
  • Serve 2-3 slices per guest pairing with pickled red onions, rolls or white bread and your favorite BBQ sauce. Enjoy!



Calories: 631kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 2980mg | Potassium: 945mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 129IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 6mg