Beef brisket is one of those cuts of meat many people are too intimidated to try cooking. Brisket can be a challenge – it is a lean and tough cut that often is overcooked.
Brisket is frequently served boiled and corned at St. Patrick's Day tables across the US, but well-made smoked beef brisket is also delicious. Brisket is a favorite at BBQ joints all over, but is particularly popular in the Southwest. Today we're going to tell you how to smoke a brisket Texas-style for a great meal your family will love.
What is Brisket?
Brisket is one of the nine primal cuts of beef. The brisket is cut from the lower chest and these muscles do a lot of work. So the meat consists of long, strong fibers. The brisket consists of two separate muscle groups identified as the flat and the point. When smoking a brisket, you'll want to buy a brisket that includes both the point and the flat. This is most often called a packer brisket cut. A whole packer brisket will provide juicy and tender smoked meat that won't be dry.
Trimming a Packer Brisket
When you are getting your brisket ready for the smoker, cut most of the excess fat off. You want to leave only about one quarter inch of the fat cap on the beef. If you don't trim the fat on the brisket, the smoke flavor will not get into the meat and you'll end up with a bunch of delicious smelling (but inedible) fat and a bland brisket.
Seasoning a Brisket for the Smoker
For our brisket, we are going to use our all-natural Bearded Butcher Blend Black Seasoning. This blend is a rich seasoning that uses coffee and molasses to bring out the full-bodied flavor of the meat. We are simply going to rub the brisket completely on all sides with the seasoning.
The traditional, Texas way to season a brisket is to rub it with brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Many smoked brisket recipes also include paprika or chipotle seasoning for a spicy kick.
Smoke a Brisket like a Pro
We are going to preheat our Yoder Smoker to a temperature of 225 degrees F. For our brisket, we are going to use StOAKed Oak Pellets. White oak pellets contribute a flavorful smoky taste that is perfect for a brisket. Place a meat thermometer probe in the thickest part of the brisket, making sure that you don't accidentally get the probe in the fat layer between the flat and the point.
Smoking brisket is a time-consuming process, so make sure you plan ahead. A large brisket can take eight or nine hours to smoke and should be rested after cooking. Smoked brisket usually takes around half an hour per pound to cook thoroughly.
With the Yoder smoker preheated to the correct temperature, place the brisket fat-side down in the smoker and close the lid. Monitor the temperature of the brisket as it cooks, you'll want it to cook low and slow. It will take four to six hours for the beef brisket to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. You don't need to flip the brisket while it is smoking. In fact, for the best results, don't open the smoker until the internal temperature has hit 160 degrees.
Remove the brisket from the grill and double wrap the brisket in heavy duty aluminum foil. Add about one and a half cups of beef broth to the aluminum foil packet. Return the brisket to the smoker until the internal temperature hits 205 degrees. A full packer brisket is a long cooking process, so it's important to keep in mind that the total time to smoke will likely take all day.
Resting the Smoked Beef Brisket
The brisket is done smoking once the internal temperature has reached 205 degrees. You're going to be tempted to slice up the brisket and eat it right then and there. Don't do it! Resting your brisket will allow the juices to set, making the meat even more delicious.
Our favorite way of resting a brisket is to wrap it in a towel and place it in an empty ice chest. The insulated ice chest will keep the brisket from cooling too much and will trap the moisture inside, ensuring you get the ultimate in moistness, flavor, and tenderness from a packer brisket. The resting time can be as short as 30 minutes, but you'll get better results letting the smoked beef brisket rest for an hour or longer.
Cutting the Brisket
Unwrap the brisket and place it on a cutting board. The brisket should have a nice, dark bark on the outside. The first step is to separate the point and the flat. you'll find a fat seam that easily comes apart to remove the flat and the point. The point and flat have grain running in different directions.
Slice against the grain in 1/4" to 1/2" slices. The bark will give you a nice, dark color on the outside, while the inside will be tender, pink, and juicy. Texas-style brisket is melt-in-your-mouth, deliciousness, and smoking is the best way to cook brisket.
Texas-Style Smoked Brisket Recipe
- 1 whole packer brisket
- Bearded Butcher Blend Black Seasoning
- Preheat the smoker to 225-250 degrees.
- Thoroughly coat the brisket in seasoning.
- Place the brisket fat-side down in the smoker with a meat thermometer in the thickest part.
- Smoke 4-6 hours until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
- Remove brisket from the smoker. Double wrap in aluminum foil and add 1-2 cups beef broth. Return to smoker.
- Continue smoking the brisket until the internal temperature has reached 205 degrees.
- Remove brisket from smoker and wrap in a towel. Place the brisket in an empty ice chest to rest for up to two hours.
- Unwrap the brisket. Place the brisket on a cutting board. Find the silver skin and separate the flat and point.
- Slice against the grain in 1/4"-1/2" thick slices and serve!
Smoking a brisket is one of the more ambitious meals many grill masters tackle. A whole packer brisket is a big piece of meat that can take all day to cook, so you want to make sure it comes out delicious. There are lots of different ways out there to smoke a brisket, but our favorite is Texas-style when we have a whole packer to work with.
Following the recipe we gave you today will make sure your smoked brisket comes out tender and juicy on the inside with the perfect charred bark on the outside. Pair a brisket with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes, or slice it up on a crusty brioche roll for an unbelievably delicious sandwich.
The Bearded Butchers are dedicated to providing as much information as we possibly can to help you understand how to best process and prepare meats of all kinds. To help you, we maintain a blog and YouTube channel with lots of free, high-quality information. The Bearded Butchers and Beardedbutchers.com are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This means that The Bearded Butchers may receive a commission if you click on a link above and make a purchase on Amazon.com.