You don’t have to spend all day, or wait for a special occasion to enjoy a delicious smoked beef brisket, with my easy hot and fast brisket method.
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Quicker Smoked Brisket Recipe
Smoked beef brisket is really the king of the barbeque. The problem with smoked beef brisket is that it traditionally takes 12-15 hours to cook. It’s an all-day commitment that often doesn’t fit into our busy schedules, even if we love the beefy, rich flavor of well-smoked beef brisket.
Smoked beef brisket doesn’t have to be reserved for only for special occasions with my easy hot and fast brisket method.
Easy hot and fast brisket method takes less than half the time and packs all of the smokey, beefy flavor of the traditional “low and slow” method. It’s the prefect method if you’re craving smokey, beef brisket but don’t have all day to cook it.
The tradition of cooking brisket for special occasions was brought to America by eastern European Jews during the 1800’s as part of their celebratory meals for Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Hanukkah and Shabbat. It’s believed that smoked brisket started showing up in Jewish delis in Texas at the turn of the century. Black’s BBQ in Lockhart, Texas claims title of being the first to sell brisket exclusively on their menu in the 1950s.
For seasoning, I like to stick to the Texas tradition, so I only use salt, pepper, and garlic powder as my rub. You should play around with the seasonings you like. In the past I’ve had great success with coffee and chili powder rubs.
How To Make Hot and Fast Smoked Brisket
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- Whole beef brisket – Your whole, “packer” brisket had two parts, the point and the flat. The “point” is the rounder, fattier end, and the “flat” is the thin, flat end that traditionally makes up the slices of brisket that go on sandwiches. The point is often cut up into pieces and made into burnt ends. The point is my favorite part of the brisket, since it brings the flavor and the fat. My father and my son prefer the less fatty flat of the brisket, so cooking a whole packer brisket severs the whole family.
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder – Making your own rub at home ensures you have total control of the ingredients, and you’re not sneaking stabilizers or sugars (malto-dextrine) into your meals that are often in pre-packaged spice rub blends. I love the simplicity of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, as they accent the flavor of the beef well, and help build a good bark.
- Pink butcher paper or aluminum foil – You can use either the traditional pink butcher paper or regular heavy duty aluminum foil for wrapping your brisket. Each has its own advantages, so use what’s available near you.
- Oak wood – Oak chunks provide a wonderful medium flavored smoke for your brisket. Oak is a great all round workhorse wood for a host of different types of meat, so I always have it on hand. Hickory is another great wood for smoking beef, but it can have a stronger, sometimes more acrid flavor than oak.
- Hardwood charcoal – Use high quality, large lump charcoal, not the pressed briquettes. The pressed briquettes are bound together with petroleum products that can give your meat and off flavor. My husband swears by Jealous Devil’s Premium XL hardwood charcoal, as a clean, hot burning charcoal that is easy to use.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Trim your brisket. A packer brisket is a huge piece of meat, with so much fat there’s not way you’ll ever render all of it. Use a sharp knife on the cold brisket to remove as much of the soft, white fat as you can. Many top pitmasters render the fat trimmings down to make homemade beef tallow for cooking and frying.
- Season your brisket. Season your brisket aggressively with your rub of choice. Remember, it’s a large, thick piece of meat, so use more seasoning on the outside than you think you should. I prefer Texas-style for beef, so I used course salt and pepper and garlic powder. While sugar is often used in pork rubs, I don’t like it for beef seasoning, as it often burns and leaves and unpleasant after taste. You can season up to 36 hours in advance, which helps build and establish a good bark on your brisket.
- Bring your smoker to temperature. Prepare your smoker for this cooking session. Light your fire and allow the charcoal to burn for 15-20 minutes until the grey/black smoked is replaced with thin, wispy blue smoke. Bring the temperature to 300 degrees for this hot and fast cooking session.
- Smoke your brisket until it hits an internal temperature of 160-170o. Place your brisket on the smoker with the fat side down. This keeps the fat cap between the heat source and the meat with Kamado and kettle style smokers like I use. I highly recomend using a disposible foil pan with water in to catch fat drippings and prevent flare ups in your smoker. The water also helps keep the brisket moist. This should take roughly 2-3 ours depending on the thickness of your particular piece of meat, your cooker, and ambient temperatures.
- Wrap your brisket. At 160-170o internal temperature, I wrap my brisket in either pink butcher paper or aluminum foil (the “infamous” Texas Crutch). Wrapping the meat protects the bark you’ve worked so hard to build, keeps it from taking on acrid burnt flavors from excessive smoke, and helps tenderize and soften the meat.
- Cook your wrapped brisket until in reaches 205-210o internal temperature. Wrapping the brisket will help you push through the “stall” as you work toward the internal temperature of 205-210o. This should take approximately 2-2.5 hours, but you should probe test the meat. The rule of thumb is that your meat is done when the sharp probe slides through the meat like hot butter.
- Wrap and rest your brisket for at least an hour in a cooler. Once your brisket hits the temperature, remove it from the smoker, keep it in foil or butcher paper wrap. Wrap it in a towel and then put it in a clean, dry cooler to rest for at least an hour. This rest keeps the meat juicy and helps to keep it tender.
- Slicer against the grain and serve. As with all beef, it is best to cut against the grain of the meat. Cutting the fibers this way, keeps the meat tender. I recommend separating the flat from the point, slicing the flat into pencil thick slices. If you’re ambitious, you can turn your point into burnt ends.
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Hot and Fast Brisket:
Hot and Fast smoked beef brisket is a pretty straightforward recipe but these tips will help make it even easier.
Don’t rely on the clock. Your brisket is done when it has reached 205-210 degrees internal temperature, and is probe tender, NOT after a certain amount of time has past. Every piece of meat is different, every cooking sessions has different atmospheric conditions. Times listed in the recipe are general suggestions of how long it should take. Always rely on your trusty meat thermometer to determine doneness.
Wrap your brisket using aluminum foil or butcher paper. Both work well for wrapping your brisket. Foil, known as the “Texas Crutch”, tends to speed up the cooking session, as you can create a proper seal on the wrap. Pink butcher paper helps maintain the bark or “BBQ crust” better, but doesn’t seal as well as foil, so can take longer to finish. If you’re in a hurry, use foil.
Don’t rush your brisket rest. Letting your brisket rest allows the meat to reabsorb it’s juices, so your brisket won’t be dry and tough; it also tenderizes your meat, so it is easier to slice; and letting brisket rest allows your rub’s flavor to better sink in so you’re getting a ton of flavor in every single bite!
Wrap your brisket when it reaches 160-170o internal temperature. Wrapping the brisket does two good things. It protects the bark on the outside of the meat from getting too dark or burnt, and the wrapping helps create steam from the meats own juices that keeps it flavorful and softens the tougher fibers of the meat.
Pellet smokers are great bbq tools. Clean your pellet smoker and make sure the pellet hopper is full. We recommend Jealous Devil Legendary Blend pellets.
Depending on your cooker, our cooking goal is to hold the smoker between 295-325o for this hot and fast brisket cooking session. With pellet smokers, its easy to hold the temperature right at 300o, but with charcoal or wood burners it takes more skill to hold it at a precise temperature.
For the hot and fast method, particularly if you’re using a kettle or Kamado style smoker, start your cook with the fat-side down. Keep the layer of fat between the heat source and the meat will help it render more fully and protect the meat from the fire.
We find it best to plan for about 1/2 pound of brisket per person.
Based off a 1/2 pound serving size per person, plan on buying a packer brisket that weighs as much as the amount of people you’d like to feed – ie: for 18 people, buy an 18 pound packer brisket. For 12 people, buy a 12 pound packer brisket. This will account for weight loss due to liquid and fat cook-off, and trimming.
What to Serve With Hot and Fast Smoked Brisket
With a traditional BBQ meat like smoked beef brisket, the traditional side are often the best.
If you want to work outside the box, you can add the brisket meat to chili or tacos for a deep, rich beefy take on those classics.
Want to punch up your macaroni and cheese? Replace the lobster in my Best easy mac and cheese with brisket for a beefy cheesy delight!
You can find more of our favorite BBQ Sides Recipes below:
Hot and Fast Brisket Recipe
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Delicious juicy, smoky brisket in about half of the time it takes to traditionally smoke a brisket.
- 14-pound brisket
- Brisket Rub:
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Prepare your smoker. Light your fire and allow the charcoal to burn for 15-20 minutes until the grey/black smoke is replaced with thin, wispy blue smoke. Bring the temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim brisket, removing any excess fat.
- Season your brisket aggressively with your rub of choice. Remember, it’s a large, thick piece of meat, so use more seasoning on the outside than you think you should. You can season up to 36 hours in advance, which helps build and establish a good bark on your brisket.
- Place on smoker grill, fat side down, and smoke your brisket until it hits an internal temperature of 160-170. I highly recommend using a disposable foil pan with water in to catch fat drippings and prevent flare-ups in your smoker. The water also helps keep the brisket moist. This should take roughly 2-3 hours depending on the thickness of your particular piece of meat, your cooker, and ambient temperatures.
- Wrap brisket in kraft paper or aluminum foil when it has reached 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook your wrapped brisket until in reaches 205-210 degrees internal temperature. This should take approximately 2-2.5 hours, but check the temperature to be sure. The rule of thumb is that your meat is done when the sharp probe slides through the meat like hot butter.
- Once your brisket hits the temperature, remove it from the smoker, keep it in foil or butcher paper wrap. Wrap it in a towel and then put it in a clean, dry cooler to rest for at least an hour. This rest keeps the meat juicy and helps to keep it tender.
- After resting at least one hour, slice against the grain, and serve.
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Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - 35LB
Kamado Joe BJ24RHC Big Joe II Charcoal Grill, 24 inch, Blaze Red
Brown Kraft Butcher Paper Roll - Long 24 Inch x 175 Feet (2100 Inch) - Food Grade Brown Wrapping Paper for Smoking Meat of all Varieties – Unbleached, Unwaxed and Uncoated – Made in USA
Flame Boss 500-WiFi Smoker Controller (Ceramic/Kamado)
Kamado Joe KJ-IKAMANDNA Classic II Ikamand
Aluminum Pans 9x13 Disposable Baking Tin Foil Pan Half Size, (10 Pack) Cooking, Roasting, Broiling, Bakeware, Storing, Prepping Food, Heating, Crawfish Trays
Amount Per Serving Calories 548Total Fat 85gSaturated Fat 34gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 40gCholesterol 487mgSodium 795mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 133g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.