The Best Easy Smoked Brisket Recipe
Jan 22, 2023, Updated May 23, 2023
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Get ready to elevate your BBQ game with this unbeatable easy 3-2-1 smoked brisket recipe that promises a juicy, flavorful, and perfectly tender brisket every time.
The best delicious crunchy and juicy easy smoked brisket recipe that is bursting with smoky flavor and easy for beginner cooks!
A perfect smoked brisket should have a deep, rich flavor that is both smoky and savory, with a tender and juicy texture – using our recipe will help ensure a delicious, succulent brisket that will get your guests drooling!
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Easy Smoked Brisket
Why call something the best easy smoked brisket ever?
That’s simple…. this smoked brisket recipe is easy, delicious, and restaurant quality – right from your backyard! This recipe is my family’s tried and true secret to delicious juicy smoked brisket that is perfect for a crowd and great at picnics, parties, and cookouts!
I hate even calling this brisket recipe a recipe – since it’s more tips and tricks (and a base recipe) that you can use to make your own favorite version of brisket that your whole family will love.
Brisket is one of the easiest large meat cuts to smoke for a crowd since all the work you have to do is focus on keeping an even temperature… it does all the hard work itself as it smokes all day long. Brisket is truly a set and forget type of meat – but there are some tips I’ve picked up to help you learn how to smoke a brisket perfectly every time!
If you’re looking for a quicker version of brisket, be sure to check out my Hot and Fast Brisket recipe!
Check out my web story on this brisket, it includes video!
How to Smoke Brisket
To make smoked brisket, we will use the following ingredients:
- Brisket. The two main types of brisket are the “packer cut” brisket and the “flat cut” brisket.
- The packer cut brisket is a whole brisket that includes both the flat and point cuts, which are the two sections of meat that make up a brisket. The point cut is usually considered the more flavorful and tender of the two, as it contains a higher amount of marbling. This makes it a good choice for smoking, as it will remain juicy and flavorful even after several hours of smoking.
- The flat cut brisket, also known as the first cut, is a leaner cut of meat and is typically used for deli-style sliced beef. While it can still be delicious when smoked, it may not have as much flavor and juiciness as the point cut, due to its lower amount of marbling.
Brisket baste: A brisket baste is a mixture of liquids that is applied to the surface of the brisket while it’s smoking, to help keep the meat moist and flavorful. Here’s why each of these ingredients contributes to the flavor of a brisket baste:
- Beer: Beer is a popular ingredient in a brisket baste because it adds a rich, malty flavor to the meat. The alcohol in the beer also helps to break down the meat fibers and tenderize the brisket, making it juicy and tender.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is an acidic ingredient that helps to balance out the flavors in the baste. It adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor, and also helps to cut through the richness of the butter.
- Beef stock: Beef stock is used to add more richness and depth of flavor to the baste. It’s made by simmering beef bones and vegetables in water, which concentrates the flavor and creates a flavorful liquid.
- Butter, melted: Butter is used to add richness and flavor to the baste. When combined with the other ingredients, it helps to create a flavorful sauce that will keep the brisket moist and tender as it smokes.
Dry rub: A dry rub is a mixture of spices and seasonings that is rubbed onto the surface of the meat before cooking. The purpose of a dry rub is to add flavor and texture to the meat, as well as to help form a flavorful crust.
- Garlic powder & Onion Powder – Garlic powder and onion powder provide a savory, aromatic flavor.
- Paprika and Chili Powder – Paprika and chili powder add a spicy and smoky flavor.
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper – Kosher salt is used for seasoning, and black pepper adds a bit of heat and complexity.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar helps to balance out the flavors and also contributes to the formation of a flavorful crust.
Once you’ve gathered all the ingredients you will need, we will use this process:
- Prep. When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke (Super Smoke for the Timberline grill) with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 225 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 minutes. Mix together garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili pepper, kosher salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season brisket on all sides.
- Smoke. Place brisket, fat side down on grill grate. Cook brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees (about 3-4 hours).
- Wrap. When brisket reaches internal temperature of 160 degrees F, remove from grill. Double wrap meat in aluminum foil and add the beef broth to the foil packet. Return brisket to grill and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 204 degrees F (about 3 hours more).
- Rest. Once finished, remove from grill, unwrap from foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut against the grain and serve.
Tips & Tricks to Perfect Brisket & FAQs
Buy the right brisket. Buying a brisket can seem overwhelming – but there are a couple of things to look for to be sure you have a great brisket for your cookout. Beef brisket comes in two cuts separated by a layer of fat. The first cut, also called the flat cut, is one muscle and is sliced with little fat—which makes it more expensive.
When we’re making brisket for our family, and not a big party, we will go for a flat cut brisket that is trimmed and much smaller so we’re not paying for a ton of meat we won’t be able to eat our way through without getting sick of it. The second cut, the point cut, is sliced with the fat, and is more flavorful.
How much brisket to buy. A 14 pound brisket would feed 25+ people for a BBQ – so don’t think that you need a huge brisket if you’re not all going to be eating a ton of it.
The general rule of thumb for a backyard cookout is to buy 1/2 pound for every person eating.
Trim brisket. Brisket trimming is largely controversial – with many brisket lovers in one of two camps- those that love the extra flavor leaving the fat cap of brisket on gives a brisket (I am most definitely a believer in leaving the layer of fat on a brisket, though prefer it to be cut evenly and trimmed a touch) – and those that trim a brisket of the excess fat for a more even smoking and uniform texture with very little fat cap left on the brisket.
Use pre-trimmed brisket. In many grocery stores, you can find pre-trimmed brisket that is perfect for a family dinner (which I used in the photos in this post) – no extra work needed – though pre-trimmed briskets do tend to carry a little bit steeper price tag than one you can trim yourself. When I am throwing a big party or cookout, we’ll go for the point cut and keep the fat somewhat untrimmed so we can slowly let it render and release all of the amazing flavor into the brisket.
How to get over a temperature stall. While smoking a brisket, there is always a point the internal temperature seems to stall out – which is incredibly frustrating after smoking brisket all day. To get over the temperature stall when smoking a brisket, we wrap the brisket in foil with a little beer, cider vinegar, and butter bath to help the brisket’s temperature rise, cooking it the rest of the way to done in the foil. This is the best way to get over a temperature stall – pop your brisket in foil to keep cooking the rest of the way!
What wood chips to use for brisket. Since brisket has a rich, meaty flavor, it can stand up to smokier, more flavorful wood chips on the smoker. Mesquite and hickory tend to be the most popular for smoking brisket – but we like to cut our mesquite chips with some cleaner, lighter burning fruit woods like cherry for an amazing smoked brisket flavor.
Storing leftovers. Leftover brisket can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to four days. Uneaten brisket you won’t get to within a week should be sectioned off and frozen. Brisket is a meat that is easy frozen and reheated – if you take a little extra care. Brisket is best frozen when vacuum packed or saved in a ziploc bag with the extra air removed as much as possible.
- Add brisket to bag dry – not covered in sauce – for the easiest thawing.
- (Sauce will cause your frozen brisket to clump up, which will make it thaw unevenly and can help aid the formation of freezer burn.)
- When you go to reheat the brisket, let it thaw naturally in the refrigerator for 1 day, then lightly reheat to avoid drying out the brisket.
- I like to quickly pan-fry leftover brisket with some BBQ sauce in a pan when I’m worried it might be a bit dry, then chop it up slightly and toss it in a sandwich!
Change flavors of your brisket dry rub. When using these dry rub ingredients, it’s important to find the right balance that works for your taste preferences. You can start with a basic recipe and adjust the ratios of the ingredients to suit your tastes. Experimenting with different ratios of the ingredients can be a fun way to find the perfect dry rub for your smoked brisket.
To get over a temperature stall when smoking a brisket, wrap brisket in foil with a little beer, cider vinegar, and butter bath to help the brisket’s temperature rise, cooking it the rest of the way to done in the foil.
A “mop” is just a liquid bath to baste your smoked brisket with, usually made from beer, apple cider vinegar, and spices.
To break down the connective tissue in a brisket, we’re cooking it slow with low heat – brisket takes about 8 hours of smoking time.
If your brisket is taking a while, you can always pop it in the oven for the second part of cooking after you’ve developed a rich, smoky bark on the outside of the brisket. This is a great tip if the weather doesn’t cooperate or you run out of wood chips to keep your fire going.
What to Serve With Brisket
If you’re looking for delicious, hearty, home-cooked sides that stick to your ribs, look no further than our favorite cookout sides!
The Best Easy Smoked Brisket Recipe Ever
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- 1 15 lb brisket
- Brisket Baste:
- 1 cup beer
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup beef stock
- 5 tbsp butter, melted
- 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
- When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke (Super Smoke for the Timberline grill) with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
- Set the temperature to 225 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 minutes.
- Mix together garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili pepper, kosher salt, pepper, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
- Season brisket on all sides.
- Place brisket, fat side down on grill grate.
- Cook brisket until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees (about 3-4 hours).
- While it is cooking combine the beer, apple cider vinegar, beef stock, and butter to make a brisket baste.
- When brisket reaches internal temperature of 160 degrees F, remove from grill.
- Double wrap meat in aluminum foil and pour the brisket baste around the meat within the foil packet.
- Return brisket to grill and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 204 degrees F (about 3-4 hours more).
- Once finished, remove from grill, unwrap from foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Cut against the grain and serve. Enjoy!
- Can’t get enough? Check out all our recipes.
- Master cooking this piece of meat from beginning to end and check out our ultimate guide for how to smoke brisket.
Nutrition InformationYield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 137Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 35mgSodium 1263mgCarbohydrates 6gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 1gSugar 1gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 7g
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.