Making this Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe takes a long time at a slow pace, and sometimes food just tastes better that way.
This is the best beef brisket recipe. It is covered in a Texas-style dry rub, doused in a classic sweet BBQ sauce, and smoked on a Traeger Grill or an electric smoker. This beef comes out flavorful and moist with that distinctive and impressive smoke ring that is definitely worth the wait! Leftovers are great as a topping for tacos, or corned beef sandwiches.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Follow Our Zesty Life on Pinterest for more great recipes and ideas!
PIN this Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe to your GRILL, BBQ & SMOKER Board!
Why we Love this Smoked Brisket Recipe
- Ingredients are simple but the flavor is fantastic.
- This recipe makes a relatively cheap cut of meat into a gourmet meal.
- It’s easy to prepare, and once it’s in the smoker the chef has plenty of time to get other things ready.
What is Beef Brisket
The beef brisket cut comes from a part of the cow that gets a lot of exercise, essentially the breast of the cow. Because of this, the meat tends to be a little tougher than other cuts of beef. Slow cooking breaks all that muscle down and makes for the best ever tender and succulent meat. The cut can also be braised in a Crockpot like in this delicious Beef Brisket Slow Cooker Recipe, cooked in an oven, an Instant Pot (try this Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage), or a sous vide (or make this Sous Vide Prime Rib Roast recipe for a special occasion).
Ingredients and Variations
THE MEAT Sometimes this meat has a higher price than other cuts, but it will be worth the cost. Butchers sell two kinds of beef brisket cut: the flat cut and the point cut. The flat cut is more marbled with fat, while the point cut has a fat cap that is very thick. For this smoked beef brisket recipe either will do, however, the flat cut with the cap is preferred.
THE RUB The seasoning for this beef brisket rub is a very simple Texas rub. Our best beef brisket rub will also work well with this recipe.
APPLE JUICE Adding apple juice to the meat makes it moist and more flavorful.
BBQ SAUCE Use a favorite BBQ sauce or make a homemade version.
How to Smoke a Beef Brisket
A couple of steps for this perfect smoked brisket:
- Let meat come to room temperature and prepare the wood smoker
- Trim the fat & rub in the spices
- Place in smoker
- After 8 hours pour the apple juice over the meat
- During the last 30 minutes coat with BBQ sauce
- When it reaches the desired internal temperature remove from heat, wrap and let rest (as per the recipe below)
Slice and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for Smoked Beef Brisket
- The beef can be cooked fat side up or down. However, it is best to cook it fat side up, because the fat will render over the meat making it juicier.
- Hickory wood works best for this smoked beef brisket recipe. Make sure there is enough for the whole cooking time.
- Cook the meat for 1 ½ hour per pound.
- Trim off the extra far until it is about ¼ of an inch thick.
- After it has finished cooking, wrap the meat and let it sit on the counter for an hour. This will help to seal in the juices.
Classic Smoked Brisket Sides
Try this recipe with Slow Cooker Baked Beans in keeping with the low and slow theme. Then sit down with a glass of vino while dinner cooks. Prep this delicious Creamy Coleslaw and some Crispy Brussels Sprouts. A side of Baby Potatoes would also be a most welcome part of this dinner. And dessert choices are endless, but Rhubarb Crisp is definitely a summertime favorite that will end the meal on a lighter note.
Try leftovers as a topping with tacos, or make sliders with our homemade hamburger buns. Leftovers are so simple to reheat. It is better to use sliced beef brisket because it will reheat faster. Heat the oven to 325°F, let the meat come to room temperature, place in a pan. Then just cover with broth or water, cover the brisket with aluminum foil, and cook for 20 minutes. If reheated whole, then it will take longer.
Best Beef Recipes
- Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich – great for leftovers.
- Beef Rouladen Recipe– German delight!
- Simple Beef Stroganoff – easy comfort.
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew – tender and savory.
- Burnt Ends Recipe – delicious way to use those end pieces.
Smoked Brisket Recipe
- Remove the brisket from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, prepare the smoker for smoking and bring the temperature to 225°F. Make sure there is enough charcoal and wood chunks (hickory is great for this) to cook the brisket.
- Trim excess fat with sharp knife or fat trimmer until there it’s about ¼” thick.
- Slather the brisket with yellow mustard and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Cover the brisket with a heavy coating of rub and let sit for 30 minutes (we used Texas rub on this one!)
- Place the brisket in the smoker fat side up. Smoke until the internal temperature reaches 190°F on a digital thermometer. This will take approximately 1 ½ hours per pound, so about 15 hours for a 10 pound brisket, with a few steps before it reaches the final temperature.
- At about the halfway point of cooking (after about 7-8 hours), spray the brisket all over with apple juice. Wrap it up tightly and continue to smoke the brisket. Make sure there is enough charcoal and wood chunks to continue cooking the brisket.
- When there is about 30 minutes left, coat the brisket with barbecue sauce, wrap tightly, and smoke the brisket until it reaches the final temperature of 190°F on a digital thermometer.
- Remove from smoker and coat the brisket with a final coating of barbecue sauce. Double wrap in foil and a blanket or towel. Allow the brisket rest for at least one hour before serving. Slice against the grain. Serve with extra barbecue sauce.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.