Delicious BBQ Beef Brisket Recipe for Your Next Summer Cookout

Are you tired of cooking the same old beef dishes and looking for something new? Why not try smoking a brisket! Brisket, a cut of meat from the chest of a cow, when smoked to perfection is juicy, tender and flavorful. However, smoking a brisket requires patience, skill and some knowledge about how to prepare it.

In this article, we’ll provide you with an easy-to-follow guide on how to smoke brisket. From ingredients needed to serving suggestions, we have everything covered. So let’s get started!


When it comes to cooking, having the right ingredients is key. Here are some tips to help you select the best beef brisket for your dish and a list of necessary tools and equipment.

List of Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-5 pound) beef brisket
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups beef broth or stock
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Liquid Smoke flavoring (optional)

Tips for Selecting the Best Beef Brisket:

Selecting the right beef brisket is crucial for a successful dish. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing your cut of meat:

    The Grade of Brisket:
Choose a USDA Choice or Prime grade brisket if possible. These grades have more marbling which results in more flavorful and tender meat.
    The Cut of Meat:
Select either the flat cut or point cut brisket. The flat cut is leaner with less fat but can be drier if not cooked properly. The point cut has more fat which adds flavor and moisture during cooking.

Necessary Tools and Equipment:

Here is what you will need:
    A large Dutch oven pot with a lid.
This type of pot can withstand high heat and provides even cooking throughout the meat. It also keeps moisture inside which is necessary for a tender brisket.
    A Meat Thermometer:
This tool will help you check the internal temperature of your brisket to ensure it’s fully cooked and safe to eat.
    A Cutting Board and Sharp Knife:
After cooking, you’ll need a cutting board and sharp knife to slice the meat properly. Remember, having the right ingredients and equipment is just as important as following the recipe instructions. Happy Cooking!

Preparing the Brisket

Trimming the Brisket

To prepare a delicious brisket, it is essential to trim it correctly. Trimming involves removing any excess fat or silver skin from the meat’s surface. This process helps prevent flare-ups during cooking, which could impact the final taste of your dish.

  • Aim to remove at least a quarter-inch of fat from the top and bottom surfaces of the meat.
  • Remove large chunks of fat with a knife or kitchen shears, being cautious not to cut into the meat.
  • Use a sharp knife to remove any silver skin present on the meat’s underside as it could become tough if left unchecked during cooking.

Applying Dry Rub

Dry rubs are a mixture of spices that you apply directly onto your trimmed brisket before cooking. This method adds flavor and texture by creating a beautiful crust on your brisket as it cooks. Follow these tips for applying dry rub:

  1. Cover all sides evenly with rub, including edges and crevices.
  2. Pack rub moderately firm so that it sticks well but is not compacted tightly against the chemical reaction in meats’ smoking stage
  3. .

Marinating Your Brisket

Sometimes you might want to marinate your brisket for added flavor. Here are useful tips when marinating:

  • Add marinade over trimmed beef before applying dry rub
  • Cover tightly using plastic wrap or transfer everything into zip-lock bags
  • Place in refrigerator overnight up to 24 hours tops- if more than ones daily usage, change position side by side from top to bottom in every 8 hrs so the flavors are distributed evenly

Tips for Making a Perfect Rub and Marinade

Creating an appealing rub or marinade might be tricky but is possible with these simple tips:

  • Mix it up with unique ingredients like mustard, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
  • Create depth by including wet ingredients like worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.
  • Consider the balance of sweet, salty, savory you want to achieve when mixing dry and wet seasonings.

By trimming your brisket correctly, applying a delicious dry rub and marinating well enough plus following our expert tips for making an amazing brisket- You will certainly achieve that perfect taste. So go ahead and give it a try!

Smoking the Brisket

Smoking a brisket is an art form that can take years to perfect. This cut of meat is notoriously tough, but with the right technique and tools, you can transform it into a mouth-watering delicacy.

Setting up the smoker

Before you begin smoking your brisket, you must set up your smoker correctly. Make sure it’s clean and free of debris from previous smokes. You’ll also need to fill it with the appropriate type of wood chips or chunks, such as hickory or mesquite.

Temperature and smoke control

The temperature at which you smoke your brisket is critical to achieving a perfectly cooked end product. Generally, 225°F is an optimal temperature range for smoking beef brisket. You should also maintain consistent smoke levels throughout the process by adding more wood chips periodically.

How long to smoke the brisket

The length of time that your brisket needs to be smoked depends on its size and weight. Typically, smoking a 12-14 lb whole packer brisket may take anywhere from 8-14 hours. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat to monitor when it’s done (around 200°F internal temperature).

Checking for doneness

A properly smoked brisket will have deep mahogany bark on its exterior and will be tender enough to pull apart using just your hands. If in doubt about whether your brisket has been fully smoked, do not hesitate to use meat internal ☿️   thermometer to ensure all parts are cooked above safe zone temperatures.

Tips for smoking a brisket

  • Use a good meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.
  • If you have the option, choose prime or choice-grade brisket for better results
  • Allow ample rest time at room temperature or insulated cooler wrapped in towels after removing from smoker before slicing and serving.
In summary, smoking a brisket is a labor of love that can produce impressive culinary results. Follow these tips with some trial and error until you’ve gained enough experience in managing temperature & smoke to achieve your desired result.

Sides and Serving Suggestions

Sides that pair well with BBQ beef brisket

  • Cole Slaw
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Baked Beans
  • Potato Salad
  • Cornbread

If you’re serving BBQ beef brisket, the sides are just as important as the main dish. Some of the best sides to serve with this savory meat include cole slaw, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, potato salad, and cornbread. These side dishes not only complement the flavors of the BBQ sauce on the brisket but also add a variety of textures to your meal.

Serving suggestions and plating ideas

  • The classic plate: Pile up some sliced beef brisket alongside a scoop of potato salad, a few spoonfuls of baked beans, and some pickles on the side.

  • Classic Plate

  • The sandwich option: Place your shredded or sliced beef brisket between two pieces of bread or buns; serve your preferred toppings like pickles, onions, coleslaw on top.

  • BBQ Sandwich

When it comes to serving BBQ beef brisket there are many different options to choose from. You can either place slices on a plate or opt for the traditional sandwich method. Decorate your plate with the classic sides, or choose some alternatives like a sweet potato casserole or green beans for an extra pop of flavor.

Beverage recommendations

  • Peach iced tea:
  • Peach Iced tea
    Pair BBQ beef brisket with some homemade peach iced tea to bring out the sweetness of the sauce on the meat.
  • American Pale Ale
  • American Pale Ale
    For those who prefer alcohol pairing, a refreshing American pale ale pairs well. It has enough hops to balance hearty food while not overpowering its flavor.

To quench your thirst as you savor every bite of BBQ beef brisket, try an ice-cold glass of homemade peach iced tea, which accents the summery flavor of this southern comfort dish. Beer lovers can consider pairing it with an American pale ale that provides refreshing and complementary hoppy flavors.


Smoking a brisket may seem daunting at first but following these steps will make even novices feel confident enough to tackle this impressive dish. The key is in finding that delicate balance between time and temperature resulting in mouth-watering flavors throughout each bite.


What type of wood should I use when smoking my brisket?

You can use any kind of wood chips like hickory, mesquite or oak depending on personal preference.

How long does it take to smoke a full-sized beef brisket?

On average smokers should expect around 10-14 hours depending on size.

Can I overcook my smoked beef?

Yes if you go beyond recommended temperatures your meat could become dry and flavorless.

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