Smoked brisket

Smoked brisket

Okay, let me just start off by saying that this is a recipe that I make in our barbecue. I’ve never been much of a BBQ snob but you know, being married to an American man it was kind of a requirement for us to have one. It’s one of those things!

In the beginning I felt super intimidated by it – I mean it’s this big, metallic thing with an actual fire burning inside. It was a bit scary! I thought Mike would be the one manning it for the most part but honestly, I started to play with it a bit and started trying out different foods – “let’s see how this cooks in there! And this! Do you think this will be okay in there?” – and it has actually ended up being kind of fun! Plus our BBQ is uber techy (which I love) and it’s a wood-burning one, which I wasn’t sure about before but it’s ended up being my favourite part!

The fact that it uses wood pellets just adds that extra layer of flavor that honestly I don’t think you can replicate. If you use a barbecue with coals it also has a very specific flavor, right? I know that having a gas BBQ is really convenient but if you care about the flavor profile and not just cooking something outside with friends and a beer (nothing wrong with that!), I’d definitely suggest that you look into getting a wood-burning BBQ. Ours is from Traeger if you’re interested, but there’s others out there too!

Anyways, all of that is to say that I never really used to cook big cuts of meat like this – I’d usually just roast them slowly in the oven with some potatoes and a sauce (nothing wrong with that either!) – but after trying it a couple of times it’s such a nice experience cutting into it and seeing the smoke ring and just in general, having meat cooked in a totally different way (for me at least)! So if you’ve got a grill and you want to give this a try, here’s how to do it.


Smoked brisket


First things first:

  • Take the brisket out of the fridge an hour or so before preparing it
  • Prepare your barbecue or smoker if you’re using one (clean etc)
  • Make sure to have a meat thermometer on hand!
Smoked brisket
This is our barbecue – small but mighty!



  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp mixed herbs (or italian seasoning)
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika

Smoked brisket


What to do:

  • First you need to prepare your meat. You can do this an hour or so before cooking but if you did it the day before it would be even better! I’ve used a 1.5 – 2kg brisket for this and the amount of rub is more than enough.

Smoked brisket

  • Remove any of the ties that usually hold the brisket together to make sure it’s all one flat piece. Use some paper towels to pat it down and make sure it’s completely dry.
Smoked brisket
For some reason, when I removed the string from my brisket it turned out to be 2 pieces instead of one! This doesn’t normally happen but it cooks the same – just keep an eye on the temperature!
  • Score the top of your brisket – using a small, sharp knife make a diamond pattern on the fat side (try not to cut any deeper!)

Smoked brisket

  • Mix your rub ingredients together (obviously you can use a different blend but this is my favourite!)

Smoked brisket

  • Generously spread the rub all over your meat. Top, bottom, sides… make sure it’s really well coated. Use your hands and pat it in to make sure it sticks.
    • Now you can let it rest for as long as you want. If you’re going to leave it overnight just pop it in the fridge but if not you can just leave it on your countertop or somewhere safe for a while, until you’re ready to start making it.

Smoked brisket

  • Make sure your BBQ (or oven) is preheated to 105C. If you have a fancy shmancy one like us you’ll want to set it on super smoke for extra flavor but if not it’ll still be delicious I’m sure!
  • Pop your brisket on your grill, fat side down. Make sure to use a meat thermometer as this is what will dictate how long it stays in for!

Smoked brisket

  • When your meat reaches an internal temperature of 70C (for this size it took me about 3h), take your brisket out and wrap it in aluminum foil. Pop it back in and get the thermometer back in. If you’re using your super smoke function I’d turn it off now.
  • Once the internal temperature of your brisket has reached 95C (should take another 3ish hours), take your meat out of the barbecue (or oven) and let it rest on your counter for about 30min – 1 hour.
  • Once it’s rested, remove the aluminum foil (careful as it’s probably full of juices!) and slice your brisket against the grain.

Smoked brisketSmoked brisket

  • And that’s it! Delicious smokey brisket – takes a long time but little to no effort!


Smoked brisket


Top tips:

  • I would really recommend that you season the meat the night before. The longer it sits in that rub, the better it’ll taste and also, it takes a looong time to cook and if you’re making it outside you may want to maximize your daylight.
  • If you’ve got some extra rub don’t discard it! It’s a great seasoning blend that you can use with other meats or veggies – on this day I used it to season my butternut squash but I’ve also used it on steak and chicken!
  • Cooking times will vary significantly depending on your grill, the outside temperature, and obviously the size of your brisket. This is why for something like this I’m fully guided on internal temperatures. Cooking thermometers are cheap so if you’re planning on making stuff like this I’d suggest you invest in one!
  • If you don’t have a barbecue but you’ve got a smoker I’m pretty sure you can use that as well! Just make sure to still use a meat thermometer and it’ll be the same.
  • Obviously if you make it in the oven you won’t have the smoky flavor but it’ll still be tender and delicious! I’d suggest using one of those racks that you’d use to make a whole roast chicken or turkey and on the bottom of that you can probably put some potatoes and when the meat drips it’ll flavor them like you wouldn’t believe it. Yum!



Smoked brisket


And that’s it! I know not everyone’s got a barbecue and much less a fancy shmancy one like we do – but if you do this is a great thing to make with it! Your brisket comes out super smoky and tender and juicy. The rub gives it a great flavor and whichever wood you decide to use it’ll give it a very particular smoky flavor too.

If you decide to make it I’d suggest pairing it with my roasted butternut squash and maybe some greens on the side but you can also cut it very thinly and use it for sandwiches or even chopped up into a frittata. The options are endless! I hope you like recipes like this and you give it a try! If you do make sure to share it with me and as always, thanks for reading me and see you again soon!

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