A smoked brisket takes a bit of time, but it’s a worthwile weekend project. This backyard method via Bon Apetit is approved by Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas.
1 (10 lb.) whole beef brisket, fat trimmed to ¼-inch thickness
1/4 cup Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Extra Coarse Black Malabar Pepper
1/4 cup Your choice of BBQ seasoning:
Native Texan BBQ Rub
Red Cloud Peak Seasoning
2 to 3 tsp. Cue Glue per lb. meat (optional)*
*Savory’s ‘Cue Glue helps the seasoning stick to your protein and creates a tender yet chewy bark. Simply slather on 2 to 3 tsp. per pound on all sides of the meat then apply the seasoning.
Equipment needed for charcoal grill method: Charcoal grill, chimney starter, 10 pound bag charcoal (natural, not with lighter fluid), aluminum drip tray, 4 to 8 hardwood chunks (hickory or oak), thermometer
Using a smoker: Follow instructions for your smoker, and use time and temperature guidelines in this recipe.
Place brisket on a rimmed baking sheet. Mix salt and pepper together in a small bowl. (*Slather brisket on both sides with ‘Cue Glue if using.) Rub brisket generously with choice of seasoning BBQ seasoning then rub with salt and pepper mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, soak wood chunks for 1 hour.
Just before the hour is up, fill chimney starter with charcoal. Light charcoal and let it burn until coals are covered in a layer of ash. Carefully transfer coals to one side of the grill. Place 3 chunks of wood next to but not on top of coals; this helps them burn slowly. Place drip tray on the other side of grill next to coals. Place grate on grill and cover grill. Stick the thermometer through the vent and heat until it registers 225 to 250 degrees and wood is smoking. Adjust vents on bottom and top of grill to maintain temperature; larger opening for more heat, smaller opening for less heat.
Once grill is to temperature, place brisket directly over drip pan. Cover grill so that the vent side is directly over the brisket. Smoke brisket for 5 to 6 hours, checking the temperature, coals, and wood chunks every 30 to 45 min. You want to keep the temperature between 225 and 250 degrees. Replace burned out coals with new coals as needed; you may need a few more chimneyfuls of coals to keep the heat going. Move wood chunks closer to hottest coals if they aren’t burning, or replace with new wood if they have extinguished. Rotate and flip the brisket every 1 to 1.5 hours. Start checking temperature of brisket at 4 hours.
Remove from grill when thickest part of brisket registers 150 to 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove brisket from grill, wrap in foil, and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook in a 250-degree oven for about 4 to 6 more hours until meat reaches an internal temperature of 195 to 205 degrees.
Let brisket rest 1 to 2 hours before slicing, against the grain, into ¼-inch thick slices.
Serve with sliced onions and pickles and your favorite barbecue sides.
8 to 10 servings
Adapted from Bon Apetit’s Texas Style Smoked Brisket