How to Smoke a Brisket

Beef brisket smoking

Smoking a beef brisket can be a bit tricky. Let me walk you through the process step-by-step so you can cook your brisket to perfection for a tender and flavorful meal.

First, pick the right cut of beef. I recommend going with USDA Prime grade brisket as it has more marbling and will be more tender.


Brisket is a popular meat cut for smoking. It’s also a good choice for novice smokers as it cooks quickly in a smoker and can be used to try different flavors.

To prepare your brisket for smoking, start by trimming the fat layer on the top. Using a sharp knife, trim the hard pieces of fat on the brisket’s fat cap to no more than 1/4-inch thick.

Next, flip the brisket over so that its fat side is on top. Remove any silver skin (a thin membrane of tissue) and excess fat, to make the brisket even in shape.

Season the brisket with a dry rub that includes your preferred spices. This will ensure the flavor of the dry rub is absorbed into the meat and makes it more tender.


Smoking a brisket can be an intimidating task. You have to understand how to time it and when to move on to the next step in order to get a good result.

Start by ensuring that the brisket is cut to the right size for your smoker. It should be in the 10-12 pound range, which is just about the perfect size for a charcoal or gas grill.

Then, trim away any silver skin or excess fat. Ideally, you want to leave about a 1/4-inch layer of fat on the brisket for a better cook.

Once you’ve trimmed the brisket, season it with a dry rub. The rub should be spread evenly over the top, bottom, sides and between the point and the flat of the brisket.

Then, spritz the brisket with apple cider vinegar every two hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees. When it has reached this temperature, wrap the brisket in foil or butcher paper and return it to the smoker.


Resting a beef brisket is an incredibly important step in the smoking process. Failure to do so can result in tough, dry meat that doesn’t have the texture or flavor you want.

Essentially, resting your brisket allows the juices that have been lost during the cooking process to redistribute inside your meat. This can give it a tender, juicy texture that’s hard to achieve without this step.

The best way to rest a brisket is to keep it in an insulated cooler for a few hours. This allows the steam that has been produced during the smoking and cooking process to evaporate, leaving behind mouthwatering juiciness!

Resting your brisket is also important for safety reasons. You need to make sure that the internal temperature of your brisket does not drop below 140 degrees during this time, which can cause food-borne illnesses.


Smoking a brisket is an excellent way to tenderize and flavor the meat. However, if you have a large crowd or don’t want to wait for the brisket to cook all day, it’s best to finish it off in the oven.

The first step to finishing a brisket is to separate the flat from the point of the brisket. This process requires a sharp knife and the ability to lift the fat cap away from the point.

Once the point is separated from the flat, use a knife to cut the fatty point into small cubes that are approximately 1/8th of an inch thick. These are called burnt ends and they make an incredible addition to any BBQ sandwich or meal.

Once the brisket has reached an internal temperature of 190 degrees, remove it from the smoker and wrap it tightly with butcher paper. Push the temperature probe through the wrap and return it to the smoker until it reaches the desired temperature.

Read more great BBQ articles at Bob's BBQ Tips

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