Smoked Brisket

brisket in smokerSmoked brisket is the king of BBQ. It can be intimidating because of the time invested and the technique involved. But, I promise if you follow my steps listed for this recipe you will be satisfied with the outcome and you will be more confident with the labor of love protein we all call Brisket.

A full packer is a full brisket where the point and flat are still connected. Most people will separate the two muscles because it’s more manageable to smoke. To be honest, it’s probably your best bet for a more controlled bbq. Here we are going to take it all on at once. Let’s dive into the smoked brisket recipe.

prepped brisket

Smoked Brisket

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 12 lb Packer brisket
  • ¼ cup Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Garlic powder optional
  • 2 tbsp Onion powder optional
  • 3 Smoked paprika optional
  • 2 Cayenne pepper optional
  • 4-6 tbsp Beef tallow
  • Apple cider vinegar For spritzing


  • Start by prepping your brisket removing most of the hard exterior fat. This fat is pretty much useless. Also, shape your brisket in a uniform oval look. This will help with the dynamics of the smoke rolling over your brisket to create an even bark across the brisket.
  • Save the trimmings because you can make some awesome beef tallow with it.
  • Season your brisket in layers (if you are only using salt and pepper). First seasoning generously with a layer of kosher salt, followed with pepper. If you are going to add more seasonings then combine all seasoning into a mixing bowl and season. 
  • Set your smoker up at 225-250 degrees, pellet, charcoal or offset, using hickory (If you go salt and pepper route) or misquote for the other seasoning combo.
  • Let your brisket smoke for 2 - 2 1/2 hours and then check to see how the bark is forming. At this time it is typically safe to spritz with apple cider vinegar every 30-45 mins. The mist is going to cool the brisket off and keep it from drying out. 
  • At the 4 1/2 - 6 hour mark check your brisket and see if it's at 165 internal temperature. At the 165 internal temperature, you can wrap the brisket. Aluminum foil on the bottom and butcher paper on top. Use 3-4 tablespoons for the base and top the brisket with another 3-4 tablespoons of beef tallow. Place it back in the smoker at 250 degrees and let it roll until PROBE TENDER, typically 203-205 internal temp. When your brisket hit this internal temp pull it and leave it wrapped but place it in a cooler to rest for 1-2 hours. You want the brisket to have a long slow rest. This is one of the most important steps of the whole process.
  • Once rested, separate the flat and point.  For the flat, you want to cut pencil-thick strips for serving. With the point, when it's removed from the flat turn it 90 degrees and make sure you slice against the grain. You can also use this section of the brisket for burnt ends. I’ll post another recipe for burnt ends soon.
  • The hard work is complete and now it's time to indulge and reap the benefits of your labor of love. 
Keyword Brisket, smoked

Equipment Used In This Recipe

Suggested smoker – Masterbuilt Gravity Series

Meater Plus

Charcoal Chimney

Charcoal Starters

Heat Resistant gloves

For more beef recipes, click the link below!

How long do you smoke a brisket?

The rule I go by is that you want to smoke a brisket around 30 minutes to 1 hour per pound of brisket. It comes down to the temperature you're going to smoke the brisket at.

What temperature should a brisket be cooked to?

180-195 is a good range for brisket. Anytime you take the meat off the grill, it will cook a little higher than the temperature you pulled it at. You just want to make sure that your brisket isn't chewy and dry. Cook your brisket to your desired temperature. These are not recommendations for temperatures.

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