Texas Smoked Brisket Recipe
Smoking a brisket takes time, but it yields amazing results. This straightforward recipe follows the traditional Central Texas style of slowly smoking a beef brisket and serving with simple side dishes. The directions are a little loose, but cooking brisket is more of an art form than a science, so go with the flow, and don’t expect the brisket to be ready on your time frame – you be ready on its time frame! In the end, you’ll have a delicious meal that will serve a crowd or leave you with days of leftovers. In this recipe, we are using a whole beef brisket, but you can also use a brisket flat for this recipe. Cooking time will be lower if you use a flat. Do you have any great brisket recipes? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Season your brisket liberally with salt and pepper. Just throw it on. Use lots. Like 1/4 cup+ of kosher salt and 3 tbsp. of coarse ground black pepper. Let sit at room temperature while you’re setting up the smoker / grill.
Set up your grill to cook at 250ºF and for indirect heat. This means the meat is not receiving direct heat. Once the fire is going, add oak or pecan wood chunks. We prefer chunks that are not soaked in water for this recipe. It gives more smoke in a shorter time frame to help the beef absorb maximum flavor.
Once your grill has reached stable temperature, and is smoking, place the brisket fat side down on the smoker. Having it fat side down helps insulate the meat and promote more even cooking. Cook for about 4-5 hours until the meat reaches 150ºF.
When the meat reaches 150ºF, it will “stall” as moisture evaporates from the meat and creates an evaporative cooling effect that prevents the brisket’s temperature from rising. To fix this, remove the brisket and wrap it in aluminum foil. This creates an environment of 100% humidity and prevents evaporative cooling from occurring. Place the meat back on the smoker and continue cooking for approximately 12 more hours until the meat reaches 203ºF.
BBQ gurus swear that 203ºF is the perfect temperature to pull the meat, but you can pull it at 200-205ºF. When you reach this temperature, pull the meat off the smoker / grill, and leave it in the foil. Place in an insulated cooler and let sit for 1 hour. This will allow juices to redistribute and the temperature to come down.
After 1 hour, slice the meat into thin slices. Serve with white bread, pickles, onions, and baked beans. Sauce is not traditional in the Central Texas style of BBQ, but you can use the drippings as a wetting sauce. Really, just serve the meat with what you like, it’s your meal and we hope you enjoy it!