Texas Brisket Recipe
May 23, 2016

Texas Brisket Recipe

My Butcher Paper BBQ Brisket Method

It’s time to throw a whole packer brisket on some smoke – and get some delicious Texas Brisket!

For this Texas Brisket cook I’m starting with a full packer brisket. That means it has the flat and point still connected.

You’ll want to trim any thick fat down to ¼” and also remove the thick deckle fat that connects the flat and point. This fat won’t render during cooking and it helps the texas brisket lay flat which helps with uniform cooking.

Texas Brisket Recipe

I’m giving this brisket the Texas Treatment… a simple mix of Kosher Salt and Corse Black Pepper is all you need.

I mix ¼ cup of salt and ¼ cup of pepper together in a shaker and coat the entire outside with a good dose. Let the brisket rest on the counter while the pit comes up to temp.

Texas Brisket Recipe

For texas brisket you can expect a long cook time, so be prepared to maintain an even temperature for several hours. I’m using my Ole Hickory MM running at 250⁰ for this cook but any cooker can be set up to cook indirect.

Just make sure you use a good probe thermometer (I use the Thermoworks ThermaQ dual probe thermometer – check it out here>>) to monitor grate temperature throughout the cook. It’s the best way to know exactly where the meat is cooking, and you can’t always go by dial temp alone.

Once the smoker is stabilized, place the texas brisket fat up on the cooking grate and close the lid. Traditionally Texas style brisket is cooked with post oak but I don’t have any, so I’m going with the next best option and that’s Pecan.

Throw a few chunks on the fire and kick back for a while. There’s no need to open the pit just add fuel and wood as needed to hold the smoker steady at 250⁰.

Texas Brisket Recipe

After 5 hours, the outside of the brisket will start to turn dark. This is exactly what you want to happen, and it’s time to wrap at this stage.

In Texas many of the pit masters use Red Butcher Paper to wrap briskets instead of aluminum foil, so I had to give it a try. The butcher paper allows some of the moisture to escape and prevents the brisket from steaming which produces a better crust (bark).

Tear off 2 big strips of butcher paper and lay them cross ways on the table. Place the brisket in the middle and wrap with the first layer of paper flipping the brisket.

Bring the next layer up and over and tuck in the sides best you can. Flip the brisket upright and it’s ready to go back on the pit. It should be laying fat side up the entire time on the pit.

Texas Brisket Recipe

Monitoring the internal temperature of the meat is important now, so stick a probe into the thickest area of the flat right through the paper. Be sure not to go too deep; it should rest right in the middle of the flat. Set the alarm for 200⁰ and get ready to wait another 3-4 hours. You can’t rush perfection!

Once the alarm sounds at 200⁰ the brisket is ready to come off the pit. You can double check the internal temp just to make sure it feels soft. For brisket you should feel almost no resistance when you stick it with a probe – like your sticking butter!

Texas Brisket Recipe

Place the brisket in a dry cooler and close the lid. It needs to rest for at least 2 hours before slicing but as much as 6 hours won’t hurt.

The rest gives the brisket time to stop cooking and reabsorb some moisture. If you cut into it right away, it will be dry; so whatever you do don’t skip the 2 hour rest.

Texas Brisket Recipe

For serving brisket separate the point and flat. Cut the flat into ¼” slices and split the point right down the middle against the grain.

Texas Brisket Recipe

Cut it into slices and cube the outer edges for burnt ends. Texas Style brisket is one of my favorites and you can’t beat the simple flavors it has when done right!

Texas Brisket Recipe

Texas Brisket Recipe


  • 1 Whole Brisket 17lbs before trimming
  • ¼ cup Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Corse Ground Black Pepper


  1. Trim fat to ¼” on brisket
  2. Mix Salt and Pepper together in a shaker bottle or dredge
  3. Season all sides of brisket with Salt/Pepper mixture
  4. Prepare smoker for indirect heat 250⁰.
  5. Place brisket on smoker and add pecan wood chunks to fire
  6. Smoke for 5 hours maintaining constant temperature and adding pecan wood as needed
  7. Wrap brisket in double layer of butcher paper and return to smoker
  8. Insert probe thermometer into middle of flat section and continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 200⁰
  9. Remove brisket from smoker and rest in a dry cooler (no ice) for 2 hours
  10. Separate the flat and point, slice the flat against the grain into ¼” slices. Cut the point in half and slice it against the grain. The edges can be cubed into burnt ends.
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Malcom Reed
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Texas Brisket Recipe

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  1. Scott says:

    What temperature should the brisket be when you wrap it in the butcher paper?

  2. loonie says:

    I’m using a smoker charcoal grill no wood how much charcoal should I use n do I put fat down or up

    • It all depends on the size of your grill. You have to learn your smoker and find out what it takes to hold the temps steady. I always suggest going to get some chickens to smoke – they are cheap and smoking chickens is a great way to learn your smoker.

      I use my fat as a shield. If my heat source is coming from the bottom – I go fat down. If my het source is coming from the top – I go fat up.

  3. Todd Nelson says:

    If I cannot get a hold of Red Butcher paper, Malcolm, what would be a good substitute that might be easier to find?

  4. dave singleton says:

    Malcolm, what about using Reynolds freezer paper – I have read some stuff on the internet where a guy used it but the coating kinda scares me – whats your opinion ?

  5. Brian Jones says:

    Do you ever inject the brisket with anything or just go with the salt and pepper outside? Thank you in advance, love your recipes!

    • Oh yeah, when I do a competition style brisket, I always inject. I typically use Butcher’s Prime Beef Injection mixed with beef broth. I’ve also used this recipe:

      Beef Base (1 heaping tea)
      Worcestershire Sauce (1 TBS)
      Soy Sauce (1 TBS)
      Accent (1 tea)
      Water (2 cups)
      Warm the water in a small sauce pan, add the beef base and whisk, then add the rest.

  6. Rafaelet says:

    I followed the recipe for a gas grill and smoked for about 7 hours before refrigerating overnight. The next morning the brisket went in the oven for about 5 hours. I needed to keep the grill temp a bit higher at just under 300 to keep good smoke going but the results were very good. Nice smoke flavor from the apple wood chips. Not at all dried out even after 12 hours at close to 300 degrees.

  7. Roger De La Paz says:

    What kind of brisket do you use for competition’s?

  8. Malcolm, how do you feel about using a parchment paper? Has no wax and is besigned to cook directly on. Can’t find red or pink butcher paper locally.

  9. Doodle d says:

    How long do you cook a six and a half pound brisket at 250 degrees. Thanks

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I'm Malcom Reed and these are my methods and techniques for mouth-watering, slow-smoked BBQ. Recipes, videos, detailed procedures and BBQ tips.

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