Smoked Brisket Tacos
Why go out for tacos when you can make the best ones at home? I know you typically find brisket sliced along with the standard BBQ sides, but trust me once you’ve had a Smoked Brisket Tacos, you’ll fall in love!
For this recipe you’ll need a whole packer brisket. I picked one up at Sam’s Club weighing just over 15 lbs.
The first thing you want to do is trim the brisket so it lays flat on the grill. Remove a good portion of the fat leaving about ¼” for insulation & flavor. On the meat side you want to trim off as much of the silver skin as possible but don’t get over aggressive.
Of Course Brisket needs a good dose of Salt and Pepper, but I also want it to have more of a Southwestern flavor to really give it a kick. First hit the brisket with a generous amount of my Killer Hog’s AP Rub on both sides.
Then it’s time for the Mexican Seasoning (see the recipe below) for these Smoked Brisket Tacos. Whole Brisket can take a lot of seasoning, so don’t be stingy here.
Mexican Seasoning Recipe for Smoked Brisket Tacos
– 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
– 1 Tablespoon Cumin
– 1 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic
– 1 Tablespoon Paprika
– 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
– 1 Tablespoon Salt
– 1 teaspoon Oregano
– 1 teaspoon Ground Chipotle Pepper
– 1 teaspoon Ground Ancho Chili Powder
– ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Now it’s time to fire up the pit. I’m using my Gateway Drum for this cook but you can follow along with any smoker. For brisket, I like the cooking temperature to be around 275⁰ because it sets a good bark on the outside and really renders out the fat.
Just before the brisket hits the rack add a few chunks of your favorite wood. Today I’m using GrilleWood hickory, but post oak or pecan would also be good choices.
On the drum, brisket needs about 3 hours in the smoke, but more than time I’m really going by color on the outside of the brisket. I want to catch it just before it starts turning dark. This way the bark has a great flavor and it’s not overly smoked.
Once the color is right it’s time to pan the brisket with a flavorful jus so that it gets tender. Here’s my recipe for the Brisket Jus:
– 16oz Beef Broth
– 8oz Dark Mexican Beer
– 1 Tablespoon Butter
– 1 Small White Onion (cut into strips)
– 4-5 Cloves Minced Garlic
– 4 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
Melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook just long enough to sweat the onions then add the Chipotle Peppers. Use a wooden spoon to break up the peppers then add the liquids. Simmer for 5 minutes but don’t bring the jus to boil. The flavors need to come together but we don’t want the mixture to reduce.
Pour the jus into the pan with the brisket and insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the flat. For this cook I’m using a Thermoworks DOT – you can check them out here >>
Cover the pan with foil and get the brisket back on the smoker. At this point just monitor the internal temperature until it reaches 204⁰ internal.
You can test the tenderness by removing the probe and reinserting into different areas on the flat. Look for little to no resistance (think of a knife sliding through room temp butter).
Once the brisket is tender it needs to rest for a couple hours in a dry cooler. Just let the steam out of the pan for a few minutes and place it into a large cooler.
Don’t skip the resting period anytime you’re cooking brisket. If you slice it without resting, the meat will lose moisture and end up on the tough side.
For the Smoked Brisket Tacos I serve them 2 ways… Sliced and Shredded. Separate the flat/point and cut the flat across the grain into ¼” slices. I use my Brisket Slicer for this.
Use a pair of nitrile gloves over cotton liners to shred the point. The brisket jus is great for keeping the slices and shreds moist. I pour it into a container and let the fat rise to the top. Ladle the fat off and drizzle the meat with the left over jus.
When it comes to building the Smoked Brisket Tacos I like to keep it pretty simple. Fresh cilantro, onions, and a squeeze of lime are all you need; but you can get creative and serve them with your favorite toppings.
I made an Avocado Crema that adds the perfect creamy balance to these tacos. The recipe is below and trust me this is one you want to make. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Avocado Crema Recipe
– ¾ Cup Sour Cream
– 2 Avocados
– 1 Chipotle Pepper
– 3 Cloves Garlic
– Juice of ½ lime
– ½ teaspoon Salt