Texas Brisket Recipe

Texas Brisket Recipe

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! Print
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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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79 responses to “Texas Brisket Recipe”

  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

    • Malcom Reed says:

      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!

    • Malcom Reed says:

      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. Jason Grant says:

    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

  10. Harry Sanchez says:

    I can never achieve bite through skin on spatchcock chicken. Can you help in this department.

    • Malcom Reed says:

      It’s hard to get crispy chicken skin on the grill – cooking it at a higher temp (closer to 300) is the best way to achieve a crispier skin.

    • Dave says:

      I’ve done a lot of spatchcock chicken. I make the grill real hot, then sear the chicken skin side down to get it crispy. Then and only then I put it on the cold side for indirect heat to finish it up. Result is nice juicy meat with crispy skin.

  11. Harry Sanchez says:

    Thanks Malcom

  12. Shawn says:

    Malcom, on a WSM would you suggest fat side down and water pan empty or full? Thanks.

    • Malcom Reed says:

      I like to go fat side down because I want a nice bark to form on the top – plus the fat acts as protection from the heat. And water pans can prevent the formation of that good bark, so you can use water in the front part of the cook, but let it run dry towards the end so it can get a dry heat to form the bark.

  13. Travis says:

    After letting it sit for a few hrs whats the best way to heat it back up for eating without drying itcout or over cooking ?

  14. Tom says:

    Hello Malcom!

    Thank you for this great brisket recipe. I am preparing to try it on a Traeger Pellet Grill. Would there be an variations when using the Traeger from the process you use on the Old Hickory Grill?

  15. Doug says:

    I found white butcher paper. I’m assuming that would work ok?

    • Malcom Reed says:

      no, you don’t want treated, bleached or waxed lined paper. You want the brown/pink/peach untreated/unlined butcher paper. You can find it on Amazon pretty easy.

  16. Mark says:

    Just tried my first brisket flat and point Memorial Day weekend on my Pit Boss pellet grill. Followed your tips and hit it out of the park on both the flat and the burnt ends!!! Thank u for sharing your knowledge and making us look good!!!

  17. Barb P. says:

    Malcom, does injecting the brisket make it more tender? I have the new Traeger Timberline grill. I can only use the super smoke option up to 225 degrees. I used a beef rub and mop sauce until it got to 160 then wrapped it in the pink butcher paper and bumped the grill up to 250. It came out pretty good but there’s room for improvement. Just wondering if injecting would give better results?

    • Malcom Reed says:

      Injecting brisket helps it retain more moisture and give it more flavor – but does not make it more tender. And you really want to keep your temps steady through the whole cook – that helps get the best outcome too. And I’ve never mopped my brisket – I want it to form that good bark.

  18. Michael says:

    Malcolm, Im a little confused. In your recipe you advise having the fat side up. However, I’ve subsequently read thru the comments and you recommend having the Fat as a shield to the heat. Does the Old Hickory MM in your recipe heat from above? I have the fat up, currently, on my UDS. Next time I make this recipe should I have the fat down since my heat source is underneath? Thanks!

  19. Ty says:


    If I remember correctly, in one of your other videos you talk about opening the drain hole on the cooler and opening the lid a few times so the heat doesn’t continue to cook the meat. Do I need to do that with brisket also or should the cooler be sealed up and no peaking?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Malcom Reed says:

      If you have it really loaded down – and a lot of heat – you need to burp it. If it’s just one brisket in a medium-large cooler you will be fine.

  20. Jim Lovelace says:

    I made this Brisket in my electric smoker and followed Malcom’s directions to a tee. It was so moist, tender, and such a good smoke flavor. The pink butchers paper and letting it rest in a cooler are the key. This is my new go-to smoke for entertaining. It goes great with a Carolina style sauce, and the leftovers are amazing for sandwiches. Thanks for helping me look like I know what I am doing Malcom.

  21. T.S. says:

    Hi Malcom,

    Should the brisket be wrapped while resting in the cooler? Thanks!

  22. Ty says:

    I trimmed it the night before, added the salt and pepper at 4:40 AM, started the cook at 5:00 AM with cherry pellets on a pellet smoker at 250°. Wrapped it in foil at at 10:45 am and my 12 lb brisket was done at 12:00 pm. Let it set in a dry cooler like you said until 5:00 pm and it was perfect. I thought the cook would take around nine hours. Letting it rest from one to five hours makes it really easy to have the brisket ready when it is time to serve to your guests. Thanks Malcolm and Rachelle and whoever else is involved with your channel!

  23. Dave says:

    Watched your video on briskets that you cooked and then gave as holiday gifts. Love the idea. My question is, after vacuum sealing the briskets and freezing them, how do the recipients serve them up? I mean, if they reheat them, how would they avoid overheating and perhaps drying out the brisket since they are already fully cooked?

  24. Dexte Batoon says:

    Tried your Recipe on BBQ ribs and it turned out really well. Tried 3 times to learn more and shared it with my friends they said it is a really good BBQ Ribs. Thanks Malcom for sharing tips how too and now I will try your next recipe Smoked Brisket thanks again.

  25. Paul says:

    Hello Malcom,
    I have a Masterbuilt Sportsman electric smoker and the two briskets that I’ve done have been super tastey, with the exception of the lack of any discernible smoke ring.
    I smoke at 250° and use a combo of Pecan and Cherry wood chips.
    I can’t figure out why I’m not getting that beautiful smole ring that I see on all of your briskets! Could the problem be the fact that the pan the chips go into can only hold a 1/2 C of chips at a time? I try and make sure smoke is coming out of the vents at all times, but it still doesn’t seem to matter.
    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much and keep those fantastic videos coming!

    • Malcom Reed says:

      Smoke ring can be tricky. Its not really a good indicator of smoke flavor but more of a chemical reaction that occurs in the meat. It takes a good amount of seasoning, the right type of smoke (thin-blue smoke) and a little time. I would guess that in an electric smoker you’re not getting the best combustion of the wood but I’m sure it’s still good eating brisket. Don’t get hung up on a perfect smoke ring as long as the meat is tasting good in the end. If you do decide to upgrade to a more authentic smoker check out a UDS drum type pit. For an entry level smoker that produces authentic product you can’t beat one.

  26. Pa Clancy says:

    Hi Malcolm cooked a 3lb brisket on my uds got it up to 160, rapped it got it up to 200 about 4hour cook at 250, let it rest in cooler box for 3hours , meat tough not as tender as in your video, any advice thanks Pa

    • Malcom Reed says:

      With brisket its more about feel than final temp. 200-210 is a good guide but you have to probe the brisket and take it until the probe slides in with almost no effort. (think a hot knife into butter). But it’s also very possible it was just a bad brisket. Thats one cut of meat that takes a ton of practice to get down and then it’ll still leave you scratching your head (at least it does me on occasion). Don’t let that discourage you; keep on smoking!

  27. John says:

    Yes Malcom, after you let the brisket rest for two hours is it still warm enough to server it
    or does it need to be warmed up again?

  28. Jerrold says:

    Hi Malcom, Does separating the point and just BBQing the flat alter cook time or preparation? Thanks

  29. Curtis says:

    Awesome Brisket recipe! Finally tender and juicy. I let mine rest 3 hours in the cooler and it was still warm enough to serve without re-heating. We couldn’t find butcher paper so we used parchment paper, it worked great. Thanks Malcom, love all your products and recipes.

  30. Dustin Welch García says:

    Hi Malcolm, do you have a good recipe or recommendations for making brisket in a slow cooker? Thanks!!

  31. Mike Olez says:

    I’ve just recently purchased a Masterbuilt 30″ electric smoker. I’ve done some ribs and chicken in it so far and they’ve turned out great. And now I want to take a crack at doing a brisket. But because of the size of the smoker. There’s no way for me to do a whole complete packer. I’m going to see if I can find maybe about a smaller 8 to 10 lb brisket while still trying to please everyone. Some like the leaner meat, while others like the fattier meat. So if I can’t find a smaller full brisket with both the flat and the point. And if I got a normal 12 to 14 lb packer and separate the flat from the point and smoke them together on separate shelves in the smoker. Would I still be able to get both halves to cook evenly and come out as well as if I were doing a whole complete packer, at around 225? If so, which way should I stack them? Flat on top of point? Or the other way around? Also, having them separated would that cut some of the total cook time?


    • Malcom Reed says:

      Splitting the flat and point will be your best option. The flat will cook faster and you don’t want to dry it out. Let the point continue to cook until it’s tender.

  32. Chad Herndon says:

    Will Brown Kraft Paper work? I have a Vision Komodo Grill/Smoker. Do I put the wood chips directly on the charcoal?

  33. scott narrell says:

    I made 2 of these briskets this this weekend along with the Texas Style pork butts! Never thought of cooking butts Texas style!! Big hit at the tailgate! Go Gorillas!! They were fantastic! Thanks Malcom!!!

  34. Jimmy barfield says:

    Hi Malcom I was wondering can you rub the brisket with the salt and pepper and your killer hogs bbq rub ? I also wanted to ask you have you ever did the Houston rodeo bbq cookoff? 2020 will be our 24th year at the Houston cookoff ! Your bbq is awesome and everything you do !

  35. Ryan Nagel says:

    Malcolm I have a question about a brisket I cooked using this method. Every recipe I’ve used of yours is dynamite. I had an 8.5# brisket that was USDA choice and trimmed per instructions. I rubbed with salt and pepper. I smoked it on my new masterbuilt gravity 560 with B&B lump and post oak chunks @275 degrees. I wrapped in pink butcher paper at 170 and continued to cook till my probe inserted into flat read 202. I pulled and rested in my yeti for 1.5 hrs. Pulled it out and sliced across grain. It didn’t pull apart very easy and seemed somewhat dry. The bark was perfect and smoke ring was great. But when I was testing the tenderness with poking there was a little resistance on the flat. But at 202 I thought it would be done. Any thoughts on why it would still be tough? The point was way more moist and when smoking I did have the point situated closer to the heat. Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks

  36. Clif says:

    Hi Malcolm, thanks for the videos, they are great and very informative and makes me hungry. I’ve never smoked a brisket, but I want to, just concerned I’ll waste the meat when I screw it up. Ha! Seriously though, can you touch on 3 things for me in this recipe? 1. You mentioned cooking with the fat cap up or down depending on heat source, if you use a heat deflector is the fat cap down or up? 2. Do you suggest leaving the brisket wrapped when it’s cooling in the cooler or unwrap it? and 3. Can you better explain the 2 different cuts of meat that make up the brisket and how to identify them when it’s time to slice it up? Thanks in advance.

  37. Jack D says:

    Made this just yesterday. Purchased a brisket from a local “abattoir”. Weighed in around 14+ pounds. Not to much to fat to trim. Rubbed it down with your TX Brisket Rub. (I did use a Traeger). Followed the recipe with times and temperatures. Once in the paper, it was about 6 hours to come to 200degrees. Let it rest accordingly in a cooler. And BOOM…the absolute BEST brisket I ever made OR ate for that matter! Cheers!

  38. Walt says:

    You are the man when it come to smoking a good Brisket, I love your recipe and instructions for the perfect Brisket. Keep up the good work Malcom Reed aka Killer Hogs!

  39. John W says:

    I see you use salt and pepper only on this rub. In my pantry I have Killer Hogs BBQ Rub, Killer Hogs AP Rub and Killer Hogs Brisket Rub………what is your favorite?

  40. Paul says:

    Hey Malcom,
    Love the site and all the advice. If I was just smoking a 10 lbs brisket flat, would the butcher paper method still work or would I risk having the meat too dry? Thanks!

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