smoked brisket

Smoked Brisket Recipe

Smoked Brisket Recipe

The best smoked brisket I’ve experienced was cooked on a stick burner pit, and now it’s my personal mission to recreate that brisket using one of these style pits. Really, there’s no better cut of meat more perfect for a stick burner than smoked brisket. The basics of a stick burner are simple. You start a fire in the offset firebox, the heat and smoke roll into the cooking chamber, and it’s drawn out by a large stack on the end. Smoker The most difficult part is maintaining the fire for hours upon hours. You don’t walk away from a stick burner for long periods of time, but this is what makes cooking on one of these pits fun. Beef Brisket I don’t get aggressive with the trimming on the brisket. I remove some of the thick fat that connects the flat and point and any sinew from on top of the flat. Take off any grey or discolored meat from the sides (this is just the areas exposed to more oxygen during processing). Flip the brisket over and trim the bottom layer of fat to 1/4”. trimming beef brisket For the seasoning, I use a simple mixture of equal parts Kosher Salt and Corse Ground Black Pepper along with a light coat of my Killer Hogs Hot Rub for the seasoning but you can use your favorite rub as well. seasoned smoked brisket Once the pit is running at 275 degrees, place the brisket inside and maintain the fire by adding splits of wood. I used Pecan but you can use post oak, hickory, or your favorite wood just make sure it’s seasoned (has low moisture content). To keep the pit running I’ve found that the fire needs a new stick of wood every 45 minutes. dry rub for smoked brisket When the outside of the brisket starts turning dark, wrap the brisket in butcher paper and continue to cook. This brisket took around 4-5 hours before it had the color it needed to wrap. smoked beef brisket in smoker For the wrap, I place 2 sheets of butcher paper (food grade wrapping paper) overlapping on a table. Then just wrap the butcher in the paper so it’s tight and has plenty of insulation. This helps push through the stall without damaging the bark. smoked beef brisket Use a probe thermometer inserted into the center of the flat to monitor internal temperature. It’s done once it gets to roughly 200 degrees internal. To monitor the internal temp while the Brisket was cooking, I used a Thermoworks Signals. And to verify the Brisket internal temp, I used a Thermapen Mk4. temperature check on smoked brisket Rest the brisket in a dry cooler for at least an hour to let the cooking process stop and ensure a juicy end product. THE REST IS KEY! You’ll loose a lot of moisture and tenderness if you slice right into the brisket after cooking. smoked brisket recipe When you’re ready to serve, slice the flat into 1/4” thick slices against the grain. For the point I go a little thicker and always cut a few burnt ends from the edges (my favorite part!). sliced smoked brisket This smoked brisket on my new Jambo Stick Burner was a dang fine brisket! It was so tender, had so much moisture and a great flavor. Plus you get that nice smoke ring from a stick burner and a great, light smoky flavor. I have to say, I’m really enjoying chasing that perfect Texas Style Brisket! Print
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Smoked Brisket Recipe


  • 1 Whole Packer Brisket 13lbs avg.
  • 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Corse Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Killer Hogs Hot Rub


  1. Prepare offset Bbq pit for indirect cooking at 275 degrees using splits of Pecan wood for fuel. (Any style pit can be substituted just maintain 275 degrees)
  2. Remove brisket from cryovac packaging and blot excess moisture with paper towel. Trim excess fat to 1/4”. Remove sinew (silver skin) from flat and any discolored meat around the edges.
  3. Combine Kosher Salt and Black Pepper and liberally coat all sides of the brisket then add a light layer of Killer Hogs Hot Rub.
  4. Place the brisket fat side down on the Bbq pit and smoke until the outside begins to turn dark (about 170 degrees internal).
  5. Wrap the brisket in pink butchers paper and insert a probe thermometer into the thickest portion of the flat.
  6. Place the brisket back on the pit and continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 202-204 degrees.
  7. Rest the brisket in a dry cooler for a minimum of 1 hour before slicing.
Malcom Reed Connect on Facebook Follow me on Twitter Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Find me on Google+ Follow me on Instagram Buy Killer Hogs Products Here smoked brisket

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80 responses to “Smoked Brisket Recipe”

  1. Joshua Smith says:

    I cant seem to land a coleslaw recipe for Carolina pulled pork sandwiches. Do you have a favorite recipe that you use?

    • Malcom Reed says:

      This is the cole slaw recipe I use for Memphis Style BBQ - But for Carolina it’s usually more vinegar based

    • Patrick says:

      Malcom, I have your BBQ rub and brisket rub, do you recommend both for this recipe but sub the brisket rub for the salt and pepper?

  2. Chris Dommel says:

    Thank you for the brisket tips.I love watching your videos on Youtube.I have learned alot from just rewatching them over and over.My 9 year old son even enjoys them as much as I do.The only question I have is,I have a Masterbuilt verticle smoker.Does that matter? Instead of using a stuck smoker like you did? The Masterbuilt I’ve got is a really good model smoker,but I haven’t done anything quit this big as a brisket,just mostly deer steaks and cornish hens and sliced potatoes.What wood would you recommend for doing deer steaks and salmon? Thank you, and keep up the awesome videos.Your an awesome BBQ PITMASTER!!

  3. Michael Allenbaugh says:

    Hello Malcom. Thanks for the great brisket video. I really enjoy watching all of your videos. Just last weekend I did a boston butt on my Weber Smokey Mountain, following your instructions of course. It turned out great, but the cook time was about 1 1/2 hours longer than anticipated. Lesson learned. I am planning to tackle a brisket next. I know you always say cook to a temerature, but can you tell me the approximate weight of this cook, and about how long it took, total time? Thanks in advance!

    • Malcom Reed says:

      It all depends on your equipment, the weather, and the cut of meat… Just give yourself plenty of time. If it gets done early, place it in a dry cooler and let it rest. It will stay warm and just keep getting better for up to 6 hours.

      • scott beal says:

        I let my brisket rest for five hours last time and it was smokin awesome! I did not intend to rest it that long, but life happens and dinner was delayed. When I took it out of the cooler and unwrapped it from the towel, it was still hot and tasted perfect! Dont forget the wrapping! The stall will happen and you will end up with crappy brisket…..
        Your recipes rock Malcom! I buy all of my rubs, vinegar and BBQ sauces from you and am never disappointed.

  4. Josh says:


    Awesome video as always, what was the total cook time? For a similar slab of brisket on a BGE, how long would you anticipate the cook to take?

  5. Alfredo Robert says:

    Hi Malcom,

    Doing my first brisket Saturday night (going into Sunday morning)!!

    On your earlier videos you would smoke with the fat side up. What’s the difference? Or is it something you’ve learned recently?

    Also, for this video…After wrapping do you place it back with fat side up or down? Same as in the cooler?

    I’ve learned so much on your site and videos. Your products have been a hit with my friends and family.
    Thank you,

    • Malcom Reed says:

      I like to use the fat on a brisket as protection. If the pit I’m cooking on has the heat coming from the bottom, I go fat down. If the heat is coming from the top – I go fat up. I keep it the same for the wrap and the cooler.

      • Mike M. says:

        Just made this today, first time wrapping in paper. Ran out of time and took it up to 180 internal temp with about an hour rest and it came out awesome. Just get out there and smoke!

  6. Jeffrey says:

    Hi I am going to cook a brisket tomorrow should I soak it in Mores all night

  7. Andrew Pope says:

    I smoked my 2nd brisket using your method and came out amazing! What is the best method for re-heating brisket? I was thinking sous vide? Love all your videos and appreciate all the help.

  8. Nick Ray (via Google Drive) says:

    Love your videos, my go to for all things BBQ. Do you every dry brine your brisket, ribs, etc the night before?

    • Malcom Reed says:

      I’ve done it before, but never been really crazy about the results. Seems to change the texture if I let it sit too long. I like to let it sit out with rub on it while it comes up to room temp – so about 1 hour – 30 minutes is all I like to let it set with the rub.

      • Sage says:

        Hi Malcom, love the show. Ive always used aluminum foil for the stall wrap. Does the butcher paper preserve the bark better and do you use foil in a bind?
        Also was curious about your 275 temp here. I cook on BGE’s and usually smoke on a xl. My temp usually differs about 25° from cooking level to the dome. Just want to confirm you smoke at 275 cooking level.
        Thanks for the effort you put into this, have a great day.

  9. Jerry says:

    Dear: Malcom
    LOVE you videos but I have a question I done a 9.5lb full packer brisket yesterday and it took me 25 1/2 hors to cook it, why should take this much time? I ran my smoker between 250 and 270 the whole time

  10. Charles says:

    I’ve cooked several briskets on my pellet smoker and have had good results until yesterday. I started with a whole packer prime brisket (14 lbs) trimmed it and seasoned it with salt, pepper, and killer hog hot bbq rub. Got my smoker running at 275 and put it on for about 4 1/2 hours until the internal temp was around 170-175 wrapped it in pink butcher paper and continue cooking for about 3 more hours until the internal temp was 203. Put it in a cooler to rest for 4 hours. The point was delicious but the flat failed the bend test and when I tried the pull test it was tough like it was under cooked. This is the first prime brisket I have cooked and it looked great before and after the cook. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Malcom Reed says:

      I would expect the total cook time on a brisket that size to be 7-8 hours then a 2 hour rest. So you might have needed to take it up a little further – when it feels like you are sticking your internal probe into warm butter – that is when you know it’s really done.

  11. Jerry says:

    Yes it was burning very clean. It is a offset smoker I was using post oak.
    Thank you

  12. Vincent Ramsey says:

    Never cooked a brisket or smoked anything for that matter. Tried this recipe as my very first attempt on my New Rec Tec RT-590. Only thing different is I cooked at 250 degrees.
    After a 13.5 hr cook and rest, I was stunned at the deliciousness! Doing this one again….and again….and again!
    My girlfriend called it the “gateway meat!” Addiction at hand. ha ha
    Keep a cookin!

  13. Sterling says:

    Which model of Jambo is this?

  14. Dean Webb says:

    I cook on a pellet. When I wrap a brisket can I move it to the oven? Just to save on pellet use.

  15. Hodgey says:

    Great video as always!! I have an off-set Oklahoma joe set for reverse flow. I’m just wondering why the 275 cook temp and not the lower 225-240? I would love to cook at 275 but cause of the fact that this cook you did was on a stick burner than you ran it that much warmer? Thanks Malcolm

  16. Yitzy says:

    Why dont you use mustard as a bonding agent for the rub as you do with ribs? Would your recipe for ribs work on a brisket as well?

  17. NICK says:

    That brisket looks excellent, I’m gonna try out a whole brisket soon using butcher paper, thanks for all the videos!

    Would you recommend using some cherry or hickory for extra color?

  18. Alan says:

    Malcom………..Love your videos. Questions I am using pecan wood chips in a 40″ propane master-built smoker to do my brisket. Do you apply smoke only for the first 5 hours until wrapping or all the way through until 202°?

  19. Donny Arnold says:

    I finally tried my first brisket cook yesterday. I followed your directions and advice. WOW! Turned out awesome like I knew what I was doing! Thank you so much for your page. I’ve followed a bunch of your videos and they always turn out great. Thanks again Brother!

  20. Mike Whaley says:

    Don’tcha love that Jambo??? Not cheap, good though.

  21. Will says:

    Going to try this for party this weekend.
    My biggest question is : the party is for a lunch so can i smoke it the day before and just leave it wrapped in bucher paper or tin foil over night in the refrigerator and then heat it up at 300 in the oven the next morning and cut at lunch?

    Love your recipes.
    Thanks Will

  22. Michael Randazzo says:

    Malcom, I follow your recipe’s for Ribs, Brisket and pork and everyone thinks I am a great BBQ master… I do tell them its not me its Malcom! Today I have a 19lb Brisket on the smoker. The weather is perfect and my Webber Smokey mountain has been holding steady temp Since I put brisket on at 7:45 this am I am outside smelling the hickory and cherry along with the brisket and think this may be the best one to date. Your BBQ rub is absolutely the best it gives amazing color and just the right seasoning. Nothing else comes close.
    Thanks for all you do to help us amateurs!

  23. Demarcs Crawford says:

    Hello. What temp do you pull it if you want to make shredded brisket? My wife is asking for shredded brisket for nachos.

  24. Scott Powell says:

    Malcom, approximately how long does it take to smoke this size Brisket per your receipe here online, start to finish (minus the hour in the cooler!)?

  25. Neil Gaspard says:

    Hi Malcom,
    Love the videos, I will attempt to smoke a brisket when me, my wife, and a bunch of our friends go camping in 2 weeks. I have a Traeger Tailgater, I have cooked on it before but never a brisket. You say to let it rest once you take it off the grill in a dry cooler. How can I substitute for a cooler? Maybe in my camper fridge or can I put it in an ice chest?

  26. Sarah says:

    Hi Malcom! These videos are great! Thanks for taking the time to make them! We are completely new to smoking, and purchased an offset smoker. My husband is Active Duty and we’re currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan. We don’t have access to wood here, other than small chips or small blocks that Amazon will ship us. We are using charcoal briquettes for heat and adding the chips for flavor, because that’s really all we have!
    My question is about adding charcoal during these long burns. I did a small brisket last week, and my final cook time was about 11 hours. I struggled with maintaining a constant temp during parts of the burn. We bought a large charcoal basket, which made my smoker way too hot because I made my fire too big by filling it completely! I smoked the beginning portion with the firebox open, because I found myself with a huge bed of really hot coals lol. After about 2 hours, my smoker leveled off around 275, and did a great job of burning for almost 4 hours with that nice bed of charcoal. When I had to dump in more charcoal, the smoker would be way too hot again. Should I start my additional charcoal in the chimney and then add it, or is the proper way to add charcoal just to dump it in? This method seemed to cause long hiccups in the smoking process, as it was very difficult to keep temps down after adding, even with my airflow choked off completely! Any suggestions appreciated! We have lots to learn!

    • Malcom Reed says:

      I suggest starting with a bed of coal and letting the smoker stabilize then push the hot coals to the back of the fire box and add an even layer of unlit coals in front of the hot coal. This will create a forward burning fire and should give you more even temp. If you find it running away from you can always shovel out some of the hot coal. Every cooker runs different so it’ll take some experimenting to get it down.

  27. Charles says:

    Thank you for all your help. I have cooked several briskets on my Yoder YS640s pellet smoker running at 275 (it runs a little hotter on the chimney end so I put the point on that end. It runs about 255 on the other end.) using your method and rubs and ever time the point is spot on and I mean really good and the flat just isn’t where I would like it to be. My family says I’m OCD but I’m just trying to improve every cook. The brisket I cook this weekend had a great color, smoke ring, moisture, flavor, and it would lay over my knife and almost touch but because I am always trying to improve there is always a but. When I tried to pull it it didn’t want to break. I took this brisket up to 206 and let it rest for 2 hours. It felt really tender when I was checking the temperature. I know that every cook is different and there is no single answer but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  28. Bill Freeman says:

    Hello Malcolm,
    I have a 22lb Brisket to get ready for Super Bowl. Using and Offset Stick Smoker. Never smoked one this big. Should I marinade this one or smoke as you have above?
    Love your cooking. I follow you on YouTube.
    Thank you,

  29. Cameron says:

    I have a 12.5 lb brisket and I put it on around 10 pm, it’s already at 140 around 1 am. I’m using an electric smoker and thought this would need to cook over night and get 4-6 hours rest in cooler. It’s climbing temp much quicker than I had anticipated. Any key ideas to keep this brisket from drying out?

    • Malcom Reed says:

      When the outside is as dark as you want it, wrap it in foil or butcher paper and continue to cook until its tender (around 200 degrees internal). It should stall out on you unless that pit is cooking extremely hot, but regardless when it’s tender pull it off and rest.

  30. Michael White says:

    Hey Malcolm. Any tips on smoking a brisket on a electric smoker? Use lower temp than 275? Length of time? Should I separate the point from the flat? Thanks.

    • Malcom Reed says:

      You could separate it – I like to cook it whole though. Just cook it at 250-275 until you get the color you want, then wrap it until it hits 202-208 internal. Let it rest and enjoy

  31. Dan Sandberg says:

    HI Malcomb. Great recipe. Question for you on my 9 lb brisket. I followed the recipe exactly. I smoked about 4 hours until the bark was brown, it was about 180, then wrapped in butcher paper and cooked to 202. Then let it sit in a cooler for an hour and a half. The taste was great and it was not dry but the meat was more solid and not fold over juicy. So what did I do wrong? Even the fatter end of the brisket was pretty meaty and not that much fat. Was it the cut of meat you think? Did I overcook it?? I followed the temps exactly, except I wrapped at 180 rather than 170 like you did in the video. Help and advice would be appreciated. P.S. Smoked Mac and cheese was fantastic… to fix the brisket.

    • Malcom Reed says:

      It could be the cut… it could be that you didn’t let it get tender. 202 is just a guideline… sometimes I have to take briskets up to 208 or 210 since every one cooks differently. The key is how it feels – you want it to feel like you are probing warm butter. That’s how you know it’s done!

  32. This page certainly has all of the information I
    needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who
    to ask.

  33. Kyle says:

    Malcolm, love your recipes and videos. Glad someone isn’t afraid to share their recipes and instructions with everybody.. Brisket turned out great. Served with your southern cole slaw recipe. Made my own ap seasoning following one of your older video instructions and the bbq rub video recipe. Will have to get some of your seasoning soon. Keep up the great videos!!

  34. Ross says:

    After the initial smoke and I wrap my brisket in butcher paper, can I finish the cook in my oven? My lazy butt is trying to avoid babysitting my offset for 9 hours.

  35. Kevin D says:

    how come you chose not to inject the brisket?……….you do have a brisket injection recipe….

  36. Kevin Degore says:

    why didn’t you inject the brisket – you do have a brisket injection recipe. thanks,
    kevin D

  37. Anthony Citrola says:

    Good morning Malcolm!
    I sometimes wonder what hobby was going to keep me busy after retirement, and it was simple – just pay attention to your videos, advice and recipes. It all falls into place.

    I have one question if I may ask:
    Brisket, beef/pork ribs recipes usually calls for wrapping whatever is cooking in foil or butcher paper, and returning it to the cooker for a few hours.
    Since the item is wrapped, obviously no smoke can penetrate the wrapping.
    Is there any advantage of keeping the meat on the smoker (and maintaining the smoker temp) versus just placing the meat in a 225 degree oven??

  38. Al Curtis says:

    Hi Malcom,
    I just smoked a 5-1/2 pd brisket flat on a Traeger Lil Tex following your recipe for smoking at 275+/- degrees for 4 hrs till temp reached 170. Pulled it out and wrapped it in butcher paper and cooked for another 3 hrs to 203. Put it in a cooler for 2 hrs. The brisket was tough and dry. I had this in my freezer for about 9 mos. prior to cooking. Do you have any suggestions? I watched your video on this process, and it looked fantastic and was hoping for the same.
    Thanks for any help. I have been doing briskets on this smoker for about 6 yrs, and have not had this problem. Thanks for any advice

  39. Ryan Hagan says:


    Two questions,

    1) Does a brisket have to reach 200 degrees in order to reach pull-apart tenderness?

    2) Will cooking a brisket fat-side up when the heat comes from the bottom cause the meat to dry out?

  40. Ben Booth says:


  41. John Sharpe says:

    Malcolm, you’re my new hero! So far all of your recipes are fantastic. I love the way you are thorough in describing everything. I will try to catch one of your classes soon. Thanks again and “let’s get to cooking”. John from N.C.

  42. Gant says:

    Malcolm in a pellet smoker recipe you cooked it at 190 then wrapped and raised temp to 240ish. Why do you do the lower temp on the pellet smoker and the higher temp on the stick smoker?

  43. Beth Mason says:

    Beth’s Superbowl LV Texas Smoked Brisket (electric smoker)
    1. 5 lbs. point brisket from Stewart Meats (they will trim, but you will still have to remove the deckle according to your desire
    2. Brisket Rub – Killer Hog TXS BBQ Brisket Rub (Available on Amazon)
    3. Make some cuts on the fat side against the grain, bath in beef broth, and apply rub lightly (this is a strong flavor rub) > let sit for a couple of hours
    4. Heat electric smoker to 225 degrees. I used pre-soaked Alder wood chips for a slower smoke.
    5. Place seasoned brisket directly on rack fat side up. I wrapped the grease pan and water pan in foil for easier cleanup. I used Apple Cider Vinegar in the pan but you can use beer or apple juice.
    6. Cook for 6 – 7 hours. Remove brisket from smoker and double wrap in foil. Hear smoker to 275 degrees and put the foil-wrapped brisket in the smoker. After an hour, check the temperature of brisket with a meat thermometer in the thickest part (should be close to 200 degrees)
    7. Remove and let sit in foil for ½ hour – 2 hours. Slice thin against grain and enjoy!

    WARNING! Go easy on the rub. I gave in to temptation and used too much Killer Hog Brisket rub and we ended up scrapping it off the brisket – too salty!

  44. Connor says:

    I’ve made this before from Malcom’s method and we loved it. Making this again today.

  45. Bill P. says:

    Malcom have you ever used Beef talow on your brisket? I have been seeing a lot of videos on this lately and was wondering about your opinion on this?

  46. Terry Kraker says:

    Hi Malcom,
    Smoke a half of packer brisket today and followed your recipe/method in my stick burner.
    Turned out phenomenal. When I pulled it out of the cooler, it jiggled and I said yes, Malcom would be proud.
    Juicy, moist and tender. Really really good.

    I love your show and informational web site. You’re down to earth and you tell us what we need to k ow and do.

    You’re the man !!

    Thank you!
    Terry in NC

  47. David Sloan says:

    Are you smoking on the Jambo fat-side up or down,?
    Thank you,
    David Sloan

  48. Dan says:

    Did this recipe today with a 5 lb brisket flat, and it made for some dang fine brisket sandwiches. It was actually my first time smoking a brisket, and I think it went pretty well, but I wanted to see if I could get some pro tips on slicing.

    I did the whole cook at 275, and wrapped it when it was at 180 (after about 3-4 hours). I took it off at 203 (after about 8 hours) and let it rest for 3 hours. I wanted to slice it in nice slices, but it just really wanted to shred as I cut against the grain. Just fell apart.

    Any thoughts or tips for next time?

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