Smoked Brisket 101: How to Smoke the Perfect Brisket from Start to Finish

Whether you’ve been inspired by Texas pitmaster Aaron Franklin, you’ve had a hankering for a real supple smoked brisket, or you want to try it out for your next tailgate, there comes a time when everyone learns how to smoke a brisket. A good brisket recipe can be passed down from generation to generation, and the best Central Texas brisket uses simple ingredients, like salt and black pepper for a tender brisket. So how do you get that perfect smoked brisket in your own backyard? You do as the professionals over at Smoked BBQ Source do.

Brisket has earned a reputation for being unforgiving for the amateur cook. Unlike a steak, brisket requires a lot of time to convert the connective tissue into smokey goodness. While braised brisket or corned beef are both common ways methods, traditional low and slow barbecue is hands down the best way to prepare your smoked beef brisket. The cooking process can’t be rushed and is what provides that smoke flavor, especially if you use a pellet grill with hickory wood chips.

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If you’re new to barbecue, brisket can be intimidating. From knowing what to look for when selecting the brisket, to trimming, smoking, wrapping, and finally resting and slicing there’s a lot you need to get right. That’s why this barbecue brisket checklist from Smoked BBQ Source will become your new brisket guide with six easy-to-understand steps.

If you don’t yet have a meat thermometer (we love this instant-read thermometer), smoking brisket is the best excuse to make the purchase. Checking the internal temperature of your brisket is key until you learn what time and temperature is perfect to get that smoke ring while indirect cooking.

How Long To Smoke A Brisket
Smoked BBQ Source

The 3 Things to Remember About Great Brisket

1. Give yourself plenty of time.

While the actual cook time varies with each brisket, you should allow at least 1 hour and 15 mins per pound of brisket when the cooking temperature is set to 250°F.

2. Get your gear ready.

Nothing beats the taste of brisket cooked over a charcoal grill, but any type of electric smoker or pellet grill can get the job done. This guide shows you how setup a gas or kettle-style grill for smoking.

3. Allow plenty of time to rest.

After hours of waiting, you’re probably dying to start eating. But it’s important leave brisket so the fibers can relax. Wrap it in foil or butcher paper, then a towel and place in a cooler for a few hours and then slice it just before you are ready to eat. This will give you plenty of time to work on your sides and sauces.

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