How to Smoke a Brisket

How to Smoke a Brisket How to Smoke a Brisket

Susie from HeyGrillHey has perfected the perfect Texas approach to smoking a brisket. The best part is she’s kept it extremely simple.  She takes her BBQ experience and puts it to the test. The outcome? Something she says is very “juicy” and will make your mouth water to go smoke it again as soon as you can.

How does she make it so easy?

She keeps it easy, that’s how. Probably the most important step is picking  the right kind of brisket to put in your charcoal, gas, pellet or electric smoker in the first place. She recommends to make sure both the point (fat) and the flat muscle are included in your purchase of a whole packer brisket. And don’t scrimp on your trimming. This can make or break how your final product turns out.

Seasoning Your Brisket

When it comes to seasoning, simplicity prevails. Susie uses just kosher salt and pepper (coarse black, of course – hey, it kind of rhymes!). She even gives you a great tip of combining the two in one shaker, so you get a nice, even spread of seasoning across the surfaces of your meat. Who knew that could make such a difference?

This salt and pepper layer is essentially your rub and will help make up your crusty outside layer, or “bark”. Rub it in the night before if possible, and the meat will absorb it more. This helps it keep in moisture while it smokes to ensure the most tenderness when it’s all done.

Tips for Smoking a Great Brisket

For actual smoking, she has some tips on what kind of wood to use. She likes a mixture of hardwoods (oak and a touch of cherry). Good mesquite or hickory briquettes do very nice as well. See her fourth step about smoking to get take on how the smoker should appear during cooking, length of smoking time and of course the desired temperature.

Remember the smoking motto “low and slow”.  As with any smoking, you don’t want too hot or too quick, since that can ruin your cut of meat before you even really get started. As a rule of thumb when starting out, keep the temperature low such as around 225°F and remove it from your smoker when the temperature of the meat is at 200-205°F.

Fat side up or fast side down? Makes no difference, according to Susie. But try both ways and let yourself be the judge of this long standing argument among experienced meat smokers. The theory is that with the fat side up, the melting fat will slip down in the meat, providing more flavor. Honestly, there probably isn’t much fat penetrating when it runs down the sides.

How to Get the Juiciest Smoked Brisket?

Wrapping! This comes off as being integral to a successful smoked brisket. If you want super tender, juicy with unmatched flavor and outer bark Susie prefers wrapping with unlined butcher paper instead of the ever-popular aluminum foil.

This is because the paper is somewhat porous and will allow the meat to breath a little. When this happens steam is released more readily which will keep your bark from becoming soggy. It also absorbs fat over time, which will help seal in moisture gradually.

wrapped brisket for smoking

See her tips on the best way to wrap your brisket for smoking. Wrapping this way will help your beef braise in its own juices without turning into a stew–we don’t want that for legitimate and authentic tasting BBQ now do we?

Let that baby chill before eating. Well, not literally but just leave it alone for a bit. As with any meat you smoke (or grill for that matter), you want to let it rest.  It’s hard to wait, we know but give it some time before diving into it with your slicing knife.  When you do, always go against the grain. We knew that of course, right? Susie shows you how to do it right, for maximum tenderness.


Make sure you serve up your brisket properly for the utmost enjoyment. Susie mentions there are two types of cuts you can get off your smoked brisket. Check out where you get the fattiest and the leanest parts from. But hey, in reality, you can’t go wrong because it’s all just so downright succulent. And you just can’t beat that smokey flavor.

Ready to eat smoked brisket

For some final points, remember that two main factors contribute to an outstanding result of smoked foods. One is the correct use of heat and smoke, of course. The second is what influences the texture and appearance for the final product; and that’s the seasoning and brine. Stick with easy approaches like Susie descries, and you’ll be in a good shape with many happy eaters surrounding you.

See all the details and tips for how to smoke a brisket at