If you’re wanting to learn more about Texas-style smoked beef brisket, you’re in the right place!
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- What A Brisket Is
- What Makes The Brisket “Texas Style”
- How To Smoke It
- And Much More!
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Smoked Beef Brisket
Whether it’s smoked, barbecued, or just put into a fire oven, one cannot deny that smoking is an art form — even more so when performed on a brisket.
But how do we go about smoking a brisket? Is there a secret to making that soft and melty meat? Or is it something that we can do in the comfort of our own backyard?
In this guide, we’ll give you insight into what Texas-style brisket is all about! By the end, we’ll teach you how to make a Texas-style smoked brisket using a beginner’s recipe.
So sit back, relax, and allow us to guide you on this delicious journey of meat and smoke.
What Is a Smoked Beef Brisket?
Smoked beef brisket is a brisket that was tenderized and cooked via smoking method — hence the name.
Compared to a boiled or baked brisket, a smoked brisket absorbs the smoky flavor of the wood or coal which enhances the overall taste of the dish.
Not only that, but the spices tend to seep into the meat as the smoke melts some of the fats away.
The end result is a dark exterior with a flavorful, juicy, soft, and sort of pinkish interior.
That dark exterior may look burned, but it’s what people call the “bark,” and it is delicious!
Related >> Corned Beef vs. Brisket: What’s the Difference?
What Is a Texas Style Beef Brisket?
Brisket is cut a few inches down a cow’s ribs, towards the breast or lower chest. These are basically the pectoral muscles of the cow so, naturally, the meat will have a strong and tough texture compared to other parts.
As such, cooking this meat requires special techniques in order to make it tender enough for our palettes.
The usual tenderizing techniques of cooking can be baking, boiling, or roasting.
In Texas, the most famous way of preparing brisket is by smoking it. So expect a really long cook time.
The Texas-style is smoking the full packer brisket, which includes the point and the flat.
Read More >> Top 5 Best Smokers For Beginners (2022)
How Do You Smoke Beef Brisket Texas Style?
Again, smoking a beef brisket Texas-style means you’re smoking the whole thing!
The method you’ll want to use is smoking low and slow!
And if you want more details, keep reading for a step-by-step on smoking your full brisket.
How to Smoke a Beef Brisket (Step-by-Step)
The entire smoking process can take somewhere between 8 to 12 hours.
This means that one small mistake can potentially ruin the entire brisket, which is not just a waste of money, but also a shot to the gut.
To prevent this from happening, follow these easy, beginner steps to preparing your melt-in-your-mouth brisket.
Tools Needed to Smoke a Brisket
Brisket is a delicious cut of meat, but only when it is cooked right. Here at the GrillingDad.com, there are a few tools that are an absolute MUST when it comes to smoking brisket!
- A smoker (we used a Pitboss Navigator pellet smoker)
- Fuel for the smoker (In our test recipe we used cherry wood pellets)
- Grill tongs or heat-resistant gloves
- Temperature probe (our Pitboss Navigator has one built in!)
- A towel (optional)
- A sharp knife for cutting the brisket
Ingredients Needed For Texas-Style Smoked Beef Brisket
Since this is a beginner’s recipe, you’d only ever need four basic ingredients:
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
Some would probably recommend other spices like cayenne, paprika, or the like, but if you aren’t confident enough to add more advanced ingredients, start out with these five simple things.
1. Prepare Your Smoker
Load your smoker with enough fuel for a long smoke–as this recipe could take hours, then preheat it to 225°F.
Remember: the smoke adds to the flavor, so make sure that the wood is of good quality, clean, and without gasoline or other additives to create fire.
2. Rub Spices on the Brisket
Remove the brisket from the fridge and set it on the counter for 10 minutes.
On a plate, mix a generous amount of pepper, salt, and garlic powder. We recommend using freshly ground salt and black pepper if possible.
Then, take the brisket and generously coat it with the seasoning.
We recommend repeating this step until you have a nice generous coat of seasoning on your brisket.
3. Put It In The Smoker
Place your brisket in the smoker, directly on the grate, and set a timer.
The rule of thumb for smoked brisket seems to be an hour of smoking for every pound. But you’ll want to keep it in the smoker untouched and unbothered for about 3 hours to start. You’ll be tempted, but don’t look and don’t touch.
If you have a built-in temperature probe, place it in the meat now as close to the center as possible.
Editor’s Note: We recommend putting it in with the fat cap facing down.
The fat cap of the brisket is the fat side of the brisket. Whether your butcher trimmed your brisket or you got it at the grocery store, this should be easily noticeable.
4. Check On and Wrap Your Brisket (Optional)
Note >> You can skip this step. Letting your brisket smoke low and slow for the entirety is a great way to get great-tasting beef. If you’re in a time crunch, however, go ahead and wrap it.
Around 160 degrees, you’ll experience “the brisket stall.”
This is where the internal temperature of the brisket will stall out at around 160 degrees.
At this point, we strongly advise wrapping your brisket in butcher paper or aluminum foil.
You can gauge the bark level at this point. If you want it darker, keep it unwrapped longer. If it looks good, wrap it up.
After wrapping, put it back on the smoker and raise the temperature to 275 degrees.
5. Allow the Brisket to Finish Cooking
Once it’s back on the smoker, you’ll just want to let it ride the rest of the way home.
Keep it on the smoker until the brisket’s internal temperature reaches around 195-200 degrees. This could take 2-3 more hours, or even longer depending on the size of your brisket.
When you put the temp probe in (if you aren’t using a built-in one), it should feel like a knife going through soft butter. I always recommend checking temp in the point, or the thickest part of the brisket.
6. Let Your Brisket Rest
This is not optional if you want a mouth-watering, juicy, tender brisket!
After smoking your Texas-style brisket at home all day long, you’ll want to give it a taste right away, but you’ll have to resist.
Let it rest at room temperature while wrapped in foil for about at least 30 minutes, but preferably around one hour.
If you’re not serving it within an hour, wrap the whole thing in a towel. This will preserve some heat while still letting all the juices settle.
7. Slice and Serve
Now that you’ve allowed your brisket to rest properly, it’s time to slice it.
- Cut the brisket in half separating the point from the flat
- Slice flat against the grain
- Slice point in half the other way
- Slice the point against the grain
- Serve it up and be proud!
Congrats on smoking your first Texas-style beef brisket! You have a juicy brisket with a picture-worthy smoke ring and mouth-watering taste. Enjoy it.
Related >> Brisket Fat Side Up or Down: The Ultimate Smoker’s Guide
Tips for the Best Smoked Beef Brisket
Ready to try your hand at making a Texas-style beef brisket? Here are our tips for making yours the best!
- Always slice the brisket against the grain, otherwise, you might end up with some tough bits!
- Don’t skip resting your brisket, we know you are hungry, but it truly needs some time to rest before you cut into it.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with the spices. If you like it spicy, at some chili powder as you season.
Beef Brisket FAQs:
How Long to Smoke Brisket?
With your smoker set to 225°F, you should expect it to need 1 hour per pound of meat to cook. This means for a 10lb brisket, you’ll want to plan to let it cook for 10 hours. Regardless, you will want to make sure your brisket is done before you remove it from the smoker.
How to Tell When Beef Brisket is Done?
The best way to tell if your brisket is done is to stick a fork in and try to twist it. If it twists easily, your brisket is done. You should also use a temperature probe to ensure your brisket is between 195°F-203°F.
Does Brisket Require Sauce?
Not all briskets require a sauce, and a true texas style brisket won’t have one. But if you love BBQ, there is never harm in serving your favorite BBQ sauce with a brisket!
More Brisket Resouces:
- How Long to Smoke Brisket at 250 Degrees
- How Long to Smoke Brisket per Pound
- BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends Recipe
- Brisket Tacos Recipe
- How to Reheat Brisket Properly
- How to Slice Brisket
- Hot and Fast Brisket Recipe
Easy Smoked Brisket
- 1 whole Brisket 16-20 lbs
- 1/2 cup Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder equal parts of each
- As with any meal and recipe, your kitchen tools should be in proper order to make way for your brisket.Now, most people would say that you would need a good knife or a large chopping board, but for the most part, the primary thing you should have ready is a smoker.Obviously, you can’t smoke the brisket without one.So make sure you have a smoker that is in good working shape.
- Since this is a beginner’s recipe, you’d only ever need four basic ingredients: Brisket, Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic PowderSome would probably recommend other spices like cayenne, paprika, or the like, but if you want a traditional smoked beef brisket, all you need is SPG.
- Light up your wood and close the smoker lid.Make sure that there’s a good fire ready before you actually decide to put your brisket in.You want to make sure the grill temp is a steady 225°F.Remember: the smoke adds to the flavor, so make sure that the wood is of good quality, clean, and without gasoline or other additives to create fire.
- This is an interesting stage in the process that can sometimes be amusing.Some claim not to rub your salt, pepper, garlic powder into the meat; simply mixing the two and patting the meat with it is the ideal way of spicing up the brisket.Others claim that rubbing the two over and around the meat is the correct method.Whichever the case, make sure that the brisket is fully covered by the salt, pepper, garlic powder mixture.Do not shy away from using too much, as the brisket can be thick enough to withstand it.
- At this point, everything should be ready and in order.When you put in the brisket, make sure that the temperature is around 225 degrees. Now, the rule of thumb for smoked brisket seems to be an hour of smoking for every pound.You'll want to keep it in the smoker untouched and unbothered for about 3 hours. You'll be tempted, but don't look and don't touch. As a note, we recommend putting it in with the fat cap facing up. The fat cap of the brisket is the fat side of the brisket. Whether your butcher trimmed your brisket or you got it at the grocery store, this should be easily noticeable.
- Note >> You can skip this step. Letting your brisket smoke low and slow for the entirety is a great way to get great-tasting beef. If you're in a time crunch, however, go ahead and wrap it.Around 160 degrees, you'll experience "the brisket stall."This is where the internal temperature of the brisket will stall out around 160 degrees. At this point, we strongly advise wrapping your brisket in butcher paper or aluminum foil. You can gauge the bark level at this point. If you want it darker, keep it unwrapped longer. If it looks good, wrap it up.After wrapping, put it back on the smoker and raise the temperature to 275 degrees.
- Once it's back on the smoker, you'll just want to let it ride the rest of the way home. Keep it on the smoker until the temperature reaches around 200-205 degrees. When you put the temp probe in, it should feel like a knife going through soft butter. I always recommend checking temp at in the point, or the thickest part of the brisket.
- This is not optional if you want a mouth-watering, juicy, tender brisket!After smoking your Texas style brisket at home all day long, you'll want to give it a taste, but you'll have to resist.Let it rest at room temperature for about at least 30 minutes, but preferably around one-hour. If you're not serving it within an hour, wrap the whole thing in a towel. This will preserve some heat while still letting all the juices settle.
- Now that you've allowed your brisket to rest properly, it's time to slice it. Cut the brisket in half separating the point from the flatSlice flat against the grainSlice point in half the other waySlice the point against the grainServe it up and be proud!
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