This is the low-fi version of a smoked brisket. If you are looking to win a barbecue world championship, you want Chris Hart’s American Royal 1st Place beef brisket recipe from Wicked Good BBQ. But if you aren’t quite at that level (yet), this somewhat simpler version is undeniably delicious. On the competition trail or in your backyard, though, there’s one thing you can’t compromise on: the quality and cut of the beef. You need a packer cut prime beef brisket with a point—the thinner edge of the meat—that is ¾ to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) thick. Make friends with your butcher. That’s one of the real secrets to barbecue.
Active time: 2 hours 30 minutes
TOTAL time: 16 hours
SERVES: 10 to 12
- 10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.5 kg) packer cut prime beef brisket
- 1 ¼ cups (188 g) Basic Beef BBQ Rub (See below)
- Smoker and accessories
- Pecan and oak or your favorite hardwood
- Probe thermometer
- Neoprene gloves
- Cooler, for holding meat
Preheat your smoker to 250°F (120°C). About 30 minutes before you are ready to cook, stoke the fire with your favorite hardwood; we prefer pecan and oak for this.
Pat the brisket dry with paper towels. With a sharp knife, trim off most of the fat from the top, leaving about a ¼ inch (6 mm). Flip over and remove any large pieces of fat and silver skin. Lightly and evenly coat the meat with the rub.
Insert the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the brisket. Place the meat fat-side up in your smoker. Smoke the brisket for about 6 hours maintaining an ambient temperature of 250°F (121°C). When the internal temperature reaches 160°F to 170°F (71°C to 77°C), it is time to wrap.
To wrap the brisket, place two 2-foot (61 cm) pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil side by side, overlapping them by 6 inches (15 cm). Take another 2-foot (61 cm) piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and place it perpendicular across the center of the foil rectangle. With neoprene gloves, carefully take the brisket out of the smoker and remove the probe. Place the brisket in the center of the foil, with the long edge of the brisket parallel to the long edge of the foil. Fold the foil over the brisket and tightly seal all sides.
Place the wrapped brisket back into the smoker. Carefully ease the probe back into the center of the brisket. Continue smoking until the probe reads 202°F (94°C).
Basic Beef BBQ Rub
Another quick rub recipe, this one with a grated bouillon cube for additional savoriness.
- 1 cup (224 g) kosher salt
- 1 cup (96 g) coarsely ground black pepper
- ½ cup (56 g) onion powder
- ½ cup (72 g) garlic powder
- 1 (12 g) beef bouillon cube
Combine the salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder in a bowl. Finely grate the bouillon cube over the bowl of rub. Mix well, making sure there are no lumps remaining.
Store in a cool, dark place in an airtight container for up to several months.