Beef Brisket, Done Right

Whether you’ve never smoked a brisket, or done it many times, there’s always something to learn! Working with such a large cut of meat can be both intimidating and challenging, but we’re here to help. With this video, we’ve got you covered. We’ll show you step-by-step how to smoke a brisket that will have your friends and family talking long after their plates have been cleared. So gather your charcoal, wood chunks, grilling tools, and brisket. It’s time to get that smoker started. Your mouth will thank you later. 

What are your thoughts? (21)

05.07.16

Michael K

So when you wrap the brisket and "bring it up to 190-195" does that mean turn up the heat on the grill/smoker or wait till it reaches that temp at the steady heat of 225-250 degrees of the grill?

05.07.16

Kevin Kolman

Hi Michael! Leave the temp of the grill/smoker at 225-250 and bring the internal temperature of the brisket up to 190-195. Sorry I wasn't more clear! Thanks for the question and happy grilling! - Kevin

04.29.16

David D

Hi Kevin,

Any tips for smoking a brisket on a Q2200 with a smoker box? Thanks!

04.29.16

Kevin Kolman


Best advice I can give you is keep the brisket small 8-10 pounds. I will be extremely hard to put a 14-16 pound packer cut brisket on a Q2200 withouth burning it. Also, you will want to use a roast holder and a drip pan to collect the drippings. Since there will be a lot coming off the grill make sure you double up that pan. If you want to use a smoker box you can just make sure you use put that on the grill when preheating. The box needs to smolder before you cook that way you can get smoke flavor onto the brisket. It will be a challenge to use the smoker box if not done correctly because you need to keep the heat around 225-250. Good luck and keep us posted and always Happy Grilling!!!

09.05.15

John W

Kevin doesn't mention use of the water bowl on the set up or preparation of the meat in this video. Wouldn't the water bowl aid in keeping the meat moist??? I also got the impression from other sources that it lends to reducing the total cooking (smoking) time.

09.04.15

Kevin Kolman

John,
Either use the water pan or spray the brisket with water or your favorite liquid to help smoke adhere. The humidity of water and the temperature of the smoker help create the smoke ring and add flavor. Keep us posted if you need anything else you can find us here or on Facebook and Twitter at Kevin Kolman’s Backyard and always Happy Grilling!!

09.04.15

Allan R

I am smoking a brisket for a party at 4pm tomorrow in TX (my first Brisket since moving to TX, so i can't screw it up). I was going to smoke it over night, but after watching your video and reading tips i am reconsidering this approach as it appears to need much more attention. I also read a comment above using the higher heat, faster cooking method. I have a 9lb brisket. Looking for some advise as this is my first brisket i've cooked.

09.04.15

Kevin Kolman

Allan,
First, thanks for checking in and second good luck my friend!! Here is what I recommend for your 9 pound brisket. Rub it tonight to help with flavor and taste. I would guess it will take about 7-9 hours to smoke your brisket. I like 250-275 for the first 3-4 hours depending on color. If the bark forms quickly, then get it in foil as quick as you can. I usually look to do this around the 150-160 internal temperature of the brisket. Foil and turn the heat down to about 225. Continue to cook the brisket until it is around 195 give or take. It should feel like a sponge in the foil. Also, make sure to double or triple wrap the foil to keep the moisture in and also just in case the foil tears you won't loose all the awesome flavor to the smoker. Place the wrapped brisket in a dry cooler for 2 to 3 hours. This will help loosen the brisket and make it out of this world. Do not cheat on this step because it is crucial. Then slice and there you go. If you need any extra assistance you can find me here or on Facebook and Twitter at Kevin Kolman’s Backyard and always Happy Grilling!!

07.12.15

Blair J

Bought my WSM 18.5 yesterday and smoked a flat cut angus brisket today. I was a bit apprehensive, because it was my first time using the WSM; however, I followed Kevin's advice and the brisket turned out wonderful.

07.11.15

Kevin Kolman

Blair,
Congrats on the 18.5 inch WSM!! I have three myself and love them dearly! Wow, am I excited to hear you knocked that flat out of the park. That is one of the hardest things you will ever cook and to hear you succeeded is huge. Keep us posted if you have any other questions here or find me on Facebook and Twitter at Kevin’s Backyard. Good luck with your WSM and always Happy Grilling!!

06.22.15

Dietrich H

Hey Kevin,
Getting ready for my first try on a WSM 18.5. I read A Franklin's book and wondered about the "stall" he is writing about. Is this something to plan for during a WSM brisket cook?
Thx,
Dietrich

06.21.15

Kevin Kolman

Dietrich,
Yes, the stall is something occurs usually around the 150-160 degree temperature range. The meat begins to try to cool itself. That is why wrapping the brisket is essential to keeping it moist. I prefer this method especially if you are new to grilling brisket. It keeps the moisture around the brisket, loosens up the muscle fibers and keeps it tender. Keep me posted and if you have any other questions you can find me here or on Facebook and Twitter at Kevin’s Backyard and always Happy Grilling!

06.17.15

Daniel K

I am planning to try my first Brisket on Sunday on a 22.5 Master-Touch. I was wondering what you think about using lump instead of briquettes? I have both, would you recommend one over the other? If using the lump charcoal, will I need to use more or less, and will I have to add it more or less frequently than with briquettes?

Thanks!

06.17.15

Kevin Kolman

Daniel,
I like using briquettes for smoking because it will give you a consistent fuel source. Lump has a tendency to move around a little bit and can be challenging to keep it up on the charcoal grate. In terms of amounts it is very difficult to gauge because 1 pound of lump is not the same as 1 pound of briquettes. This is why I prefer briquettes. Keep me posted and if you have any other questions you can find me here or on Facebook and Twitter at Kevin’s Backyard and always Happy Grilling!

12.16.14

Dwain P

I've done quite a few packer briskets on the 22" WSM - many low and slow like this one. Anymore, I have gone to a little more medium heat (some say high heat) - 325-350*F. I start fat side down on the grate, when the brisket hits 170*F internal, I place it in a disposable alum pan and cover with foil fat side up until 190*F internal. I check for tenderness with a probe and if tender I remove it but it not I let if cook 30 more minutes and check again. I normally find they are probe tender between 200 - 205*F. I learned this from others on the internet and have used it many times flawlessly - it cuts cooking time by hours!

12.16.14

Kevin Kolman

Dwain,
You and I share many of the same thoughts on doing a brisket. I like to keep my WSM at 275 which does an amazing job of helping form that awesome bark. Once I get the brisket up to 150-160 internal temperature depending on color of the bark I then proceed to foil and slow the WSM down to 225. This has really helped in getting the brisket nice and tender. I look for doneness around the 200-204 temperature range and then let it sit for 2-3 hours to allow the brisket to relax and become ridiculously tender. What I have found working with Pit Master’s like Harry Soo, Myron Mixon, Johnny Trigg, Aaron Franklin is everyone has a little bit of a different approach. Although we all have a different way from start to finish many of our steps are the same. The most important part is creating consistency so your results are the best each and every time. Thank you so sharing your “BBQ secrets” with us and I will try your approach the next time I smoke a brisket. Thanks for sharing and always Happy Grilling. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter at Kevin’s Backyard.

11.06.14

Tom W

I have done a lot of whole or packer briskets on a 22 1/2" kettle. The key is to keep the temp at 225-250. You can never keep it at a steady temp. Once the brisket reaches 175 wrap it in foil. Close down the vents and put it back on the grill. It will reach 185-190 in another hour or so due to carry over cooking and the residual heat of the grill. Take it off at this time.

My favorite woods are oak and a little apple. I have used a basket and kept replacing coals as they got low. Just shake the basket to get rid of the ashes. Sweep the ashes out of the bottom bowl every 3-4 hours. I use a loaf pan over the coals to provide moisture.

Keep on smoking

11.05.14

Kevin Kolman

Hi Tom,

Thank you for all of the tips. One of the hardest things to smoke is a brisket, and trying to get it done on a 22.5 inch kettle shows your pit master skills! I like to utilize the snake method when smoking on the kettle because it does a pretty good job of regulating temperatures. I prefer wrapping earlier because I don’t want to lose too much moisture from the brisket or to try to get the brisket in foil before the dreaded stall. Thanks for the tip on sweeping out the ash, I will make sure to pass this on to people because it is a great detail which can often be overlooked.

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

05.30.14

Timothy D I

Kevin.

Can I do the brisket in a Kettle? I can't afford a Smokey Mountain at this time, but would love to smoke a brisket for my family. Any suggestions regarding the vent settings?

Thank you.

Tim

05.30.14

Kevin Kolman

Hi Tim,

Yes, you can do brisket in the kettle. I would light 30 briquettes and place them on one end of the bowl. Then, place an aluminum pan in the middle of the charcoal grate with one liter of water. Place the brisket on the indirect area to cook. Be sure to keep the dampers about ¼ of the way open. You’ll need to add 8-9 briquettes every hour on the hour to keep the temperature where it needs to be. Let me know how it turns out.

Happy Grilling!
-Kevin

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