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? (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?


Kevin Kolman

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!


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!


Kevin Kolman

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.


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


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!


Timothy D I


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.



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!


Paul S

I will be cooking a 5-lb flat brisket tomorrow on my One Touch Gold, maintaining a 225-250 cooking temp per the above instructions.

It sounds like I should expect 5-7 hrs to get the temp up to the 165/170 mark, but without constantly puncturing the foil to take a reading, about how long will it take to get the meat up to 195?


Kevin Kolman

Hi Paul,

I would say once your brisket is in the foil, it should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until it reaches 195 degrees. Then, it needs to rest in a cooler. Don't forget to still use a water pan inside your kettle. Good luck!

Happy Grilling!


John H

If I am using a Weber Genesis 3 burner gas grill, how should I set up the indirect heat? Left burner on with brisket on the right side of grill? How high should the burners be set?

I have done ribs low and slow with both left and right burners set to low (center off), and the temperature stayed right at 300 degrees the whole time. Ribs came out great. But I'm thinking that is too high of a temperature for brisket.

Also, when I did my ribs, I put my smoker box on the grill rack and got very little smoke. Should I put it on the flavorizer bar instead? Thanks!


Kevin Kolman

Hi John,

You have a few options. You can either set your grill to medium-off-medium, low-off-low, or medium-off-off. These are the best ways to set up for smoking on your Weber Genesis. The temperature you are trying to achieve is somewhere between 225 and 250 degrees. A brisket will not fit if you are trying to smoke with the front and back burners on medium or low. You would have to keep two of the burners off. I would recommend using either the disposable Weber Firespice smoking tins or the Weber Smoker Box during the preheating process. Place these directly on the grill grates. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Happy Grilling!


Victor K

Hi Kevin,

I have a Weber Summit S-470 with a smoker box and a 4.6 pound flat cut brisket.

I'm thinking I need to dry rub the brisket about a day before and go indirect.

What do I need to know to do this right ?

I keep seeing 225 as the ideal temp, how long will this approximately take on my new grill?



Joseph B

I recently picked up a flat cut angus brisket that looks as if the fat side is somewhat trimmed and in some spots even removed (still in the package so it's a little hard to tell). I was wondering if there are any different techniques that could be used to ensure that the brisket doesn't dry out. Should I inject it, smoke it fat side up/down, smoke it in a foil pan to help retain juices? Should I be careful in letting it sit too long with the rub, etc.?


Roger R

Once you have the brisket finished, how long do you let it sweat? Also, could you give me some idea approximately how long from start to finish for packer cut (14 lbs)?
Thanks, Don


joseph l

Hi Kevin,

For the 4th we had 16 people over, and my son and I smoked a 14.5 lb. packer cut brisket and 4 racks of baby backs. I have a 22" Smokey Mountain and we got the brisket on at 4 am. Following your method, I checked the temp at 11:00 and it was 160 so I pulled it off and wrapped it tightly and put it back on the Smokey Mountain bottom shelf and put 4 racks of baby backs on the top. At 2:00 we pulled the ribs off to wrap them, and the brisket was at 198 so I pulled it off to let it sweat for an hour while the ribs finished cooking. I used 5 chunks of hickory in the beginning for the brisket, and 4 chunks of pecan for the ribs when we first put them on. The brisket was wrapped at that point so the pecan didn't affect it. I kept the Smokey Mountain right around 250 the whole time. Absolutely Perfect!!!!! My first hint was when I put the thermometer in the brisket it felt like there was no meat there! It was that tender. Perfect smoke ring. No teeth required! Fantastic bark. My son cubed the point and we put that on the grill to make burnt ends. There were hardly any leftovers.

I can't thank you enough for your knowledge and teaching. You really made me a backyard hero!
Thank you,
Joe Lucas