How to Cook Brisket

Good things come to those who wait. Such is the case with how to cook brisket--scrumptious smoked beef so tender that it practically falls apart. The prep work starts the day before, and then it smokes for 8 to 10 hours. If you don't have a smoker, you can cook brisket on a charcoal or gas grill, though in smaller portions. Serve it up with your favorite barbecue sauce, and you'll have a delectable meal that is well worth the wait.
Hi! I'm Kristina with Today we are going to make Chef Dean's Never Fail Brisket. This is perfect for the summer if you're feeding a big crowd, you cook the brisket low and slow on the grill and the result is juicy and tender. Here's what you'll need: 2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of ground red pepper (cayenne pepper), 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme (crushed), 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce, and of course, a 10-to 12-pound brisket. So to begin, we're soaking some hickory wood chips in just enough water to cover and will drain that before using them. Let's make the rub for this brisket. Start with the paprika, chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, a little bit of sugar, and some salt, freshly ground black pepper, a little bit of curry powder, dry mustard, some crushed red pepper (cayenne pepper), and some dried thyme leaves. Okay, we'll mix this all together. Now, what you do is just take a tablespoon of this rub that you just made and add it to 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce, kind of making a personalized barbecue sauce here. We'll mix this all together. Now, this we'll just cover and chill and use it later. With the rest of the rub, I'm gonna sprinkle it over the entire brisket on both sides. Rub it in there, get it all nice and covered. Then, I will cover and refrigerate this overnight. The brisket has been in the refrigerator overnight. Let's take off the plastic wrap and as you can see, the fat side is up on the brisket. That's how we want for the first half of the cooking. Today, I'll be making this brisket on a gas grill. I've already preheated it, one burner is on and the other two are off. And, we have the fat side up for the first half of the cooking. Now, what we're gonna do is make a foil packet with the wood chips that have been soaking overnight. So, I'm gonna wrap it up nice and tight and then just poke a few holes on the top. Okay, let's get this wood chips on the grill. Just lift up the grain and put it right on the heating element. The brisket is ready to go in this pan on a roasting rack and then we'll put them on the grill. Finally, I'm gonna add a pan of hot water to the grill. This is to keep the meat nice and moist while it's in there. You could also use an old coffee can filled with water. Cover and grill for 2-1/2 hours until the meat is dark, dark brown. It's been about 2-1/2 hours. I've taken the brisket off of the grill. It's looking great and now I'm gonna wrap the whole thing in foil, nice and tight. Now, this goes back on the grill, directly on the racks for another 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the internal temperature is 185 degrees. You've been waiting all day. It's been on the grill for hours and finally, it is brisket time. Take a look at that. I've taken it off the grill and let it rest and now, it's time to enjoy. Simply slice it across the grain and then pass that homemade barbecue sauce around the table. Everyone has a good time. This is made for a party and that's how you make Chef Dean's Never Fail Brisket. Thanks for watching. For more great recipes and savings, visit us at

What You'll Need

  • 2   tablespoons paprika

  • 1   tablespoon chili powder

  • 1   teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1   teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1   teaspoon sugar

  • 1   teaspoon salt

  • 1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2  teaspoon curry powder

  • 1/2  teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/2  teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne pepper)

  • 1/2  teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

  • 8 - 10   mesquite or hickory wood chunk

  • 1  10 - 12  pound fresh beef brisket

  • 2   cups of your favorite barbecue sauce

Step By Step

In a small bowl, combine rub ingredients. The night before smoking, soak wood chunks in enough water to cover. Drain before using.
Do not trim fat from brisket. One day before smoking, remove 1 tablespoon of the rub mixture and stir into 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce. Cover and chill. Sprinkle brisket with the remaining rub mixture. Wrap meat tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Smoker Directions:
Arrange preheated coals, half of the drained wood chunks, and the water pan as directed in manufacturers directions. Fill pan with hot water. Place brisket, fat side up, on grill rack over pan. Cover and smoke for 8 to 10 hours until a fork can easily be inserted into the center of the meat and a thermometer registers 185 degree F. Add more coals as needed, but do not add any more wood chips after the first three hours. (Too much smoke makes meat bitter.) Remove brisket from smoker. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. *Read and follow the instructions that came with your smoker.
To serve:
Heat barbecue sauce in a small saucepan over low heat. To serve brisket, trim away crusty outer layer, if desired. Starting at the brisket's wider end, find the seam of fat running through the meat and cut along it, slicing the meat in half horizontally. Trim excess fat. Slice each section across the grain. Pass with heated barbecue sauce. Makes 15 to 18 servings using a 10- to 12-pound brisket or 7 to 9 servings with a 4-1/2- to 5-pound brisket.

  • Gas and Charcoal Grill Directions: For a grill, prepare a 4-1/2- to 5-pound brisket as directed above, except use only half of the rub ingredients. At least 1 hour before grilling, soak 8 to 10 wood chunks in enough water to cover.
  • For a Charcoal Grill: Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Arrange medium hot coals around a drip pan. Fill drip pan with hot water. Test for medium-low heat above the drip pan. Add half of the wood chunks. Place brisket, fat side up, on the grill rack over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 2-1/2 hours. Turn brisket and continue grilling for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until a fork can be easily inserted in the center of the meat and an instant-read thermometer registers 185 degree F. Add coals (about 8 to 12 per hour) and wood as needed to maintain temperature and smoke. (Do not add any more wood after 2 hours of grilling.)
  • For a Gas Grill: Start with a full tank of fuel. Adjust heat according to manufacturer's directions for indirect cooking over low heat. Add soaked wood chunks according to manufacturer's directions. (Or wrap chunks in foil and place packets directly over heat on the lava rocks, ceramic briquettes, or metal heat-diffusing bars). Place a small coffee can or pan of hot water on the side of the grill rack over a lit burner. Place brisket, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan; set the pan on the grill rack over the unlit burner. Cover and grill for 2-1/2 hours or until meat is dark, dark brown. Wrap brisket in foil; return to grill directly on grill rack. Cook meat 1-1/2 to 2 hours more until a fork can be easily inserted in the center of the meat and thermometer registers 185 degree F.
  • Place half soaked wood chucks in the center a 12 x 18-inch piece of heavy foil. Bring up two opposite edges of foil and make a pouch with a opening in the top for the smoke to come out. Repeat with remaining wood and another piece of foil. Place packets on the grill rack directly over heat on the lava rocks, ceramic briquettes or flavorizer bars.
Even though brisket takes a long time to cook, it doesn't take a lot of effort. In fact, the hardest part about how to cook brisket may just be having to smell the mouth-watering aroma while you wait for the chance to taste it.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 470, Fat, total (g) 18, chol. (mg) 177, sat. fat (g) 5, carb. (g) 6, Monounsaturated fat (g) 8, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, fiber (g) 1, sugar (g) 4, pro. (g) 66, vit. A (IU) 875, vit. C (mg) 3, sodium (mg) 623, calcium (mg) 30, iron (mg) 6, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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