Test for doneness.
The ideal temperature of a properly smoked brisket is 195°F, but keep in mind that the internal temp of the brisket can increase by 1 degree even after it’s been removed from the grill. The last thing you want is to overcook your brisket, which results in dry, chewy meat.
Anytime is a good time for tender, juicy, smoky brisket. We have the thermal tips you need to get it right. So grab a “full-packer” from your butcher, and get smoking!
Brisket is a rite of passage for anyone with a smoker. It’s the ultimate challenge: taking what is arguably the toughest piece of meat in the whole cow, and through the art and craft of low-and-slow smoking, turning it into pure meat candy—that smoky, peppery, caramelized exterior with tender, flavorful, juicy beef inside that is one of the pinnacles of the barbecue experience.
How to Build Your Fire
- Give your top grill grate a good brushing and set it aside.
- If you’re using a kettle-type grill, use an indirect technique like The Charcoal Snake to set up your grill. Be sure to use a drip pan with water directly underneath the meat to stabilize the temperature.
- For backyard smokers, set it up for a long smoke. Learn more about smoking here.
- With either method, add a few handfuls of Hickory or Mesquite Kingsford™ BBQ Smoking Chips (that have been soaked in warm water) on top of the coals.
- You’ll want to keep the grill temp at Low Heat — 225°F. How to control the heat when grilling with charcoal.
- Add the grate and let it heat up.
- When you’re at temp, put cooking oil on a folded paper towel. Grab the oiled paper towel with tongs and oil the grate thoroughly.
Brisket, the Miracle Meat!
Dr. Jeff Savell of Camp Brisket at Texas A&M calls brisket a bona fide miracle:
We have the critical thermal tips necessary to help you succeed in every brisket cook, and we have the tools to help you follow those tips.
1. To Trim or Not to Trim?
Brisket has a thick layer of fat, or “fat cap,” on one side. Low and slow cooking allows the fat to slowly render, adding flavor and helping to keep the meat moist, but depending upon the leanness of the cut, not all of the fat will render.
Typically you’ll want to trim the fat cap to a uniform thickness about 1/4″ thick. Also, remove any large “nodules” or chunks of fat, and remove as much of the silverskin as you can as it will not break down during the cook. (Silverskin is the thin membrane covering the exposed side of the brisket, opposite the fatty side. Silverskin will not break down during cooking.
A traditional brisket rub is a simple 1:1 ratio of kosher salt and ground black pepper. To coat a full-packer brisket use about 3/4 to 1 cup of the rub. No intense spices are added to allow the flavors developed in the meat through the smoking process to take center stage.
Apply the rub to the brisket and allow it to rest at room temperature for about an hour. The rub will draw out some protein-laden moisture from the meat, helping to create a good, strong bark when cooked.
Test for doneness. The ideal temperature of a properly smoked brisket is 195°F, but keep in mind that the internal temp of the brisket can increase by 1 degree even after it’s been removed from the grill. The last thing you want is to overcook your brisket, which results in dry, chewy meat.
What temp do you pull brisket off?
Is my brisket done at 180?
Is brisket done at 190 or 200?
What is the best temperature for brisket?