If beef brisket is not cooked just right, you can end up with a tough piece of meat. However, it can be delicious if it is properly prepared and cooked. Here is a guide to help you learn how to cook brisket.

1. How To Pick Out A Brisket

Pick out a brisket that not trimmed and is in one piece. When a brisket is packed this way it is called a packer’s cut. The fat layer on top (fat cap) should be about one-fourth to one-third inch thick. You should avoid trimming the fat any further since it will help the meat stay tender and moist.

2. Let The Meat Age

You can ensure the brisket will stay tender by putting it in the refrigerator for two or three weeks at thirty-two to thirty-four degrees.

3. Trim The Brisket

Start trimming your brisket on the opposite side of the fat layer. Try to cut off most of the fat so the seasonings can be absorbed into the meat. Trim the fat on the sides as well. In addition, use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts about one inch apart across the meat.

4. Marinate The Brisket

The of the best ways to marinate a brisket is to inject a sauce so it can reach the center. Use an inch pattern that extends along the length and width of the brisket. Here is a sauce that will give you a smokey and spicy flavor.

  • One four ounce bottle of liquid smoke
  • One medium red onion chopped
  • One teaspoon garlic salt
  • One teaspoon onion salt
  • One-half cup of brown sugar
  • One-third cup of vinegar
  • One cup of ketchup

Mix all the ingredients together and heat in a sauce pan on the stove or in a glass container in the microwave until the mixture begins to steam. After it starts to steam, set it aside to cool. After the sauce has cooled, inject the sauce slowly into the meat. Place the brisket in a sealed plastic bag or container and refrigerate it for 24 to 48 hours. This amount of sauce can be used for a five pound brisket.

5. Prepare The Smoker

You can use lump charcoal or briquettes in a smoker. Keep in mind that you should not use lighter fluid. Instead, you can use a charcoal chimney starter. This only needs a few sheets of newspaper to get started. You can put a couple of chunks of hickory, pecan or apple wood over the unlit and lit charcoal to get a smoky taste. Bring the smoker’s temperature to about 225 degrees.

6. Barbecue The Brisket

Put the brisket in an aluminum or disposable pan to trap the meat juices for later. This will help to prevent the heat from drying out the meat as well. Place a wireless thermometer probe in the meat so it can reach the center area. This will allow you to monitor the internal temperature of the brisket while it is cooking.

Briskets normally require about one to one and a half hours per pound to thoroughly cook the meat. This time can vary depending on the thickness of the brisket and the kind smoker. After four hours, you should start basting the meat every other hour. When the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, wrap the meat in two layers of foil. Open the foil when the internal temperature reaches 185 degrees. The meat will be done when the probe can easily slid into the middle of the brisket.

7. Cut And Serve The Brisket

After the meat is done cooking, it should be set aside to cool for twenty minutes. Once it is cooled, unwrap it and place the brisket on a large cutting board. Slice against the grain with an electric or sharpened knife. Serve the brisket immediately and enjoy.


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