How to Smoke a Flat Brisket

Revered for its robust, beefy flavor, brisket is best cooked low and slow. A smoker grill helps you achieve melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and an intense smoky flavor. Brisket, cut from below the shoulder of a steer, is typically sold divided into two cuts -- the point cut and flat cut. The flat cut is most commonly used for smoking and grilling. In the moderately low heat of a smoker grill, the fatty connective tissues in the brisket melt into the muscles. The resulting tender and moist meat is well worth the time it takes to cook.

Homemade Smoked Barbecue Beef Brisket
Brisket is the king of barbecued meats in Texas. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Cover the brisket generously with a dry rub on all sides, patting the seasoning firmly to make sure it sticks. Place the brisket on a large plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Store the meat in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 2

Take the brisket out of the refrigerator an hour before you are ready to cook to allow it to come to room temperature. Soak wood chips in a container of water for at least 30 minutes.

Step 3

Add water to the water pan of your smoker grill where indicated and fill the bottom with fresh charcoal. Light the charcoal and close the lid, using the vents to control and maintain the heat at between 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the soaked wood chips on top of the coals once they have started to turn ashen. You will need to replenish the coals and wood chips roughly every hour to maintain the temperature.

Step 4

Lay the brisket on the center grate of your smoker and close the lid. Let the brisket cook for about 45 to 60 minutes per pound. For brisket to be tender enough to enjoy, it needs to reach an internal temperature of at least 195 F. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the brisket after the allotted cooking time.

Step 5

Transfer the cooked brisket to a serving platter and cover it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Things You'll Need

  • Prepared dry rub

  • Plate

  • Plastic wrap

  • Charcoal

  • Wood chips

  • Meat thermometer

  • Serving platter

  • Aluminum foil


Use any type of dry rub seasoning you would like or make your own, starting with equal parts salt and sugar, then adding any dry spices you like.

Hickory and oak wood chips complement the robust flavor of the brisket.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.