There’s nothing better than a juicy, tender brisket that has been cooked low and slow by smoke all day long. This is a recipe that takes time, but it is well worth it! A simple rub, time and smoke is all that is needed to create this tender, melt in your mouth Texas Brisket recipe.

Serve this meat with some sliced bread, cheese, pickles, and pickled red onions for a truly Texan dish. Serve a little Coleslaw, Homemade Mac and Cheese, or Potato Salad on the side to round things off.

Texas Brisket on peach paper, sliced with slices of bread, cheese, pickles and onions around.

Why this is the BEST Smoked Brisket Recipe:

  • Keeping things simple with the rub allows the flavor of the meat to shine through. To go truly old school Texan, you could even use a Dalmatian rub of just salt and pepper.
  • Smoking at a low temperature ensures that the meat will be tender and juicy, rushing cooking with this particular cut of meat will produce nothing but dry meat.
  • Wrapping the meat once it hits 165℉ helps us push through the stall and keep the temperature rising at a steady rate.
  • Letting the meat rest before slicing allows time for the juices to be retained by the meat, giving us a juicier slice of brisket.

Ingredients Needed:

Ingredients needed for smoking a brisket laid out on the counter.

Notes on Ingredients:

  • Whole Packer Brisket: this is a whole cut that is wrapped and sent from the packing house, no additional butchering is done to it. It contains both the point and the flat, which are two different muscles, one fatty and one lean. This creates a tender bite when cooked properly.
  • Coarse salt & Coarse pepper: this is the base of our rub, we want our salt and pepper to be equal in size for a more consistent flavoring. This is why many cooks will use a 16 mesh ground black pepper (affiliate link).
  • Granulated Onion & Garlic: use a granulated form of these spices, not the powder form. We want the granules to be able to stick to the meat.
  • Chili Powder & Coriander: this is just for extra flavoring, you can use your favorite chili powder, or a chipotle chili powder for a little more depth of flavor. Of course you can always leave these spices out of your rub. All that is needed is classic salt & pepper.

Serene’s Tip: I find that a binder is not needed, I don’t have any issues with the seasonings not sticking to the meat. If you want to use a binder common ones would include: yellow mustard, vegetable or extra virgin olive oil. Simply rub the meat down with the binder then sprinkle with the rub.

How to Make (step by step):

Step by step preparing a brisket for smoking, rub ingredients in a small bowl, rub being added to the top of the brisket.
  • Step 1: prepare the spices that you will be using for the rub. Stir to combine.
  • Step 2: trim and prepare the brisket (a step by step guide and video link are included in the recipe card below that outline this step in detail). Then sprinkle both sides of the brisket with the rub.

Serene’s Tip: add the rub to a shaker to apply to the brisket, this helps ensure an even layer of rub being applied to the entire cut of meat.

Brisket on the smoker, then a smoked brisket on peach paper showing a dark bark.
  • Step 3: Smoke the brisket. Keep your smoker at a consistent temperature of 225℉ and monitor the internal temperature of the brisket using a probe thermometer. For a true Texas smoked brisket use an Oak wood or pellet.
  • Step 4: Wrap the brisket in peach butcher paper when it reaches an internal temperature of 160℉, then continue smoking until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 203℉.

Serene’s Tip: When starting the cook, place the brisket on the grill fat side down (my preference) this helps the bark develop nicely over the top of the meat.

Whole brisket laying on peach paper after being smoked.

Tools Needed:

These are all some important tools that will be needed for making this recipe. The following are all affiliate links.

  • Shaker: to help apply the rub evenly over the surface of the meat.
  • Probe Thermometer: this allows you to monitor the internal temperature of the meat while it cooks without having to open the smoker to check it.
  • Instant Read Thermometer: this is a very accurate way to check the temperature during the last phase of cooking.
  • Peach Butcher Paper: this is a food grade paper, another option would be foil. Reasons to use paper instead of foil is that the paper is more breathable, it traps less steam, which helps keep the meat juicy and keeps the bark from getting soggy.
Sliced Texas Smoked Brisket on peach paper.

F.A.Q’s:

How long does it take to smoke a brisket?

At 225℉ expect at least 1 hour per pound of brisket. 

Can I cook this overnight?

Yes! This is often the method I prefer to use. You can plan on starting it late and wrapping the brisket in the morning, or starting the brisket earlier in the day and wrapping late at night and getting up early to pull it off the smoker.

Does this brisket need sauce?

If prepared and smoked correctly.. no. True Texas BBQ doesn’t use sauce. There is often a vinegar based BBQ sauce available if desired. But good brisket should not be slathered in any BBQ sauce.

Sliced beef brisket after smoking with juices coming out.

More Texas BBQ Recipes:

If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!

Texas Brisket on peach paper, sliced with slices of bread, cheese, pickles and onions around.

Texas Smoked Brisket Recipe

This Texas Smoked Brisket uses simple ingredients, but the process used creates meat so tender it will melt in your mouth. Apply a simple rub and let your smoker do the work!
5 from 21 votes

Ingredients

  • 12-18 lb whole packer brisket

Rub

  • ¼ cup coarse salt
  • ¼ cup coarse black pepper, 16 mesh ground
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

Instructions

  • Trim the Brisket: Trim the brisket directly from the fridge, cold brisket it easier to trim. Set the brisket in front of you meat side up, fat side down. Remove the large hard piece of fat that separates the point from the fat, trim this down until it is smooth between the point and the flat. Remove any silver skin or excess hard fat from the flat muscle. Trim the thin corner of the flat, this will dry out during cooking since it’s so thin. Flip the brisket over to the fat side and trim the fat down to 1/4 inch thickness. Be careful not to cut down into the meat.
  • Prepare the rub: add the ingredients for the rub into a small bowl. Stir to combine, then add into a large shaker, or use a spoon to evenly spread the rub all over the brisket, both sides.
  • Preheat the Smoker: Preheat your smoker to 225℉ using Oak or a Traeger Texas Beef Blend. 
  • Smoke: Place the brisket on the smoker, fat side down (my preference because it helps the bark develop nicely over the top) and with the flat (the thin portion) furthest from the heat source. Place the point closest to the heat source. Insert a probe thermometer to monitor the internal temperature, place this in the thickest part of the meat. Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 165℉, replacing wood pellets or chips as needed. Takes 6-8 hours. (DO NOT open the smoker the first 2 hours of the cook, this is when the meat will absorb the most smoke flavor).
  • Wrap: Once the brisket reaches 165℉, carefully remove the brisket using gloves (it will be hot) and place on two sheets of overlapped peach butcher paper, place the brisket fat side up. Wrap the brisket by folding the paper over the top of the brisket nice and tight, then fold the edges in and fold the brisket over twice.
  • Continue Smoking: Place the brisket back into the smoker, with the seam side of the wrap facing down to keep it nice and tight. Place your thermometer probe back into the meat, it can go right through the paper, it’s fine. And continue smoking until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 203℉.  This will take another 6-8 hours.
  • Remove: Remove the brisket from the smoker and place on a large baking sheet to let it rest for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
  • Rest: If needed you can let the brisket rest for longer, wrap in towels and place in a cooler, it will stay hot for another 6 hours using this method.
  • Slice: slice the point and the flat against the grain, pay attention because the direction will change. Easiest method is to cut the point and the flat apart from one another, then cut them individually into slices. (some slices will have the meat grain going in both directions)
  • Serve: for a true Texas BBQ experience serve with slices of white bread, sliced cheddar cheese, sliced dill pickles, and pickled red onion. Have some BBQ sauce on the side if needed.

Notes

  • Whole Packer Brisket: this is a cut that comes straight from the packing house, it contains both the point and the flat, two different muscles. An average whole packer brisket will weigh between 12-18 pounds. 
  • Rub: feel free to do a classic Dalmation Rub, which is equal parts salt and pepper, the other seasonings are additions and are not required. Classic Texas BBQs would be only salt and pepper, most BBQ joints now do add other spices and seasonings to create different flavor profiles from other BBQ joints. 
  • Salt & Pepper: use coarse salt and a coarse ground pepper, we want the granules to be about equal in size. 16 mesh ground black pepper is a standard BBQ size.
  • Granulated Onion & Garlic: don’t use the powdered versions of these spices, we want the granules so that they stick to the meat. 
  • Chili Powder: use either a basic chili powder or a chipotle chili powder as desired, this will also add a red coloring to the meat as it cooks.
  • Trim the Brisket: For a visual this is a great video: https://youtu.be/MTc5VAgZKLE
  • Wrap the Brisket: Here is a video for a visual: https://youtu.be/dCnxCBMZCxE
  • Average Cook Times: at 225℉ expect at least 1 hour per pound of brisket. This can be cooked overnight, just monitor the temperature and be sure to wrap the brisket when it reaches 165℉ to push through the stall. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1pound, Calories: 865kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 114g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 337mg, Sodium: 3265mg, Potassium: 1898mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 92IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 11mg
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Photography done by the talented @KJandCompany.co