Let me preface this blog post by letting you know that good BBQ is all about failure! Brisket is one of the toughest meats to smoke so you should be sure to take excellent notes so you know what you did and can improve upon it next time. Your cooker is your cooker and the only way to know is to use a guide like this as a starting point, there are always improvements that can be made, you just need to figure them out on your own!
Trim fat cap down to ¼ inch thickness on top and around the edges of the brisket. If you buy from a butcher, make sure that you let them know to go easy on the trimming!
Look at the end of the flat of the brisket and cut a notch on end of brisket sliced against the grain (lines in the meat).
Grab your favorite rub and apply to brisket generously, coating the outside of the meat all around.
Either put back into fridge and let the brisket sit until meat begins to sweat and the rub moistens and adheres to the brisket. Try not to do rub it down to long before you cook it.
Prepare your ceramic smoker:
Load the coals box with charcoal, and mix in 6-8 chunks of Oak or Pecan Wood for smoke, this is going to be a long cook!
Light the center of the pile of coals, let it burn for 5 to 10 minutes and then put your plate setter or heat deflectors in.
On top of the heat deflector plate, fill an aluminum pan with 1/3 water and place directly on top of the plate setter. (If you have a Primo XL or a larger egg, you may need two.
Adjust your BBQ Guru or set your smoker to run at around 225-235 F
After smoke starts to flow from the smoker, put brisket on smoker, fat side up, you can lay a Frogmat underneath to keep it from sticking to the grates during the cook.
Close the lid and make sure it is secured and sealed around the edges.
Make sure that the vent at the top is cracked in a “crescent moon” so that the fire can breathe but not suck in too much air.
Cook 10-15 hours, try not to open the smoker too often, I usually check it about 10 hours in and insert a remote thermometer in the flat and another in the point to get reading without opening the cooker.
After 10 hours, check the meat or check the thermometers until you get a 180 to 190F internal temp in the flat then check the brisket and see if it is tender to the poke, thermometer should slide in like it is butter.
Remove the point (deckle or fatty end) by slicing through the fat layer between the point and the flat, cube it, put it back on the smoker for a couple of more hours to render out more of the fat and make some delicious burnt ends.
Double wrap flat in heavy duty foil. Cover with blankets and insert it into a cooler to rest for 1-3 hours or until ready to serve.
Remove point from smoker once a bulk of the fat is rendered. Cube point and slice the flat against the grain and serve immediately.
Sliced brisket, with deckle still on.
Let the brisket rest in open air after removing from the foil do it can settle.
Slice against the grain (Use the notch you cut and slice at that angle) use an electric knife or a serrated blade and slice it in 1/4 inch thick slices.
Just In Case:
If the brisket is really dry, then slice it thin, or feel free to chop it up with some of the deckle or the fatty point and served chopped brisket.
6 (6-ounce) burger patties
salt & freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 to 1-1/2 cups RavensBark BBQ Sauce – The Hickory
12-15 slices yellow onion
6 good quality burger buns
Heat a grill to medium hot. Pour 1 cup of the RavensBark BBQ Sauce – The Hickory in a baking dish and place to the side. Season burger patties with salt & pepper. Place the onion slices around the perimeter of the grill surface turning once during the cook process. Grill the burgers to desired degree of doneness. With about 3-4 minutes before the burgers are done, place the burger patties in the baking dish with sauce, turning to coat both sides well and return to the grill to caramelize the sauce. Open the buns and paint the insides with melted butter. Place buns, buttered sides down, on the grill rack; grill buns just long enough to lightly brown, with edges slightly crisp. Place a burger on each bun and pour some of RavensBark BBQ Sauce – The Hickory on top and layer on grilled onion slices. Serves 6
Close-Up of Hack's BBQ sauce, rich and thick and delicious
Hack’s BBQ Sauce is a great BBQ Sauce for those who cannot tolerate the onions and peppers and delightful for those who just love BBQ. Hack’s is a thick and rich, tomato based, specialty sauce made by Stephen Dodd. Stephen created Hack’s BBQ Sauce in 1999 with the goal to eliminate onions and peppers from her diet for medical reasons. Hack’s BBQ Sauce has been enjoyed by family and friends for over 10 years and now we make it available to you!
We want to thank the folks over at Hack’s BBQ Sauce for allowing us to reprint their recipes. If you have dietary restrictions around onions and peppers, here are some incredible recipes for Meat Loaf, Pulled Pork and Sloppy Joes, minus the onions and peppers. Make sure that you remember to have Hack’s BBQ Sauce on hand to make all of these recipes as good as it can get!
Rinse the ribs to remove any sawdust and place in a roasting pan. Add water to the pan, cover, and place in the oven at 250° for 4 hours. When done, the meat will easily pull away from the bones with a fork. Place the pulled pork in a bowl and add 1 cup of the BBQ sauce and mix well. Then add the remaining sauce to taste. Serve on a hamburger bun. Makes 6-8 sandwiches.
In a skillet, brown the ground beef and drain the fat. Add the BBQ sauce, relish and water. Mix well and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Serve on a hamburger bun with a slice of your favorite cheese.
Grilling and Cooking are among some of Elizabeth Karmel’s specialties and she has been kind enough to share with us the recipe from one of her holiday favorites, Beer and black pepper holiday brisket. We get so many requests for brisket, especially on the BBQ, but this is one great recipe for the oven, it can of course be done on a grill. For more incredible recipes from Elizabeth, check out her site Girls At The Grill at for more great tips and tricks. Her secret to a tasty brisket is “untrimmed” and believe me, you only need to eat a dry brisket once to learn that lesson! We speak from experience. Thank you Elizabeth for this great brisket recipe.
1/2 cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
9- to 11-pound whole beef brisket, untrimmed
Four to six 12-ounce bottles beer
Start to finish: 4 to 6 hours (depending on thickness), 10 minutes active
1. Heat the oven to 325 F. Set a metal rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
2. To prepare the rub, in a small bowl mix the salt, pepper and cayenne. Sprinkle the mixture over all sides of the brisket.
3. Pour 1 beer into a loaf pan and set on the oven’s bottom rack.
4. Place the brisket, fat side up, on the prepared rack. Roast on the oven’s center rack for 4 to 6 hours, adding an additional beer to the loaf pan every hour. Cook until the meat reaches 185 F at the center. Remove the brisket from the oven and let rest at least 20 minutes. Thinly slice to serve.
The brisket also can also be made the day before, then reheated on the same rack and sheet pan system, covered loosely with foil for a couple of hours at 250 F. Remember to let the meat rest again before slicing.
And when slicing, be aware that the grain of the brisket changes. Look at the grain of the meat and make sure to slice against it. If the slices look like a small honeycomb pattern, you are slicing it correctly. If it looks like long strings, it is incorrect.
We are very excited to add yet another great BBQ Sauce from the great state of California to the BBQ Pro Shop. Rooftop BBQ Competition Style Sauce is now available at a special price of $7.49 for a 20 Oz bottle of sauce. It is imported all the way from California and contains All Natural ingredients. It adds yet another HFCS Free BBQ Sauce to our line up. As a way to get people even more excited we were given permission by Andy Allen to print their recipe for Tri-Tip. When properly smoked and then grilled, it is every bit as good as a fine filet with a ton of flavor!