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Smoked Beef Brisket



I bought Ron a smoker for Christmas about five years ago which he had never used.  As you all know, Foodie Mama is not really a griller.  I prefer the confines of the kitchen to trudging in the backyard to prepare a barbecue.  I do however, love all types of grilled food.

Will decided this summer that it was definitely time to break in the smoker, and not by trying a small thing to test it out, but rather, by smoking a 20 lb beef brisket.  Why not go big?  We used a a small standing, dome smoker, by Weber.

I must say, it turned out amazing.  Smoking the brisket was a long process and timing this right is key as there are several steps involved.  Will did a fantastic job and when he served this at a family picnic, everyone raved about it. 

I included several photos and videos to illustrate the maiden voyage of Ron's (Will's now) smoker.


Preparing for the Smoke Test



Smoked Beef Brisket:



  • 20 pound beef brisket, preferably trimmed
  • 1/3 c 'binder' (such as yellow mustard, brown mustard, oil, or no binder, if you prefer)
  • 3 T c BBQ Rub of your choice.  (Will used 1T each of kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder) 
  • Apple Juice (in a spray bottle)
  • 2 Apples


1)  9:00 AM:  Light it Up

a. Use a briquet chimney to start the charcoal and then put the embers into the bottom of the smoker per the manufacturer's instructions.  See Figure 1.
Fig 1:  Adding charcoal briquets



b. Pour some water into the pan and set over the coals.  Cover the smoker and wait for the temperature to reach 250 degrees F.

2)  9:40 AM:  Meat Prep

a) Cut the 20 lb brisket into two sections then trim the silver skin and fat.
b)  Rub the binder (we used yellow mustard) onto the brisket.
c)  Rub the spice mixture onto the brisket.  
d)  Set the pieces into pans (these will be used throughout the cooking process.)  See Figure 2
e)  Check to see if the smoker is at 250 degrees before proceeding.

Fig 2:  The Prepared Brisket

3)  10:00 AM:  Smoke Time - Act 1

a)  The Weber grill has two wire shelves to allow for both pieces of the brisket to be cooked at once. See Video 1.
b)  Cover the smoker and wait until the meat reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F.  This can take 3-4 hours.  Spray the brisket once or twice during cooking with the apple juice.
Video 1:  Placing the Brisket 

4)  1:30 PM:  No Smoking - Intermission
a) After the Brisket reaches an internal temp of 160 degrees F, remove the brisket pieces from the smoker and and place into the pans.  See Figures 3 and 4
Fig 3: 160 Degrees F

Fig 4:  Return to Pans

b)  Spray the brisket with the apple juice and then wrap the brisket in aluminum foil.  You can also add a quartered apple to retain moisture.  See Figure 5
Fig 5:  Wrapping the Brisket in Foil

5) 1:45 PM:  Smoke Some More - Act 2

Make sure the smoker is still at 250 degrees and then place the Brisket back into the Smoker for the next phase, switching the shelves from the first round, to ensure even cooking.  See Video 2.
Video 2:  Phase 2 

6)  3:45 PM:  Give it a Rest

After approx 2 hours, or when the brisket is again at 160 degrees F, remove the brisket from the smoker, wrap the beef (still in the foil) in clean kitchen towels and place in a cooler to rest for about 45 minutes.  See Figure 6.

Fig 6:  Resting the Meat in Towels

7)  4:30 Slice and Serve

Slice the brisket against the grain and serve with bread and either plain or with your favorite BBQ sauce. AMAZING and worth the wait.

The Smoke - King