Fool-Proof How to Smoke a BBQ Beef Brisket




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Beef brisket is known as one of the toughest meats you can put on your smoker. When cooked correctly brisket can be the best tasting and most tender meat you will ever eat! Living in an apartment with all the "rules", an on the 4th floor, no grills aloud. So, I decided to buy an electric smoker, the next best thing to grilling when you can't have a grill...

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Step 1: Ingredients:

4 to 6-pound beef brisket

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. BBQ seasoning

1 tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp. pepper

Hickory wood chips (Hickory wood will add a hint of bacon to the brisket)

Step 2: Prepping the Brisket:

Trim off the excess top fat or “fat cap,” leaving a ¼"-thick layer of fat to keep the meat moist during the long cooking process.

Let meat sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 3: ​How to Use the Control Panel and Remote Control:

Plug in your smoker preheat the smoker for 40 minutes.
When using an electric smoker, you don't want to begin smoking your meat until the correct temperature is obtained.

Step 4: For Those With an Electric Smoker:

Note: I crank the heat in the smoker in the beginning to 260°F. I do this because, once you open the smoker door (to put the rack with meat in), the temperature naturally drops inside the smoker. After meats in, I watch the temp. until it reaches 225°F, then I reduce the the temp from 260°F down to 250°F.

Note: Direct sunlight may interfere with ability to read LED display, block sunlight if needed.

* Use a probe thermometer in one of the vents to check temperature if your smoker is not equipped with one. Most grill thermometers are not accurate

Step 5: Set "SET TIMER" and Set "SET TEMP"

First turn on the smoker.

To control the cook time, adjust the SET TIME using the + and buttons.

To control the smoker's temperature, adjust the SET TEMP using the + and buttons.

Step 6:

Wait until smoker reaches desired temperature before adding meat(s), as well as wood chips.The time it takes to reach the desired temperature takes from 30-40 minutes, depending on smoker brands.

Step 7:

Fill the water pan with ginger ale (or water) in the smoker to the recommended level.

Step 8: Wood Chips:

Add the wood chips to the chip box. Use dry Wood chips right from the bag, or soak them for a few minutes.

Step 9: Vent's Purpose:

Vents are used for two purposes, to maintain ideal temperature, and to regulate the smoke, allowing smoke to leave the smoker so your food does not taste like soot. The shorter smoking time, the more the vents should stay closed. Fish smokes very quickly compared to other meats. To achieve the smoky flavor you want to shut vents

Step 10: Seasoning Brisket:

Mix onion powder, garlic powder, BBQ seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper

in a small bowl and season on both sides of the brisket.

Step 11: Smoking the Beef Brisket:

Place the seasoned brisket fat side on smoker rack.

Step 12:

Place the rack into smoker insert meat prob into thicket part of meat, close smoker door and set the internal meat temperature of 190 °F.

Step 13: Smoking:

Smoke brisket bring the temperature up to 225°F. (2-4 hours), using the smoker's vent to regulate the temperature. Knowing the temp in your grill is crucial, so if your grill doesn’t have a temperature gauge, purchase a digital BBQ thermometer.

Step 14: Checking the Temperature/Chips While Smoking:

Check the temperature of the grill every hour, staying as close to 225°F as possible. Add more soaked wood chips every hour as needed, to maintain temperature and smoke.

Note: Resist the temptation to open the door.

Step 15:

The ideal temperature of a properly for smoked brisket is 195°F, but keep in mind that the internal temp of the brisket can increase by 10 degrees even after it’s been removed from the grill. Another way of testing brisket for doneness is the “feel” method: Stick a small fork in the brisket, and if it twists easily in the meat, it’s done.

Note: Electric smokers have different settings, so check your manual for cooking times. The key, however, is smoke the brisket to 190°F.

Step 16:

Unplug smoker and let rest 5 minutes before opening, allowing smoke to settle down. Stand back when opening the smoker's door, you don't want the smoke to sting your eyes!!

Remove the meat probe then remove the brisket from smoke, placing meat on a warm plate or serving platter. Cover the meat loosely with foil. Let rest for least 5-10 minutes.Resting time helps the juices, which migrate to the center of the meat, to be distributed more evenly throughout the brisket.

Step 17:

Properly cutting against the grain beef should be a very smooth process. With a sharp knife, push the knife down gently, rocking it back and forth slowly.

Step 18: Slicing the Brisket:

ALWAYS slice the brisket against the grain. Doing this will make the cuts of meet very tender. To do this, remove some fat from the top of the brisket to see the direction of the grain in the meat, and slice against it.

Step 19:

Follow these steps, you’ll smoke beef brisket in an electric smoker with ease!

Step 20: HELP...!

What to do when you've over cooked your “smoked” beef brisket, or you simply have too much left over.

My very first time "smoking" by myself was definitely a disaster.

First, don't panic.... Here's a great way to rescue your brisket!!! So, with fingers crossed, lets get started!

Step 21: Ingredients:

1 cup BBQ sauce

1/2 can of Coke

½ -1 lb. leftover smoked beef brisket

½ tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp. brown sugar

Step 22: Directions:

Mix together the bbq sauce, coke, cayenne pepper, pepper and salt. Taste to see if you think it needs more.....

Step 23:

Trim all fat off the brisket. Then place the brisket into the crock pot.

Step 24:

Pour the BBQ sauce, coke, and Worcestershire Sauce mixture over the brisket in the crockpot.

Cover and cook on “Low” setting, cooking until brisket is very tender, approximately 5 to 6 hours.

Step 25: Finger Tender

A really amazingly easy, easy,and delicious!!!!

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12 Discussions


2 years ago

Great Instructable! One doesn't have to be a meat eater to recognize the good you've put into this tutorial. Kudos, Cyann04. :-) I'm still baffled as to how you have produced so many delicious Instructables without a contest win. (Scratches head) Best of luck!

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

I've no idea why I haven't been recognized by winner for any of my detailed (w/pictures) instructables. I've viewed winners on some I entered, and never understood what was wrong with someone mine... a mystery, but I post things I've created, not copied by others. then I post here. I've told my grown children about this site and my profile, what way when I die, they will always have a place to go online to see our family favorite foods.


Reply 2 years ago

Great and good luck, careful not to burn yourself!!


2 years ago

Some folks will also put a notch in the "end" grain of the brisket so they know the direction when it comes off. It's especially useful if your rub has a high sugar content that produces a dark crust or if you turn the brisket during cooking.

1 reply

2 years ago

Thanks for including steps 15 - 19, I'm sure I'll need to follow them at some point as I experiment with your recipe!

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

You are so very welcome, I hope yours turns out great too!!!!!


2 years ago

In step 3 you state to pre-heat smoker to 225, but your image shows a temp. of 255; do you pre-heat the smoker up to 255 then reduce the heat when you put the meat in to account for heat loss when opening the door?

Thanks for this and yes, thanks for steps 15-19, I wish I had these steps the first time I made brisket!

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

I crank the heat in the beginning to 255°F. I do this because, once you open the smoker door, to put the rack with meat in, the temp. drops. After meats in, I watch the temp. until it reaches 225°F, then I reduce the the temp from 255°F down to 225°F.


2 years ago

Step 7 - is it supposed to be fat side "up"?

1 reply