You have to be a seasoned pro to make your own smoked brisket, right? Making barbeque at home can seem intimidating or even impossible, but it’s not. Just call on the experts at Omaha Steaks — we’ll teach you exactly how to make a smoked brisket.
There are years and years of barbeque smoking here at Omaha Steaks, and now we’re bringing that big flavor to our friends, family, and customers. Our barbeque section has the best in competition-ready and backyard-friendly cuts of beef and pork, expertly mixed barbeque rubs, and necessary accessories. We’re the sponsors of the Nebraska BBQ Championship, one of the largest Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned competitions in the country. And we just plain ole love smoked meat.
OK, so how to smoke a brisket? This is the big one, the main event at most barbeques, and the meat that new cooks most often ask questions about. Using an aged Omaha Steaks Beef Brisket trimmed by our butchers and an Omaha Steaks rub, here’s how we do it in six easy-to-follow steps.
How to Make Smoked Brisket in 6 Easy Steps
1. Prep Your Brisket
You need to start with a truly great piece of beef. Most experienced cooks choose what’s known as a packer brisket — with both the flat and the point left on. Our 12 lb. Whole Brisket is competition-grade and has already been expertly trimmed by Omaha Steaks butchers. That saves you time and effort, especially as a beginner.
- Wash your brisket with white vinegar and then rinse it completely.
- Rub your brisket generously with a tasty bonding agent like yellow mustard — this will help your rub blend stick and add extra flavor.
2. Use a Great Rub
Choose a barbeque rub that’s full of bold flavor and made with big, chunky pieces. This is what will form that wonderful black “crust” during smoking that explodes with flavor when you dig in.
How to Rub a Brisket:
- Use it like you mean it! Don’t be conservative with how much rub you use. This is a BIG piece of meat,
- Make sure to use your fingers to get plenty of rub in every corner and crevice. More rub, more flavor.
- Omaha Steaks premium rubs are perfectly formulated for great barbeque.
3. Inject More Flavor
Make a flavorful spritz and inject it right into that brisket! Some will leak out, and that’s ok — the juicy stuff that stays inside will make amazing flavor. Our easy brisket spritzer recipe is perfectly delicious. A brisket injection recipe is a personal thing, and also a closely guarded secret of competitive chefs… but these are some of the most common ingredients:
- Beef Broth
- Worcestershire Sauce / Soy Sauce
- Your Favorite Rub (same as outside)
- Onion Powder / Garlic Powder
- Pepper / Spices
4. Low & Slow Cooking
Use your smoker or grill to create a low, slow-burning fire. If you’re using a standard bullet smoker (the best and most common choice for beginners), you’re going to need plenty of lit (one chimney) and unlit (two chimneys) of standard charcoal to keep it going, and high-quality wood chunks to create smoldering smoke.
- Keep the temperature as close to 250 degrees F as you can.
- A full-size brisket like this will need to cook for at least 10 hours.
- Cook to temperature, not to time! Your brisket could take less or MUCH more time, depending on a compendium of circumstances that you can’t control.
- Keep the lid/door closed as much as you can! The old adage is, “If you’re lookin’, you ain’t cookin’.
5. Carefully Monitor
We recommend a remote meat thermometer for accurate readings that don’t require opening your cooker. When you insert your thermometer, make sure it sits in the middle of the brisket. Your target temperature for great beef is 190 degrees F.
6. Rest, Slice, and Share
When you take the brisket out of the smoker, leave it alone! Let it rest for 30 minutes to a full hour – the juices will redistribute, the temperature will lower, and you’ll LOVE the end result. When it’s time, slice and share with everyone you know.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.