The Perfect Smoked Brisket

Prep Time2:30 hrsCook Time4-8 hrsServes12-16 people

By Rick Schefe

The perfect smoked brisket is a result of managing the right amount of cooking coupled with temperature control. Additionally, the desired flavoured woods, meat grade, spritzing and cooling methods are a must. The end product should be, by popularity, flavoursome with the ability to fall apart by simply using a pair of table forks or claws.

Rubs or marinades are entirely up to the individual’s tastes. Please see below my tried and proven method for cooking brisket in any smoker be it pellet, gas fired or wood fired. Alternatively, this same method can be adopted in a hooded BBQ or oven without smoke.


  • 5-6kg of 100 day Grainfed Brisket. (A good local butcher should stock this) Do not settle for a leaner pasture fed product. The lack of intra-muscular fat will result in a dry and generally tougher product. (My Opinion)
  • Approximately 40-50g of a good dry rub. (there are literally thousands to choose from) Once you have found the one that suits your tastes you will never look back.
  • Spritzer: Just an empty spray bottle from the supermarket is all you need. The best liquid to use is a good beef stock or pineapple juice.
  • Binder: This will enable the rub to stick to the meat and avoid your spritz from washing away the dry rub. The best binder in my opinion is a mild American mustard or macadamia oil.
  • Salt: for Dry Brining
  • Butchers paper, oven bake paper or Al-foil.
  • A clean towel
  • A small esky
  • Al-foil or cooking paper


  1. Dry Brine: After you have trimmed the brisket of heavy external fat, lightly salt the outside and wrap in Al-foil or towel overnight.
  2. Remove the brisket from the fridge and leave out covered for approx. 2 hours to reach room temperature.
  3. Have your smoker running to achieve 107-110 degrees Celsius constant heat.
  4. Internal Probe: If you don’t have a probe thermometer, get one. This will be the best spent $35 you have ever invested in. (important: if you don’t have a smoker with a built in internal probe that will handle high heat, don’t leave your probe thermometer in the smoker). They tend to melt.
  5. Now apply your binder. Just a thin layer rubbed in with your hands is the best application
  6. Now sprinkle your brisket with your favourite rub. You should still be able to see the brisket through the rub. Too much and you will find the crust too rich and blackened. (Again, my opinion)
  7. Lay the brisket uncovered in your smoker or hooded BBQ with the smoker heat remaining at 107 – 110 degrees.
  8. If you are using a smoker rather than a BBQ, you should now have a steady supply of smoke filtering through your smoker and this should continue for the next couple of hours.
  9. If you do not have a built in internal probe, you will need to check the brisket every 45 minutes for temperature with your probe thermometer. Your brisket thickness will be the bearing factor in the first step time to cook.
  10. Spritzing: this needs to be done every hour and a half or when the outside of the brisket appears to be dry. Just a few sprays until you can see moisture on the surface.
  11. The first step of cooking will take around 4-5 hours to achieve an internal probe temp of 72 degrees Celsius. (Note: do not exceed 72 degrees)
  12. Once you have reached 72 degrees, give the brisket a good spritzing and then wrap the hot brisket in the Al-foil or baking paper as to not let any of the juices leave the wrap. Double wrapping is probably required.
  13. Now the brisket is covered, place it back in the smoker. Continue cooking at 107-110 degrees. Now all you need to do is check the brisket with your probe thermometer or internal probe through the wrap every half an hour until you reach either of the following temps. (Ensure you probe the thickest part of the brisket).
    • For a sliced brisket 93 degrees Celsius
    • For a pulled brisket 98 degrees Celsius
  14. Once you have reached the desired temperature, leave the brisket in the wrap and wrap it again in a large towel. Now, place it into an esky for 3 hours. This will allow the brisket to reabsorb the juices for an awesome tasting and tender product.
  15. Remove the brisket and eat that puppy until it comes out your ears. Enjoy.