How to Smoke a Brisket for Upcoming Hanukkah Celebrations?

how to smoke a brisket

Among things that people owe to Texas, is this delicious meat dish called brisket. Who does not love a brisket? Now, that is a rhetorical question. Everyone does love to cut a sliver of a fine brisket in their dinner. Whether you are Jewish or not, whether it is Hanukah or not, brisket on the table surely makes the mouth water. Smoked brisket is just a variety of this dish that tastes better with a wonderful smoky texture. Preparing a tasty brisket is an art. But the greater art is to smoke a brisket. You have to consider a few many details before firing up the charcoal. In this article, you will learn the basic and most necessary things you need to know about smoked briskets. Let’s break down this complicated process and get a simpler idea of how to smoke a brisket.

The history of this dish

Identified as the iconic main course dish among the American Jewish population, brisket has become a popular dish. It has travelled from there to the pallets of other religion. Such is its taste quotient. The primary popularity of this dish owes to its low cost and higher availability. That is why brisket became immensely popular with the farmers of Ashkenazi sect of the Jews. Eventually, Ashkenazi farmers are the ones who introduced this amazing dish to the entire world. Since then, the dish is a favorite in every North American culture.

How to smoke a brisket?

Now, imagine, how delicious it could be when the brisket is filled with a smoky aroma of Applewood and oak? This kosher meat cuisine is one of the most appreciated dishes that take a purely scientific approach to be prepared. Smoking a brisket is an art that seems to be impossible to gain mastery at. However, on the other hand, smoked brisket is extremely simple to prepare, when you know the tricks. Here, you will learn how to smoke a brisket in the easiest steps. And you can have it be the most delicious smoked brisket that you ever have had.

If you are good at smoking brisket, you would be looked up to and admired by all who have skills at a barbeque. However, it always falls short of cooking like a pitmaster. A pit master is who knows how to smoke a brisket and excels at it with a peerless mastery. But, one might certainly learn how to smoke a brisket ‘pitmaster equivalent’. It is great to dine out, savoring great barbeque briskets in your neighborhood eateries. But, if you go a few extra miles and put in some labor yourself, that taste can beat any other.

Keys to make a great smoked brisket

How to smoke a brisket is no rocket science. It has basic cooking rules which are in accordance with the kashrut, the cooking rules of the Jewish people. Following these basic five key rules, you can make your smoked brisket legendary. First of all, meat quality should be perfect. Smoked briskets are always from fresh meat. The primary taste of a smoked brisket depends on the quality of the beef you take. If the meat is not up to the mark, your brisket might not taste so good. Secondly, a brisket gets the majority of its flavor from the basic seasoning it gets during the marinating hours. So, make sure you put the perfect amount of salt and pepper to lend a heavenly taste to your brisket.

The third basic thing is to assure a quality smoke to give your brisket the perfect smoky flavor. The charred taste of a smoked brisket depends on the time and intensity of the smoke. The fourth thing that you need to consider is the temperature in which you intend to smoke your brisket. The temperature should be constant to impart the greatest taste to the brisket. A constant temperature is key to make the meat tender. And the final thing is resting time. You need to make sure that the brisket gets a proper time for rest. This way, the brisket gets to absorb the juices and floods with flavor. These are the five factors that you need to keep in mind while smoking a brisket at home.

Best meat for brisket

Now, how will you decide if the meat is ‘good’ for brisket? Generally, the advice is to buy meat with USDA Prime Recommendation. However, you need to learn a little bit more to buy the perfect meat for a brisket. For brisket, you will need the cut from the lower chest or breast of veal or beef. The portion is normally tough meat, due to the connective tissues. So, you need to cook it thoroughly to make it soft. To put it in one word, you need to take home the best meat to make a great brisket. Most importantly, before smoking a beef brisket, you should trim the excess fat of the meat to ¼”.


One of the basic steps of smoking a beef brisket is the seasoning process. For smoking a beef brisket, you can use your favorite rub. For this one, you can take 50/50 of kosher salt and fresh black pepper and mix it in a spice shaker. For best result, sprinkle the seasoning evenly on the meat and let it sit for one hour. For a 14lb brisket, a half cup of each should feel perfect.

Perfect fuel to smoke a brisket

For all smoked dishes, fuel is one of the most crucial elements that you should consider before cooking. There are many types of fuel that you can use to smoke brisket. To have the best effect, you may take wood chunks and lump charcoal. To make charcoal, you can take partially burnt wood and continue to burn it, until it starts to carbonize. Made this way, this charcoal is capable of burning at variable temperature, and thus creating greater flavour. The wood size should be moderate. For example, wood chunks are best for this big a smoke. They are larger than wood chips and will not burn off easily. As these chunks go for hours, you do not have to keep adding wood every time you blink.

How to manage the fire while smoking the brisket

The quality of meat and the type of fuel are the prerequisite of cooking a great smoked brisket. But, during the cooking process, you have to take care of the heat and fire. Managing the fire helps you create the perfect smoky taste in the brisket. The fire management is an important factor in the question of how to smoke a brisket. The secret behind smoking a perfect brisket is to maintain a constant temperature the entire time you are smoking it. The quality of the fuel might not matter if the temperature is not consistent. So, the key is the combination of good fuel and a constant fire.

When the temperature of the internal part of brisket comes to 1650 F, start wrapping it in butcher paper. When the temperature is 205, the smoking is completed, and it is time for rest, both for you and brisket.

But, you might ask how you would maintain the temperature to a constant. For that purpose, you can use a two-channel thermometer into the oven. Using a thermometer will never allow the temperature to falter, thus lending the brisket its vintage smoky smell and taste.

Low cooking and slow cooking

Smoking a brisket might take the lower cost for a cut of meat it requires, but it takes a lot of fuel. This recipe is a simpler one. The important factor is to cook it low and to cook it slowly. Yes! Smoking a brisket takes huge time to be completed. So, if you have a plan to smoke a brisket, you might clear the schedule of the entire day to do this. If you rush the process, the quality of the cooking might be compromised.

Finally, your brisket needs a long rest

Like revenge, brisket is a dish best served cold! Jokes apart, it is true that a smoked brisket needs a well-timed rest after you prepare it. So, after making the brisket, you have to leave it for one to two hours. But why is so? Do you ask? Well, the reason is simple. During the smoking process, the juices of the meat come out, and the meat becomes dry. That is why, after the smoking process, you need to allow the brisket to sit for another few hours for the juices to get back into it. The longer you let it rest, the better the re-absorption process works.

How long it takes to rest a brisket?

Now, this is a million dollars question! But it is easier to answer. Generally, it takes one to two hours for a brisket to rest before the flavors unfurl. Take the brisket (still wrapped by butcher paper) and put it in a cooler, and forget for next two hours. How long it takes to rest a brisket is not the only question here. Another important factor is to wrap it well. For better absorption, you can wrap it with another aluminum foil or a few more towels. This accounts for more insulation.

The grill to be used:

The type of grill that you need to use depends on various things. What is the quantity of meat? How many briskets are you going to make? Are you smoking the brisket outside of the house or inside? All factors considered, any kind of grill could work for smoking your brisket. Pellet grill is a good option for your outdoor cooking endeavor. It uses wood pellets for cooking. Using an electronic control board, it feeds fuel and thus maintains the fire flow and a constant temperature. For indoor cooking, you can take box smoker. Either way, the process is the same. If you follow the key rules of how to smoke a brisket, you will have a treat to yourself.

Things you will need to make a brisket

These are the things you will need to make a brisket:

  1. A smoker/ barbeque: You can take a pellet grill or a proper BBQ or a smoker to have your brisket smoked.
  2. Lump of charcoal: Among things you will need to make a brisket, charcoal is an essential one.
  3. Disposable aluminum to catch the dripping
  4. Two-channel thermometer
  5. Long thongs to carry the brisket
  6. Seasoning sheet pan
  7. Sharp boning knife, and slicing knife
  8. An insulated cooler to put the brisket to rest

Hush tips for smoking a beef brisket

There is no textbook rule regarding how to smoke a brisket. But there are some easy-to-follow tips that can do magic.

  • Rule one is to place the fat side closest to the heat source. This way, the meat is never dry.
  • Rule two is open the lid as little as possible. If you need to open it, do it quick. It helps maintain the temperature and keep the smoke inside.
  • The next thing is, know your cooker, right. Do not try on a new cooker when the finale arrives. Have a few trials and then put up the gala.
  • Take a water pan and place it in the oven. The water will evaporate during the smoking process. This will keep the environment moist and the brisket yum! Check it a few times to see if it needs more water.
  • Get through the stall. Yes, it is real. Once the inner temperature of the meat is 150 F, the stall begins. It can stay for almost 3 to 4 hours. But, trust your instincts, the temperature rises again.

Now, folks, it would be a long day for you to smoke the brisket. But, also it is going to be an epic day for you. Hence, be patient and keep cool because you will have the best brisket on your plate today. You might be dehydrated a bit, but, you can risk it for a brisket.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here