What is a Grass-Fed Brisket?
First of all, what cut is a brisket? Brisket is a large, tough cut of meat that, when cooked properly, turns into a tender, melt-in-your-mouth delicacy. The brisket is located on the breast or lower chest of the cow. And it’s tough because it’s full of collagen, requiring the brisket to be cooked low and slow to make it tender.
Learning how to smoke brisket is a must for any BBQ enthusiast, aspiring or experienced. It's a simple enough process for beginners to jump in and enjoy, and it contains enough nuance that it takes years to master—including prepping, trimming, and cooking. And, for those who love a good piece of backyard machinery, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to smokers.
How Long to Smoke a Brisket Per Pound
But, the first thing you will want to figure out is how much time it will take to smoke your brisket. As is common with slow-cooking cuts of meat, it’ll take at least a few hours. You’ll want to plan to have at least 1 hour of cooking time per pound of meat. So, a 10-pound brisket would need at least 10 hours to cook, and maybe longer.
You’ll want to cook the brisket until it reaches the ideal temperature, about 190° - 200° Fahrenheit. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the brisket and the cooking method. There are several different cooking methods for brisket, and each has specific steps to take to ensure the brisket turns out rich and juicy!
How to Smoke a Brisket in an Electric Smoker
What is an electric smoker? It’s a simple way to smoke meats with consistent results. With an electric smoker, a heating element in the bottom of the smoker heats up and simulates a traditional smoker with the addition of water and wood chips.
Electric smokers are popular because you can smoke meats without all the mess and smoke of a traditional smoker. They’re great for any cut of meat you would use in a traditional smoker, like leg quarters, ribs, pork roast, or brisket. Making our brisket in an electric smoker is just about as easy as eating the finished result.
First, you’ll want to trim your brisket. Cut off hard and excess fat. However, you’ll want to leave a decent fat cap of at least ¼ an inch. This helps keep the brisket moist as it cooks. Note that this step is unnecessary with our brisket as it’s deckle-off, meaning that our butcher team already has already hand-trimmed the excess fat.
Next, you will add your rub. There are countless kinds of rubs to choose from. Some like to create their own, but we have a quick fix created by an award-winning chef for a beautiful balance between sweet and smoky. Generously apply the rub to the brisket, patting it with your hands. Allow the brisket to dry marinate for 2-4 hours or overnight for best results.
- Turn on your electric smoker and let it heat up to 225° to 250°F.
- Place your trays of water and wood chips in the smoker. Popular choices are hickory, mesquite, and oak.
- Take the meat out of the fridge and allow it to warm to room temperature.
- Once the smoker is heated, place the brisket on the rack, fat side up, placing it so the side with the most fat is pointed at the heat source. Use a wireless thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- Cook the brisket, spraying with brisket spritz every half-hour or so.
- Once the meat reaches 160°F, it is time to remove it. Double-wrap the brisket in heavy-duty foil, then return it and continue to smoke it until it comes 190° - 200°F.
- Once it reaches the right temperature, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Slice into ¼-inch slices and serve.
How to Smoke a Brisket in a Pellet Grill
So, what is a pellet grill? It is the choice of many backyard artisans and a wonderful way to smoke meats to perfection. Pellet grills used hardwood pellets as fuel to cook meats. They’re great for cooking tough cuts of meat, like brisket, low and slow. And they’re even great for sausages, burgers, and vegetables as well. Pellet grills are known for and have been made popular by their versatility and precise control.
The preparation for smoking is the same as with the electric smoker method. You’ll want to trim off hard and excess fats. Then, use a rub of your choice and pat it on generously. Allow the brisket to dry marinate overnight, or at least 2-4 hours. When it is time to smoke the brisket, let it warm to room temperature first.
- Place your pellets in the smoker. You can choose from different kinds of pellets, like applewood, cherry, or maple.
- Set your pellet grill to “smoke” and allow it to heat up for at least 15 minutes.
- Once the temperature reaches 225° F, it is time to put the brisket on the rack. Put the brisket in the grill fat side up.
- Insert a wireless thermometer.
- Close the lid and let the brisket cook until it reaches 160F.
- Remove the brisket, double-wrap it in heavy-duty foil, and place it back on the grill.
- Continue smoking it until it reaches 190-200F.
- Then, slice it into ¼-inch slices and serve.
Ready for another round? Stock up for your next brisket-blessed cookout with our whole Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished Brisket. And, while you’re at it, make sure you’re stacking well-earned rewards points to save on future orders.