Thoughts on Dad’s Smoked Brisket

Questions about my (Dad’s) smoked brisket recipe are … difficult to explain. I’ve played with many recipes, wood types, cooking methods, and spices. I have a few thoughts here that I need to explain first. Then we’ll get into tips and such.

For the moment, please take a look at the recipe I wrote below.

Dad’s Smoked Brisket

Some things to remember when asking me (Dad) about Smoked Brisket; we can have a quick easy conversation or a long detailed tips, tricks, failures, successes, and recommendations conversation. My goal isn’t just to show you my (Dad’s) way of Smoked Brisket but to help you find your own favorite way. The final wish is that you …. Enjoy!
Prep Time30 minutes
Active Time13 hours
Dry Brine Time (brisket in the fridge)12 hours
Total Time1 day 1 hour 30 minutes
Keyword: Brisket, Pecan, Smoke, Wood
Yield: 10 people
Cost: $75.00


  • 1 Filet knife or you favorite SHARP knife
  • Wood cutting board
  • Smoker an off-set heat on your grill can work
  • Wireless meat thermometer or you can use a wired one
  • I recommend using Hickory, Mesquite, or Pecan wood


  • 10-12 lbs Brisket
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cayenne pepper or to taste
  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup onion powder
  • ¼ cup ground cumin optional


  • In smoker put your selected wood chunks. I prefer Pecan here or if you’re looking for a sweeter taste try Apple wood.
  • Square it up by curring off the sides and ends. Don’t go crazy here just try to clean it up a bit
  • Trim off any remaining skin (it’ll look shiny) on the bottom
  • Trim the fat cap to about 1/4 inch
  • Mix all the spices in a bowl
  • For binder (optional) use yellow mustard light coating over the whole brisket
  • Now rub the spice mixture all over the brisket an place in your fridge over night or up to 24 hours
  • Pre-heat the smoker to 230 F using your selected wood
  • At this point maintain your smoker at 220 F for cooking until your brisket reaches an internal temprature between 160-165 F. This will take about 10-12 hours depending on thickness of your brisket and your attention not to let the temprature fall below 215 or above 225.
  • Once you have reached the desired internal temprature you want to remove the brisket from the smoker and either wrap it in butchers paper (peach is my favorite) or into an aluminum foil “boat” and place back in the smoker until you reach an internal temprature of 185 F.


  • Plan for 1/2 lb per person (after trimming)
    • For example, if the brisket is 12 lbs with a large fat cap before trimming to 1/4 inch thick it’ll be reduced to about 10 lbs when you’re done trimming
  • Remember the rectangular side is your “flat” and the angular end is your point
  • As for spice mixture remember the less time you let the brisket set the less salt works on the meat and seasonings penetrate
  • Some people don’t like the cayenne so use this to your taste
  • When you return the brisket to the smoker after wrapping it in butcher paper or foil boat this will take anywhere from 1 hour to 1.5 hours.