Beef Brisket

Submitted by Nature Boy

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  • 1/2 cup coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1/3 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup ground mild chilies such as ancho or chimayo
  • 2 tbsp celery seed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • Optional: Wood Chips


Most butcher shops can get whole “packer trimmed” briskets for you, though it often requires ordering in advance. In certain parts of the country all you can find are the small “flat” cuts, often in the 4 to 6-pound range, and while these will suffice, a whole brisket cooks up much better. A 4 to 6-pound “flat” cut will cook for approximately 8 to 10 hours; an 8 to 14-pound whole “packer trimmed” brisket will cook for approximately 14 to 18 hours

Trim the brisket of any fat that is thicker than one eighth-inch. It is very important to always slice brisket against the grain when serving. Identify which way the grain in the brisket runs and cut a notch in the end so you will know where to initiate the first cross-grain cut.

Place all of the seasonings in food processor or blender and pulse until thoroughly blended. Spread the rub generously over the brisket, wrap in foil or plastic wrap and let rest for one to two hours.

Set the EGG for indirect cooking at 250°F/121°C. Add in soaked wood chips (hickory, apple or cherry) if you choose.

Cook until the internal temperature of the meat is 150°F/66°C, and then reduce the EGG temperature to 225°F/107°C. When the meat temperature approaches 185°F/85°C, begin checking for tenderness (insert a fork into the brisket and give a slight twist; if the meat gives easily without much resistance, then the meat is done). Wrap tightly in foil with a half-cup of beef broth and place in a warm ice chest for 1 to 3 hours. Slice brisket against the grain, reserving the juice to brush on or use as a dip.

45 thoughts on “Beef Brisket”

  1. New to the egg.Wanted to do brisket. Watched and read how to do it. Got everything ready, started grill, inserted Big green egg dual temp thermometer in grill to monitor egg temp. Got to 250 degrees on dual temp thermometer. Put probe in brisket, closed lid and let it go. Brisket temp got to 140 and stopped. Checked egg temp probe, 240? Read thermometer on the egg lid, 195? I put temp probe in wrong spot on grate. was over the opening and getting fire temp not internal temp. Moved probe, read same as other temp gauge, brisket temp came up. Hope all is good. Just an FYI

    1. Suggest cheating. Buy a temperature regulator (fan that plugs into the bottom opening of the BGE). You can guarantee a consistent temperature.

      There are several on eBay and Amazon that are reasonably priced.

  2. Way, way, way too much salt in the rub, cut it in half. I scraped off the rub after finishing the cooking and it tasted much better. I give the recipe a 6 on a 10 scale as I followed it to a t.

  3. I tried this approach with a 14 pound full brisket. Expecting the cook to take “14 to 18 hours” I had the grill at 250 degrees at 10:00 pm and started. At 3:30 am the grill had lowered itself to 225 degrees which is fine so I went back to sleep. At 7:15 am the core temperature was 184 and the cook was over. Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to lunch, but the cook lasted on nine hours and the brisket looks and smells amazing. However, my wife, who was looking forward to working outside and smelling the aromas from the Egg all day today is not at all happy. Another BGE recipe recommends a cook temperature of 135 degrees, which in retrospect would probably have taken the full 14 to 18 hours. Cheers.

  4. Hi, I am going to attempt to smoke a brisket, however, it’s only 2 pounds. From what I read it’s about 1hr 15min per pound. My biggest concern is that it will turn out dry. Any suggestions for a successful 2lb cook?

  5. Guys and gals, I guess I have an unfair advantage given my occupation but I have loaded my BGE with charcoal and have smoked twin butts for 14 hours without having to add lump. Shut down the egg and cooked on same coals next day. Just monitor liquid level in drip pan and never let it go dry! I find this is the key to a good, moist controlled smoke.
    I work in a refinery and am around huge furnaces all day, so tuning my egg to a certain temperature came easy. I suggest to every new egg head to burn through your first 20 lb bag of coal, without cooking anything just so you can learn how to control your egg. After that, it’s just muscle memory! Writing this as I babysit a 6lb flat with lump pecan wood for a 10 hour smoke.

  6. I used this and two other brisket recipes from BGE. My flat was 6-7 pounds. I was expecting to cook 8-10 hrs. Surprisingly, I reached internal 200 degrees in about 6 hours. I suspected my dome temp was higher than the 225-250 shown on the thermometer. And, while that may be the case the brisket turned out nearly perfect. I am not sure how, but it did.

  7. For a long smoke I start with plenty of charcoal. I use one fire starter in the center and slightly in the coals but mostly on top. Keep the lid open until you see gray coals in the middle. Idea is that it will burn from the center out. I place my wood in around the center with one small piece close to the starter. Once the flame is getting hot I close the lid but I keep the top open and the bottom open. When it starts to smoke I close the top with vents open around 20%. I don’t touch that again for the entire smoke. When I get close to my temp I close the bottom to about a 1/4 inch. Then I watch the temp and adjust accordingly. Once it is stable I add the meat. Close and drink a beer while I watch the temp. Once it’s stable I go to sleep or keep drinking. I start my egg up at night for a long smoke. I just finished a 12 hour smoke. Never went above 250. I did two pork butts last year and smoked for 22 hours. Never lifted the lid and started to run out of coals at hour 22. My best advice is light the center and let the fire burn from the center out. Hope this helps. Cheers!

  8. New to the Big Green Egg and so far, I love it. Having family over this weekend and am going to try my first brisket. Going to be a pretty big crew so in addition to the 9.5 lb. brisket, I intend on also slow smoking a 12.5 lb. inside round. Planned on putting them both on at the same time and smoking overnight for about 12-14 hours. After reading a little, I’m now considering not putting the beef on until I pull the brisket for the “Texas Crutch”. I know I want my finished internal brisket temp at around 200 degrees whereas I want the inner round anywhere from 130-160 degrees (to accommodate someone who wants his/her beef more along medium rare to well done). Any suggestions?

  9. My standard temp control trick is to put an aluminum disposable sheet cake pan on top of the ceramic heat defuser. Filling the pan about half full with water does a great job of stabilizing temp around 220. Reminds me of college chem lab. Essentially the water absorbs most all the heat energy that is wanting to bring the chamber above 220. And the steam helps tenderize the meat

  10. Since most people have problems controlling heat, a few tips here.

    1. You want the charcoal to burn down from the top. Don’t be shy filling the egg up for your cook. Start with an empty/ash free egg and use big lumps at the bottom building up to smaller ones near the top so you always have good air flow.

    2. Light the egg an hour before you put the meat on. Let the charcoal establish (blue smoke) until all you see are wisps of white smoke. I start with the bottom vent at about an inch open and top at about half inch. Let it take some time. Have the plate setter already loaded so when it is time to load the meat the lid is open for the least amount of time possible.

    3. Once meat is on, start dialing back on the vents. Down to about 1/4-1/8″ on bottom vent. Just a crack on the top. Use the disc on the top to control airflow and do not open the lid. Get a meat thermometer you can leave in the brisket. You don’t want to open the lid any more than you have to.

    4. PRO TIP: Rotate the button thermometer on the lid so that 225F is straight up. Your eye can detect a line that is not vertical much better than any other angle. This way you can glance out the window and see if the temp is too hot (needle to the right) or too cold (needle to the left).

    5. Your fire is a tanker not a race car. Adjustments will be slow. Don’t expect the temp to react in less than 10-15 minutes because there is a lot of heat stored in the meat and the walls of the grill that has to move around for the temp to settle at a new level.

    6. Time of day and weather matters. If you do most of your grilling in the afternoon or evening when temperatures are pretty stable you may not think about how much the outside temp matters. A grill that is at 225 at 4am will be at 250-300 by 10am on a sunny day because the air going into the grill is warmer before the fire adds more heat to it. The fire is adding heat, it is not setting the temperature.

    That’s about it. Most problems are caused by thinking about what is going on in the grill based on how we cook foods on a stovetop or shorter cooks on a grill. When you are working with a fire that is 450F+ for 10 minutes these factors don’t show up. When you are down around 225F for hours and hours things like wind, weather, time of day, heat moving around in the materials of the grill, etc are much more prevalent.

  11. I open up both top and bottom vents all the way after lighting the coals. When the temperature is about 25 deg below the desired close both vents down most of the way and the temperature will then rise slowly to the final temperature. Then adjust accordingly to maintain a long burn with little adjustment needed. I found that if you get the coals way too hot it is hard to regulate the temperature since so many coals are lit.

    As for the brisket I’ve made it a couple of times and for me the meat gets up to temperature way below the time numbers stated above. I’m using a Thermopen temp monitor. If I were to leave it in the Egg for 8 or 10 hours it would turn into ash. Don’t know why.

  12. I cook a lot on my bge. I have zero trouble holding temps. Here’s what I do: load the egg with enough charcoal to cook for your desired time. For a brisket that requires 8 plus hours, I fill up about halfway of the bottom piece of ceramic or a little more. For a whole chicken that only takes a couple hours, maybe a third of the way up.

    Using whatever method you choose, light the charcoal, leave the tip open and open the bottom vent wide open. Once the charcoal is lit, let it burn until most of the charcoal is lit. I use this time to burn off my grill surface.

    Once most of the charcoal is lit and depending on what temp you are shooting for, start closing off the bottom vent. I mostly smoke, so, I put the plate setter in, close the top and adjust the vents. Since I mostly smoke, I’ll start with the bottom and top vents about halfway open and slowly reduce the openings from there. I’ve been holding my brisket today at 250 degrees and less with the bottom and top vents at roughly one half of one inch open.

  13. For all who are having trouble maintaining temp in the Egg may I suggest a fan.
    If you search on line you’ll find the company offering them. Tho expensive they work super well and will make a big difference in your cook.

  14. Use a “BBQ guru” to maintain temp for long periods. If you plan to cook for 16 hours or more start with a clean egg and load charcoal up to top of inner liner. I use an AL half pan under my rack full of water or beer or whatever fluid and an empty half pan over meat to hold moisture around meat.

  15. the best way I have found to control the Egg at low temps (200-250) for a long period of time is to open the air vent at the bottom at least half way the control the temp with the top vent/draft. I think that allows enough air to get to the coals so they do not go out while the almost closed top vent backs up the smoke thus suppressing the temperature. I have been able to cook/smoke this way for 16 – 18 hrs. on one load of fuel.

  16. Don’t be shy about starting with a decent fire. Not out of control but opening the pit is a bummer. I use an electric starter for 8-10 minutes, then let it burn for about 5+ more. I close the lid but keep the air flowing to start warming up the egg. I monitor the dome temp but it is not indicative of your final temp and may get a bit hot. Once things seem to be going, I put in the plate setter and start to close vents to start regulating. I use a flame boss so probably close the top more than most to make sure my fire does not run away. If you are only using the dome temp, it will show hotter than grill temp until you are truly regulated (hours in). That said, I have had burns take off over night and burns go out – when I served nobody mentioned either. I got the flame boss for my own piece of mind (I am a bit of a geek and like the control). I cook to temp as I only cook one at a time. My free and unsolicited advice – start warmer if you are in a cold climate, keep the vents pretty tight in a warmer climate as it is really hard to cool the egg down once it has gotten hot. If it gets too hot – enjoy the bark – my favorite part (grin).

  17. The best thing to us in your green eggs is to fill it up with lump coal and you can regulate your temperature better then charcoal U use lump lump coal in my green egg all the time.

  18. Strange. My post from yesterday about brisket was pulled down… oh well.
    My thoughts are the salt in the rub recipe could be reduced by half. It calls for 1/2 cup, in hind site 1/4 cup would be good. I say this as it came out very salty.

    I need some tips on how to fuel the egg for a long day. I had it running perfectly at 250 for 1.5 hours, and then the coals went out. I had to pull it all apart, reload with charcoal and relight. After that, I could not get the temp below 300. Frustrating.

    Perhaps for these reasons it came out on the dry side? The 4 lb brisket was on the grille for 6 hours and the internal temp was 185 in many spots of the cut.

    Not sure where I went wrong, but I am open to feedback and I will try it again some day.

    1. I recommend investing in a DigiQ with a pit viper. You can set your desired pit and food temps and attach probes to the grate and meat. We have done an 18 hour smoke and held at 235, adding lump around hour 13. It also allows you to make the most amazing slow roast prime rib. Some may feel it’s cheating, but it’s perfect every time.

    2. I prefer cooking the smaller brisket flats but you do need to be mindful of drying out. I try to get egg to 235 which I think is perfect and add a water pan under brisket to add humidity to egg I cook flat side down to protect meat from the heat below.

      I also mist the brisket with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and beef broth every 45 min or so with a squirt bottle.

      As for getting the temp dialed in I find it easier to start low and bump it up by opening cooker for a few min than cooling it down. You can burp is and squirt water but it’s a pain. At 160 internal temp I wrap in butcher paper carefully to keep track of the fat side as you wrap and keep it down. I cool mine to about 202 internal than wrap in a towel (that you don’t care about) and put it in a room temp cooler. Let it rest for 1 hour (keeping you Labrador away from the cooler, mine figure out how to open it and I had to order pizza one night)and then serve

    3. one load of coals should easily last 6+ hours without adding more. I’ve done 8hr smokes on one load of coal. you might be letting them burn for too long before closing. Only let them go for about ten minutes. if they get too hot it will kill the fire in my experience. Also, watch the smoke. if you notice little or no smoke, or diminishing smoke, stoke the fire right away.

      1. Or a bbq Guru. Got one as a Christmas present. Have cooked 52 hours at 175 without touching a bit on the inside. Just keep all the vents closed and let the fan do the work.

  19. While I had the setting at 250, after I put the brisket on and left for an hour I came back and noticed it had gone up to 300. Is there a way to save the brisket when this happens? Also, what’s the best way to get the temperature back down to 250 quickly? closing the air vents seems to be the logical way to do this, but it’s taking 45 minutes to get the temperature back down. Should I close the vents all the way, which would kill the fire?

    1. Hey Terry, you really need to just learn where those vent settings will produce the temperature that you desire. It doesn’t take too long to figure that out. I am fairly new too (1st summer) and have done some marvelous cooks. You might consider a iGrill bluetooth thermometer with an ambient temp probe. That will allow you to track the Egg temp from afar.

    2. Hi Terry,
      Did you ever figure out your question?

      I had the opposite thing just happen to me. I am cooking a brisket all day today. Since I planned it out; I cleaned the ash catcher, put new coal in etc. I got the temp to 250 and after 1.5 hours the temp went way down and I discovered the coals went out. I my brisket off, took it all apart added new coal and lit again. Now I’m at 300 or so. I plan to leave it since I dont want to have the same thing happen again.

      Any thoughts are appreciated!

    3. the trick is to not let the temperature get that high in the first place. dont start smoking until your temps have stabilized, and use your dampers to adjust the temperatures. Its easy to warm a kamado up, but hard to bring down high temps.

    4. Try to make sure all coals are started this helps flavor also add plasesetter and grid this will bring down the temp add brisket 5 min later should be easy to control from here

  20. Great recipie! Used an oven roasting bag for a 12 lb brisket. Outcome was perfect. Very tender and flavorful. The bag made lifting and positioning the brisket easy. A fork / tongs would have only shredded the beef!

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