Texas style brisket on an offset smoker. Texas style BBQ cooked the old school way by a Texan. Wood, fire & meat. No shortcuts, no electronics, no gimmicks. Just patience. And maybe a fair amount of cold beer....
In this recipe and video we smoke brisket on my Mill Scale 529 gallon offset smoker named Geraldene. However, this recipe can be replicated on a pellet smoker, kamado, kettle or any sort of cooker than you have with an indirect cooking as well.
Why is the smoker named Geraldene? The first people I cooked for on this smoker were Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall & Jack Ingram. Together they wrote the song Geraldene. These lyrics from the song are bolted on the smoker "You're trailer park pretty, but you're never gonna be Jolene."
- 1 full packer brisket, trimmed to your liking
- Meat Church Holy Cow
- coarse black pepper (we use 16 mesh)
- 2 T, yellow mustard (binder)
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Unwaxed butcher paper (sub heavy duty aluminum foil)
- Spritz bottle with apple cider vinegar
Prepare your smoker
Prepare your smoker at 250 degrees with post oak. Other good alternatives would be mesquite, hickory or pecan. I prefer "heavy smoke" woods for this cook.
Trim the brisket
Trim hard and excess fat off the meat side of the brisket.
Also, remove any “hard” pieces of fat as they will not render off during the cooking process. Trim the fat off the fat side of the brisket only leaving ¼ in fat. We trim a brisket in this video.
The goal is to create a very uniform and thick brisket so that each slice of the cooked brisket is amazing.
Prepare the brisket
Apply a light coat of yellow mustard as a binder. This helps the seasoning adhere and also stay adhered during the cooking process.
Season lightly with coarse black pepper on all sides.
Season moderately with Meat Church Holy Cow which is our SPG rub.
Allow the seasoning to adhere for an hour if possible or even overnight.
Smoke the brisket
Place the brisket in the smoker fat-side up with the flat towards the firebox.
Smoking fat side up vs meat side up is one of the hottest debates in BBQ! As we mentioned in the beginning, we are smoking this brisket the traditional Texas BBQ joint way. We also have this video showing this differences in cooking fat side up vs meat side up.
Leave the brisket untouched as that beautiful bark develops. Optionally you can spritz a time or two with cider vinegar or water if the brisket appears to dry out. I do not think this is needed with a fat side up brisket. That is more commonly needed when cooking a meat side up brisket.
When the meat reaches an internal temperature of at least 175 (the bark will be set nicely by this point) it is time to wrap.
You can wrap in butcher paper or aluminum foil. We have this video showing this differences in wrapping techniques.
Wrapping in butcher paper will allow you to maintain your bark. Wrap the brisket in non-waxed butcher paper. Depending on the size of your brisket this could be 6 - 8 hours into the cook. However, the time is no the most important thing to be worried about. Focus on the visual look of the bark and the internal temp. I like to spritz the inside of the paper with liquid with cider vinegar to make the paper more more pliable before I lay the brisket on it to wrap. Alternatively, wrapping in aluminum foil is a bit easier to master and will deliver a juicy, delicious brisket.
Finishing the brisket and resting
Increase the temperature of your smoker to 275 to help render out those last fats.
Place the brisket back in the smoker this time with the point towards the fire.
Continue to smoke the brisket until the meat is “probe tender” in the middle of the flat. This means when you probe it in the flat there will be no resistance. Think of sticking a toothpick in a cake. Each piece of meat is different but this will likely be around an internal temperature of 203°F.
Remove the brisket from the smoker, and rest it still wrapped at ambient temperature on the counter. Resting at room\ambient temp will stop the cooking process and allow the juices in the brisket to redistribute. I like to rest brisket down to 140 internal temperature (using my instant read thermometer) before slicing.
If you need to hold the meat longer then rest it on the counter for 15 minutes and then place it in a cooler. An insulated cooler can hot hold a brisket safely for hours.
Unwrap the brisket.
Slice only what you plan to eat and enjoy!
If you need instructions on how to reheat brisket, we got you here in this video!