Andrew's Barbecue Brisket Tips (and Dry Rub Recipe)!


Smoking a Brisket

According to Andrew, brisket isn’t a difficult meat. It just takes time, patience, and the low-and-slow method! Here are his special "secret" tips.

Preparing the Brisket
  • Start your smoker and set the temp to 225 degrees (high smoke). Use a hardwood such as hickory, cherry, or apple. (Andrew prefers hickory!)
  • Trim the fat with a sharp knife. (Your brisket will be about 30% smaller once fat is trimmed.)
    • Tip: Do all trimming while the brisket is still cold. Place on a cookie sheet to help with cleanup. 
    • Trimming is not surgery, so don’t start slicing into the interior of your meat. You just want to turn those thick layers of fat into thin layers of fat (less than half a centimeter).
  • Rub a liberal amount of salt and pepper over the entire brisket.
  • Baste the brisket with yellow mustard. (Andrew just paints the brisket yellow with the brush!)
  • Coat the mustard-covered brisket with dry rub. (Recipe below!)
  • Place the brisket on the smoker.
    • Tip: Put a cup of apple cider vinegar in a glass container somewhere close to the heat. Some cabinet smokers have a place where you can place liquids, just use vinegar instead of water. 
  • Insert temperature probes in the center of your brisket, shut the door, and leave it alone for a few hours.
    • Tip: You’ll generally smoke a brisket between 60-90 minutes per pound. So a 10-pound brisket would take around 10-15 hours of smoke time. 
    • Tip: Cook time can be affected by cold temperatures or wind. Just worry about the internal temperature. 😀

Hitting the Stall

From Andrew: 

“The goal of a succulent, juicy brisket is a temperature of 203 degrees Fahrenheit. This next part is probably THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. At around 160 degrees, your brisket will stop increasing in temperature and won’t go up for at least 5 hours. You have hit “The Stall," meaning the brisket has hit a temperature where heat is evaporating faster than can be absorbed by the meat. It’s all very scientific. 

If you do nothing, you will have a dry, tough brisket and dinner will be VERY late because it took an extra 5 hours to cook. So how do you avoid the stall? Wrap your brisket in tin foil or butcher paper (I personally use tin foil). Once it’s wrapped, put it back on the smoker and re-insert the probe.

If you’re using a food thermometer instead of a probe, just keep checking your meat at regular intervals. You’ll find that once you wrap the brisket, the temperature will start to increase at a more rapid rate.

Final Steps

Your brisket has hit 203 degrees! Yay, you're ALMOST done...

  • Pull the meat off of the smoker, tin foil and all.
  • Place the brisket in a cooler for at least an hour. 
  • Remove the brisket from the cooler, unwrap it, and push on it a little.
    • Tip: At this point, the brisket should jiggle like firm Jello.
  • Grab a carving knife and cut the meat across the grain (perpendicular to the natural fibers). 
    • Tip: Look at this cross section of the brisket. You should see a nice ring along the interior of the meat. This is the smoke ring, and it’s full of flavor!
  • Slice up the rest of the brisket, serve, and enjoy with baked beans, cornbread, and dutch oven potatoes. ENJOY! 

Andrew's Secret Dry Rub Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic salt
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dry mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper (add more if you like it spicy, less if you like it more sweet)
  • 1 tsp. celery salt

Psssst! You can make Andrew's apron and oven mitt (as shown above) at Kimberbell's Red, White & BBQ Spark Event. Find a participating shop HERE!



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