El Diablo Brisket - 02

What does El Dia­blo Mus­tard and Brisket have to do with each oth­er? Well, El Dia­blo Mus­tard asked me to devel­op a recipe with their fine mus­tards and I’ve always used mus­tard when I grill brisket, so the fact that they offered to pay me to come up with a recipe was a no brain­er. And they make some amaz­ing mus­tards. For me, there are two absolute musts for a per­fect brisket — good mus­tard and the Texas crutch. More on that last one in a minute. As for the mus­tard, dad turned me onto that years ago. Here’s a post from 2010 where he made a mus­tard brisket on the worst grill you will ever see on this site.

Let’s face it, brisket is intim­i­dat­ing. It’s a tough piece of meat that needs hours in the smoke and heat to be ten­der and deli­cious. We need every advan­tage we can get to make it per­fect. And the fact that this cheap, tough cut of meat is no longer cheap, it’s an even big­ger dis­ap­point­ment when we screw up a brisket.

So let’s get to the recipe and the method.

El Diablo Mustard Brisket Ingredients:

1 brisket
El Dia­blo Mus­tard
Your favorite BBQ rub

There are a cou­ple oth­er items I high­ly rec­om­mend hav­ing to prop­er­ly grill brisket. An alu­minum pan large enough to fit the brisket inside, alu­minum foil and a probe ther­mome­ter. You can get buy with­out the first two, but the last one is absolute­ly nec­es­sary. Grilling brisket with­out a probe ther­mome­ter is like dri­ving a car with­out eyes.

Let’s start off with the meat and this glo­ri­ous brisket flat which weighed in at just over sev­en pounds:

El Diablo Brisket - 01
What a glo­ri­ous piece of meat

There are basi­cal­ly two parts to a brisket, the flat (pic­tured above) and the point which was attached to the flat.

Pro Tip ~ Buy brisket whole (called a pack­er), sav­ing the extra cost per pound to slice it into the flat and the point, slice it your­self and cook each one sep­a­rate­ly as they will take dif­fer­ent times to cook depend­ing on size.

Now, let’s let that El Dia­blo Mus­tard work it’s mag­ic on the brisket:

El Diablo Brisket - 02
The El Dia­blo Steak­house vari­ety seemed appro­pri­ate

I put the brisket flat into a two gal­lon plas­tic bag and hit each side with lots of that great mus­tard:

El Diablo Brisket - 03
Work the El Dia­blo Mus­tard around to coat every inch of the sur­face of the brisket

Then into the fridge:

El Diablo Brisket - 04
Get com­fy, brisket, you’re going to be there a while

How long to leave it in the fridge? I put this one in on Wednes­day and smoked it on Sun­day. You could go a whole week if you want­ed, but 12 hours is enough too. The longer the bet­ter. See, the vine­gar in the mus­tard helps to break down con­nec­tive tis­sues, which will make the brisket more ten­der. And since we slice this in thin strips, with only a lit­tle of that glo­ri­ous out­side fla­vor on each slice, I want a mus­tard with some seri­ous fla­vor and El Dia­blo brings the heat, lit­er­al­ly. Their medi­um heat mus­tards are pret­ty potent. Don’t wor­ry. This is not going to be a fire hot brisket. The meat to sur­face area ratio is so high that we’ll only get a hint of that fla­vor. If I use a plain yel­low mus­tard, I’m not going to get as much of the resid­ual fla­vor at the end of the process.

Take the mus­tard slathered brisket out of the fridge and the bag and wipe off some of the mus­tard with paper tow­els. We want to leave enough mus­tard for the rub to stick to which will help make a great bark and bark is good:

El Diablo Brisket - 09
Wipe some but not all

I placed the fat cap down, salt­ed and applied the BBQ rub to the oth­er side and then placed it into my alu­minum pan fat cap up:

El Diablo Brisket - 10
Ready for anoth­er coat­ing of rub

Then I hit the fat cap with salt and the rub:

El Diablo Brisket - 11
If you’re not rub­bing your meat, you’re doing it wrong!

Fat cap up or fat cap down is always a hot debate for brisket. Some say it doesn’t mat­ter. Some say it does. If I were to mop this I would go fat cap down so the mop can baste the meat and not the insu­lat­ing fat lay­er. But I’m not going to mop it, so fat cap goes up to baste the meat as the fat melts away.

Now, pre­pare the smok­er for indi­rect or two zone grilling. In this case, my Grill Dome:

El Diablo Brisket - 07
Let’s get the smoke rolling!

I pre­pared my Grill Dome (which is a kama­do style grill) by plac­ing the char­coal and smoke wood (pecan) in the bot­tom, a place set­ter in the mid­dle and the brisket on the grill grates on top. The place set­ter (or plate set­ter) deflects the heat around the brisket and the alu­minum pan will do some of that as well. In oth­er style grills, place the coals and smoke wood on one side and the brisket on the oth­er. Tar­get tem­per­a­ture for this brisket is 350. That is not a mis­print. We’re going high heat on the brisket. It’s real­ly more like medi­um heat, but that doesn’t sound as good.

Here is the brisket on the grill:

El Diablo Brisket - 12
Time to sit back and relax for a few hours.

Close the lid and come back in an hour. Here we are 60 min­utes in:

El Diablo Brisket - 14
Brown­ing up nice­ly

At this point I added some pecan shells to the fire for some added smoke.

And here we are at the two hour mark. You can see some of the pecan shells on the grill grate:

El Diablo Brisket - 16
Don’t sweat the black­en­ing. That’s not burnt. That’s bark and bark is good!

At the three hour mark, it’s time to bust out the Texas crutch:

El Diablo Brisket - 18
The Texas Crutch

Your alu­minum foil prob­a­bly looks bet­ter than this, but mine trav­els for grilling class­es and demos and gets knocked around in the back of my car so much so that I have no idea where the box is. I’m going add some liq­uid to the alu­minum pan and then cov­er the top with foil. What the Texas crutch does is allows the brisket to steam, hyper-accel­er­at­ing the break­down of the con­nec­tive tis­sue to make that brisket super ten­der in light­ning speed. Some will ask why not con­tin­ue to smoke it. Because after three hours of 350 degrees (and a slight spike to 400 for about 30 min­utes from the pecan shells which have lots of oil in them and can burn caught on fire), it’s not tak­ing on any more smoke fla­vor.

I cov­ered half the pan with the foil and added liq­uid. A beer does the trick nice­ly:

El Diablo Brisket - 19
The brisket is thirsty

Then cov­er the oth­er half and close the lid. I expect­ed this cook to take around 6 hours to get to an inter­nal tem­per­a­ture between 195 and 205. If you watch the tem­per­a­ture climb with your probe ther­mome­ter and it seems to lev­el off after ris­ing steadi­ly, don’t sweat that. It’s called the stall. And what hap­pens is the meat sweats. You read that right. Just like you and I sweat to cool our bod­ies down, the meat sweats fat that cools the meat down and the tem­per­a­ture stalls until it sweats enough out that it can’t cool itself any­more. The stall usu­al­ly starts around 160–170 degrees and can last more than a hour with very lit­tle tem­per­a­ture ris­ing. Don’t sweat the stall!

I decid­ed to check my brisket at the 5.5 hour mark, I hit it with the probe ther­mome­ter and it was already at 208! Yikes! No wor­ries. I didn’t ruin it by over­shoot­ing my win­dow by three degrees.

Time for the crutch again. I wrapped the brisket tight in foil and placed it in the microwave:

El Diablo Brisket - 23
No, I did not microwave the brisket

Close the door on the microwave and walk away for at least an hour. I’ve seen some wrap foiled brisket in tow­els. You could also place it in an unlit oven or an emp­ty cool­er. Brisket can stay in this state for hours. I’ve left one in the microwave for more than three hours before before slic­ing and serv­ing.

After an hour my stom­ach couldn’t take it any­more. I opened up the foil and let it rest for about 20 min­utes:

El Diablo Brisket - 24
That’s not burnt, that’s bark and remem­ber, bark is good. Real­ly, real­ly good!

That black­ened stuff on the out­side is not burnt meat, it’s the bark. Like the bark of a tree. Great bark is the key to great brisket. I get the best bark with great mus­tard.

Here it is sliced:

El Diablo Brisket - 26
Oh my!

Pro Tip ~ Always slice meat against the grain. It will be much more ten­der than if you sliced along the grain

It was so ten­der, I could cut thick slices and it melt­ed in my mouth:

El Diablo Brisket - 25
That’s a sam­mich!

The fla­vor of the rub and the mus­tard was there as well as the smoke. I didn’t need to add any­thing to this oth­er than bread to hold it togeth­er. It was out­ra­geous­ly good. My wife, who iron­i­cal­ly doesn’t like BBQ, not only sam­pled it but had mul­ti­ple pieces of the El Dia­blo Mus­tard Brisket.

Good luck with your brisket and let me know how it comes out.

Mus­tard also does mag­i­cal things to chick­en. Hence the title of this post, Mus­tard Mag­ic Chick­en.

If you have any ques­tions, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email

4.5 from 2 reviews
El Dia­blo Mus­tard Brisket
Recipe type: Brisket
Cui­sine: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Out­line of the two tricks every­one must do to make per­fect grilled brisket every time.
  • 1 brisket
  • El Dia­blo Mus­tard
  • Salt
  • Your favorite BBQ rub
  1. Place the brisket in a plas­tic bag, slather each side with El Dia­blo Mus­tard and seal the bag
  2. Place the bag in the fridge for 12 hours to 1 week
  3. Remove from the fridge and the plas­tic bag and wipe off some of the excess mus­tard, leav­ing enough for the rub to stick to
  4. Coat the meat side with salt and the rub
  5. Place in alu­minum pan and coat the fat cap with salt and rub
  6. Pre­pare the grill for two zone or indi­rect grilling with a tar­get tem­per­a­ture of 350 degrees
  7. Smoke for three hours and then pour a beer in the alu­minum pan and cov­er with foil (Texas crutch)
  8. Smoke until the brisket hits 195–205 degrees
  9. Remove from the alu­minum pan and wrap tight in foil and place in an unlit oven, microwave or cool­er for at least an hour
  10. Remove from the foil and allow to rest for about 20 min­utes
  11. Slice across the grain and serve
Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Orig­i­nal Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to col­lege with a suit­case and a grill where he over­cooked, under­cooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thou­sands of fail­ures, and quite a few suc­cess­es, near­ly two decades lat­er he start­ed a web­site to show step by step, pic­ture by pic­ture, fool­proof instruc­tions on how to make great things out of doors so that oth­ers don’t have to repeat the mis­takes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas


https://t.co/lVWgniik3V#Grill­Porn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
Oh my wow! There is so much per­fec­tion right there! 😲✔️👍😎 . Video shot by the insane­ly tal­ent­ed @carlaocarvalho77 …… https://t.co/uKHWyunSxp — 3 months ago
Scott Thomas

Latest posts by Scott Thomas (see all)


Looks great, Scott. I just fin­ished the last of ours and I’m already crav­ing more.


Great read scott!! I have suc­cess­ful­ly done brisket anoth­er way but this one is def­i­nite­ly on my to do list. Thanks for the great tips.



Share your next one on the FB page with us. Thanks…


Sounds great. Got­ta try it 



Judg­ing by your email address pre­fix, I would say that El Dia­blo is right up your alley!


I’ve always done my brisket on the grate of the Kama­do. Do you use the pan because of the high­er temp and/or some oth­er rea­son?
I wor­ry the bark becomes mushy sit­ting in the pan for the whole smoke.



The pan holds the juices which help with the steam­ing action when I foil the top of it. You could always foil it and then remove it from the foil and the pan for the last hour to firm up that bark…


This was so good. Thanks. 


I was raised in Mass­a­chu­setts. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, in my child­hood “bar­beque ” was a sauce out of a bot­tle.
When I was sta­tioned in Mis­sis­sip­pi, I was edu­cat­ed.
Now I have to admit, I’m addict­ed.
Thanks for the great arti­cle


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