So this is my first attempt at a beef brisket. I am a pretty confident griller, but for some reason, the brisket has intimidated me. After much encouragement from my wife, I went to the store and shelled out more than $35 for an 11 pound brisket. Go big, or go home, right? And since this was my first time, I’m not going to get complicated. This is Brisket Made Easy. 

***Editor’s Note ~ As you can tell from that opening paragraph (and price of the brisket) this post is pretty dated as it was published in 2014. That being said, the methodology and recipe are completely sound. Particularly if you too are ready to embark on your first smoked brisket***

I poured over my personal library of grilling cookbooks, googled the opinions of experts, and watched countless famous chefs producing beautifully cooked briskets on the cooking channels. I even read the recipes my associates posted on The Grillin’ Fools website such as this pecan smoked brisket recipe and this high heat method brisket recipe. After all of that research, I decided to just wing it. 😉 

***Editor’s Note ~ Our latest beef brisket recipe, and our best to date, is right here and involves some wagyu beef tallow****

Brisket Made Easy Ingredients:

  • Beef brisket, 11 pounds
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup pepper
  • 2 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tbs sugar in the raw
  • 1 tbs cayenne
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • ½ tbs dry mustard

Brisket Made Easy 05

First, trim the fat cap down to ¼ inch and trim any other excess, lose fat. I probably should’ve trimmed mine down a little more, but there were no complaints.

Brisket Made Easy

Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir until well combined

Next, rub the meat very generously. By this I mean there should be a thick coating of rub on all surfaces of the meat:

Brisket Made Easy 09

Some say there’s no need to rub the fat, but do not leave the fat naked. It tastes delicious, trust me.

Wrap the brisket very tightly in foil and place in the refrigerator overnight or longer.

Mop Sauce Ingredients:

  • 32 oz beef stock
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 3 tbs dry mustard
  • 3 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tbs paprika
  • 4 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 tbs pepper

Brisket Made Easy 10

Place all mop sauce ingredients into a blender and mix until combined

At least an hour before you are ready to put the brisket on the grill, take it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature.

How to Grill Brisket Made Easy

Now, prepare the grill for indirect grilling. We are talking low and slow when grilling a brisket. For this, I used a kamado style grill so I put a plate setter between the fire and the grill grates to deflect the heat away from the meat. For a regular grill, put coals on one side and nothing on the other. Target temperature for the grill is about 200F-225F.

Use plenty of charcoal and some good wood for smoking. I used cherry and hickory and was very happy with the results.

The next thing I did was pour a bottle of cheap red wine into a drip pan and placed it on the plate setter under the grate and meat.

When the fire is ready, place the beef brisket on the grill (not in the foil!) fat cap side up:

Brisket Made Easy 11

We were having guests over for Sunday dinner and wanted to serve this brisket around 2:00 p.m. Everything I read predicted that the brisket should cook about 1 to 1 ½ hours per pound. I decided it would be a good idea to start the cooking process at 10:00 p.m. the previous evening. I used an internal probe thermometer with a remote alarm set to 180 degrees. I know the brisket needs to cook to at least 200, but wanted to check at 180. So at midnight, I mopped the brisket and went to bed.

A note about mopping your brisket. Always let a crust develop before mopping or you will wash all the rub off. I mopped at about midnight, closed the lid on the kamado and went to bed.

With a good kamado style grill, I didn’t have to worry about keeping my grill at a constant temperature. The kamado maintains a temp long enough to cook this brisket without having to add charcoal. One load of fuel will last all night. If you are using another type of grill you will need to add coals every few hours to maintain a constant temperature which is why we use kamado’s for charcoal. We highly recommend a Grill Dome if you are looking to get one. It’s the best kamado on the market.

At 4:00 a.m. the alarm sounded that the internal temperature of the brisket was 180 degrees. I dragged myself out of bed, mopped the brisket and reset the gauge for 195 degrees. At 7:00 a.m. the alarms sounded again and the brisket looked like this:

Brisket Made Easy 12

The temperature in my kamado had increased slightly to 225 so it went a little quicker than I expected. The brisket didn’t seem quite finished, so we left it on until just over 200 degrees. Some of you are looking at that and thinking that it is burnt. It’s not. It may look black and gnarly on the outside, but it’s progressing perfectly.

At that point, the probe went into the meat like butter, there was no resistance:

Brisket Made Easy 14

I cannot give an exact magic temperature for tender, juicy brisket. But it’s somewhere between 195 and 205 and use the probe to check for tenderness. But that’s pretty much it. The brisket is done cooking. That’s Brisket Made Easy. While the grilling is done, we’re not quite done with it.

Since the brisket cooked more quickly than I expected we had to hold it for a few hours which made me a little nervous. I wrapped the brisket very tightly with aluminum foil and parked it in the microwave. It was still warm, juicy and delicious when I carved it for the family:

Brisket Made Easy 15

Speaking of carving, cut across the grain.

Brisket Made Easy 17

I am very happy with my first attempt at this intimidating cut of meat. This brisket was fantastic and I will make it again. Our guests devoured the vast majority of that 11 pounder and several took home leftovers for their lunch the next day. There you have it, Brisket Made Easy. It wasn’t quick, but it was easy. Particularly on a kamado.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below

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Brisket Made Easy

Brisket is believed to be the hardest cut of meat to master on the grill. We break it down into the most basic steps in Brisket Made Easy
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time12 hours
Total Time12 hours 20 minutes
Course: Brisket
Cuisine: BBQ
Servings: 10 People



  • 1 - beef brisket 11 pounds


  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup pepper
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar in the raw
  • 1 tbsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tbsp dry mustard


  • 32 oz beef stock
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp dry mustard
  • 3 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 4 tbsp worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp pepper


  • Trim the fat off the brisket down to a 1/4 inch
  • Combine the rub ingredients and coat the outside of the brisket
  • Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and put in the fridge overnight
  • Remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for an hour
  • Combine the ingredients for the mop sauce
  • Prepare the grill for low and slow grilling between 200-225
  • Place a drip pan with cheap red wine under the brisket and smoke wood on the coals
  • Put the rubbed brisket over the drip pan and close the lid
  • Remove from the grill when the brisket reaches 200 degrees and wrap in foil
  • Place the foil wrapped brisket in a microwave, unlit oven or empty cooler for at least an hour and up to four hours
  • Slice across the grain and serve

Here’s a collage of the process:

Brisket Made Easy Collage

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

Tom Jones

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Brisket has become some of my favorite BBQ over the past 3 years. Kamados are great for brisket as long as you get one short enough to fit inside. Now you have me craving brisket and I am flat out. Great cook!


Just curious, how small can you go with a brisket before it gets difficult to cook to the right temp? Or can this be followed with any size cut?


Tom, I wouldn’t go smaller than about three pounds…


I made this recipe yesterday in my weber grill. I was a little worried since you always recommend the big green egg type grills, but I have to say it turned out great! I cooked a 4lb brisket, Flavor was amazing and it was so tender that my guests cut the meat with a butter knife. I set the back 2 burners to low and cooked on 200-225 for about 6 hours until the center was 160.

I would say I am a grilling beginner, I have now cooked this and the prime rib recipe from your site on my weber and both have turned out great. Your recipes are easy to follow! Thanks and keep them coming.



I’m not sure how the brisket could be that tender at 160 degrees. It has to be around 200 for brisket to become tender. This isn’t like a prime rib…


How often do you mop the brisket?



Once the rub sort of melds to the meat (about 60-90 minutes) then I mop every 30-45 minutes. Or about every beer!


So, this is a great recipe. I would add though that cooking a brisket, the temp at about 185 is good if you wrap it with aluminum foil followed by a layer of towels. Then put it in a cooler for a couple hours (coolers work on warn temps also). It will continue to cook and be fantastic tender. Same principle as letting a steak rest before you cut it.


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