A Smokin’ Summer Recipe: Brisket

June 3, 2019 | by ashlynn reynolds-dyk

We kicked off our summer cooking with our delicious smoked, bacon-wrapped scallop recipe in my piece on smoker grills in SFM's June issue. If you missed it, check it out ->here<-! Over the next few weeks, I want to share a few more recipes for the smoker with you. I am going to start with our favorite main dish—brisket. This is one that works for just about any crowd aside from the vegan or vegetarian!

There are three parts to cooking a brisket: there is making or deciding on a premixed seasoning/rub, making a mop sauce, and the actual smoking and cooking parts. The recipe here is for an 8-pound brisket so adjust your ratios accordingly. 

Side Note: You can always store dry seasonings/rubs for next time so it is no problem if you have extra. You can usually refrigerate or freeze a mop sauce as well.


We actually really like some of the Weber seasonings that are easy to pick up at local grocery stores, but if you do not have that on hand, you likely have some spices that will mix together to make a great rub. Here is one to try:

  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed

Mix all ingredients together and cover/rub onto the surface of the brisket.

Mop Sauce:

There are many variations of mop sauce and you can usually make one with ingredients you have at home.

1.     Mix together:

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can of cola or beer
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2.     Use mop sauce to cover the meat every hour once you begin smoking the meat.

Smoking and Cooking:

1.     Warm up the smoker in smoke mode. Place a smoke/grill-safe pan of water on the grill. This will remain on the grill for the duration of smoking/cooking. The steam helps maintain moisture in the meat. 

2.     Place meat on the grill to smoke only. For a nice smoke ring and better flavor, we like to smoke the meat prior to cooking for 3-4 hours.  Cover with the mop sauce every hour.

3.     Next, adjust the temperature to the lowest temperature option for another 2 hours. Continue covering the meat with the mop sauce every hour.

4.     After checking the temperature of the meat, and depending on when you want to eat, you may increase the temperature after two hours on the lowest setting to the next setting or by 25 degrees. Ultimately, you want to get the internal temperature of the brisket itself to 190 degrees but you want to do it SLOWLY! 

5.     You can continue to increase the temperature of the smoker every hour or so to get to the 190 degrees, but if you are patient and want the best flavor and texture, do not increase the temperature any more. Just wait for the meat to reach 190 degrees. You should expect this to take around 4 hours in addition to the 3 or 4 already spent smoking and the 2 hours on the lowest temperature. Continue covering with the mop sauce every hour.

6.     Once the meat reaches 190 degrees, you are ready to take it off the grill. Let the meat rest for 15-20 minutes before carving (if you can contain yourself!).

Side Note: With smoking and cooking a brisket, your cook times can be affected by the outside temperature depending on the type of smoker you are using. During cold or wind, for example, our Traeger has a harder time keeping a good, steady flame. Don’t get me wrong—it works and it is delicious—it just might take a little longer.

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