Real Texas Brisket (Smoked) (Southwest)

Total Time
8hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 8 hrs

This is the real deal--it doesn't get any better than this. You'll need a smoker, that uses wood (not electric), and one that you can control the temperature on. A kettle BBQ pit (like a Webber) using indirect heat might work, but they tend to get too hot. A pit smoker with a separate fire box is best. For best results, use hickory or pecan. Mesquite is good too, but tends to be a little bitter when smoking for very long periods of time. Prep time does not include marinating over night or the time necessary to get the smoker going.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Trim brisket leaving 1/2" layer of fat on top. Determine the direction of the grain of the meet and cut off a slice across the grain. This way when the meet is done, and covered with a dark brown crust, you'll be able to see which direction you should slice.
  2. Brush with 1/4 cup of lemon juice (bottle juice is fine).
  3. In a bowl, combine lemon pepper, oregano, celery salt, garlic salt, and seasoned salt.
  4. Rub brisket with 1/2 of this mixture, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  5. Remove brisket and let it come to room temp before cooking. Putting a cold piece of meat in a smoker is a sure fire recipe for disaster--the meet will be very bitter.
  6. Prepare your smoker according to the manufacturer’s direction. Heat the smoker to 225°F at the cooking level.
  7. Place the brisket in the smoker, fat side up.
  8. Keep the temperature as close to 200°F as you can for the first 2-3 hours by adjusting the air intake, and adding small pieces of wood every 30 minutes. Do not adjust the out vent, it should always remain full open. You know your cooking properly when there is very little smoke coming out of the smoker, and the hot air coming out of the top vent is clear for the first foot, then it turns to a grayish white smoke. If smoke is billowing out of every opening, the smoke is cold and the air flow is too low--your brisket will taste like tar. You can let the temperature creep up to 225°F , but not much over that.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the Worcestershire sauce, and remaining lemon juice and rub mixture.
  10. Mop on the sauce every hour as you turn the meat. Be sure to turn the meat over and also rotate to ensure even cooking. This should be the only time you open the cooking area.
  11. Smoke 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours per pound, until the internal temperature is 190°F . If you go much past that, your brisket will not slice up, and you'll have pulled beef.
  12. Remove and wrap in aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for about 1 hour.
  13. Cut the point (the pyramid shaped portion) off following a natural fat layer between the point and the flat.
  14. Trim off excess fat.
  15. Slice the brisket across the grain, using the starter slice you should have done at the beginning as a guide. Slices should be 1/4" thick. If a portion of brisket is falling apart rather than slicing, don't despair. Save the shredded portions and the burnt ends. They will make the best BBQ beef sandwiches later, when chopped and mixed with BBQ sauce.


Most Helpful

We made this over the weekend. Very good. We used our own rub, we basically used yours for the method. Very good easy to follow directions. We had a 6 1/4 brisket it took almost 9 hrs. Well worth the wait. Will make again using your rub. Thanks for the post.

Jules211 May 28, 2008

Pokey, YEEE HAWWW this is one good brisket. We didn't use your marinade, instead used Salt Lick Rub, but followed your cooking directions to the tee on the new smoker. FABULOUS! Great smoke ring. Served with Recipe #223565 and can't wait to do it again!!! THANK YOU for posting a keeper for generations.

Vicki in CT October 24, 2007

Real good brisket. I done it on my propane smoke and it took about 11 hours toget it to 190. Nice smokey flavor. I did not like the lemon pepper (probably the brand I used Lawrys} and will reduce the amount next time or try a different brand.

Roger/OH September 20, 2006

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