Texas-Style Smoked Brisket

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 5 hrs 30 mins

This take a little extra time but well worth it. Got this recipe off Emeril Salutes Houston, TX episode.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Set the brisket on a large sheet of plastic wrap.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the dark brown sugar, chili power, paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, dry mustard, and cumin thoroughly.
  3. Rub the mixture onto the brisket and wrap tightly in the plastic wrap.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and let marinate refrigerated at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
  6. Soak mesquite wood chips in a large bowl of water for 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Remove, drain and set aside.
  8. Prepare a smoker with charcoal and the wood chips according to the manufacturer's instructions to 180 to 200 degrees F.
  9. Place the water pan in the smoker and add water to the fill line, about 2/3 full.
  10. Place the unwrapped brisket on the lower rack off the direct heat, close the lid, and cook, regularly stoking the fire and adding additional chips, until an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 140 to 145 degrees F, about 4 to 5 hours.
  11. Remove the meat from the grill and let rest for 20 minutes before carving the meat against the grain.
  12. (Alternately, prepare a stove-top smoker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place the unwrapped brisket on the rack over low heat. Close the lid and smoke for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the meat from the smoker and wrap in) BBQ Sauce: In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  13. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes.
  14. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  15. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, cane syrup, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, Essence, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil.
  16. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the flavors marry, 15 to 20 minutes.
  17. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before serving.
  18. Essence: Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.


Most Helpful

WOW was this FABULOUS!!! The rub is absolutely amazing; I marinated the bristket for about a day and a half prior to cooking. After reading a multitude of brisket recipes and finding that the cooking times range from 5 to 24 hours, I got nervous because I knew I had to serve it at 5pm. That being said, I placed my 5.5 lb brisket, covered, in the oven at 250 degrees for 4 hours (fat side up). I then removed it from the oven, and placed it directly on the smoking rack and smoked it in my electric smoker with hickory wood for 2 hours at 170 degrees (again with the fat side up). It was perfect for us. . .still a little moist, tender, and starting to fall apart (although I could cut thicker slices which would stay together). I did make the BBQ sauce (and the Essence), cutting the recipe in half and using 2 T of the Essence (the recipe didn't say how much to add, so I guessed). The sauce was SO TASTY as well. I loved it. . .has a bit of a kick, so you may want to decrease the hot sauce (or eliminate it completely) if you don't like yours spicy. The sauce is a little vinegary, a little sweet and a little spicy. It would also be great on seafood, hot dogs, pork or chicken. THANKS!

JanuaryBride July 20, 2009

I was trying to decide if I should rate this 4 or 5 stars, and I came to the conclusion that I was going to rate it 5. The brisket and the sauce had a WONDERFUL flavor! I loved it... The only problem was, it was very tough. I smoked it for almost 6 hours. Next time I make this I will smoke it about 8-10. Thanks for posting!! Edited on July 11 2007 to say: I made again and smoked it about 10 hours! It was falling apart! I am so glad you posted this!!

Lacy S. July 11, 2007

Tried this recipe on 18 Jan 2014. I just used the brisket rub with slight modification. I did not make up the sauce or the essence. I am used to smoking a brisket for about 45 minutes to an hour per pound at low temp, between 200 and 225 degrees... low and slow. I smoked 6 pounds of beef brisket for 9 hours by placing it in my Grill Dome Smoker uncovered on the grill rack for the first 5 hours to develop the bark and embue the cherry wood chips that I used in the water pan into the meat. I then removed the brisket and crutched it by double wraping the brisket in aluminum foil. I placed the foil wrapped brisket back in the Grill Dome Smoker for another 4 hours and then pulled out the brisket to serve. My modifications on the recipe: I used only 1 tablespoon of salt instead of the 2 tablespoons called for in the recipe and I cut the ground Cumin down from 2 teaspoons to only 1 teaspoon. Those changes turned out well, but in the future I will limit the Cumin to only 1/2 teaspoon or, like suggested by another poster, eliminate it entirely. I would also probably increase the amount of ground Black Pepper by at least 50% as a personal preference (I like to be able to taste the Black Pepper and this was missing for me in this recipe). I divided the required amount of Cayenne Pepper so that 1/2 of it was straight Cayenne Pepper and 1/2 of it was Chipotle Cayenne Pepper. In addition I used a Yellow Mustard/Honey/Juice from Manzetta Tamed Sliced Jalapenos mixture to coat the brisket prior to applying the rub, some call this procedure as applying a "Glue" before coating with the rub. The "Glue" application allows the rub to stick better to the brisket. I love Manzetta Tamed Sliced Jalapenos and the spice and vinegar solution they are packed in is something I save for just this type of use after I have devoured all the Jalapenos... it is a great seasoning solution. The honey and the Yellow Mustard provide a thickener against the "Juice" from the Manzettaa Tamed Sliced Jalapenos so that the mix is not too thin. I vary the amounts to obtain what I consider to be a desired thickness... more like a paste. Comments: The result was an extremely tender brisket with good flavor and I would smoke it again, however on repeat I would make some additional modifications: I would marinade the brisket in a 1:1:1 mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar, Pineapple (or Orange Juice) and Apple Juice to which I would add 2 or even 3 tablespoons of a good quality Liquid Smoke and remove it from this marinade after 24 to 48 hours, apply the Honey/Yellow Mustard and "Juice" from Manzetta Tamed Jalapenos as a "Glue" following up with the application liberally of the rub to both sides. Next I would cut down my time to Smoke the brisket. I normally do not trim vigorously the fat off a brisket before smoking it in order to comply with what I have read in most recipes, however this time I did trim vigorously the fat prior to smoking the brisket. The meat was very tender, but I believe that next time I would be more in line with the recommended cooking time and smoke the brisket for a total of 6 or 7 hours at the most, particularly if I have trimmed the fat. I would stick to 4 to 5 hours of open exposure to the smoke and then pull out the meat to double wrap in foil and replace in the smoker for the balance of the time. Next time I would also probably stick with the designated Mesquite wood chips in the water bath instead of Cherry wood chips. I just did not have the Mesquite or I would have used it. Again, this was a very tender brisket result and extremely easy to pull apart and shred for sandwiches or serve sliced. I recommend this recipe, but I will modify it as noted above.

foremanscotty January 19, 2014

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a