Brisket Recipe – How To Smoke A Whole Beef (2020)

Smoking perfect beef brisket is not about following a beef brisket recipe but understanding the process from mistakes you have done during smoking. If you want to be an expert at it, use this guide to master the art of smoking whole beef brisket.

Brisket recipe basics

Whole brisket smoking is complicated and to master the art of smoking, you have to follow the simple guidelines offered. Make sure you follow the outlined steps each time you smoke a brisket.

Smoking a brisket – What is the whole beef brisket?

Brisket is the cut from the cow. There are two briskets per cow and each is made of two discrete muscles; the flat and the point. These two muscles have different layers of marbling as briskets are the area the cow uses a lot when walking. Briskets are made up of two dense muscles making it essential to cook for longer to break down the muscle. Long cooking breaks down the muscles and fats to offer tender bites.

When buying a top brisket, go for the entire pack (the flat and the point). The layer of beef you see on top is the brisket flat. The flat tends to be leaner and only offers half of the story. To get the full experience, make sure you get for the full pack. Go big when buying, like at least a 14-pound cut, because you will trim off a fair amount of fat, so a 12-pound packer is likely to be 10 pounds after being trimmed, and more like 8 pounds after preparing.

How long to smoke a brisket – Tips to improve

As mentioned above, each brisket you smoke may be different. This is from the way you trim to the way it cooks. Each brisket has different terms and conditions when smoking. However, we will offer seven basic steps one should follow when smoking a brisket.

  • Selection
  • Trimming
  • Seasoning
  • Smoking
  • Wrapping
  • Resting
  • Slicing

These seven steps should be carried out in the listed order for the best results.

How to smoke brisket – Correcting the Problem

People end up getting poor results after smoking a brisket and the problem mainly arises from poor quality beef, as every beef contains a certain amount of fat. The data along the sides should be removed. One should be sure they start by obtaining quality briskets from the butcher for the best results. In addition to the quality of meat, one should also take note of the marbling of the entire cut as it highly influences the cooking experience for the best results, one should make sure you for the high-quality brisket and one you can afford with marbling.

Grass-fed- Pasture-raised beef is astonishing. However, when compared to marbling, you will discover the same level of fat tends to be missing. If you prefer grass-fed beef, note your making process will have to change and a high chance it will shorten. This type of meat offers an earthy flavor and takes less time to prepare. We do not recommend this type of brisket for smoking.

USDA Rated- buyers are confused about whether this is the right choice or the prime choice. The decision on whether to buy USDA rated brisket should be based on marbling. Meat under this category is top-notch and fulfills marbling quality irrespective of the outlet you buy from. With this meat, as marbling continues, it creates a juicy cut of meat you cannot afford to resist at the end of the smoking process. You go for Choice or a Double R Ranch Prime for smoking.

American Wagyu or Kobe- One looking for an outstanding flavor that won’t disappoint irrespective of their grilling skills should go for this type of brisket. Their label for Prime is Double R and the marbling available is amazing.

Smoke brisket – Why Does Marbling Matter?

The marbling of the entire cut is important when smoking brisket as it translates to tenderness as it cooks. When you shop for the whole brisket at your favorite grocery store or butcher shop, make sure you inspect the available parts before buying. Look for pliable cuts and brisket that can bend easily. Avoid anything that is overly stiff as these cuts to an extended and complicated smoking time.

Best brisket recipe – practices in the industry

Once you have grabbed the perfect piece, trimmed and seasoned it, you are not expected to perfectly make your brisket shine through smoking.

There are different ways to smoke a brisket but in this section, we are going to focus on the one best way for excellent results.

First, one should preheat their smoker to 250°F using charcoal or wood depending on their smoker. For a sweeter flavor, you have to use fruit woods when smoking. The next step should be inserting a meat thermometer probe in the flat of your brisket. The flat tends to be leaner and it the vital part one should monitor when smoking. Try to maintain the temperature at 250 °F for slowly rendering fat. You can have the flat side up or down depending on what you prefer as both outcomes are the same. To attain both bark and smoke flavor, smoke your brisket for about five hours.

Smoked brisket: The Brisket Fat Cap Bastes the Beef As It’s Smoked

There is a layer of fat on one side of the brisket which can vary in thickness. This fat covering on the top side of beef is commonly called the fat cap. Before seasoning, it’s usually recommended to shave the fat cap down in thickness to somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch, though many seasoned smoke cookers don’t feel that trimming of the fat cap is required. Whether it’s trimmed or not, the fat cap melts as the brisket is smoked, the flavor-filled juices running down its sides.

How to smoke a brisket – Tools You Can Use

To obtain a perfectly smoked brisket, one should be sure that they have the right tools at hand. There are very many tools one should have at their disposal but below are the vital ones;

  • Wireless thermometer single and dual
  • Grill basket
  • Heavy-duty spatula
  • Meat carving knife
  • Peach butcher paper
  • Apron
  • Brisket Knife
  • Meat carving knife
  • Heatproof baking gloves
  • Instant read thermometer
  • Aluminum foil

Smoking brisket – Frequently Asked Questions

How big is a whole beef brisket?

Whole beef brisket is made of the two cuts: point and the flat. Most tend to be 12 pounds when packed but 10 pounds once you trim off fats attached. However, after cooking one is likely to end up with 8 pounds.

How much us a whole beef brisket?

Brisket roughly ranges from $2 to $5 per pound depending on the type and quality of meat. With this, the whole beef brisket can range from $20 to $50.

How do you cook a whole Brisket? 

First, one should preheat their smoker to 2500 F using charcoal or wood depending on their smoker. For a sweeter flavor, you must use fruit woods when smoking. The next step should be inserting a meat thermometer probe in the flat of your smoked brisket. The flat tends to be leaner and it the vital part one should monitor when smoking. Try to maintain the temperature at 250 degrees F for slowly rendering fat. You can have the flat side up or down depending on what you prefer as both outcomes are the same. To attain both bark and smoke flavor, smoke your brisket for about five hours.

What is a brisket called in the grocery store?

Brisket is a large cut of meat that is taken from the chest area of the cow. Most grocery stores carry the first cut, which is called the flat. It’s leaner and slices neatly. But your butcher may have the second cut, also known as the deckle point.

Smoked brisket recipe – Final thought

One can now go ahead to enjoy some time with family and enjoy an amazing whole beef brisket recipes if you follow our guide. We have discussed everything you need to get you started.