BBQ Brisket Guide: How to Cook Brisket on the BBQ

Brisket is the king of smoked meats – but only when you do it right.

If you’ve ever experienced a perfectly prepared brisket’s moist, tender deliciousness, you know why barbeque enthusiasts consider it a culinary delight. But, if you have ever tried to choke down a mishandled brisket, you understand why the phrase “crime against humanity” was coined.

The brisket is known for its deep, delicious flavour and hearty texture, but it can also be a challenge to prepare. The way you handle and cook the brisket will determine whether you end up with bland, tough and unappetising slices or a piece of meat that has an amazing depth and an explosive taste.

Treat the brisket right, and you will have something close to divine.

What is a Beef Brisket?

Brisket is a tasty cut of meat that is made up of two large muscle segments deep in the chest of a cow. This lean, rich marbling meat is also quite tough due to how frequently these muscles were used during the animal’s lifetime. This is why brisket is best known for its ability to absorb flavours while being tenderised with a low and slow-cook process.

In a whole brisket, the thickest part (that tends to be fattier) is called the point. The leaner and more uniform part of the brisket is called the flat. People debate which is better, but the best way to know is to ask for one of each at a butcher shop so you can compare.

Brisket comes from the breast section of the cow.


How Do I Cook Brisket?

Brisket can be cooked to perfection using very few (but important) techniques. The key to a perfectly cooked brisket is patience: low temperature and long cooking times are required to make this cut of meat melt-in-the-mouth tender.

Methods of cooking brisket

  • Oven – This is a tried-and-true method for brisket. For best results, sear the meat on all sides, submerge in the liquid of your choice (wine, beef broth, beer, or barbeque sauce) and bring to a boil. Cover and cook in a 110 oven. After three hours of cooking, test the doneness and cook until the meat is falling apart tender.
  • Slow Cooker – An ideal way to ensure low and slow are maintained, take the extra time to develop an extra layer of flavour by searing the brisket on all sides before putting it in the cooker. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a fantastic brisket.
  • Smoking and Barbequing Brisket – Many believe smoked brisket is the best way to prepare the cut (this is the method we used for our smoked brisket burger). Done correctly, you get a glorious result. Here are the basic steps to smoking brisket.
    1. Dry Rub Overnight – When you massage a layer of delicious flavour onto the brisket and let it sit overnight. Try a creative dry rub to see how much your food is livened up. You want to be generous with your dry rub and build a delicious, flavorful crust on the meat. Take care with this step; it will pay off later in taste and tenderness.
    2. Prepare Cooking Element – If you have a dedicated smoker, that is perfect for this project. Otherwise, you can use a charcoal grill with wet wood to get a similar result.
    3. Cook the Brisket for Seven to Ten Hours – After putting the brisket on to cook, adjust the vents to ensure a temperature between 105- 120. Rotate the brisket every few hours and add more wood chips and charcoal as needed to maintain the temperature. The brisket is finished cooking when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the brisket reads between 85-105.

What is Beef Brisket? Complete Guide to Brisket


How to Slice Brisket

No matter what cooking technique you use, it is vital that you slice it correctly to avoid tough, stringy meat.

1. Before you begin to slice your cooked brisket, be sure to let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
2. While your brisket rests, gather the tools you need to slice your brisket like a pro.

  • Large cutting board
  • Towel
  • Meat fork
  • A 20-25 cm serrated chef’s knife as sharp as possible
  • Serving platter

3. Place your brisket on the cutting board and use the meat fork to hold it steady with your non-dominant hand. Some cooks prefer to skip the meat fork and hold the brisket in place with their non-dominant hand. Both are acceptable.

4. With long smooth strokes, make cuts about six millimetres wide. The meat must be sliced across the grain. Slicing a brisket along the grain will leave you with stringy and tough meat.

Slicing brisket

5. Place sliced brisket on a serving platter and enjoy. You now know what, where, and how of basic brisket preparation. Try this versatile and delicious recipe that is ideal for beginners and professionals alike.


Best BBQ Brisket for Beginners

Just a few ingredients and several hours of cook time stand between you and a mouthwatering BBQ brisket.


  • A 1.5-2 kg beef brisket
  • Olive oil
  • A dry rub of your choice


  1. Working with a cold piece of brisket and a sharp knife, trim the thick excess layer of fat from your brisket. Be careful to leave a layer of one and a half cm on the meat to ensure it stays moist.
  2. Pat the brisket dry and rub all sides with olive oil.
  3. Generously coat all sides of the meat with your dry rub. You want to build a tasty crust on the meat, so be sure to use plenty. Our range of BBQ meat rubs are the perfect selection to boost the taste of your brisket.
  4. Cover the meat and return it to the fridge to marinate. An overnight marinade makes the most flavourful brisket, but if you are pressed for time, allow the meat to marinate for at least one hour.
  5. Heat your BBQ to between 110150.
  6. If you want to smoke the brisket but do not have a smoker, you can still create a respectable smoked brisket. Start by getting some wood chips and soak them in water. Next, place the chips on the gas burners or the charcoal. It is best to have a couple of pieces on the burner at a time.
  7. Next, put the brisket on a rack in your BBQ, then lower the hood.
  8. Place the brisket on a rack in the BBQ and put the hood down. The brisket should not sit directly above the flames. Cook for 1.5 hours.
  9. Remember to keep an eye on the temperature, ensuring the temperature does not exceed 150.
  10. Begin checking the internal temperature of the brisket after it has been cooking for 1.5 hours. Always use a probe thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the meat.
  11. When the brisket reaches an internal temp of 75, you should wrap it in foil, return it to the BBQ, and continue cooking.
  12. If you need to, you could finish cooking the brisket in your oven set to 110.
  13. Roast for two more hours and check the internal temperature. When the brisket has an internal temperature of 95, remove the brisket from the BBQ.
  14. Leave the foil covering on the meat, wrap it in a towel and place it in a cooler for an hour. During this time, the meat will continue to cook, but it will eventually be cool (and rested) enough to remove the coverings, slice, and serve.

Across the grain and thinly sliced is the best way to enjoy brisket and get the most tender eating experience.

Brisket is ideal meat for numerous dishes. Once you feel confident that you understand the basics of preparing brisket, there is no telling what delicious dishes you will create.

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