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How to Smoke Beef Brisket on the Grill

Let me walk you through how to smoke the juiciest and most tender beef brisket on the grill step by step. Charcoal grill is your best friend here.


  • 1 (4-6 lbs) beef brisket, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons bbq rub, of your choice
  • Barbecue sauce, chimichurri sauce, optional for serving
  • 5 cups hickory or mesquite wood chips, soaked in cold water for 1 hour


  • Season the brisket with salt and rub on all sides. Place the brisket, fat side up, in a shallow aluminum pan, or you can make one yourself by doubling heavy-duty aluminum foil and crimping the edges up tightly.
  • Prepare charcoal grill for indirect heating, by placing hot charcoals on 2 edges of the grill and leaving the middle empty.
  • Throw in about 1 cup of prepared wood chips over charcoal. Place the grates and put the brisket with aluminum pan in the middle. Cover the grill, and turn the vents off, leaving just a little opening, to keep the grill temperature low. You want to aim for 250-275°F. Make sure the vent on the cover is away from charcoal/wood chips to draw smoke through the grill.
  • Cook the brisket until the internal temperature reaches 200°F, about 6-8 hours, basting the meat with pan juices every time you add more hot charcoal. Add about 10-12 fresh coals and 1/2 cup of wood chips on each side every hour. Avoid opening the lid too often to keep the temperature even.
  • Once cooked, transfer the brisket onto a cutting board and rest for at least 15 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve with bbq sauce, or chimichurri sauce.
  • You can grill the brisket up to 3 days in advance. Tightly wrap unsliced brisket in foil and refrigerate it. Once ready to serve, place the wrapped brisket in the oven at 300°F and bake until warmed through.


Adapted from epicurious.com.
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