Best Smoked Beef Brisket

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The main reason I purchased Steven Raichlen’s book, The Brisket Chronicles, was this right here. The best smoked beef brisket. Yes, I know people like their brisket different ways, and they might not agree with me. But for me, this is by far the best brisket I’ve ever smoked.

Best Smoked Beef Brisket

A Recipe From One Of The Best

The approach to making the best smoked brisket is very straight-forward. It’s based on the same technique that Aaron Franklin, of Franklin Barbecue fame, uses day-after-day to produce some of the finest brisket on the planet.

Checks Every Box

This is the best smoked brisket because it checks all of the boxes for me. Tender. Moist. Packed with flavor. The meaty beef brisket flavor shines through. It’s not buried under overly sweet or overly spicy rubs or sauces. There’s just the right amount of fat left on the brisket. Not too much, not too little.

This Is My Happy Place

I could not stop devouring this brisket. I could not have been happier with the results. I’ve smoked brisket for years. This here is my go-to technique from now on. And I have to admit it, the pink butcher paper was a big part the success.

Also try my “poor man’s” smoked brisket, smoked chuck roast. It’s fantastic too!

Best Smoked Beef Brisket
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5 from 1 vote

Best Smoked Beef Brisket

The main reason I purchased Steven Raichlen’s book, The Brisket Chronicles, was this right here. The best smoked beef brisket. 
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, smoked
Cook Time 12 hours
Resting time 2 hours
Total Time 14 hours
Servings 16
Calories 3109kcal



  • Begin by trimming the fat from the brisket. Keep 1/4" of the fat, but remove the rest.
  • Fire up your smoker for smoking at 250 F. Use whatever wood you prefer. I used hickory.
  • Combine the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Rub the mixture onto the brisket. Don't be shy, get it on good and thick and everywhere. Don't miss a spot.
  • Transfer to the smoker and smoke until the meat reaches 165 F.
  • Remove the brisket to a large piece of pink butcher paper. Wrap tightly. If your brisket is large you might want to use two pieces of paper, one wrapped left-to-right and one wrapped top-to-bottom of the brisket to make sure it gets sealed.
  • Return the brisket to the smoker and continue cooking to 205 F.
  • Remove the brisket and place it into a cooler for 2-4 hours. Do not remove it from the paper during this time and do not open the cooler. I use an old cooler since the brisket may leave a (wonderful) aroma in the cooler. Do not use a styrofoam cooler as it will melt.
  • Unwrap the brisket. Pour any juices that have accumulated into a bowl. Slice thin against the grain and then drizzle with the reserved juices.


I like to take a picture of the brisket after I have trimmed the fat. This lets me identify (and remember) the direction of the meat grain so that I can slice it against the grain when done. Sometimes I find it hard to spy the grain after the meat has been covered in rub and smoked.


Calories: 3109kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 388g | Fat: 138g | Saturated Fat: 49g | Cholesterol: 1125mg | Sodium: 58043mg | Potassium: 7570mg | Fiber: 30g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 647IU | Calcium: 650mg | Iron: 47mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

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