Smoked Beef brisket is one of my favorite low-and-slow recipes. Simply season your brisket and let the electric smoker do the work for you!
Brisket is the perfect cut for large families and leftovers! In this recipe, I’ll show you everything you need to know to smoke a brisket using an electric smoker.
Before you dive into the recipe, let’s talk about the cut. This hefty piece of meat is taken from the breast of the cow and is typically sold boneless in the grocery store. It’s one of the best cuts to smoke because of how well it takes to steady, low heat. A slow smoking approach ensures the tougher fat melts and the meat turns out super tender.
Using an Electric Smoker: Electric smokers are easy and convenient to use. All you need to do is set the temperature, load it with the wood chips of your liking, and let it work its magic! Unlike charcoal smokers, electric smokers maintain a steady temperature throughout the entire smoking process all on their own. This allows you to truly “set it and forget it”.
How to Make Smoked Beef Brisket
Making smoked beef brisket only requires a whipping up a quick rub and a few simple steps. Below, find a quick hitter overview of the recipe before you dive in.
- Trim, Season, & Marinate Brisket: Using a sharp knife, trim any excess fat off the brisket and remove the silver skin. Mix up the rub and pat it on all sides of the brisket. Allow brisket to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- Prep the Electric Smoker: Add wood chips to the smoker and preheat it to 225°F. Place the brisket inside and close the lid. Smoke until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 165°F (around 6-8 hours).
- Wrap the Brisket: Using a large piece of butcher paper, wrap the brisket and place it back on the smoker for another 6-8 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 195°F.
- Let the Brisket Rest: Remove the brisket and let it rest for around an hour before serving. Slice and chow down!
Tips for Making the Best Smoked Beef Brisket
Below, find a collection of tips and tricks to help you smoke the best beef brisket.
- Trim the excess fat and silver skin from the brisket. This will not only make the smoked brisket more tender, but it will also allow your rub to really penetrate the meat.
- Season the brisket generously. Pat down every side and crevice of the brisket before smoking it. It’s a big chunk of meat that needs a generous amount of seasoning. Don’t be shy!
- Wrap the brisket halfway through cooking. Halfway through the smoking, wrap the brisket in butcher paper to keep it nice and moist and protect it from direct heat.
- Let the brisket rest before serving. Let the brisket rest for at least one hour. This helps the moisture and juices lock into the meat.
- Slice brisket against the grain. Slicing against the muscle fibers versus alongside them creates slices of brisket that are easier to chew and more tender.
How long do I smoke a beef brisket for? The general rule is an hour per pound at 225°F. Take your accuracy a step further by investing in a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Stick your thermometer in the thickest part of the brisket and make sure the internal temperature has reached 195°F.
What’s a smoke ring? Upon cutting into your smoked brisket, you may notice a thin, pink ring just inside the outer crust (or bark). Don’t freak out and think you undercooked your meat. This is a natural reaction that happens during the smoking process. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.
The Best Wood Chips for Smoked Beef Brisket
Below, find some info on the best wood chips to use for smoked beef brisket. Feel free to use one or a combination.
- Cherry: Adds a fruity note to the brisket
- Mesquite: Lends a very smoky, classic flavor
- Hickory: Similar profile to mesquite, but a little milder
- Pecan: Adds a uniquely sweet and nutty flavor to brisket (perfect in fall!)
Storing Smoked Beef Brisket
- Refrigerator: Store leftover brisket in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to a week. Reheat it in the microwave, conventional oven, or an air fryer until warmed through.
- Freezer: To freeze cooked brisket, lay the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop the baking sheet into the freezer for 2-3 hours, or until the slices are completely frozen. Transfer the brisket to a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
Serving Smoked Beef Brisket
Wondering what to serve alongside smoked beef brisket? This delicious, high-quality protein goes great with my grilled summer salad. See recipe below:
Ingredients for Grilled Summer Salad
- 1 lb mushrooms
- 1 lb zucchini
- 1 lb mini bell peppers
- 1 lime, juiced
- Olive oil, for seasoning
- Salt to taste
- Garlic, pressed
How to Make Grilled Summer Salad
- Preheat grill to 400F. Rinse and pat dry all vegetables. Slice the zucchini into half-inch rings.
- In a large bowl, combine mushrooms with zucchini and mini bell peppers. Season vegetables with salt and olive oil and place them on the grill.
- Grill the vegetables until all sides turn golden brown. Depending on the size of the mushrooms, you may need to remove some of them earlier.
- Remove from the grill. Drizzle vegetables with a bit of lime juice and pressed garlic and toss to combine.
Other Yummy Sides to Serve with Brisket
- The Perfect 5 Minute Asparagus – Simple asparagus side dish
- Amazing Purple Cabbage Salad – Ukrainian purple cabbage slaw
- Quick Pickled Cucumber Recipe – Tangy and crunchy cucumbers
How long does it take to smoke brisket?
It takes anywhere from 12-16 hours to smoke a 12 lb brisket. The general rule is an hour per pound at 225°F.
Is it better to smoke brisket at 225°F or 250°F?
225°F is the best temperature to smoke brisket at. Typically, the lower you go the better!
How do you keep a brisket moist when smoking?
Keep the brisket moist by making sure you cook it low and slow. Additionally, wrapping it in butcher paper halfway through takes it off direct heat and creates a steaming effect.
How long does a 4 lb brisket take to smoke?
A 4 lb brisket should take around 4 hours to smoke. To be safe, always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature has reached 195°F before removing the brisket from the smoker.
Why is my smoked brisket dry?
Your smoked brisket likely turned out dry if you didn’t allow it to marinate overnight or if you cooked it at too high a temperature.
- 12 lb brisket (whole)
- 2 tbsp coarse salt
- 2 tbsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- Trim any excess fat off the brisket and remove the silver skin.
- To create a rub for the brisket, combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Using your hands, rub all sides of the brisket generously. Allow brisket to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
- Add wood chips or chunks to the smoker. Preheat the smoker grill to 225°F and place the brisket inside.
- Close the lid and let it smoke until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 165°F (approximately 6-8 hours).
- Wrap the brisket into a large piece of butcher paper and place it back on the smoker. Continue smoking for about 6 more hours, or until the internal brisket temperature reaches 195°F.
- Remove the brisket from the smoker and let it rest for about an hour before serving.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Really want to try it 🤤BUT have no smoker yet. We are looking for one, any recommendations?
You can use a regular gas grill. Use indirect heat ( light one of the multiple burners ) , put wood chips/pellets into aluminum foil and place over the lit burner. Another smoke option - use perforated cylinder filled with wood / pellets place over burner.
Hi Lori, I have heard Pit Boss is a great brand. We don't have a smoker at the moment, its on my list of things to purchase!
This is such a great, easy to follow recipe! Turns out perfect!
SO delicious and tender! Everyone loved it.
Katies, thank you so much! I am so happy to hear that you loved the Brisket. 🙂
Turned out so good!! The flavors are perfect... such a great recipe.
Ede, thank you! Glad you loved the flavors!
This was such a savory recipe! A restaurant worthy dish, indeed!
Beth, thank you! Yes for sure, It is so easy to make too. 🙂
This brisket looks delicious. I have always wanted to learn how to make it.
Laura, thank you! Smoking can look a bit intimidating but it's so much easier than it seems. Hope you get to try it!