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+ servings

Central Texas Style Slow Smoked BBQ Brisket

This recipe is a 1:1 ratio of coarse salt to coarse grind black pepper. You won't need all of the salt and pepper mixtures to season the brisket. Reserve the extra for another use.
Course Barbecue
Cuisine Southern
Keyword BBQ, Smoked Brisket, Texas Style Brisket
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 11 hours
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author David of Sunset & Sewanee


  • Smoker
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Sharp Knife
  • Tongs/Spatula
  • Butcher Paper
  • Mixing Bowl for seasoning



  • 18-20 lbs brisket, full cap or packer cut packer-cut, trimmed of all but a thin, 1/4" layer of fat
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt salt
  • 1/3 cup ground black pepper, preferably 16 mesh grind or coarse grind
  • 1 Spritzer Bottle ½ apple cider vinegar ½ water solution
  • 2 tbsp. mustard, yellow (optional)


Trim the Brisket

  • Follow the step-by-step instructions under the images on this post. First, trim to a ¼ inch thick layer of pillowy fat all over the top of the brisket. See detailed instructions above. Trimming the brisket is best done the day before you do the smoking since this recipe is lengthy.

Season the Brisket

  • Add equal amounts of salt and black pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly. A large empty spice shaker with large holes works even better to mix.
  • Starting on the underside of the brisket, slather with mustard or hot sauce. Sprinkle with a generous amount of the salt and pepper mixture.
  • Flip the brisket over to the fatty side and repeat the process with the mustard/hot sauce and salt and pepper. Cover with loose plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature while you build a fire.

Start the fire

  • Light the smoker according to the directions. Using raw wood to smoke, begin making a bed of coals out of wood or wood charcoal. (I use FOGO premium charcoal, it burns clean and longer than briquets)
  • Fill the smoker pan or jacket full of clean water. Then, close the smoker up and bring the temperature up to a steady 250°F/121°C.
  • If there are multiple shelves in your smoker, place the brisket on the lowest rung. If not, make sure the grate is clean and ready.

Stage One

  • Add the brisket to the smoker, placing the large end closest to the source of the smoke. Close the smoker up and maintain a steady 250°F/121°C for 3 hours. Add enough wood chunks to last several hours.

Stage Two

  • Ramp up the smoker to 260°F/127°C and smoke for 3 hours. (Check to see that your water pan stays topped off!) Add more wood chunks if necessary.

Stage Three

  • Now that the brisket has been in the smoker for 6 hours, start spritzing it all over the surface to keep it moist. (No need to turn it over.) Do this every hour for the next 3-5 hours. Next, ramp up the temperature to (270°F or 132°C) and smoke for 3 more hours. Add more wood chunks and water to the water pan if necessary.

Stage Four

  • At this stage, start evaluating the bark. Every piece of meat is different. The outside should be very dark by now, but not dry. The brisket has been in the smoker for 9 hours. If it is moist from the spritzing and can take additional smoker time, let it go another hour to 10 hours of total smoking time. If the brisket is starting to get a little dry in spots, remove it from the smoker and wrap it in butcher paper (as detailed in the images above). When you are ready, turn the smoker up to 290°F/143°C before wrapping the brisket. (No need to add more wood chunks after wrapping.)

Stage Five

  • Once the brisket is tightly wrapped, add back to the smoker with the seam side down. The smoker temp should be 290°F/143°C. Cook for another 1-2 hours or until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 200°-205°F/94-96°C.

Stage Six

  • Remove the brisket from the smoker and allow it to rest inside the butcher paper at room temperature until cooled. Don't cut into the brisket until the internal temperature has reached 150°F/65-66°C.

Stage Seven

  • Cut the brisket as shown in the images above. Then, enjoy a taste of HEAVEN!