A brisket flat is the easiest and most economical way for most people to buy brisket. A smoked brisket flat is a great starter recipe to explore smoking this piece of meat and once mastered can be built upon and adjusted to your preference.
A competition trim is one full packers-brisket that produces one large flat that has the edges running with the grain and fat still attached. A standard butchered brisket will be smaller (one packers-brisket is 4 ‘brisket flat’ cuts) and is likely to have the grain at an angle and the fat removed. If cooking the latter note the direction of the grain so it can be sliced correctly after being cooked.
The recipe includes a basic beef rub which is perfect for a Texas-style brisket and includes ingredients available in most homes. If desired or as you become more comfortable this can be exchanged for your own rub or favorite purchased one.
The method can be cooked on any style of smoker however the temperatures are in the ‘low-and-slow’ range as ‘hot-and-fast’ is likely to over dry such a small and typically lean piece of meat.
Smoked Brisket Flat Recipe
- 1 brisket flat
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons sea or kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fine raw sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon ground chili or cayenne optional, for heat
- 1/4 cup cup butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- Trim the brisket flat of any odd parts or excessive fat or silver skin. Keep the layer of fat on the bottom, but make sure it is of an even thickness.Note: When buying just the flat often it has already been heavily trimmed including removing the fat from the bottom, this is fine.
- Rub the Worcestershire sauce into the brisket.
- Combine the salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, and chili or cayenne pepper.
- Sprinkle the rub evenly over the brisket using a shaker.
- Preheat a smoker to 200 to 225 degrees F (93 to 108 degrees C). Add a strong wood chunk like mesquite, hickory, or ironbark.
- Place the brisket fat side down (if present) on the preheated smoker as soon as the rub becomes moist. Cook for 3 hours.Tip: If using a pellet smoker or a smoker with a lot of hot air flow it can dry out the meat surface causing a crust rather than a soft bark. To manage this add 1 part apple juice to 2 parts water then spray until just moist as required.
- Layout a piece of foil and place the butter and brown sugar on it.
- Remove the brisket from the smoker and place the brisket on with the fat side-up on the foil, if there is no fat place it the same way up as when smoked.
- Start to wrap the foil by folding it up then pour in the beef stock. Wrap tightly, then wrap with a second piece of foil.
- Return to the smoker and change the temperature to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Cook for 2 to 4 hours.
- Start checking the temperature at 2 hours. The final temperature can range from 185 to 215 degrees F (85 to 100 degrees C). You will know it is ready however when the meat becomes soft. The longer it is cooked the softer it becomes. This could take up to an additional 2 hours depending on the brisket.Note: Brisket finished texture is up to the pitmaster, some prefer to slice it others like it to pull apart.
- When finished, remove from the smoker and placed still foil wrapped to rest in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes. Tip for outdoors: Pour boiling water into a cooler to preheat, then empty and dry. Wrap the brisket in a warm towel and place in the preheated cooler.
- Place the meat on a chopping board and slice against the grain of the meat.
- Optional – Place the brisket slices back in the liquid in the foil to keep warm and coat the slices in the juice. This both keeps the brisket moist and returns the flavor back into the slices.