Texas Pink Paper Brisket

A partually cooked brisket is being wrapped in pink butcher's paper.

The use of pink paper in smoking brisket started in Texas and has grown into an internationally accepted method to produce high-quality Texas-style briskets. Technically the paper doesn’t need to be pink, but that is how it is known.

The paper acts to keep the moisture in and around the brisket replicating a high humidity smoker that is packed with meat. This allows a similar environment when cooking just one. If you don’t have paper then foil can also be used, however, this creates a more solid barrier not allowing smoke and moisture to permeate at all.

The ingredients and surrounding methods are fairly typical of the basic seasoning style that can be found in and around Texas.

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A brisket wrapped in pink paper is being place into a smoker.
Once the partially cooked brisket is wrapped in the pink paper it is returned to the smoker.
A fully cooked brisket having been unwrapped but still sitting on the pink paper.
When finished cooking and the paper is unwrapped there is a moist brisket and a pool of juices in the paper.
A piece of brisket with with a dark bark partly sliced.
A brisket cooked this way with the pink paper creates a dark bark and a moist tender brisket.
A partually cooked brisket is being wrapped in pink butcher's paper.
Once the brisket has the desired color and smoke then it is gently wrapped in pink butcher’s paper.

Texas Pink Paper Brisket Recipe

A partually cooked brisket is being wrapped in pink butcher's paper.
Texas brisket is often thought of with the pink butcher's paper wrapping method which is used to control the atmosphere around the brisket to create rich dark barks and juicy moist briskets.
Preparation 30 minutes
Cook 11 hours
Ready in 11 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12



  • smoker
  • plastic wrap
  • spray bottle
  • pink butcher's paper


  • Trim excess fat from all around the brisket including the point, flat, and fat cap. Trim the fat cap so it is only between ¼ to ½ inch maximum thickness.
  • Mix the beef base with Worcestershire sauce to form a slurry. Slather the mixture all over the brisket including the fat cap.
  • Combine the Slap Yo’ Daddy Hot Rub, black pepper, and celery seed powder to create a rub.
  • Sprinkle an even coating of the rub all over including the fat cap.
  • Let the brisket rest for at least 30 minutes or wrap in plastic wrap overnight in the fridge to marinate.
  • Start your barbecue smoker and get it to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
  • Place the brisket fat side down in the barbecue smoker. After about 6 hours and when some bark has begun to form, spray copiously with tap water from a spray bottle.
  • Increase the smoker’s temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Continue to spray every 20 minutes. When the crust has formed all over the brisket (about 2-3 hours later), increase the temp to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 30 minutes to sizzle the bottom fat cap.
  • Remove the brisket and wrap it in pink butcher's paper with the fat side down.
    Tip: If you don’t have pink butcher paper you can use white butcher paper.
  • Lower the smoker’s temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and cook until the paper-wrapped brisket is probe-tender (about another 2-3 hours). Remove at the level of doneness and tenderness you prefer.
  • Open the pink paper pouch to vent the excess steam. Allow the brisket to rest until the internal temp is 170 degrees F (77 degrees C) when measured by an instant-read thermometer, then serve.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 892kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 118gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 352mgSodium: 836mgPotassium: 1958mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 599IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 12mg

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