BBQ Brisket

I didn’t get a chance to use the smoker that much this winter. Two days after I used it last in December, we were hit with 16″ of snow. Not only did I not get it stored in the garage in time, but I didn’t get a chance to clean it out. When the weather finally turned a couple weeks ago and gave me the opportunity to clean, I was prepared for the worst. Fortunately, my switch from water to sand in the water pan last fall paid off and clean-up was a snap. Dump the sand, drain the couple inches of water that collected in the bottom, scoop out muddy ash and I was pretty much good to go.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve ran about 3 loads of charcoal through it to burn off the excess gunk, cleaned up the interior and it was ready to go for today. First smoke of the year was going to be ribs, but didn’t like the selection available so I switched things up and with brisket.

My Brisket
I coat the brisket with a slather of mustard, apple cider vinegar and beer. Give it a couple minutes to soak in, then hit it with the rub followed by bagging it up and letting it sit overnight in the fridge. I usually let it sit at room temperature for an hour or so before smoking – and did so this morning – but that is done out of habit. I have yet to actually see a difference between warming to room temp and going straight from fridge to smoke.


  • 1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Certified Evil Ale (Tasty, left over from last night)
  • 1/4 cup Yellow Mustard


  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 3/4 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon mustard powder

I haven’t stocked up my wood supply yet this year, so I went with a couple small handfuls of apple chips and a small chunk of peach wood. Smoker hit 250 on the nose at 10:30 as planned, added the wood, added the brisket and now it is time to sit back and wait.

This was roughly a five pound brisket after trimming, which should see a 7.5 hour smoke time. I’ll turn it at the 3.5 hour mark and with 90 minutes left in the smoke time, I’ll turn it again after foiling it in some heavy duty aluminum foil. I anticipate it will be ready to pull from the smoker around 6:00pm and I’ll let it rest for another hour before dinner time at 7:00pm.

I might get a batch of ribs done next weekend, but Easter weekend – when most folks are sitting down to an Easter Ham – we’ll be sitting down Sonoran Pulled Pork served taco style on corn tortillas and topped with cabbage slaw and avocado. Stay tuned for the details; and don’t forget Smoke Day on May 29th.