Buckle up; it’s time to make Texas Style Brisket. If you’ve never cooked with a drum-style smoker, you’re in for a treat. These smokers cook your meat in less time with fantastic results. Plus, they’re easy to use.
My Texas Style Brisket is seasoned with my competition-grade Beef Rub, giving it the right amount of kick. When paired with the direct heat from the Deep South Smokers Mailbox, you get the perfect peppery crust. I took a risk with this recipe, using a hybrid of butcher paper and aluminum foil to wrap the brisket. I’ll never go back to doing it any other way. This juicy brisket is a perfect main dish for holiday meals or a special treat for football season. Whatever the occasion, this Texas Style Brisket will be the star of the show!
Smoking is one of the best cooking methods because you can fix it and forget it..at least for a few hours. You won’t believe how easy it is to smoke an award-winning brisket. I smoked this brisket for 6 hours, 3 wrapped and 3 unwrapped. This gave my brisket the perfect pepper bark without a lot of hassle. Brisket is one of those fancier meat cuts that never fails to impress when prepped right. Many people are hesitant to cook brisket because it’s pricier. Don’t let it intimidate you, though. With my pit-master method, you’ll have melt-in-your-mouth brisket that’s worth every penny.
If you want to smoke brisket with less than four ingredients, I’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to add to your arsenal.
- Heath Riles BBQ Beef Rub. This is my go-to seasoning for all things beef. I wanted this rub to have just a little kick, so I combined garlic powder, salt, paprika, cumin, and chili powder in one mind-blowing blend. It’s not just for beef, though. Use it on your seafood, veggies, and chicken. Add your favorite seasoning if you don’t have a bottle of my beef rub on hand. If you’re in a pinch, salt and pepper will do the trick just fine!
- Mustard. This simple condiment is my favorite binder. It gives the meat a beautiful crust and a little Mississippi twang. Grainy mustards don’t adhere to the meat, so I prefer smoother mustards, like French’s yellow or Dijon.
- 14-16 lb. brisket. While briskets come in all sizes, I find 14-16 lbs feed a crowd with leftovers. Keep in mind that as you trim your brisket, it loses a little weight. A good rule of thumb is ½ lb. for each adult, more if you have hearty eaters, and less if you’re feeding kids. Prime beef gives you the best results because it has more fat marbling, which creates more moisture. I get my brisket from the local Costco.
- Beef broth. I use broth to add moisture to my brisket. A little goes a long way and helps the brisket steam without watering down the flavor. I prefer using Swanson’s beef broth because it’s high-quality and tastes excellent.
The Smoker Setup
Here’s the main equipment I used to smoke this tasty brisket. Check out the equipment and tools section for more smoking must-haves. Drum-Style BBQ
- Smoker. For this recipe, I used my Deep South Smokers Mailbox. I love this setup because it’s a water smoker, dry smoker, and grill. You can’t get much better than that.
- Pellets. I use Royal Oak Charcoal without fillers. They give my brisket an authentic smoke flavor without that chemical taste that comes with lesser-quality options.
The Process for Making Texas Style Brisket
Here’s a quick overview of how I pulled this brisket together. For more details, check out the recipe card and video at the bottom of this post.
- Prep the smoker. First, I added charcoal pellets to my smoker and got it up to 275°F-300°F.
- Trim the brisket. I keep my brisket ice cold until it’s time to work on it. This makes it easier to trim, especially in humid weather. While my smoker heated, I trimmed my brisket, taking off just enough fat to make it even. You want your brisket to lay flat on the smoker, so it cooks evenly. I also took a moment to trim off any oxidation and thick silver skin. When cooking with a direct heat source, I always leave a little fat on my brisket. It acts as a protective layer and adds moisture.
- Season and add a binder. After I trimmed my brisket, I added a generous layer of French’s mustard to the top of the meat. I used my hand to rub it into the brisket, allowing the meat to sop up that tang. After that, I added a thick layer of my BBQ Beef Rub, using my hand to pat it in and create a crust. I wanted to make the entire brisket flavorful, so I turned the cut over and did the same thing to the other side.
- Smoke the brisket unwrapped. Once the brisket was seasoned to perfection, I put it uncovered on my pit for about 3 hours or until it hit 165°F internally.
- Wrap and add moisture. I took the brisket off the smoker and put it on two big sheets of aluminum foil. Then, I poured about ½ cup of beef broth around the edges. I decided to use a hybrid of foil and butcher paper this round, so I sprayed the underside of my butcher paper with water and laid it (wet side down) on top of the meat. I rolled the foil and paper together to create a nice boat for the brisket.
- Finish cooking. I sprayed a little water on top of the parchment paper, then stuck my meat back on the pit for another 3 hours until it reached 203-209ºF internally.
- Rest the meat and enjoy. Once my probe slid in the brisket like butter, I removed the meat and put it in a heavy-duty aluminum pan. Then, I placed it in my YETI Tundra 65 Hard Cooler and let it rest for 2 hours. The brisket was perfect at that point, so I carved it up and got my plate ready.
This Texas Style Brisket was juicy, with the perfect smoke ring and decadent burnt ends. I hope this recipe gave you the confidence you need to get your grill fired up. Follow my easy method, and you’ll have a brisket you’ll come back to time and time again.
Serving Suggestions for Texas Style Brisket
If you’re serving this recipe at a holiday gathering, carve the meat into slices and serve it with traditional side dishes. Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and salads are always good choices. Here are some other ways to serve my Texas Style Brisket year-round.
- Make my Big Tex Sandwich. This sandwich is a great way to use leftover brisket slices. It’s a monster of a sandwich that will showcase your stellar BBQ skills. Word of advice: Grab a big stack of napkins. You’re gonna need them.
- Make Brisket Tacos. Texas Style Brisket can be turned into a totally different meal. These tacos are a great weeknight dinner requiring little kitchen time. This authentic Mexican recipe is sure to get your mouth watering. Serve with tortilla chips and queso for a complete experience.
- Make Baked Beans. My Smoked Brisket Baked Beans are a gourmet twist on a classic. Rich brisket, my signature BBQ sauce, and crunchy peppers make this recipe outstanding. This is a great recipe that will use up those leftover brisket ends.
Storing Texas Style Brisket
If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for 2 days or freeze them for up to 2 months. Be sure to wrap the brisket well and put it in a container or freezer bag.
Equipment and Tools
Deep South Smokers Mailbox, Royal Oak Charcoal , cutting board, spray bottle filled, heavy-duty aluminum foil, butcher’s paper, half-size deep aluminum pans, Thermapen One,insulated gloves for handling meat, Victorinox 12 Inch Fibrox Pro Slicing Knife, YETI Tundra 65 Hard Cooler