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+ servings
sliced brisket sandwich

Brisket Flat Recipe

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ, Beef, Grilling, Holiday, Smoking, Tailgating
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Resting Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Calories: 442kcal
Author: Marilyn
Smoked brisket is one of those outstanding cuts of beef that are tender, memorable and so worth the wait. A whole packer brisket can be intimidating for most home cooks and most likely far to much smoked beef. A brisket flat is much easier to handle and mostly hands-off cooking. Give this recipe a try for a foolproof homecooked brisket.
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  • 1 brisket flat approximately 5 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1-½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-½ tablespoon granulated garlic


  • In a small bowl, combine the kosher salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic.
  • Pat the brisket dry with paper towels and place in a foil roasting pan. Generously season the entire surface are of the brisket with the spice rub including the sides of the brisket. Gently pat the rub into the brisket as you go. Finish by placing the brisket fat side down in the pan. Let stand at room temperature for 35 to 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat your smoker or grill to 250°F according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the wood as specified by the manufacturer. Oak, apple or cherry work well.
  • Insert an instant-read meat thermometer horizontally into the thickest part of the brisket.. Smoke the brisket for 1 hour. Using tongs, turn the brisket over so the fat side is up. Continue smoking, about 2 hours or until the meat thermometer registers 165°F.
  • Wrap the brisket in the pink butcher paper and return the the foil pan. Continue cooking for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches between 195° and 205°F.
  • Remove the brisket from the smoker. Make sure the paper is still wrapped tightly around the brisket. Transfer the sealed brisket to an insulated cooler. Let rest for 1 hour.
  • Unwrap the brisket and using tongs, transfer it to a cutting board. Carve the brisket across the grain into ¼-inch thick slices.
  • Serve the sliced brisket with side dishes or in sandwiches.


For moister brisket, place a metal bowl with 1 quart warm water in the smoker. This will help your brisket flat stay moist, especially if it is less than 5 pounds. However, the exterior may not have a firm bark that some brisket aficionados prefer.
Have patience. The most important indicator of doneness is the temperature of the brisket flat not how long it has been cooking. The best way is to continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Resting is an important step for tender and moist brisket, so add resting to your planned cooking time just like any other part of the cooking process.
Choose prime or select grade brisket. You may find brisket at the big box grocers, such as Costco, but it won't have much fat or flavor.
Whether you are using a pellet smoker, pellet grill, charcoal grill, or a Big Green Egg, always follow the manufacturer's instructions for setting up your cooker.


Calories: 442kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 1968mg | Potassium: 947mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.02g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 6mg