With years of experience in the world of barbecue, Dickey’s restaurant locations use the same methods for smoking their meat all across the country. We have teamed up with our world-class chefs to bring you our best tips and tricks for smoking beef brisket just like we do at our Dickey’s Barbecue restaurants.
Tips for Smoking the Perfect Beef Brisket
When it comes to smoking brisket, we have perfected our craft. We had a conversation with our team of in-house chefs, and here are their tips for perfecting your beef brisket in a smoker.
What is the best type of rub for brisket?
How do you use dry rub on brisket?
Rub the brisket with a flavorful binder first. You can use something as simple as olive oil or yellow mustard, or if you are looking for more flavor, you can use something like Worcestershire.
How long do you leave brisket rub on?
We like to let the rub sit for 12-24 hours to properly flavor the meat. When using Dickey’s Beef Brisket rub, you can rub it on the meat and set for 90 minutes at room temperature before smoking.
Should I marinate or inject my brisket meat?
Brisket injections can help add a beefy note to the muscle of your brisket.
Some injections contain additives or starches to help retain moisture.
Typically, we believe you do not need to inject your brisket if you believe you are using a high-quality cut. The natural flavors with the rub should be enough.
How do I prepare brisket for smoking?
Briskets are all not the same in when it comes to these key elements:
- Internal Fat content
- External Fat content
Depending on each variable, you will take different steps when you go to trim the meat.
When we go to prepare our brisket, our main goal is to trim my briskets to create a uniform piece of meat.
It’s important not trim the meat too thin, as this could cook it too fast or even make it dry.
We work to remove excess fat from between the point (top deckle muscle) and the flat, to reduce the thickness of the meat.
Generally, we leave a thin ⅛ – ¼” layer of fat over the entire surface of the brisket to ensure it does not dry out during long smoke sessions.
How long does it take to smoke brisket?
Smoke time for brisket will usually depend on how many beers you have to drink and when the guests are showing up!
We generally recommend three different heat levels for smoking beef brisket; low, regular, and high heat. Here is the process of smoking brisket at each heat level!
Smoking Beef Brisket Cook Times – Low Heat
- Set smoker at 225° F (low temperature)
- Smoke for 70 minutes per pound of brisket
- Give meat 1-2 hours to rest
Smoking Beef Brisket Cook Times – Regular Heat
- Set smoker at 275° F (standard temperature)
- Smoke for 40 minutes per pound of brisket
- Wrap and finish in smoker for 2-3 hours
- Give meat 1-2 hour to rest
Smoking Beef Brisket Cook Times – High Heat
- Set smoker at 325 – 350° F (high temperature)
- Smoke for 20-25 minutes per pound
- Wrap and put in a cooler to rest for 3-4 hours
What is the best wood for smoking brisket?
At Dickey’s restaurants, we only use Hickory Pellets for smoking beef brisket.
When smoking brisket, we layer the smoke with different woods.
We start with oak wood to build on deep earth tones; using that wood to smoke for the first 90 minutes. After, we alternate between pecan, cherry, and hickory woods to enhance the black pepper notes in the spice rub.
We will sometimes run oak charcoal in with the pecan and hickory smokes to maintain the coal bed and round out flavors.
How do you know when smoked brisket is done cooking?
A meat fork should easily be pushed into the thickest part of the brisket and turned slightly to just separate the muscle fibers.
Temperature can range from 198-205 depending on the brisket. It still is about how tender the meat is without drying out.
Fork tender on a 225 F smoked brisket is an easy test.
Which side should I cook brisket on?
That depends on the smoker type in my opinion. Typically its fat side up. However, if you have a smoker where the heat source is directly below the brisket, start with the fat side up until the rub has fully set and the bark begins to really form, then flip to insulate the flat with the thin fat layer exposed to that higher heat source.