Smoked Brisket

Serves 6-8+        Recipe adapted from Dr. BBQ (Ray Lampe)

NOTE: This recipe requires a smoker and takes about 5 hours total to cook. There is also preparation time required including overnight in the refrigerator.  The original recipe calls for some flavored liquid to be injected into the meat. However, my injection system is faulty, so I didn’t use it. We’ve had a lot of success with this recipe from the first time we tried it. The meat was very moist and flavorful. We used the leftovers in sandwiches, and even put some in the freezer.



1 beef brisket – flat cut (5-6 lbs) with fat left on (see your local butcher for this – most of the briskets in the markets have the fat cap removed)

about 3/4 cup BBQ rub – see my version below or use your personal favorite from the store

(plus a couple of ice-cold beers – this is for the grill master to consume during this process and is totally optional)


The night before you plan to smoke the meat, season it with Nana V’s Rub (below) as heavily as you can. Wrap it tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. About an hour before you start cooking, unwrap it, add a little more rub.


Prepare the cooker for indirect cooking at 275º F using pecan and apple wood for flavor. Cook the brisket fat side down for 1 hour, then turn it over and cook it fat side up for 3-4 hours.


Remove from the grill, wrap the brisket tightly in 2 layers of heavy duty foil and cook for another hour. At the end of the hour,  you can start checking for internal temperature. You want it at 200º F. Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest, still wrapped, for 30 minutes.  Slice it (across the grain) and serve it with your favorite BBQ sauce – or leave it as is.





1/3 cup Kosher salt

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp pasilla powder (if available)

1 Tbsp chili negra (if available)

1 tsp ground cardamom (if available)

1 Tbsp granulated garlic or garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

2 Tbsp Hot Paprika

2 Tbsp chili powder

2 Tbsp coarse ground pepper

2 tsp cayenne (more if you prefer)

1 Tbsp dried lemon thyme or regular thyme

1 Tbsp cumin

1 tsp ground nutmeg



Mix all of the ingredients together well (I use a whisk) until they are blended. Store in an airtight container.  In addition to using it on the brisket, you can use it on your grilled burgers, in chili or even in your salad dressing.