This easy Texas smoked mesquite brisket recipe is so delicious. With the special smoked dry rub, brisket takes on so much flavour. This meaty recipe is well worth making. Try it with beans, corn on the cob and coleslaw, or even use the leftovers for a meaty sandwich filling. You will LOVE this smoked dry rub brisket made in a Traeger grill (or pellet grill). If you want to learn how to make smoked brisket (or live out your Bobby Flay fantasies) then you need to make this soon!
When it comes to meat, Texans know a lot about how to make it taste incredible. The national favourite there is brisket, and mesquite is the smoke of choice to bring out the beauty of this mouthwatering cut of beef.
Why You’ll Love This
- Easy: No previous grilling or smoking experience required, not with a recipe as easy as this one! You basically just have to prep the meat, smoke it, add onions and garlic, and smoke it some more.
- Authentic: Every state has its own favourite smoker recipes and mesquite smoked brisket is very dear to Texan hearts. So, make this traditional Texan recipe and you’ll certainly see what all the fuss is about!
- Juicy and delicious: Low and slow is the way to go, especially when making beef brisket. Injecting the melted butter adds flavour and helps with the juiciness too.
Ingredients for Smoked Brisket with Delicious Brisket Rub
Along with the brisket itself, you’re going to need smoked paprika, pepper, garlic and onion powder, cayenne, chili powder, coffee, cumin, onion, garlic, and melted butter. Add a little brown sugar to the homemade brisket rub recipe too if you want.
How to Make the Best Smoked Brisket
For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.
- Prepare the brisket: Trim off the excess fat and make the bottom flat and even.
- Make the brisket rub: Combine the ingredients for the brisket rub and apply it all over the meat.
- Smoke it: Put the brisket in a preheated smoker and close the lid, cooking it for about 4 hours.
- Add the butter: Inject the melted butter into the meat with a meat injector and smoke for 2 hours more.
- The finishing touches: Wrap the meat in foil with onions and garlic in there too, and smoke for about 5 hours more, then rest, slice and serve.
What Cut of Meat is Brisket?
Brisket is Texas’ favourite cut of beef! It’s the ‘National Dish of Texas’ and Texans love to slow smoke it. Brisket comes from the lower chest or breast of a cow.
The muscles have deep as well as superficial pectorals which support more than half the body weight of the cow. This means there is lots of connective tissue in there so it needs to be cooked low and slow. The word ‘brisket’ might have come from the Old Norse word for cartilage: ‘brjósk’.
It can be baked, roasted, cooked in the crockpot or Instant Pot, barbecued or smoked. A good dry rub for brisket adds plenty of flavour and brisket made in a Traeger grill or a pellet grill is a real delicacy! Knowing how to make smoked beef brisket means you can make this wonderful dish whenever you want.
How to Choose Good Brisket
With a smoked dry rub brisket comes out wonderfully. But the finished easy Texas smoked brisket recipe is only as good as the meat itself.
When shopping for brisket, you will see it comes in two different cuts. The first is a muscle with only a little fat in it. This is the ‘flat cut’. The other is sliced with the fat and is called ‘point cut’. You can use either of these cuts. They’re both good although the point cut tends to be tastier.
A cut of brisket can weigh anything from 2 to 14 pounds! I used a 12-pound cut for this brisket made in a Traeger grill but you can halve all the ingredients if you aren’t making so much. I’d still recommend making a lot though since it’s perfect for a big gathering and also freezes well.
How to Prepare Brisket for Smoking
You will need a sharp knife to cut visible layers of fat off the meat. Most fat is on the bottom. Trim it off so you have a flat bottom.
You’ll notice there isn’t much marbling on brisket but don’t worry – it’s still tender in this easy Texas smoked brisket recipe. Most of the fat is in one piece because of the way brisket is cut. This means lack of marbling doesn’t mean it isn’t a great brisket.
How to Make Smoked Brisket
This smoked brisket rub recipe isn’t hard to make. The dry rub for brisket comprises paprika, garlic, pepper, onion, chilli, cayenne, and cumin. It also includes instant coffee. Wondering why I like coffee in this brisket rub recipe? Well it gives a rich, earthy and deep flavour to the meat. Coffee isn’t just for breakfast anymore!
Brisket made in a Traeger grill or pellet grill cooks best at 225 degrees F. This is higher than some smoked meat recipes but remember you’re cooking a huge piece of beef. Give it 4 hours, and then you can inject butter into the center and cook it another 2 hours.
Next wrap the brisket in foil and add onion and garlic. It will take another 5 hours to cook. Cooking times vary of course depending on the brisket shape, size and thickness as well as your smoker. To check the easy Texas smoked brisket recipe is done, check it’s reached 200 degrees F in the center.
This smoked dry rub brisket recipe takes hours to cook but trust me – it’s so worth it!
The Best Brisket Dry Rub Tip!
For the best smoked dry rub brisket results, you should cover the whole brisket with dry rub. This is a great tip if you want to know how to make smoked brisket like a Texan. Don’t skimp on the seasonings!
How to Serve Smoked Brisket
I know it’s been cooking for 11 hours and you’re keen to eat, but let the brisket rest for an hour first! This ensures max juiciness. It’s good served with bread, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, coleslaw, baked beans, asparagus, mac ‘n cheese, or anything else you like.
How to Store Smoked Brisket
- Store: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days.
- Freeze: You can also freeze leftover beef brisket in heavy-duty freezer bags or airtight containers for up to a year.
- Reheat: Warm the meat back up in the smoker or in the oven.
Leftovers are good in tacos, on nachos, in sandwiches, mixed into mac ‘n cheese, or you could try a brisket hash with eggs. If you are looking for something to do with leftovers, you can’t go wrong with a sandwich or brisket topped salad.
Smoked Beef Brisket with Brisket Rub Recipe FAQs
If brisket isn’t available, or you just aren’t that keen on this beef cut, you might be wondering if you can sub a different cut. The closest you’ll get (and just as tasty) is chuck roast.
Because brisket comes from the chest muscle of the animal and it’s naturally tough, that means it takes a long time to tenderize, and that means it can dry out if you’re not careful. This is why injecting it with melted butter is such a good idea. You need to fill a meat injector with melted butter and inject it into the flat section which is lean, not the pointed end which has more fat.
Mesquite Smoked Dry Rub Brisket Recipe
Delicious Mesquite Smoked Dry Rub Brisket
- 12 Pounds beef brisket flat
- 1 1/2 Tbsps. smoked paprika
- 1/2 Tbsp. peppercorns cracked
- 2 Tsps. white pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
- 2 Tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 Tsps. ancho chili powder
- 2 Tbsps. instant coffee
- 1/2 Tbsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 white onion
- 15 garlic cloves
- 1/2 Cup butter melted
- Trim the brisket. Use a knife to peel off the thick layers of fat. For a flat brisket, remove as much fat as possible from the top. The best rule of thumb is to remove any fat that feels hard as it will not render as it cooks. Flip the brisket over, and trim the fat from the bottom. You will notice there is quite a bit more fat on the bottom. Slice and remove excess fat, with a goal of making the bottom an even, flat surface with about ½” layer of fat.
- Set smoker to 225 degrees F and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the rub. Add paprika, cracked peppercorn, white pepper, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, chili powder, coffee, cumin seeds, and cumin to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. You will want to completely cover the brisket in this seasoning. The best way to do this is to start with the bottom of the brisket.
- Pour ½ of the seasoning mix into the center, and use your hands to spread and rub it over the entire surface of the meat. Flip the brisket over and repeat with the top side.
- Place the brisket directly on the grill grate fat side down and close the lid. Smoke for 4 hours. Remove the brisket from the smoker and place on a cutting board.
- Melt the butter, and add to a meat injector. Inject the butter into the brisket. Return the brisket to the smoker for 2 hours.
- Line a cutting board with foil – you will be wrapping the brisket in two layers of foil so be generous with the amount laid out.
- After the brisket has been in the smoker a total of 6 hours, remove it again and place the brisket on top of the foil. Add onions and garlic to the top and seal the brisket with foil.
- Return to the smoker and cook for approximately 4 hours and 45 minutes. Then, open the foil of the brisket and close the lid.
- Cook for 15 more minutes before removing from the smoker.
- Rest the meat for 1 hour. Slice brisket ¼” thick. Serve with coleslaw, baked beans, and corn on the cob.
- Start checking the internal temperature of the brisket at the 3 hour mark. You will want to remove the brisket once it hits 200 degrees F in the thickest part.
- For mine, this took an additional 5 hours of smoking once wrapped in foil, but depending on the cut of the brisket and thickness, this time can vary.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Let me know if you try out this delicious smoked dry rub brisket made in a Traeger grill (or pellet grill). A good dry rub for brisket is the key to all the flavour! This really is the best brisket rub recipe. If you want to learn how to smoke a brisket on a pellet grill or try out an easy Texas smoked brisket recipe, you can’t go wrong with this one.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.