Recipe courtesy of Eva Pesantez and Josh Lebowitz

Smoked Brisket

Brisket is the hallmark of Texas 'cue. Made up of layers of fat and muscle, it can be one of the toughest cuts of beef around, if not prepared properly. If given plenty of cooking time to break down its dense connective tissue, it's one of the most flavorful and tender beef experiences you'll ever have--well worth the wait. In our restaurants we sprinkle it with Brisket Sugar Shake to round out the flavor. You can also smoke it "naked," as they do in Texas, or try it with our Original BBQ Sauce.
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Share This Recipe


1 (4- to 6-pound) brisket, untrimmed, with a thick sheath of fat

5 tablespoons brown sugar

5 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

4 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1/2 teaspoon granulated onion

1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

Brisket Sugar Shake, for serving, recipe follows

Brisket Sugar Shake:

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

4 1/2 tablespoons "brownulated" light brown sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Trim the brisket, leaving 1/4 inch of fat. Lightly score the fat so the rub can sink in. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (except the sugar shake) and thoroughly rub over the brisket. Wrap the meat in plastic and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. About 45 minutes before you're ready to grill, pull the brisket out of the refrigerator and let come to room temperature. 
  3. Prepare your smoker or grill for barbecuing, using the indirect heat setup with a drip pan in place, and preheat to 190 degrees F. Pour some water in the drip pan and place some presoaked wood chunks or a packet of presoaked wood chips directly on the hot coals. Oil the hot grate and place the brisket in fat side up and smoke, covered, for 1 to 1 1/4 hours per pound. This could take as little as 5 hours or as many as 10. You want the brisket to reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees F to 185 degrees F. 
  4. Let the brisket rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. Remember to always cut across the grain. Finish with a sprinkle of the Brisket Sugar Shake.

Brisket Sugar Shake:

  1. Once your brisket is sliced on the plate, give it a little sprinkle with this shake to round out the rich, fatty flavor of the beef. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and store in an airtight container. Makes just over 1 cup.

Cook’s Note

Brisket comes in two basic cuts: the flat cut, which has minimal fat; and the point cut, sometimes called packer-trimmed, which has more fat. You want the fattier cut, which may mean placing a special order with your butcher to get it.

Fudge Factor

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

How-To: Chocolate Cream Puffs

Make this classic and elegant French dessert using our step-by-step guide.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …

Easy Gift Idea: Chocolate-Covered Toffee Feb 7, 2013

Looking for an easy gift idea? Cooking Channel's recipe for Chocolate-Covered Toffee is just the ticket. A touch of coffee in the …

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.

How to Make Truffles

Learn how to make a chocolate lover's favorite treat: the classic truffle made from smooth chocolate ganache.