Tips for smoking our first brisket?

We’re going to be smoking our first beef brisket tomorrow. It’s about 6# with no fat cap to speak of. Any tips would be appreciated. TIA

Start as early as possible, possibly tonight. The more ‘lower and slower’, the better. Get a good seasoning recipe, and give it a lot of love. You also want to have a drip pan, so that the fat dripping doesn’t produce acrid smoke. Some guys like to put apple juice in their drip pans as well.

Thanks! Also forgot to mention that it’s a Bradley electric smoker. I’ve read a good bit and people seem a bit ‘nervous’ about briskets. We’ll see.

Oh. I’ve never used an electric smoker before - so take my recs with a grain of salt, in that case.

Oh, I think what you wrote was right-on. It’s just a lot easier to maintain a constant temp for a long time.

Wow . You’ve taken on the brisket . I’m still waiting to do one . bravo … I’m guessing 1 1/2 - 2 hours per pound . You can also use the Texas crutch of wrapping it . Find the information online . This might help out also . A good starting point .

Here is what I did.

  1. Salt and pepper
  2. Water pan for sure
  3. Spritz every hour (apple cider vinegar or apple juice is my choice)
  4. Position the brisket with the hottest part of the smoker towards the point end
  5. Wrap in foil once you get the desired color and add 2-3 tablespoons of your spritz
  6. I don’t use a thermometer (I just pick it up and feel it if has a jiggle) but you can use an instant read thermometer if you want
  7. After you take it out of the smoker, wrap it in a kitchen towel and let it rest for at least an hour, preferably two hours. This is key otherwise the brisket will be dry. And slice the meat as needed, the meat will oxidize and get dry and hard sitting too long.

My total smoke time was 8 hours. 4 hours of smoke and 4 hours wrapped using the minion method with charcoal. Used applewood because it was available at the Hollywood Farmers Market. Added chunks every 1/2 hour but that is strictly my set up. Check out the color, that was after 4 hours of smoke for my set up so you might want to check every 1/2 to get a nice color/bark before wrapping. I highly suggest wrapping, it breaks down the connective tissue and keeps the brisket moist, especially since it is your first time.

And most of all good luck!


It’s a beauty .

The key point is brinning in the fridge for a number of hours before you hit the smoker. Somehow that works with the gelatin/cartilage (?) in the meat and brings out a lot of flavor so that you aren’t left disguising the meat under a ton of bbq sauce.

I’m concerned about the lack of a fat cap as that works as a natural baster. I smoke using hard wood charcoal and wood chips and go for an hour per lb. @ between 180 - 220.

In addition to tips from CH, I also found the video series from Franklin BBQ on YouTube to be very helpful.

Good luck!


Those videos are priceless.

There is a thin layer. We’ll see. Gonna be check temp in a bit.

Well, you could throw some bacon on top of it.

That’s a darn good idea! When I check the IT in a few I may just do that. Thanks.

I use lard I get from my local craft butcher on my ribs . Freakin awesome . What the hell get some good shit and slather the top .

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Take a look at I followed advice I found there & my first try with a brisket was very successful…

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Just wondering how the brisket turned out . . .

Oh yikes I didn’t post back. We threw it out. The Bradley smoker, when we weren’t paying attention for an hour or so, jumped up to 270 and caused the meat to cook too fast and too much. Didn’t even feed it too the dogs :slight_smile:

If you had non fatty brisket, yeah, that might be too egregious - unless you’re talking 270 Celsius? 270 F wouldn’t be terribly bad.

Anyway, your post inspired me to smoke some pork butt. We made some amazing pulled pork fajitas out of it. 8 hours on the smoker!