I remember the first time I had a good smoked brisket. It was in Albuquerque, New Mexico and it was at Rudy’s BBQ. It was not something I was familiar with, as Smoked Brisket is not something you would find in Iowa very often back in the year 2000. The BBQ craze had not kicked in yet, so it was rare to find it and if you did…. it probably was not that great. Rudy’s brisket was a little salty with a nice smokey flavor and most importantly…. moist and tender. This smoked brisket on the big green egg brings back all those memories and flavors.
Smoking a Whole Packer Brisket
To get the full juicy brisket effect you will want to start with a whole brisket, or what you might hear called a “packer brisket”, referring to a whole brisket packed in vacuum sealed plastic. You can either special order a whole brisket from a local butcher or you can find them at some of the wholesale stores. I have found Costco usually has a pretty decent selection of them, and the results have been pretty fantastic with a little practice. Try to pick out one that is more uniform in thickness across the length of the brisket.
For a little more information on Brisket Preparation, check out this video from Aaron Franklin…
Basic Steps for Smoked Brisket Perfection
- Trim the brisket of any excess fat, leaving a quarter-inch layer intact on top of the brisket. Trim any excess hard fat deposits off the side of the brisket. Trim any flesh off that feels tough or weathered. Sometimes the edges of the meat can get a little discolored from being packed in the bag for weeks. Just trim it off.
- Season with a mixture of Ground Pepper, Salt, Ancho Chile, and Granulated Garlic. Do not be afraid to coat the brisket heavily, as the length of the smoke will mellow out the rub.
- Smoke at 250 unwrapped for 8 hrs
- For long smoke sessions start with large chunks of lump charcoal at the bottom of your pit and layer up with medium and small pieces of charcoal to build the perfect base of fuel. Then add a few chunks of wood before throwing the brisket on.
- I use Oak Wood and Apple Wood, but only one chunk of each to start the burn. The hardwood lump charcoal will take care of the rest. No need to over smoke it!
- Wrap in pink butcher paper and smoke for an additional 6-10 hrs depending on the size of the brisket. You will want to take the brisket off the smoker when the middle of the thick part of the brisket reaches 195-200 degrees.
- This method was brought to the forefront by Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ. You can use foil, but it steams the brisket more. I do prefer butcher paper after trying it.
- Then place the brisket (still wrapped in butcher paper) in a cooler with towels over it for 2 hours, letting it rest until the brisket cools to around 150-160 degrees. At this point, the brisket will be so tender and juicy it will almost fall apart in your hands.
- Carefully get the brisket on the carving board and then slice and serve with confidence!
If you are looking for some other good beef recipes on the Green Egg, you might want to try my Sriracha Smoked Beef Ribs or my Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe. Similar to smoked brisket, but you do not need to make 14 lbs at a time.
How Long will it take to Smoke a Brisket?
Here are a few time durations I have experienced to give you a time frame to shoot for when planning your cookout:
12 lb Brisket
8 hrs unwrapped + 6 hrs wrapped + 2 hrs resting = 16 Total Hrs
15 lb Brisket
8 hrs unwrapped + 8 hrs wrapped + 2 hrs resting = 20 Total Hrs
Leave me a comment if you have any questions on anything. I was initially intimidated by the cost of a full brisket, but it is a relatively easy cut of meat to smoke with a little guidance. Give it a shot!
Smoked Brisket on The Big Green Egg
Learn how to smoke a perfect whole brisket on the Big Green Egg
- 12-15 lbs Whole Brisket
- 6 Tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Ancho Chile
- 4 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
Trim any excess fat off the brisket. You want a 1/4" layer of fat on the top of it, but trim any thick fatty areas and any large deposits of hard fat off the sides of the brisket.
Coat the brisket with the Rub. Do not be afraid to coat the brisket heavily, as the length of the smoke will mellow out the rub. The bigger or thicker the brisket, the more rub you want to use.
Smoke at 250 unwrapped for 8 hrs. If using a charcoal smoker, only use a few chunks of Oak or Fruit Wood to start the smoke, then let the charcoal lump do the rest of the work. No need to over smoke it.
Wrap in pink butcher paper and smoke for an additional 6-10 hrs depending on the size of the brisket. You will want to take the brisket off the smoker when the thickest part of the brisket reaches 200 degrees.
Then place the brisket (still wrapped in butcher paper) in a well insulated cooler with towels over it for 2 hours, letting it rest until the brisket cools to around 150-165 degrees. At this point, the brisket will be so tender and juicy it will almost fall apart in your hands.
Then slice and serve with confidence!