Dry Rubbed Smoked Brisket Recipe

Dry Rubbed Smoked Brisket Recipe

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Dry Rubbed Smoked Brisket Recipe
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Brisket is one of the best cuts of beef for smoking. It is from the muscular breast area of the steer and is therefore tougher than other cuts of beef. It requires low and slow cooking, making it ideal for long smoking.

This cut of meat will do well in any kind of smoker. That includes electric, propane, and charcoal. Timing may differ for each. We’ll explore an electric smoker method here, using the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker.

There are two debates when it comes to smoking a brisket. One is whether to marinate it overnight or just apply a dry rub minutes before smoking it. The other is whether to allow the brisket to rest on a cutting board before slicing and serving. Or, should you wrap it in foil, then a towel, and stow it away in a cooler for a couple of hours to allow the juices to absorb back into the brisket before slicing? I am somewhere in-between on both sides of these issues, which is reflected in the recipe.

Dry Rubbed Smoked Brisket Recipe with Potato Salad

Smoked Brisket

This recipe is for a 12 pound brisket. Cook time will vary depending on the size of the beef. A good rule of thumb is 50 to 60 minutes per pound at 225˚F. For a 6 pound brisket, cut the cook time and rub ingredient amounts in half.


  • 12 pound uncured brisket
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup smoked paprika
  • 6 TBS chili powder
  • 6 TBS kosher salt
  • 4 TBS cracked black pepper
  • 4 TBS ground cumin
  • 2 TBS garlic or onion powder
  • 2 TBS dried oregano
  • 2 TBS ground coriander
  • 2 tsps cayenne pepper (alter to your liking)
  • Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • Mesquite or hickory wood chips

Total time: 11 hourPrep time: 1 hour – Cook time: 10 hour


1. Remove the brisket from the package and pat dry with paper towels. Clean any connective tissue or silver skin from the lean side. Trim the fat cap down to approximately 1/4 inch thickness, leaving enough on for moisture and flavor. Place the brisket on a large sheet pan.

2. Mix all of the dry seasonings together in a bowl. Generously coat all sides of the beef with the dry rub, patting it into the meat. With the fat side up, cover the meat with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or up to 4 hours. (Make your side dishes while the meat marinates).

3. Preheat the smoker to 225˚F. Meanwhile, take the brisket out of the refrigerator and allow it to come slightly to room temperature but still cool.

4. Fill the water bowl or pan 1/2 way with the apple cider vinegar. Add the wood chips to the side tray.

5. Place the brisket directly on the middle rack with the fat side up. Insert the digital thermometer, if your smoker has one, into the thicker end of the meat. Close the door and set the timer for 10 hours.

6. Check the water bowl a few times and refill with ACV as necessary. Check for smoke every hour and refill the wood chip tray as needed.

7. Check the internal temperature of the meat after 9 hours. You are looking for between 190˚F and 200˚F.

8. Remove the meat to a cutting board and cover it and the board to seal with aluminum foil. Let the meat rest covered for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 2 hours before slicing and serving.

Sweet and Tangy Potato Salad


  • 2 pounds of red new potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 TBS of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBS yellow or brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup of sweet pickles with a tsp of juice, chopped
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1. Place potato pieces in a pot of cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Then simmer until just tender, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and give them a quick rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.

2. In a large bowl, mix the liquid ingredients then add in the celery, pickles, and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.

Serve this alongside your smoked brisket with other sides, such as corn bread and baked beans.

Kosher Brisket

Brisket is a very popular Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, or Purim entrée. I attended my first Rosh Hashanah dinner about 15 years ago. The entire meal was a celebratory ritual steeped in the history of the Jewish religion and culture. It made me take a step back, take notice, and be thankful for every bit of food that I was fortunate enough to be served.

It was a long evening, but I enjoyed the pace at which we dined and enjoyed each other’s company. My favorite part was the slow cooked brisket. Well, maybe the apples (new fruit) dipped in fresh honey or the braided challah bread that we shared was just as good.

I asked my hostess how the brisket was prepared. She went into detail about letting it rest in herbs, spices, and aromatics and then braising it for hours. I asked if smoking it was acceptable. She said she didn’t see why not and decided she might try that next time. With further research, I discovered that smoked brisket is a holiday tradition in Texas Jewish culture.

You can find certified kosher brisket with the online and in some grocery stores and butcher shops. Serving it smoked with braised leeks, sauerkraut, and maybe some horseradish would be a nice twist on your holiday meal.

Comments: 27

  1. Merle Riggleman - June 23, 2018 at 4:45 pm Reply

    I have a new Masterbuilt 30 inch electric smoker. I followed the recipe and smoked a 3 3/4 pound brisket. the taste of the brisket was very good however, the brisket meat it self was tough. What did I do wrong? Was it the cut of meat or something else? The internal temp was 175 when I took it out of the smoker.

    • Chris - June 29, 2018 at 12:27 am Reply

      The recipe stated the internal temp needed to be between 190 – 200 degrees when done. Perhaps it was tough because you needed to cook it longer if your internal temp was 175.

    • Renae - July 3, 2018 at 7:56 pm Reply

      I had the exact same experience with that size of brisket. I don’t know what I did wrong either.

    • Joe - March 23, 2019 at 2:40 pm Reply

      I had a similar experience, so I did more research, sometimes the smaller ones are just tougher. It’s more with the cut of meet than your smoking

    • Keith - April 25, 2019 at 1:26 pm Reply

      I have had that issue as well during my early trials. Cooking it longer to that required temperature took care of the tough issue

    • Gavin - June 19, 2019 at 10:16 pm Reply

      Did u have a flat cut brisket or a whole one?

  2. Neil - July 1, 2018 at 7:27 pm Reply

    I’m guessing that the internal temperature of the brisket should have been between 190-200 degrees. Lower temperatures don’t break down the fiber in the meat as well and according to food expert Kenji Lopez-Alt, the connective tissues will “melt’ into more a more gelatin like consistency and result in a tender roast once that internal temp is reached.

    That said, I’ve also gotten a “chewy” roast and it can be the particular roast more than the cut.

    Hope you get it figured out by the 4th, so your bbq will ROCK!

  3. Tom Friedrich - July 2, 2018 at 11:34 am Reply

    In my limited experience, cut of meat is number one and cook time number two. I cook to 195 internal temp. A friend cooks to 205 degrees. Also, a brisket under 4 pounds may have been just the Flat, with no Point. I’ve cooked just the Flat and it was tough and dry.

    • Barbara Dute - August 1, 2018 at 11:53 am Reply

      Get an oven thermometer and run your smoker empty to check the temperature. I used mine twice and my recipes ran over by hours. I bought an oven thermometer and found out at if I set my smoker to 250 degrees it is actually cooking at 225. Now my food turns out great

  4. Dan - July 6, 2018 at 10:20 pm Reply

    So I had a 3.7# brisket. Cooked it for almost 5 hours at 225. Internal temp never got past 147 until I ran the smoker temp up to 250 but I was short on time and pulled the meat out after it hit 153. Taste was good but very chewy. How am I supposed to get to 190? Need some help on this one.

    • Dave O - September 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm Reply

      You’ll need to do the foil wrap part of the recipe to get the internal temp up to 190-200. The foil keeps the heat in the brisket.

  5. Clifton Caples - July 26, 2018 at 4:37 pm Reply

    I’ve read mostly all the posts and yet to see where anyone brine the brisket.. I followed all the instructions also and made the best brisket ever.. remember to try brineing.. that rub is awesome.

  6. Danny England - August 23, 2018 at 9:03 pm Reply

    The internal temp is non negotiable. I know a chef in Houston that told me two things…an 11-12# brisket should be in the smoker at 225 for 20-24 hours in order to get the internal temp to over 200. It will be tough if you don’t achieve that temp. Also he said do not use any sugar in the rub if you want that Texas style taste. With cooking that long the sugar (brown and/or white) will caramelize and be hard to chew. I have yet to have a brisket that everyone does not rave about.

  7. Dudley smith - September 1, 2018 at 2:44 pm Reply

    What the recipe is missing is that you need to wrap the brisket with aluminum foil once it reaches between160 and 170 degrees.then you will be able to get to the desired 190 to 200 degrees.without wrapping it will plateau at around 175.

    • Gill - December 23, 2018 at 1:20 pm Reply

      I cooked a 6lb brisket yesterday for the first time in my Masterbuilt smoker. I am a seasoned pulled pork guy but until yesterday had never cooked a brisket. I pulled from 2 recipes, both based on Texas mentality BBQ and it turned out amazing! From coaching friends through their first pulled pork experience I will say the most important part of the process is the internal temp. Most folks tend to get in a hurry when its time for the group to eat and short their meat the time it takes to get to that perfect internal temp of 190-200. I used the Texas Crunch method of wrapping the meat in foil and adding your favorite liquid for the last 2 hours of an 8hr run. My wife usually only eats fish and she came back 3 times on the brisket!

    • Fred - December 26, 2018 at 3:26 pm Reply

      Absolutely correct, Dudley. I recently switched from a propane to electric Masterbuilt 30 smoker. I found that initial cooking at 275 degrees with hydration brought a 3.5# brisket up to 172 degrees within 2.5 hours. I smoked it 3 times during this period. I then wrapped it in foil (tight) and continued to cook it at the same temperature for another 2 hours. The end internal temp was 203 degrees. I allowed it to rest for 20 minutes. It was one of the best briskets I’ve had. It cut with a fork and was absolutely juicy throughout. By the way, the outdoor temp was in the low 30’s and breezy. The smoker performed seamlessly and maintained the set temp consistently.

  8. rowdy rauch - December 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm Reply

    i have been doing some researching and the majority of what i see is that people are wrapping in foil at aprox 160ish no lower. that is the stall period where the temp kinda holds for a bit . wrapping in foil will help bring the temp up to bout 190 .keep wrapped in foil,then wrap in a couple towels then put in a cooler.

    • Smoker Dude - April 6, 2019 at 12:29 pm Reply

      Yep, that’s the way I was taught too by an old timer…..foil wrap, towel or small blanket and into a cooler for hour or two. comes out PERFECT evey time

  9. Chris - January 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm Reply

    I am finding the internal temperature of the smoker is light by 25-40 degrees, depending on the temperature outside. I have begin shielding the smoker from wind as to not lose temperature due to wind!

  10. JB - April 5, 2019 at 6:54 pm Reply

    Kosher salt, black pepper, a dash of cayenne, and a little paprika are all I use on the brisket. I’ve found the Masterbuilt with the built in thermometer is pretty accurate on temperature. I use a wireless temperature probe (handles a couple of briskets at a time) and wait out the stall (around 160-170). I use trimmed briskets, around 8-10 pounds, and can do up to 4 briskets at a time (always watch both the bottom and middle briskets for temp). Cooking at 220 degrees, I usually run at 8-10 hours to get everything done at 190-195. Never wrap until the end. Briskets have been really good, and really consistent. But the stall still tests my patience.

    • Chris - August 9, 2019 at 10:06 pm Reply

      My usual method is I put the rub on and I do the touch method around hour 3. If the rub is baked on and nothing comes off when I touch it, I take off the brisket. Wrap it, throw some juice on it, and throw it back on the grill until internal temp hits 200-205. Throw it into a cooler for an hour or so, as I clean up and get everything else ready. Serve.

  11. Robert - April 11, 2019 at 12:11 pm Reply

    I agree, the outside temp and wind effect my electric smoker just like my wood smoker. I have to smoke for 17 to 18 hours to get to 200 internal even with temps are warm. The greatest feature of the mastercraft is that it seals and the meat doesn’t dry out as much. I still foil wrap when I take the meat off the smoker. Even on ribs.

  12. Tom - May 8, 2019 at 7:02 pm Reply

    How much of the rub do you actually use? I’m smoking a 6-lb brisket. I know too much rub is overwhelming for pork tenderloin but I think brisket requires more seasoning than pork.

  13. Caden - June 30, 2019 at 3:43 pm Reply

    I agree that the Masterbuilt internal temp is 15 – 25 degrees lower than the digital read out on the smoker. I bought a wireless Meat Stick and found that setting the smoker at 250 degrees results in a cook temperature of about 225 degrees. Now that I compensate for the temperature correction, my cook times are in line with the recipe. I just finished a 16 lb. brisket in 13 hours at 195 degrees internal meat temp. No foil wrap required. I don’t like to use the foil finishing method because it ruins the bark. This brisket has the best bark I’ve ever made, it’s tender, juicy and tastes fabulous. I used as much rub as would stick to the meat.

  14. Donnie Morgan - July 3, 2019 at 8:58 am Reply

    Thank you very much for the article and reply’s. Such a huge help.. Ya”ll are awesome. Somewhere down in Texas!!

  15. Bill - July 17, 2019 at 11:45 am Reply

    I’m preparing a brisket for this weekend smoke and I just want to say thanks to those who posted comments here. All are very helpful.


  16. Ethel - August 24, 2019 at 8:45 pm Reply

    Can you cook this the day before wrap it Add a bit of beef stock to rewarm the next day. As I have Ribs to cook the day of barbecue. Thank you Ethel

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