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, Brisket Seasoning, and the Smoking Process, you can watch this video on the Seared & Smoked Youtube Channel…
Steps for Smoked Brisket Perfection
Trimming and Seasoning your Brisket
- 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.
Want more Amazing BBQ Rubs for Brisket, Chicken, and Pork Ribs that will take your Backyard BBQ to the Next Level? Download my favorite Everyday BBQ Rub Recipes below….
Download my Free Everyday BBQ Rub Recipe E-book
Smoking the Brisket
- 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 = 18 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!
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23 thoughts on “Smoked Brisket on The Big Green Egg”
Hey Keegan – if wrapping in foil steams it, would thrre be a benefit to that with brisket due to risk of drying out?
Hey Brett! How you doing? If you are worried about it drying out, you can definitely go with foil. If your smoker has a lot of air flow, then you could go with foil. On the big green egg their is not a lot of airflow and I find it does just fine with out the foil. If you find it is drying out, you can also add a water pan in the smoker. Thanks for the question! What type of smoker do you have?
Did you have a tray of water underneath the brisket? Aaron says to use a tray of water but he uses an offset smoker. I didn’t know if it was OK to put a tray of water underneath the brisket on top of the place setter. Thanks.
I have tried it both ways. In the Green Egg, I do not think it makes a big difference either way. I always have a drip pan below and a lot of times I will just pour one beer in there to get it started. The brisket seems to produce enough dripping to provide its own “water pan” during the process.
How do you get the fire started in the egg for the smoke? I like the layering approach with large chunks on bottom. But how do
You get the fire started? Using wax fire starters? And then do you close it quickly once started so it doesn’t get too hot?
Ideally, I like to use a small chimney starter and one tumbleweed fire starter on the side with just a handful of coals and then dump them on top of the coals in the Egg. I have also just used the tumbleweed fire starters right on top of the coals in the egg, then just add several pieces of coal on top of the tumbleweed to get the fire going. Then I just add one chunk of wood prior to putting the brisket on. To regulate the temperature, I cheat and use a Flame Boss temperature controller. If you use your Egg a lot… they are well worth it. The best part about them is they help you ramp up the temperature fast with out overshooting too hot.
How do you get a dark bark that looks like that on your brisket? When every I do briskets (I’ve done 200F and 275F with salt/pepper rub), I never get any kind of bark on green egg like I get on offset smoke.
Also, when I smoke brisket on green egg, I get a lot of coal flavor (Fogo) that comes through instead of smoke. Any recommendations?
Well, I think the main things to check would be…
Brisket Prep – are you trimming it up pretty nicely before you smoke it?
What type of salt and pepper are you using? I use coarse grind pepper and a fairly coarse sea salt. The 3rd main ingredient is ancho chile.
I generally do use a temperature controller. I doubt that would change much, but you never know
Do you measure the temperature in your egg at grate level or dome level? You want the grate level temp as you control temp.
I have used FOGO and that is fine. I have really like the Kamado Joe Big Block brand lately…. really good stuff.
Other than that, I will start it with a little liquid in the drip pan, and only use a few chunks of cherry, pecan, oak, or a combo of either.
Also, you are using a full packer brisket, right?
I recommend going to harbor freight getting a torch for torching down roofing materials it has a short handle it hooks to a propane tank starts very fast just be careful it will start your chips within 40
There’s a little handle that’s on it to port more heat at the face of the torch I recommend removing it and cutting off the little nub that’s on that handle seconds Good luck
This looks delicious. Should I be cooking at 250F dome temp or grate temp?
I always go by grate temperature. Do not worry too much if it is higher or lower, but 250 is a good temp to shoot for. I use 250 for about everything unless I am trying to speed things up or slow things down
Thanks for the recipe Keegan. I
have an XL Egg and have had tried it yesterday. First long smoke w me Fireboard 2 Pro and it overshot to 255-260 during the night (didn’t close the top vent down enough I think). I wrapped around 8 hours in but was already at 180 by that point. I hit 200 by 12:45 exactly 10 hours in but it didn’t feel tender when probing the flat. So I left on about another 1hr 30 checking every 15-20 min. The bark (nailed it) and mid flat to point tasted phenomenal but the flat was a little dry, specifically the bottom got leathery. Any tips on preventing this in the future? Also any secrets to your smoke ring? I put the brisket in the freezer for an hour before cooking and used about 6 chunks of post oak right on the coals before putting in the plate setter.
Sounds like you did pretty good to me! The tip of the flat is the most difficult part to nail. I think a lot of the times it just comes down to the cut of meat. If the flat is real thin, it can be tough to get an awesome result. If it is mainly the bottom getting too leathery, I would double up a sheet of foil half 3-4 hrs into the cook and put it right under the brisket. That should keep it from drying out too much on the bottom.
My only tip on the smoke ring is to use cherry wood. Great color from the cherry wood. Harry Soo preaches celery seeds in the rub for smoke ring too. I have been using them along with the celery salt for flavor and that works good. I used this one recently for beef ribs and really liked the flavor:
Coarse Sea Salt 1.5 Tablespoons
Celery Salt 1.5 Tablespoons
Celery Seed 1.5 Tablespoons
Coarse Black Pepper 3 Tablespoons
Ancho Chile 1.5 Tablespoons
Cumin 1 teaspoon
Onion Powder 1 teaspoon
Granulated Garlic 1 teaspoon
The one time I did get a really good smoke ring was on St. Louis Ribs. I put chunks underneath the lump and put a little celery seed in my rub both black belt tips from Harry Soo! I actually did have Cherry Wood Chips layered in the lump too. Guess I’m going to have apply that method to Brisket next time. Thanks for the rub recipe. I’m making some more Ribs this weekend so will try it out!
Sorry forgot to mention this was about an 11 lb Packer.
I’d this direct heat or indirect heat ? For cooking
This is a indirect setup for the brisket.
first time trying brisket hope Easter Sunday turns out great thanks for all the help will let you know if hero or 0
The math on a 15 lb brisket is 18 hours, not 20.
damn… took several years to catch that!
What timing would you suggest for a 17-18 lb brisket and could I smoke a bit longer without the butcher paper on it? Say 10 hours and then add the butcher paper.
You can certainly run longer without wrapping in paper… you can even take it all the way. I would throw the brisket on early, as it can rest for a long, long time. If I am shooting for late afternoon or early evening, I usually put it on at Midnight. Then wrap in the morning when ever I wake up. Then increase or decrease temperature if needed to speed up or slow down. If you are runnning short of time, wrap it in foil to boost the internal temp. When it hits 195-200, then take it off, let it rest outside of a cooler for 20 minutes or so, then place it in a cooler to rest for several hours. They can hang out in coolers for 4 hours and be fine.
Very much enjoy your advice