New Year’s Smoked Brisket


  • 1 flat cut brisket, 3-5 lb.
  • 1/2 cup dry rub (recipe below)
  • 1-2 large chunks of hardwood (mesquite, apple, etc.)
  • lump charcoal

For the dry rub:

  • 4 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Rinse and dry the brisket. If the brisket has a thick layer of fat on top, you may want to trim some of it off, leaving a thin layer. Take a fork and poke the fat side well. Apply the rub liberally. Wrap the brisket in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. An hour before cooking, remove the brisket and let it come to room temperature. Soak the hardwood chunks in water. We use a small bowl with a plate on top to keep the chunks submerged. Soak for about an hour; this will allow the wood chunks to slowly smolder when placed on the grill. If you don’t soak them first, they burn up very quickly and you don’t get as much smokiness to the meat.
  3. Prep the grill: Fill the grill with charcoal (you want it full, this is going to be a long cook) and ignite. Using charcoal starters instead of lighter fluid will keep you from getting an off-taste.
  4. Place the stone platesetter on top of the charcoal, and put a large foil pan on the platesetter to catch the drips. Add approximately 3 cups of water to the foil pan (about half full). Place the grill grate in the egg. Using long tongs, rub the grill grate with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil, then place the brisket on the grill, fat side up.
  5. Adjust the top and bottom vents for a temperature of 275°F. Check the temp every 10 minutes or so for the first hour, then check every 30-40 minutes or so to maintain temperature. Adjust vents as needed. Smoke the brisket until tender, about 5-6 hours, depending on size (internal temperature between 170-180°F.) Remove the brisket, cover with foil and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
  6. Mix all ingredients together, using your fingers to break up any lumps. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Great for ribs or chicken, too.

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