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Best Brisket Tips by Top BBQ Pitmasters


We’ve collaborated some of our favorite brisket smoking tips, tricks and hacks from Harry Soo and Doug Scheiding who have evolved the art of smoking brisket.

Harry Soo aka Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ

Harry Soo aka Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ

This championship BBQ pitmaster is a real winner and has won more grand champion awards over the years. He’s also an instructor and teaches others all about what makes BBQ better through real science. He also has a very successful Youtube channel where he helps others learn about BBQ techniques. Here you can find out what Harry considers the best tips for preparing any brisket.

Trim your brisket first

Using a nice sharp knife, you’ll want to remove excess fat that is on the fat cap side of your brisket. This is usually found on the leading edge of the cap and needs to have inch removed beforehand. Flipping it over, you also need to remove the tiny strips and layers of silverskin and fat on the meaty side. If you don’t, the seasoning rub doesn’t get into the meat.

Have a great basic rub

Now it seems that Harry recommends using very simple ingredients to make your own rub. This includes whole black pepper, kosher salt, and celery seed. The salt and pepper are very basic seasoning additives that are a 75/50 cup mixture, leaning heavier on the black pepper. Add a one-quarter cup of celery seed to this mixture so it helps create a better smoke ring when you smoke your brisket. Then you mix it together and add it to your brisket.

Where to place your smoking wood

According to Harry, your smoking wood needs to go at the bottom of your BBQ. This is better for getting the flavor into your meat. Place your chunks of hickory and applewood right at the bottom before adding your lump wood charcoal. You’ll want to cook the brisket for 3 hours and spray it every half hour with simple water to get the rub to crust over and get hard.

Wrapping your brisket

This next step involves aluminum foil but one tip that Harry adds is pure genius. He lays butcher paper onto the foil and then wraps the foil around the brisket like a postal package. Use a bamboo skewer to test the tenderness of the meat which should feel like poking it into peanut butter. This lets you know it’s done when your skewer goes into the meat with the same amount of ease as the peanut butter.

Doug Scheiding from Rogue BBQ Cookers

Doug Scheiding from Rogue BBQ Cookers

Doug and his wife represent a BBQ pitmaster team out in Texas and is a seasoned pro when it comes to Texas-style brisket. Doug shares his top tips on how to make brisket a pleasure to make. Here is what he recommends when preparing your brisket to go on the BBQ. When it comes to tender, we think that Doug is a real stickler for moist and tasty brisket like no other.

Prepare your brisket

Trim off excess fat and get your rub together. Using a beef broth, the brisket is then injected all throughout the meat and in the fat cap. For this Doug likes to use a smear that is made from Head Country Marinade mixed with a bit of chili powder. Rub this onto both sides of the brisket and finish this off with ground pepper. You’ll want to let the meat sit for at least 15 minutes before putting it on the grill.

Slow cooking all night long

Your brisket is going into the BBQ with the fat cap side down so it’s protected from the heat. It’s going to be cooked at 200F for the next 10-12 hours. It will also need to be spritzed with a mixture of apple juice every half hour during the entire cook time. You’ll also need to tend to the fire to keep the heat consistent all through the cooking time.

Wrap it up for a few hours more

After the internal temperature of your brisket reaches 155-165 degrees Fahrenheit it needs to be wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can add leftover beef broth that was used for the injecting process at the beginning. It needs an additional 2-3 hours to finish the cooking process. When your brisket finally reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s done.

Let it steam a bit

Now you want to transfer the brisket that’s wrapped in the foil to a container that’s insulated. Keep it in a cooler for 2-6 hours before slicing it into strips and served. There is also another option to add Apple Habanero BBQ basting sauce before it’s sliced and served.

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