Fear not the smoker—we've got your back. Check out this video for a quick tutorial on how to smoke your brisket like a Texas pit master.
Step: 01: Oil up your grate
Lightly coat grate with vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray. Close cooking chamber lids.
Step: 02: Prepare your firebox
Place 3-5 lbs. of charcoal in the center of the firebox.
Step: 03: Light charcoal & let it burn
Open the firebox air vent approximately 1-2", and smokestack damper halfway. With firebox lid open, stand back, carefully light charcoal and allow to burn until covered with a light ash (approx. 20 mins).
Step: 04: Add your wood chunks
Once coals have ashed over, add wood chunks. Do not shut firebox lid until the smoke is Clean Smoke, often called Blue Smoke by Texas pit masters.
Step: 05: Adjust cooking temperature
Close firebox lid. Adjust the firebox air vent and smokestack damper to regulate cooking temperature. The ideal smoking temperature is between 200°F-250°F.
Step: 06: Add the water pan
Place water pan under brisket grate. One gallon of water will last 2-3 hours.
Step: 07: Next, add your brisket
Place well-seasoned brisket on cooking grate, fat side up, in the cooking chamber.
Step: 08: Monitor cooking & brisket temperature
Maintain a consistent cooking temperature by adding wood chunks as needed. Monitor internal temperature of the brisket throughout the cooking process. The ideal finished internal temperature is 195°F-205°F.
Step: 09: Allow the brisket to rest
Remove brisket from smoker and allow to rest (min. of 30 mins).
Step: 010: Shut down your smoker completely
Suffocate the flame and cool your smoker down by fully closing the air vent, damper and lids.
Always start the smoking process with clean grates. Charcoal lighter fluid must completely burn off prior to closing firebox lid. Do not fully close air vent, damper and lids or flame will suffocate. Check water level every hour and a half. Keep in mind that opening lid during cooking allows heat and smoke to escape, making additional cooking time necessary. Put the point of the brisket (thickest side) on the firebox side to help with even cooking. Consider a heat-proof meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature without opening the cooking chamber lid. Allow approximately one hour cooking time per pound of brisket. Wrap brisket in peach paper/butcher paper while resting to maintain juiciness.