You can cook brisket using a smoker or in the oven.

Beef brisket, 4-12 pounds
Dry rub (or just salt and pepper)
Brown Mustard

Trim excess fat from the brisket, leaving about 1/4″ of fat.

Sprinkle the rub over both sides of the brisket and rub it in to ensure it adheres. On each side, you can slather brown mustard on before applying the rub. This step will help the rub adhere and will help break down the meat so it is more tender. The mustard will burn off, so you will not taste it in the end. Some recommend no rub at all; just salt and pepper.

Wrap the brisket in butcher paper or foil and cook it wrapped with the fat side down, trying to maintain the temperature at 250 degrees if using a smoker. Some recommend fat side up, but that can cause the rub to wash away and will not develop the crust you want.

How long to cook it is more about reaching the right internal temperature (180-185 degrees), but for planning purposes, here is a guide:
4-5 pounds: 4-5 hours wrapped + 1 hour uncovered
7-8 pounds: 5-6 hours wrapped + 1 hour uncovered
10-12 pounds: 6-7 hours wrapped + 1 hour uncovered
Use a meat thermometer and stop when the internal temperature is 170 – 175 degrees. The internal temperature will continue to rise by up to 10 degrees after you are in the resting phase.

Many articles I have read mention “the stall”, which occurs between 145 degrees and 165 degrees internal temperature. It happens because the liquid is evaporating from the surface of the brisket and will cool it while you are trying to cook it.

Rest the brisket, wrapped with butcher paper or foil, for 30-60 minutes Some say you should let it rest for up to 2 hours. We put ours in the oven at a “warm” setting (100 degrees ideally). Most ovens will not go that low, so you can warm yours to 150 degrees, put the brisket in, then turn the oven off. Once the resting period is over, slice thinly against the grain and serve.


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