How to Make a Superior Brisket in Your Backyard


When you want the epitome of grilled meat from your backyard grill, a lot of families talk about ribs, chops, and steaks.

Although any foods from the grill are exceptionally tasty, nothing beats a perfectly prepared brisket.

The problem that backyard grillers face involves temperature control. You need about 11 hours of cooking time to get this cut right. If you try to shortcut the process, the results will be less than spectacular.

If you’re ready to try this option, grab yourself a 12-pound brisket. Plan for about 45 minutes to prepare it before you hit the grill.

You’ll get about a dozen servings.

How to Prepare Your Brisket Properly

If you can’t get a 12-pound brisket, try to get something in the 10-pound range. Anything bigger tends to be a little too big for most grills.

You want about a quarter-inch remaining to provide moisture to the protein while it grills without creating a slimy mess.

Pick your favorite grilling rub to sprinkle on the brisket. You’ll need a few tablespoons to give it a nice coating. If you don’t have something specific to use, some salt, black pepper, and cumin is an excellent combination.

If you have some time, wrap up the brisket to put in your fridge for a few hours. This “stewing” time lets the flavors penetrate deeper into the meat.

Prep Your Grill for Smoking

Every grill has a smoking method to follow. You may need to find your owner’s manual to locate the steps you’ll need to implement for this stage of the process.

Since a brisket takes a long time to make, long-burning charcoal briquettes, pellet grills, and lump charcoal tend to provide the most stable cooking experiences.

Trying to cook a brisket on liquid propane can get expensive. If you have a permanent natural gas connection, you can still pull off this backyard grilling experience.

Place a drip pan underneath the meat to provide more temperature stability. If you have a grill with a smoker feature, set it for the longest option you have available.

Use mesquite and hickory pellets or chips to bring out the best flavor. It helps to soak them in warm water for about a half-hour before starting up the grill.

Smoke the Brisket

You’ll want to keep the temperature in your grill at 225°F as consistently as possible. If you have vents that control the heat, you’ll need to keep an eye on the smoking process periodically.

If your grill doesn’t come with a temperature gauge or digital product with a companion app, get a thermometer you can use to keep track of the grilling process.

It helps to check the temperature about once per hour.

You’ll see the internal temperature reach about 150°F on the brisket eventually. This plateau happens because the surface evaporation doesn’t allow for more smoky goodness. Fixing this problem involves a couple of options.

  • Wait it out until the brisket gets to the next cooking stage.
  • Wrap the meat in aluminum foil tightly while adding a half-cup of apple juice.
  • Place it unwrapped on the upper area with apple juice in the drip pan below.

Bring your grill back to 225°F quickly. The best option is the second one from the above bullet points, although you’ll have defenders who prefer the other choices.

Test the Brisket

Your brisket is ready to come off the grill after it reaches 195°F internally. It takes about 11 hours to get to that point.

Since the meat continues to cook once you take it off the grill, check the brisket for doneness. If a fork twists in it easily, you know it’s time to eat! If not, give it a few more minutes to try again.

If you overcook the brisket, each bite will be chewy and dry. Although some sauce can fix this problem, try grilling the meat with some pineapple for a few minutes. The fruit works to break down the proteins to make it more of the gentle slice we all love.


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