Fire It Up: How To Cook a Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

by Pat
How To Cook a Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

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It’s barbecue season, and that means it’s time to break out the charcoal grill and start cooking up some delicious meats. One of our favorites is brisket – a large cut of meat from the chest or breast of a cow. Brisket is a tough cut of meat, but it can be made tender and juicy if you cook it low and slow. In this article, we’ll show you how to cook a brisket on a charcoal grill.

About Beef Brisket

Beef brisket is a cut of meat that comes from the breast or lower chest of a cow. It is a tough, fatty cut of meat that benefits from slow cooking methods like braising or smoking. When cooked properly, beef brisket is meltingly tender and full of flavor. The high fat content also makes it an excellent choice for dishes like barbecue and chili, where the meat needs to stand up to long cooking times.

About Beef Brisket

Beef brisket is widely available at supermarkets and butcher shops, making it a convenient option for home cooks. However, it can be expensive, so it is important to know how to select and prepare the meat correctly. With a little effort, beef brisket can be a delicious and satisfying addition to any meal.

Brisket Nutritional Facts

Brisket is a lean, hearty cut of meat that is often used in barbecue recipes. It is typically cooked slowly over low heat, which helps to tenderize the tough muscle fibers. When prepared properly, brisket can be a delicious and nutritious part of any meal. The nutrition info for one hundred grams of cooked brisket contains approximately:

342 calories, 26 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 93 milligrams of cholesterol, 225 milligrams of sodium, 0 gram of carbohydrate, and 24 grams of protein.

As you can see, brisket is an excellent source of protein and contains only a small amount of carbohydrates. It is also relatively low in calories and fat, making it a good choice for those watching their weight. So the next time you’re looking for a delicious way to fuel your body, be sure to give brisket a try.

How to choose beef brisket for grilling?

Brisket is one of the best meats to smoke. The perfect beef brisket comprise two muscle pairs known as point and flat. Pointed fat marble parts, flats are leaner sections. Most of the time, you’ll find only the flat section in stores, which is fine.

How to choose beef brisket for grilling

When purchasing the brisket to make a smoke beef brisket, aim for one that is about 1 pound per person. The meat should be well-marbled with fat and have a deep red color. Avoid briskets that are excessively fatty or have any discoloration.

As with any meat, you’ll want to check the expiration date and make sure the brisket is fresh. Once you’ve selected a good brisket, it’s time to get cooking.

Prepping Your Brisket

Whether you’re smoking, grilling, or slow-cooking your brisket, there are a few key steps you need to take in order to ensure a delicious finished product.

Trim Excess Fat

First, trim away any excess fat from the brisket. This will help to prevent the fat from rendering during cooking and making the brisket greasy.

To trim the fat, simply use a sharp knife to remove any large pieces of fat from the surface of the meat. You can also use a kitchen shears to cut away any small patches of fat.

Once you’ve trimmed the fat, you can then proceed with your recipe as usual. Keep in mind that brisket is a fatty cut of meat, so there’s no need to be too aggressive with the trimming. Just remove any excess fat and you’ll be good to go.

Apply Dry Rub

Next, apply a dry rub or marinade to the meat. This will add flavor and help to keep the meat moist. If you’re using a marinade, let the brisket soak for several hours or overnight before cooking.

How to apply rub to the brisket?

I prefer the addition of the ingredients separately so I can cover everything properly. Before putting on the rub, apply Worcestershire ketchup a little bit. It serves as an absorbent. Apply brisket rub 1–2 hours prior to cooking meat for the smoker.

Dry the surface of the beef brisket with a paper towel. Doing so helps the rub to adhere better. Add mustard for more flavor or as a binder for the dry ingredients. Then, add paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cumin.

Sugar is added next for sweetness and to help the brisket develop a nice crust when cooked. Finally, add your favorite BBQ sauce. I like to use a sweet and tangy sauce, but you can use whatever you like best. If you are pinched for time, try some of the best store bought BBQ sauce as an alternative to making your own BBQ sauce.

How much rub to put on the beef brisket?

Everyone has different preferences for how much seasoning to add. In my opinion, it’s better to err on the side of too much than too little. The rub should coat the entire surface of the brisket, but it shouldn’t be so thick that it’s caked on.

If you’re using a dry rub, be sure to massage it into the meat so that it’s evenly distributed. Once you’ve applied the rub, you can then proceed with cooking the brisket.

Creating that Texas Crunch

The “Texas Crunch” is a term used to describe the crust that forms on the outside of the beef brisket when it’s cooked. This crunchy, flavorful crust is one of the things that makes brisket so delicious.

Beef Brisket With A Texas Crunch

To create the Texas Crunch on your smoked beef brisket, you need to let the rub sit on the surface of the meat for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will give the seasoning time to form a nice crust on the outside of the meat.

If you’re in a hurry, you can also put the brisket in the fridge overnight so that the rub has time to penetrate the surface of the meat.

When you’re ready to cook, remove the brisket from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This will help ensure that the meat cooks evenly. You an also wrap brisket to assist in speeding up the cooking process.

Incredible Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe

The smoked brisket recipe is simple to make and is a great way to season your smoked beef brisket with seasonings and barbeque sauce.


1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons BBQ sauce

1 (5-pound) beef brisket


1. Trim any excess fat from the beef brisket.

2. In a small bowl, mix together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cumin, and sugar.

3. Rub the spice mixture all over the beef brisket.

4. Wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

How much brisket per person?

When you host a gathering, you should know exactly how much meat you should smoke. This will help you avoid running out of food or having too much left over.

As a general rule, plan on ½ pound of beef brisket per person. This should give everyone plenty to eat and will leave some leftovers for sandwiches or other dishes.

Of course, if you have a lot of hearty eaters at your gathering, you may want to increase this amount. Conversely, if you have a lot of light eaters, you may want to reduce it.

It’s really up to you and your guests. Just be sure to plan ahead so that you have enough food for everyone.

Fire Up the Grill

Now it’s time to fire up the grill. If you’re using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to start by lighting the charcoal or wood chips. If you are looking for tips, make sure to see our guide on how to setup your charcoal grill. I prefer to use a chimney starter to get my coals going. This is the quickest and easiest way to get the coals lit.

Learn How To Cook a Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

Start by igniting 10 to 16 pieces of charcoal and setting up a grill on a three zone split fire to maintain a very low heat. This will give you somewhere to move the meat if it starts to get too much direct heat.

You will want to let your grill pre-heat to around 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal cooking temperature for smoking brisket.

About Types of Charcoal

For smoking brisket on a charcoal grill, you will want to use a quality lump charcoal as opposed to charcoal briquettes. This is because lump charcoal burns cleaner and doesn’t produce as much ash. If you are new to natural lump charcoal, see our complete charcoal storage guide.

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to stay away from any charcoal or wood coals that has been infused with lighter fluid. This can impart an unwanted flavor to the meat. If you must use briquettes, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using them

Place the Brisket on the Grill

Once the grill is pre-heated, it’s time to place the brisket on the grill. I like to put the brisket fat side up so that the fat can render and help to keep the meat moist.

If you’re using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to place the brisket on a wire rack or in a foil pan so that it’s not directly touching the coals. You will want to use a slow cooking speed and make sure to maintain temperature of the grill at a low cooking temperature and regularly check the internal temperature of the meat.

Smoke brisket fat side up or down?

If we smoke brisket we have to get our fat side facing our heat direction. The fat cover keeps meat warm. Generally smokers have their own heat source, so find the right spot. When smoking on a charcoal grill, you should put the fat sides down.

Cook brisket until internal temperatures are 160°C. It takes around five–7 hours if you cook packing brisket or flat brisket. If you smoke your brisket on charcoal grilling, rotate it and grind it at a constant interval during the first stage.

Wrap Or Unwrapped

Usually smoking brisket consists of two kinds of people – those that wrap and those who do not. The term “wraps” means that the brisket is stuffed with tinfoil during cooking. I’ve often smoked both types of brisket but I’ve determined the best smoked brisket is wrapped. They just turn softer, more delicate. If you are smoking brisket with wraps, the process has two stages.

Flip the Brisket

After 2-3 hours, flip the brisket over so that the fat side is down. This will help to render the fat and keep the brisket moist. Close the lid of the grill and let the brisket cook for another 2-3 hours.

Wrap the Brisket

After 4-6 hours of cooking, it’s time to wrap the brisket. This will help to create a barrier so that the outside of the brisket doesn’t get overcooked.

To wrap the brisket, you’ll need to use a heavy-duty foil or butcher paper. I like to use butcher paper because it breathes, which allows the smoke to penetrate the meat.

Start by placing the brisket on a sheet of butcher paper or foil. Then, fold up the sides of the paper or foil so that it forms a snug fit around the brisket.

Next, you’ll need to add a liquid to the butcher paper or foil. I like to use apple juice, but you can also use beef broth or even water. The liquid helps to create steam inside the wrapping, which keeps the brisket moist.

Once the brisket is wrapped, place it back on the grill and let it cook for the remainder of the time.

Check the Temperature

You’ll know the brisket is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit. To check the temperature, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the brisket.

When the brisket reaches 190 degrees, remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it even more tender and flavorful.

Let the Brisket Rest Before Serving

Any cook worth their salt knows that letting meat rest before serving is essential to ensuring a delicious and tender result. This is especially true of brisket, which benefits greatly from a period of rest after cooking. When meat is cooked, the muscle fibers contract and squeeze out moisture.

Allowing the meat to rest gives the fibers a chance to relax and reabsorb some of that moisture, resulting in a juicier, more flavorful final product. So next time you cook up a brisket, be sure to let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes before carving and serving. Your guests will be glad you did!

Sides to Serve With Your Brisket

No BBQ is complete without some delicious sides to go along with it. When it comes to brisket, there are a few sides that just seem to fit perfectly.

Here are a few of our favorites:

– Baked beans

– Corn on the cob

– Potato salad

– Cole slaw

– Macaroni and cheese

– Green beans

– Biscuits or cornbread

Grilled fruit cocktails

So there you have it! Now you know how to cook a brisket on a charcoal grill. Just fire up the coals, smoke that brisket low and slow, and enjoy!

Leftover Brisket Ideas

If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy them. One of my favorite things to do is to make brisket sandwiches. To do this, simply shred the brisket and pile it high on a bun with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Another great way to use leftover brisket is to add it to a hearty stew or chili. The smoked flavor of the brisket will give your stew an extra depth of flavor that is sure to please.

Finally, you can make brisket and eggs for the perfect breakfast. Simply shred the brisket and add it to your scrambled eggs or omelets. The possibilities are endless!

Alternatives to Using Your Charcoal Grill

If you are using a gas grill, there are some options still available to smoke brisket on the grill. To smoke brisket on the grill using a gas grill, consider a cold smoke generator after the brisket is prepared. This will allow you to still get that signature smoky flavor without having to use a charcoal grill.

Another alternative is to smoke the brisket in an electric smoker. This is a great option if you want to set it and forget it. Simply prepare the brisket according to the recipe above and place it in the smoker. Set the temperature and let it do its thing. In no time, you’ll have a delicious brisket that is packed with flavor.

Whether you use a charcoal grill, gas grill, or electric smoker, smoking brisket is a great way to impress your friends and family. So fire up the grill and get cooking!

Wrapping Up

Smoked brisket is a true labor of love. It takes time and patience to get it just right, but the results are more than worth it. So next time you’re in the mood for something special, fire up the grill and give this recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

Common Questions About Making A Brisket on a Charcoal Grill

How long does it take to cook brisket on charcoal grill?

It takes about 1-2 hours per pound to cook brisket on a charcoal grill.

What is the best temperature to cook brisket on a charcoal grill?

The best temperature to cook brisket on a charcoal grill is between 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long do I need to let the brisket rest before serving?

You should let the brisket rest for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

Can you do brisket on a charcoal grill?

Yes! This article will show you how to cook a brisket on a charcoal grill.

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