Perfect Brisket

Perfect Brisket
Staff Writer
Perfect Brisket

Alex Martinez

Perfect Brisket

Because brisket can be tough if not cooked properly, some other barbecue competitors will actually prepare more than one at a competition. I don’t want to cook but one brisket when I compete, and I’m sure not going to do a backup brisket at home. One brisket should be all you need to get the job done. Just pay attention to these steps and you’ll have the one the way you want it, too.

Click here to see the Tips for Making Perfect Backyard Brisket.

Click here The Perfect Christmas Dinner.


For the beef injection and marinade:

  • 1 quart water
  • 3 tablespoons beef base (preferably Minor's brand) or beef bouillon powder
  • 3 tablespoons au jus concentrate (preferably Minor's brand) or one 15-ounce can strong beef broth

For the beef rub:

  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated dried onion

For the meat:

  • One 15-20 pound whole untrimmed brisket, preferably Wagyu


  • 2 aluminum pans
  • Injector
  • Blanket


For the beef injection and marinade:

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the beef base and the beef au jus to the water, and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat. If reserving for a later use, let the liquid cool then pour it into a jug or bottle. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For the beef rub:

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly. You can store this rub in an airtight container indefinitely.

For the meat:

Trim your brisket. Place the brisket, fat side up, in an aluminum baking pan. Inject it by eyeballing 1-inch squares all over the brisket and injecting half of the beef injection in those squares. Flip the brisket over, fat side down, and pour the remaining injection/marinade over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the brisket, heat a smoker to 350 degrees, keeping it an average of 300 degrees. (You can also use a gas grill, but you’ll need to prepare it for smoking.) 

Remove the brisket from the marinade and discard the marinade. Using your hands, apply the beef rub all over the meat. Place the brisket in a clean aluminum baking pan, place the pan in the smoker, and cook for 2 ½ hours. Remove the pan from the smoker and cover it with aluminum foil. Put it back into the smoker and cook for another 1 ½ hours or until the temperature in the point end of the meat reaches 205 degrees. Remove the pan from the smoker and wrap the pan, still covered with aluminum foil, in a thick blanket. Let it rest at room temperature for 3-4 hours. Unwrap the pan, discard the foil, and remove the brisket, taking care to save the the accumulated juices. Set the brisket aside. Strain the juices of all grease, and pour the juices into a medium saucepan. Warm the juices over medium heat, and allow them to come to a simmer.

Meanwhile, slice the brisket against the grain; try to make the slices as consistently sized as possible. Place the slices on a warm platter and pour the juices over them. Serve immediately.

Brisket Shopping Tip

Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.

Brisket Cooking Tip

The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.